How to Become an Exceptional Writer

4 ways to become an outstanding writer

A man and boy sit in an old house crowded with furniture, sunlight, and dust.

A guitar rests on the boy’s knee. Tiny fingers grip and pluck the strings. The man is nodding, rocking as the boy plays.

The man is Jack White — of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather fame. The boy is his son. This scene is part of the documentary It Might Get Loud.

As Jack White teaches his son to play guitar, he says:

You have to fight the guitar … And you have to win.

That’s an incredible piece of advice for playing guitar. And it’s some of the best writing advice … ever.

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The Unstoppable Rise of the Digital Content Creator

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I’m typing this article on a pretty powerful machine — and it’s no bigger than the size of a Vogue magazine.

On this same machine, I can collaborate, record, edit, and publish a video — or even a movie.

I can record, edit, and publish a podcast.

Software has made all this — and more — a reality.
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Don’t Panic, but This Article Was Written by an Algorithm

Shocking news! Computers can now write content

I don’t care how many times you read this opening paragraph. Study it word for word. Examine it frontwards and backwards. You won’t be able to conclusively tell whether it was written by a human or machine.

Don’t believe me? Read this sports story, and tell me if it was written by a human or machine:

Tuesday was a great day for W. Roberts, as the junior pitcher threw a perfect game to carry Virginia to a 2-0 victory over George Washington at Davenport Field.

Human or machine? Here’s the answer: It was written by a machine. (I wrote the opening paragraph.)

See, when it comes to a computer-generated story, there aren’t any telltale signs that it’s manufactured by a machine. That’s how good this machine-written content is getting.
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13 Logic Mistakes that Make Content Marketers Look Irresponsible

raise the bar with clear, coherent content

Because of the high consumer demand for content, we content marketers swoop in to fill that demand. And often because of the heavy demand of our publishing schedules, we get lazy with our arguments.

We fall into logical fallacies — mistakes of reasoning — that ultimately make us look dull, careless, or just inexperienced. They make it difficult to build trust with our audiences.

When you produce logical content consistently, you define yourself as professional and set yourself apart from the noise.

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Conquer Content Shock with Illegitimate Ideas

how to use the unexpected to grab attention

Here’s the thing: nobody can deny that there is more content out there than ever before. But I don’t think the challenge this creates for content marketers is any more unique than 60 years ago or 600 years ago.

In the face of so much content, yes, we are shocked — but after the shock wears off, we adapt. Because we are really freaking excited about the possibilities.

And because we, as readers, can develop skills that allow us to navigate through this world without getting swallowed alive, it’s only natural that we, as content marketers, can too.

By “adapt,” I mean find new ways to stand out with content that makes an impact. And one way to do that involves illegitimate ideas.
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5 Ways a Penalty Can Dramatically Improve Your Call To Action

give your buyers motivation to act

One of the best ways to ruin a truly great sales letter is to not ask for action. The second best way is to include a call to action without a penalty.

Indeed, not all calls to action are the same, but a strong call to action is typically:

  • singular
  • visible
  • promising
  • clear about what happens next
  • brimming with trust elements

It also has:

  • a distinct button to click
  • a trial period
  • a guarantee

When it comes to getting people to do what you want them to do, there are two ways to ensure this will happen.

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