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Sonia Simone

Sonia Simone is co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Sonia on Twitter and .

The 7 Keys to List Posts that Are Worth Writing (and Reading)

canvas painting of scattered numbers

A lot of smart writers can’t stand list posts.

What’s a list post? It’s also known as a numbered list post, or a (shudder) listicle, and it’s a post whose headline features a numbered collection of things. This post, for example, is a list post.

There are an awful lot of crummy ones out there. The celebrity sites make frequent use of them (These 17 Celebrities Used to Be Hot, etc.). In fact, all of the CRaP blogs use them liberally.

So it’s natural that a quality-focused content writer (like you) might try to avoid them. But that would be silly. And here’s why:

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The Right Way to Think About Google

mesmerized crowd looking up

You may have seen last week that Google abruptly — and almost offhandedly — announced it was terminating a key element of its future strategy for ranking content.

The Authorship program, which would let Google rank content according to the authority of the person who created it, was nuked on Thursday afternoon at the end of the business day on a Google+ thread.

It’s not really new behavior. Google is abrupt, secretive, and dismissive of the time and energy it encourages its users to put into its various programs.

Google giveth, and Google taketh away.

And to be honest, this can get right on your last nerve. But if it causes you more than a few moments of irritation, you may benefit from shifting the way you think about the web’s favorite 800-pound gorilla.

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The 7 Things Writers Need to Make a Living

image of colorful writer's desk

If you’re a writer, you might have heard this most of your life.

People don’t make a living writing. You should find something practical to do with your life.

Smart, capable writers grimly pass around war stories on Facebook. Penny-a-word assignments, clients who don’t pay, disdain for our craft, and disrespect for our profession.

And yet.

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Two Important Announcements for Writers

First, you may have seen yesterday the abrupt announcement that Google is, at least for the moment, discontinuing their Authorship functionality for search results and webmaster tools.

For those in our Authority community, as well as those in our Certified Content Marketer program, we’ll be holding a special live Q&A session with Brian Clark on what this means for web writers as we move forward. Just log in to your Member Dashboard to find out how to attend. You’ll also get your usual Tuesday email with all of the instructions.

And secondly, if you aren’t in one of those programs yet, the window is closing to join the Certified Content Marketer program at 5:00 PM Pacific time today.

If you’re a professional writer who could use more assignments, better pay, and the best shot at the most interesting, rewarding projects, it’s well worth your time to check the program out.

Grab all the details here — and remember, the deadline to enter is 5:00 PM today.

(And Authority members, don’t forget — make sure you’re logged in to your account in order to get your preferred pricing on the program.)

Update: As promised, the Certification program is now closed to new applicants. But you may be interested in joining Authority, our community of web writers and marketers. We offer a wealth of information, advice, and support, with fresh exclusive content nearly every month of the year.

Learn more about Authority here.

The 3:00 a.m. Secret Question That Drives Meaningful Success

image of graffiti with word Secret

“I want you to ask your secret question.”

That’s what Seth Godin asked the audience at the end of his generous Authority Intensive session with us in Denver this past May.

The room was packed with fanboys and fangirls (I’m one) who were reeling a little from 45 minutes of intense marketing, business, and life advice.

Your secret question is the one that you can ask without anyone laughing at you, and that I know the answer to but that I’ve never told you before, even though I’ve had 5,600 chances to tell you … and that if I then told you the secret answer, you’d be fine.

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Announcing: A New Resource for Those Who Need Great Content

image of colorful writer's desk

It’s a common wisecrack around the Copyblogger virtual office.

This whole content marketing thing would be a lot simpler if someone else would just write all the content.

Whether you’re a writer or not, it’s just a fact that a solid content marketing strategy needs lots and lots of words. Well-crafted, interesting words, assembled into a strategic plan that moves prospects along the path from stranger to happy customer.

It isn’t always easy to find the person to write those words. Which is probably why we get so many queries from people asking,

Do you know any really good writers we can hire?

And the answer to that question is: Yes, yes we do.

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