Freedom, Money, Time, and the Key to Creative Success

image of paper boats

Mark McGuinness is an energetic, creative entrepreneur who lives life precisely on his own terms. He travels when and where he wants, lives where he likes, spends lots of time with his family (he has twin toddlers, heaven help the man).

And he works with the kinds of clients and projects that give him plenty of energy … and, yes, cash.

I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon hanging out in London with Mark last summer, and he’s the kind of entrepreneur who has a life, not just a business.

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What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Copywriting?

Content Marketing 101

From a traditional marketing standpoint, the answer to the above question is simple.

Content marketing is the creation of valuable content that has a marketing purpose. For example, my company creates an awesome special report, and we exchange it for your email address and your permission to educate you further about our stuff.

Copywriting is designed to get the reader to take a specific action. Sometimes that’s making a purchase, but it can also be confirming an email opt-in, calling for more information, or going into a store to check out the merchandise.

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Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2010

The Top 10 Blogs for Writers contest is always fun to watch, and a great way to add some new favorites to your own list of must-read blogs.

This year the contest has shaken things up a little, moving from Michael Stelzner’s Writing White Papers site to Leo Babauta and Mary Jaksch’s Write to Done. Copyblogger was not eligible this year because our own Brian Clark was one of the judges along with Leo, Mary, Michael and Deb Ng.

The winners are a talented and creative bunch, with lots of strong fiction blogs appearing on the list. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners!

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How to Stop Marketing
(And What to Do Instead)

sign saying No Salesmen Or Agents

Back when I took copywriting clients, I had one request that seemed to come up over and over again.

“I don’t want to do any marketing or selling,” the client would say. “I just really hate all that stuff. It makes me feel sleazy and gross and I don’t want my name associated with it and I don’t want to have anything to do with it.

“But, um, I don’t want the business to die.

“Is it hopeless? Is there anything you can do for me?”

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The Most Important Element of Your Marketing Story

image of actor Charlie Chaplin

Robert wrote yesterday about David Mamet’s advice on dramatic tension, the key element that drives every compelling story.

But there’s another element that’s critical to story, and it’s particularly important when you’re telling a story that intends to persuade.

Whether you want to make a sale, gain an email subscription, or motivate a change in behavior, your dramatic story will fail if it doesn’t have one thing:

A relatable protagonist.

In other words, your story needs to be about someone we care about.

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The Copyblogger Gratitude List — Happy Thanksgiving!

image of turkey

“Shouldn’t I be grateful for something other than Tivo? And Lost?”
~ Christine Kane, “What the Hell Am I Doing with My Life”

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the U.S., a holiday traditionally dedicated to heroic feats of overeating, football watching, and avoiding delicate topics of conversation with family members.

But I’m told that before the development of these fine traditions, the holiday was supposed to be about gratitude.

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