The Best of Copyblogger in 2012

image of stopwatch nearly at 2013l

For a mere blog, Copyblogger has been around for quite awhile now. And we’ve developed a few traditions.

One of them is that every year, just around the time when you wondered if your relatives were ever going home, we slip in a “Best of Copyblogger” post right before New Year’s.

It’s a chance for you to catch up on something you might have missed.

And it lets us revisit content we are particularly proud of.

These are some of our votes for the best Copyblogger articles from 2012, based both on your enthusiasm and our own.

Here they are, divided by category and presented in no particular order:

The content creators

This was the year content marketing went from jargon to reality, with businesses of every size re-imagining what marketing could look like. Here are a few of our favorite posts from this year to help you create content that’s worth the time and care you put into it.

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
Brian Clark’s essential advice on becoming a better writer, formatted in a dandy-looking printable poster.

The 10-Step Content Marketing Checklist
A lot of people think the term content marketing has become too fuzzy to be useful. We think it’s just being used by a lot of people who have no idea what it means. To make sure you’re creating useful, business-building content (instead of that other kind), we made you a checklist.

A Simple Plan for Writing One Powerful Piece of Online Content per Week
Pamela Wilson is really good at helping solopreneurs get a handle on online marketing. She often writes about design, but this time she’s helping us craft a workable plan to get one really good piece of content created — each and every week.

The 11 “Secrets” of Prolific Content Creators
Beth Hayden reminds us that there aren’t really any secrets. There are, however, some damned good habits you can get into.

What The New Yorker Magazine Can Teach You About Content Marketing that Works
Demian Farnworth’s epic answer to tl;dr.

The 7 Bad Habits of Highly Successful People
Trust me, if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s making the best of my many bad habits. Here are a few habits and traits that you just might be able to turn into strengths.

2013: The Year of the Online Writer
Whether you know it or not, this is your year. We’re excited about how the business world is shaping up, and the strong direction online marketing is taking. Content creators will be at the heart of it. Brian shares some thoughts, with hints about what’s coming for you next year.

Useful pictures

2012 was also the year of the infographic. We jumped in and had a great time hitting some of our most enduring themes for a new, more visually oriented audience. And on a side note, yes, infographics are (very) popular these days, and there are lots of them out there. There’s lots of competition and clutter, but you can still hit a home run with a good one.

22 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue
Let’s face it, content marketing would be a lot easier without all this … content to create. Everyone’s creativity needs a little kick in the pants from time to time. This will help.

15 Grammar Goofs that Make You Look Silly
Combine grammar and usage errors with visual presentation of information and you’re gonna get a lot of people looking at your post. Not to mention some epic (but polite) battles in the comments. This is the most popular post we’ve ever run on Copyblogger.

A History of Social Media
Think social media is something new and shiny? Well … not exactly. Beth Hayden walks us through the timeline.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Self-Hosted WordPress Website
Setting up your own self-hosted WordPress site isn’t rocket science … but it can be a little intimidating when you’re getting started. Pamela Wilson put together this useful graphic to make sure you hit all the important steps.

Fanciful things

Once in awhile, we like to publish something that rattles a few cages while making an intelligent point.

It’s Fake Grimlock, the giant robot startup dinosaur. On Copyblogger. And you know, he makes a lot of sense. The third time you read it, anyway.

5 Lessons in Creativity from the Return of Ze Frank
I liked this post of Robert Bruce’s very much, first and foremost because it speaks directly to the struggles and triumphs of creativity. The fact that Ze Frank is kind of hot played no role in my decision whatsoever.

How an Unknown Street Artist Used Content Marketing to Build a Global Brand
Kelton Reid talks about the lessons to be learned — both positive and negative — from the legendary street artist Shepard Fairey.

20 Content Marketing Lessons from the Immortal Jimi Hendrix
From Mark Hermann, the blog post version of a 17-minute-long mind-melting guitar solo. Dig.

Search and social

Brian had the nutty intriguing idea that I should start writing about SEO. I managed to ignore him for about a year, but finally even I couldn’t resist. Because it turns out, SEO is content marketing, and if you can create quality content, you can do some pretty cool things with search. Social media is an important part of this stew, so here’s where you’ll find those posts as well.

The Granola-Munching Hippie’s Guide to All-Natural SEO
In which I recycle every 60s cliché I could find, while letting you know what’s working today with search optimization.

Why Google+ Is an Inevitable Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy
You may find Google+ something of an echo chamber. You may already have too many social sites you’re spending time on. But this isn’t just another social network, and you probably want to give it a second look. Brian explains why.

Is it Time for Content Marketers to Abandon Facebook?
I could have written this post about Digg or Twitter or Pinterest or LinkedIn. I could have written it about Instagram by just scratching out the word Facebook every time it appeared. There’s a key online marketing point here, even if you hate Facebook and have never logged in there. Plus, you really do have to see the post image on this.

56 Ways to Market Your Business on Pinterest
For some types of business, Pinterest was the hot new kid on the block this year, sending floods of traffic. Beth Hayden talks about how to use Pinterest intelligently and effectively. (See the next post as well.)

Is Pinterest Traffic Worthless?
Spoiler alert: The answer is “It depends.” For some types of businesses, Pinterest sends massive numbers of well-qualified viewers who convert to buyers. For others, it’s just an annoying stampede that drinks all your beer and crashes your servers. Tony Clark unpacks some of our own numbers for you, so you can make the call for your own business.

Copywriting and conversion that makes you money

Content is what gets you the love and attention, but you’ve still got to, you know, sell something. There’s no cause for alarm, you just need to master a few skills. We’ve got you covered.

The 10 Commandments of Landing Pages that Work
Somehow we did not all get struck by lightning for running this. Stephen Lowe with a post that’s both cleverly done and highly useful. Our favorite combination.

The Truth About Making Money While You Sleep
Jon Morrow reveals that the secret to making money while you sleep is … working your ass off to get there. Dang it. But if you’re going to put the work in anyway, make sure it’s effective work … the kind that moves your business in the right direction.

The Most Beautiful Boat in Town
Robert Bruce’s delicate fable about the one thing that copywriting can never do for your business.

We’ll have lots more for you in 2013. Can’t wait to see you then!

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Reader Comments (32)

  1. says

    Hi Sonia,
    I like your idea of posting a “best of” on your blog right before the New Year. I am going to borrow that idea on my blog. :) I like how you have your posts by category as well, it makes it easier to find posts with a best of rather than having to scroll through archives.

    I scrolled through the post and I saw a lot of posts that peaked my interest so I will definitely check them out.

    Take Care.

  2. says

    If all I did — if all ANYONE did — was spend their 2013 implementing what’s found in these best-of posts, they’d be 100% ahead in their business and likely their industry too. It’s these annual best-of posts that put in perspective just how useful the content here at Copyblogger really is. Thanks! Happy New Year.

  3. says

    Wow! It’s like a chocolate covered diamond, smothered with awesome, and wrapped in a rainbow! Let me echo Eric’s comment above…the team at Copyblogger does a fantastic job for being a “mere blog” (too modest).

    The best thing a budding solopreneur can do is get on you site and check out all of the great free information. And, if they haven’t settled on their software solutions yet, I’m sure the collection of tools available from Copyblogger is stellar!

    Thanks for all of your hard work, and sharing your insights!

  4. says

    Thanks for introducing me to Ze Frank and Fake Grimlock this year, guys. Both were inspirationally hilarious, or maybe hilariously inspirational.

    I also made the decision to start using StudioPress products in 2012. Very satisfied!

    Looking forward to what’s in store for 2013. You’ve caught my interest.

  5. says

    Thanks for sharing Sonia.

    Brian’s 10 steps was one of my favorite posts but that was back then, in the summer. Now, I can’t pick just one post if I tried.

    You guys do a great job thanks for sharing the goods, I look forward to finding my favorite CP post in 2013 The Year of The Writer. :)

  6. says

    Love the idea of a “Best of…” post and I had just written and scheduled mine to publish on the 31st, LOL! Of course, my blog is fairly new, but will definitely grow and at some point will have to be broken down into categories, which is a super idea :)

    Thanks so much for the wonderful reads and cannot wait for great content in 2013!

    • says

      We never used to break them into categories for the “Best Of,” but we publish so much content now that I didn’t have the heart last year to whittle it down to 10.

  7. says

    As always you guys have brought great value to the table. I’m a new reader, started reading in Sept, but I will be with you for the whole ride next year, and I look forward to it!

  8. Barbara says

    I read most of them, absorbed what I could. Now I can go back over the try to absorb some more… but without missing the new for 2013! This is going to be quite a challenge! :-)

  9. says

    I don’t envy you having to pick the best posts. I’m on many lists but your posts are the few that I continue to read consistently, month after month. Can’t say that I could pick the best one. All I know is that in 2013, I’m determined not to be trolled by your April Fool’s post. Honestly. I’m going to get the joke this time. Really.

    Thank you for all the good writing and good inspiration. All of you, Have a Happy New Year.

  10. says

    Love these kind of blog posts. Looking forward to reading all of these posts as I really enjoy the posts here on Copyblogger!

  11. says

    Fantastic wrap-up – thank you Sonia!
    “The 10-Step Content Marketing Checklist” is chock full of good advice. “A Simple Plan for Writing One Powerful Piece…” is also excellent. I’m forwarding the link to my partner now.
    Happy New Year!

  12. says

    Thank you Sonia, and Copyblogger. After years of searching for “the one” – the one true, trusted source for entrepreneurial benchmarking, it feels so good to have found this special place. Thank you for your unbridled passion and commitment.

  13. says

    Thanks a lot for the list Sonia. I’m gonna read some of them. I think the one that really captures my interest is the one entitled “The Truth About Making Money While You Sleep”. This is like every blogger’s dream. I’m wondering when i will finally reach that stage. Sigh!! Reading it now….

  14. says

    I always look forward to posts like this because it is basically saying “here are the best posts we have done all week/month/year, now you don’t have to keep ploughing through your RSS feed. :)

  15. says

    Hey Sonia,

    this must have been a challenging but rewarding process and I bet a very time consuming one. You have so many great articles on your site, it must have been difficult to leave so much out.

    congratulations on another great year & here’s to 2013,


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