Bathtubs, Lightning Bolts, and
The Myth of Writer’s Block

Lightening Ideas

Let me tell you two stories.

For the first, we go back to Syracuse, Sicily, in the third century B.C.

Archimedes, a Greek mathematician, physicist, and inventor, was called before the throne to solve a difficult problem. The king had ordered a pure gold crown from the local goldsmith. But when the crown arrived, the king suspected the goldsmith of keeping some of the gold and replacing it with silver. The king asked Archimedes to help him prove it.

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Happy Holidays from Copyblogger 2008

Happy Holidays

Here’s to a safe and joyous holiday season for you and yours. In case you’re actually looking for something to read, here are some Copyblogger gems for your solstice surfing pleasure.

See you next year!

Method Blogging:
Who Do You Want to Be in 2009?

Robert de Niro

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. ~William Shakespeare

You know what method acting is, right? That’s when an actor attempts to become the character by living the psychological life of the subject as precisely as possible before and during the role.

With method blogging, you can become the type of person you want to… before you have the confidence to be that person in real life.

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Landing Page Makeover Clinic #12: Soxialize.com

Landing Page Makeover

This is another addition to our ongoing series of tutorials and case studies on landing pages that work.

Who doesn’t want to make a few (or more!) extra dollars from their WordPress blogs — and who wouldn’t want to leverage the power of a brand-name like Ebay as a surefire means of making ‘em happen?

That’s the basic premise of WPBayAds. Developed by Cesar Serna, WPBayAds is a WP plugin that allows bloggers to easily display topic-relevant eBay auction products or, and I especially like this, build unlimited custom eBay niche stores. Cesar shares that some of his affiliate traffic is converting just fine. Other affiliates aren’t and while his keyword ranking is fine, the organic search traffic being generated isn’t generating enough cash.

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How to Be a Good Host:
A Quick Guide to Web Forums That Work

Train Wreck

The biggest mistake when launching an online forum is thinking “if you build it they will come.”

Let’s face it: Simply putting a forum on your site without any more energy on your part is like throwing a party you don’t show up for. If you’re not going to show up for your own party, why should anyone else?

A forum can be the most welcoming, interactive and useful part of your site if you’re willing to really get in there and really work it. In fact, a forum can become your No. 1 traffic generator and give you the kind of built-in devoted audience that companies would kill for.

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Train Wreck Blogging: Ain’t Nothing To See Here Folks

Train Wreck

It’s the reason people love NASCAR and read National Enquirer.

We don’t want to admit it. We’re not supposed to feel that way. But secretly buried, deep down inside, we all want a front row seat to the wipe out of the season.

It’s not that we want to see anyone get hurt. It’s not that we wish failure or disaster on anyone (let’s keep our in-laws and competitors out of this). We just want to know all the juicy details once it’s already gone down.

We even feel bad about this irrepressible urge…but we just gotta know!

And, understanding this impulse will let you tap a side of blogging that holds the potential to explode readership… if you have the will.

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Good News for Affiliate Summit Winners…

Back to Basics

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on the Affiliate Summit Gold Pass giveaway post. I’ve selected the 20 winners, and they’ve been contacted by email.

Here’s the good news… you’re all (silver) winners, whether you left a comment or not.

If you’d like to attend Affiliate Summit with a free Silver Pass:

  1. Go to this page to check out the Silver Pass and to register.
  2. When prompted, enter this code: COPYBLOGGERSILVER

That’s it. See you there?

Why Leo Babauta of Zen Habits
Gave Me His Blog

Constraints

Well, actually Leo Babauta of Zen Habits fame didn’t give me a whole blog, he gave me half of his blog Write to Done in July 2008. At that time I was still a rookie blogger.

Only nine months earlier my son Sebastian said to me:

“Mum, I’ll make you a website for your birthday. But you’ll have to write a blog.”

“A what?”

I had no idea what he was talking about. Shortly after I started Goodlife Zen, the steepest learning curve of my life.

So, why did Leo Babauta give half his blog to an accidental blogger?

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How to Create Better Content With Constraints

Constraints

Mark McGuinness reveals a cool technique for creating content that’s more productive and innovative than the “blank page” approach. It’s all about setting specific constraints on yourself before you start to write.

Mark’s article made me realize I do this all the time. I constrain myself to a particular angle or reference, and I start looking for a relevant association.

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The Millionaire’s Secret Trait That Attracts Crazy Amounts of Success

Giving

What’s the secret trick to creating a really successful online business? Investing in the latest how-to information, right? Or maybe it’s a complicated new piece of software? Could it be the liberal use of fake yellow highlighting?

The secret to online success isn’t so different from the secret to offline success. There’s a quality the best entrepreneurs share that gives them a massive competitive advantage. And as usual, being online lets you leverage that secret for even greater success.

The millionaires’ secret trait is:

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