Shorter is Better

Shorter is Better

I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter. ~Blaise Pascal (1623-1662).

We are inundated with information. People are starved for time and as such they greatly respect and value short correspondence, articles and blog posts.

If you want people to read something, make it short and concise. A paragraph that runs five sentences long is daunting and there is a good chance that the reader will not read it.

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Cool Stuff for New Bloggers

Blogging Roadmap

I’ve noticed a lot of people saying they are new to blogging in the comments lately, so I definitely thought this was worth a mention. Yaro Starak has developed quite a reputation as a blogging mentor, but now he’s reaching out to those who are much newer to the blog life.

First of all, Yaro and his new partner (ahh… partners!) have released the free Roadmap Report – a guide to becoming a blogger. I like the emphasis they place on multimedia, which is the way things are headed without doubt (they even have an audio version of the report).

Continuing to walk the multimedia talk, the pair have also released a series of 10 free Become a Blogger videos. Nice production and solid information for the newbie blogger.

Check this stuff out… Yaro knows what he’s talking about. And he’s nice, too. :)

Will You Be Seth Godin’s Apprentice?

Seth Godin

Get this.

A little over one month from now, you could be sitting in Seth Godin’s office, working as his apprentice. The Seth Godin. The best-selling author, maybe the most respected marketing mind in the online world, and the web’s most beloved bald guy. Yeah, him.

If you’re selected, you’ll spend the next six months with Seth and his team. It’ll be like an MBA, except better. You’ll be learning how to change the world… and he’s going to teach you for free.

The catch?

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Seriously Persuasive Comic Books:
6 Questions for Dan Pink about
Johnny Bunko

Johnny Bunko

I’ve been a fan of Daniel Pink since the article “Free Agent Nation” appeared in the 12th issue of Fast Company in December of 1997. Somehow, we ended up chatting over email, which led to a meeting over steaming plates of migas at the Magnolia Café in Austin. Next thing you know, my story (at the time) is featured in Free Agent Nation, the book.

Next, Pink released the New York Times Bestseller A Whole New Mind, a book that heavily influenced me and my Lateral Action co-conspirators. Dan rightly identified creativity and innovation as the key to economic survival in the “Conceptual Age,” and set the stage for the shift in the types of people and thinking that lead to continued business success in mature economies.

But then he did something really interesting.

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Avoid Black-and-White Thinking to Win
(Plus 3 Other Cool Resources)

Black and White Thinking

Having trouble developing unique angles for your content and copy?

Check out Are You Trapped in Black-and-White Thinking over at Lateral Action.

The post uses a baffling optical illusion (and some nifty graphics work by Tony Clark) to get us to challenge our own rigid perceptions… which is the first step to innovative content and copy. And it won’t cost you a dime.

Here are three other things you need to check out:

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10 Surefire Steps to Beating Blogger’s Block


Dragging or pushing yourself to the computer? Too many posts starting with an apology for not having been around of late? The joy you first brought to blogging now a distant memory?

Looks like a case of blogger’s block. Don’t worry… there is a cure.

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Thesis WordPress Theme Discount
(It Wouldn’t Happen but for Black Friday)

Thesis WordPress Theme

UPDATE: This promotion has expired.

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The Ultimate Blogger Writing Guide


There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of writing guides out there. But in my opinion, none surpass the simple, direct advice of The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B.White.

This classic serves up much good advice, especially in the last 20 pages in a section titled “An Approach to Style.” Nowhere have I seen more helpful advice in so few words and with such precision. This is why I always keep this book within reach.

If (for shame) you don’t already have this reference in your library, I will leave it to you to explore it in depth. But I would like to provide my own version of eight important writing tips as they apply to blogging.

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Everything I Need to Know About Blogging
I Learned in High School

High School Locker

It’s true. I’m not saying that blogging is like high school (although some might disagree at times), but you might have learned a few things about effective blogging while you were there, no matter how long ago it was.

In the old days of functional writing tests, high school teachers would teach students to consider the FAT-P before they sat down to write. FAT-P stands for:

  • Form
  • Audience
  • Topic
  • Purpose

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Boost Your Sales by
Turning Customers Inside-Out

Inside Out

Many people (including some sales and marketing coaches) think selling is a matter of manipulating, pushing, or tricking customers. And some selling is just that. Con men and boiler room operations are at the extreme edge of persuasive communication, and they give the rest of it a bad name.

But in the hyper-connected Web 2.0 world, strong-arming customers is a lousy business strategy. (Not to mention making it hard to face yourself in the mirror every morning.) Effective persuasion in the new age of transparency calls on us to take traditional selling “hot buttons” and turn them inside-out.

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