The Ira Glass Guide to Link Bait

How do you take basic, boring facts and turn them into compelling content that attracts and holds attention? Content so compelling that it also sparks a social media conversation?

Ira Glass is the host of NPR’s This American Life, and in this video he lays out how to produce compelling video, audio, and text content. Notice his use of the word “bait” for those who think link bait is only about controversy and nastiness.

13 Emotion-Based Headlines That Work

13

Last week’s post talked about why emotional benefits are critical to persuasive copy. But it’s one thing to talk about general concepts like “connection” or “fear,” and another to actually get these ideas into your writing.

In honor of Friday the 13th, I thought I’d give you 13 actual examples of emotional benefits you can use to persuade your readers. These emotional triggers have been used effectively in countless promotions, because they speak to underlying desires and fears that nearly all of us have.

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Warning: Narcissistic Marketing Can Be Dangerous to Your Business Health

Narcissus

Are you a victim of narcissistic marketing?

That’s when a marketing and copywriting strategy is based on how the marketer prefers to be marketed to, rather than exploring what works with the target audience. This happens all the time with entrepreneurs and small-business owners who create their own promotions, but it’s even worse when professional marketers offer narcissistic marketing advice.

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Testimonials and Teenagers Whizzing in the Bushes: The Power of Social Proof

Teenager

Testimonials add power to your copy. How? Let me answer that question by telling you a little story about a rabble of bladder-challenged teenagers whizzing in the bushes along an Interstate near my home.

Trust me. There’s a connection.

You see, some time ago, my wife and I were on our way to a party when traffic slowed to a standstill along a stretch of highway. Nine out of ten cars were filled with teenagers, so I quickly concluded that there was a concert at the nearby arena and that the ill-designed off ramp was clogged.

Fortunately, the wait paid off with unexpected entertainment.

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Can You Write an (Almost)
Unbelievable Headline?

That's Unbelievable!

Want to become an unbelievable headline writer?

Well, taken literally, that’s not a good thing.

If your headline is completely unbelievable, it’s not credible by definition. In which case, your response rate goes down, not up, no matter how fantastic a promise your headline makes.

See, making outlandish claims with your headline in order to attract attention is a sucker’s game. Even if you manage to score the click, you’re history when the reader discovers you can’t deliver on your promise, or you’ve pulled some lame bait and switch.

What you want to do is write a headline that’s almost unbelievable.

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How to Increase Your Blog Subscription Rate by 254%

There’s an action that almost every blogger wants his or her users to take. Most of these bloggers use a single word to convince readers to take this action. They use this word because other bloggers use it.

Do you know what that word is?

Subscribe.

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Two Great Books for Internet Entrepreneurs

I read a lot of books, but I rarely do book reviews. I get a lot more enjoyment out of reading books across a broad spectrum of topics and mashing them up in my head to develop new ideas than I do talking about individual titles.

But that’s not very nice of me, now is it?

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Free Report: The Great Copywriting Conspiracy

Copywriting Conspiracy Report

I just finished reading this free report from the Clayton Makepeace camp, and it’s really solid. In fact, I’m a little miffed I didn’t write it.

Of course, Clayton has over 20 years of experience on me, and it shows in the report. Clayton and his right-hand man Tony Flores understand the fundamentals of copywriting better than just about anyone, so I happily defer.

But I’m still amazed at how the report goes into detail about what I’ve been preaching for over two years.

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The Five Essential Elements of Effective Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Have you noticed all the skepticism lately about social media marketing?

I invited one of those skeptics to vent here on Copyblogger last week. Bob Hoffman is the CEO of a traditional advertising agency, and he raised some valid points about true interactivity online. Unfortunately, as many people ironically pointed out in the comments, Bob is short on answers.

The skepticism Bob and others have seems prompted by the overly enthusiastic promoters of social media and “conversational” marketing. The eagerness of the Marketing 2.0 crowd for a transition to conversation is being taken perhaps a little to literally (perhaps even by them).

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Get Your Snark On:
Pop Culture Headline Writing Contest

Here’s a contest that matches your headline-writing skills with your snarky disdain for celebrity culture.

In the month of June, Glamorati is sponsoring a headline writing contest. Participants will receive $5 for each published submission and the grand prize is $500 to the contestant with the most number of points (published submissions = 10 points and comments on the site = 1 point)

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