How to Constantly Create Compelling Content

All right, all right … we know that content is the grease that keeps the gears, pipes, levers and shocks of this relentless internet machine rolling down the highway.

The deal is, you make/write immortal stuff related to your business or ideas, and people will eventually find you, trust you and pay you.

The question is: Where the hell do I get the ideas for all this content I’m supposed to be writing?

The answer lies at a little-known crossroads that great songwriters, journalists, novelists, philosophers, scientists and poets have been driving to for millennia.

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Are You the “Likable Expert” that Owns Your Market?

image of Authority Rules report

You may have heard us say before that to attract traffic, engage readers, and convert them to buyers, you need to become an authority in your topic.

But what does that really mean?

Does it mean you puff yourself up and pretend to know more than you do?

Does it mean you put other people in your niche down?

Or does it mean you bore your audience to tears with dry, flavorless facts?

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The Two Essential Elements of Irresistible Content

image of urgency sticky note

Recently, over at our new Copyblogger Facebook page, I asked a question:

What’s your biggest challenge when creating compelling online content?

I didn’t treat it as a poll with various challenges. I wanted pure unfiltered responses.

And the number one answer was:

Keeping it original and interesting.

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5 Things a Bad Dog Can Teach You About Writing Good Copy

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I refer to my dog Tika as my “learning experience” dog.

In her youth, she made Marley of Marley and Me fame look like a paragon of obedient canine virtue.

Tika had a troubled past and by the time I adopted her, she had pretty much every behavior problem in the dog training books. My husband couldn’t actually touch her for the first six months we owned her.

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The Old-School Content Marketing Strategy That Scores Freelance Writing Clients

image of a stack of magazines

I recently wrote about the benefits of direct mail for garnering new copywriting clients.

Now that I’ve been branded a “lover of all things old-school”, I want to teach you a pre-Internet content marketing strategy that still effectively lands new clients: Writing articles for trade magazines.

Trade magazines are print publications (remember paper and ink?) that focus on the business aspects of a particular industry.

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40 Questions You Need to Ask Every Copywriting Client

image of a sign asking various questions

You’ve connected with a prospective client and you’re at your first meeting!

It’s an exciting time in the life of any freelance marketer or copywriter.

Unfortunately, this is also the moment when the seeds of disaster are often sown.

Instead of having a detailed discussion about the project at this initial meet, hungry copywriters often slump into desperation mode. At the first mention of a payment of any size at all, you’re sticking out your sweaty hand ready to shake on any deal you can get.

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Copyblogger Weekly Wrap: Week of March 28, 2011

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My 6-year-old son has become completely obsessed with playing Super Mario Bros. on our Wii game system. A regrettable side effect is that I hear that music in my head constantly and now see everything in terms of Mario.

For instance, the other day I was negotiating a crowded store and I thought how the correct way to deal with the situation would be to jump on the heads of everyone who was in my way, or perhaps step on a turtle so that it went back into its shell, and then hurl said turtle at the crowd to thin it out. Seems in real life, neither of these approaches works very well.

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Heretics, Superheroes, and Fighting the
Lonely War of the Writer

image of a typewriter key

The writing life sounded so glamorous, didn’t it?

When you first started writing, you watched people struggling with their problems and knew you could help … if only they would listen.

So you took to the page with metaphorical fist raised, hoping your words would cut through conventional thinking and inspire a revolution.

But it was hard — much harder than you thought it would be — to gain traction.

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Cut the Crap and Write Better Now

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Composition is a discipline; it forces us to think.

If you want to ‘get in touch with your feelings,’ fine — talk to yourself; we all do.

But, if you want to communicate with another thinking human being, get in touch with your thoughts.

Put them in order; give them a purpose; use them to persuade, to instruct, to discover, to seduce.

The secret way to do this is to write it down and then cut out the confusing parts.

~ William Safire

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The 4 Words That Will Get Your Email Opened

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“You Are Not Alone”

In two and a half years of sending all kinds of emails to all kinds of lists, the simple phrase “You Are Not Alone” is the most-opened subject line I’ve ever seen — by far.

Because Aweber counts each email that’s been opened, even if they’re from the same user, that single subject line has had an average open rate of 90%, and has surpassed the 100% mark several times.

I’ve seen this subject line used successfully on emails ranging from content marketing to personal development to potty training, with a dozen verticals in between.

The results are always the same.

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