How to Put Yourself into an
Effortless Writing Zone

image of woman meditating

Writing can be a struggle. But for most writers, the writing isn’t the hard part.

Come on, think about it.

You don’t struggle (too much) over how to spell words or use proper grammar. You know how to put a reasonable piece of content together.

It might need to sit overnight for that final polish, but you aren’t a beginner learning the basics anymore.

The killer is starting.

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Does Your Site Hold Up to the
Window Shopping Test?

image of red rain boots

Window shopping can be a disillusioning experience. A beautiful display can pull you in, only to lead to a shop with a bad selection and lousy customer service. Which makes it less fun to pop back onto the street to continue the search.

Online businesses have window displays too — or at least a good counterpart. If you’re doing business online, you may be surprised to know that your window display could be making promises that your store doesn’t deliver on.

Follow along with me and my daughter as we shop for new rain boots, and you’ll discover what works and what doesn’t when you’re creating an online “window display” to entice your customers to buy.

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Tim Gunn’s Top 5 Tips for
More Stylish Content

image of Tim Gunn

A little over a year ago, Brian Clark gave us a What Not to Wear guide to blogging.

Brian laid the groundwork for the inherent value in talking about what’s not working. And if you haven’t read the post, clickity-click and get on that — and here’s why:

We don’t change a damn thing when we’re right.

Being “right” makes us do exactly the same thing, time and time again until it become rote. Habit.

But being wrong … ah — dawning recognition.

When we’re wrong, we can change things.

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How to Beat “Invisible Content Syndrome”

image of ghostly figure

If you had known how hard it would be when you first started your blog, would you have done it at all?

You had a topic you cared about. You thought you had something to say. And you had $10 to register a domain name.

But you’ve been writing (and writing and writing) and it’s all just words into the void.

No readers. No tweets. No stumbles. No comments.

Just … silence.

I hate to break this to you, but you have Invisible Content Syndrome. Fortunately, this condition is curable.

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Copyblogger Weekly Wrap:
Week of October 18, 2010

image of Flava Flav

You probably noticed that ever since I started writing the Wrap again (after my summer vacation at the nice place where the people wear white uniforms and speak very calmly) that we’ve used a different “wrap” photo each week. You know, bubble wrap, cling wrap, chicken fajita wrap… Hilarity.

You probably also guessed that, sooner or later, we’d run out of wrap references, and then naturally skip over into “rap” references. This, of course, has been a carefully crafted, under-the-radar campaign to post a picture of Flava Flav for no good reason.

So, here you have it. This is what innovation looks like.

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7 Ways Being More Confident Will
Make You More Money

image of confident athlete

Building a business while fighting your fears is no picnic.

Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of making the wrong decision, fear of having people follow what you do, fear that people won’t follow what you do.

Holy moly, who’d want to have a picnic with those guys around?

Left to their own devices, those fears will hinder your ability to build the successful, profitable business that you want. But when you build enough self-confidence, you’ll be more than a match for any fear or challenge you’re faced with.

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How to Publish Your Book in the iBookstore

image of iBookstore

One of the original forms of content marketing is publishing a good old-fashioned book. It’s not the book sales that make most business authors wealthy, but what they can do because they’ve written a book — consulting, speaking engagements, and more.

But here’s the twist. A recent report out a few weeks ago that electronic books are outselling paperback books, and Apple expects to sell more than 28 million iPads by the end of 2011. So it’s no surprise that a lot of writers want to know how they can get a new-fangled electronic book into the iBookstore.

Getting your book into the iBookstore can be a low-cost and profitable route that exposes your work to entirely new markets. But getting a book approved by Apple isn’t a simple process.

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Should Your Content Aim for Traffic or Conversion?

image of woman making a decision

Which articles attract reader attention, bringing you more traffic, more tweets and Stumbles, more eyeballs on the page?

Which articles convert, bringing you more subscribers and sales?

And how do you roll out a strategy that maximizes the twin impact of attraction and conversion?

Head to your local newsstand. The best attraction and conversion techniques are hidden between the pages of two very different magazines: Cosmopolitan and The New Yorker.

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Does Sex Matter When Scoring Online?

image of man and woman arm wrestling

During one of our recent Third Tribe Q & A sessions, Chris Brogan made a comment about sex that really got my attention.

I should probably clarify that I don’t mean sex as in “Are you getting any?”

I mean sex as in male vs. female, and how that influences our behavior, our thinking, and the potential of our blogs.

Assuming we all have equal opportunity from the start, is one sex more likely to succeed in blogging than the other?

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Five Ways to Write Magnificent Copy

Most writing could be better.

Not just a little better — significantly better.

If you start out with a solid topic, a good knowledge of your audience, and a reasonable degree of writing ability, you’ll usually end up with a pretty good piece of writing.

But you don’t have to settle for “pretty good.” A little attention to the final details can kick “pretty good” to “magnificent.”

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