3 Simple Steps for Driving Your
Audience to Action


As mentioned recently here on Copyblogger, Narcissus is alive and well, even as his marketing campaigns die of thirst. It’s too common a problem.

One of my all-time favorite quotes came from Dennis Miller: “You see… I run everything through this narcissistic little prism and ask ‘how does this affect ME?’” While this approach is self-satisfying, it tends to leave your audience less than fulfilled.

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The Tiger Woods Guide to
Succeeding Online

Tiger Woods

After hearing he had a torn ligament and a double stress fracture of his left tibia two weeks before the U.S. Open, Tiger Woods looked at the doctor and said, “I’m playing in the U.S. Open, and I’m going to win.”

Win he did, which is amazing in its own right. Even more remarkable is the level of dedication and focus Tiger had to play 91 holes over five days on a severely injured knee that was getting worse.

But the thing that truly demonstrates the man’s character is he never mentioned the torn ACL or the stress fractures. Some talking-head pundits were speculating as recently as yesterday that the knee wasn’t all that bad.

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Three Questions Your Copy
Must Answer to Succeed

Three Copy Questions

We’re all the best. I don’t know one single person who tells a prospect, “I suck at this. Don’t work with me or buy from me, because I can’t do a good job or deliver a quality product.”

No, of course you wouldn’t say that. You’re great. You exceed expectations.

Is it enough?

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The Rock and Roll Approach to Your Winning Difference


Back in 1976, the music industry was in a full-tilt disco craze.

All the smart money was chasing new disco acts based on the success of tunes like The Hustle and Jive Talkin’ by the Bee Gees in 1975. Rock was dead they all said, and this is even before Saturday Night Fever brought disco to middle America.

But then just another band out of Boston turned that wisdom on its head.

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The Gary Vaynerchuk Guide to
Enthusiastic Copy

Gary Vaynerchuk

Raise your hand if you know who Gary Vaynerchuk is.

For those of you with non-elevated arms, Gary Vaynerchuk is the host of Wine Library TV, a daily online video show on wine that serves as a promotional tool for the local and ecommerce wine business he’s involved in. Gary’s web fame has landed him in The Wall Street Journal and Time, and he’s appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Ellen.

So what’s the big deal?

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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


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


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


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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