Johnny’s Copyblogger Wrap-Up:
Week of April 26, 2010

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Sometimes I sit down to write the introductions to these weekly wrap-ups, and I’ll try to think of some funny way to describe why you or I might not have seen this week’s posts.

This week, however, I don’t really have to try to find a reason, because I’ve been frantically launching my Question the Rules course. Launch ends tonight, however, and this is very good because sleep deprivation is causing me to see gnomes everywhere, and my wife gets more and more concerned each time I go chasing after one.

So if you missed any of these, I understand. Stupid gnomes.

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The Two Vital Attributes of Quality Content

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

~ William Morris, poet and designer

Imagine the household you would have if you got rid of every item that was neither useful or beautiful.

Gone would be the plastic doodad with no known purpose, the ugly frame your great-aunt gave you, the Special Free Offer™ you never opened, the collection of someday-useful peanut butter jars . . .

Every room would be so much more pleasant to be in, and every tool so much easier to find.

What if you applied the same rule to the content you wrote? Every email, sales letter, blog post, and comment you wrote would have to be useful or beautiful. Or both.

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Question the Rules to Create a
More Remarkable Business (and Life)

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Every once in awhile, someone asks me why I have pink hair.

(You ever notice that no one asks why anyone has blonde hair, or red hair? But pink, it seems, requires a good reason.)

There are a lot of ways I could answer that question, but the simplest is probably that I don’t really buy into the standard set of rules about what “success” or “professionalism” look like.

As it turns out, there are a lot of things I don’t buy into.

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Creative Content Recycling:
Are You Wasting Your Garbage?

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You see it done all the time, and it’s just so wasteful.

People take a bunch of perfectly good trash, and they just toss it in the garbage can.


The thing is, any time you create something, you’re going to end up with a lot of odds and ends, scraps that end up on the metaphorical cutting room floor.

What if you could sell your product . . . but then find a way to repurpose and sell the by-products of your product too?

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The Copyblogger Guide to
Zombie-Free Product Launches

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These days, a lot of online product launches are like zombie attacks.

One day, everything is fine. The next day, there’s a legion of crazy people banging on your virtual doors and windows, wanting to feed on you.

Who the hell are these zombies and how did they get my address? Time to break out the shotgun, or in this case, the Delete All button.

And it gets worse. That group of friends you hang out with from time to time? Yeah . . . they’re zombies too.

“Wait dude, I thought we were cool . . . why are you . . . Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

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Landing Page Makeover Clinic #25:

Landing Page Makeover

This is another addition to our ongoing series of tutorials and case studies on landing pages that work.

Jill Mitchell wants to increase awareness and sales of her one-of-a-kind French vintage objects that she sells on Etsy and Ebay. She also wants more visiblity and sales for her buying tours of Provence.

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Johnny’s Copyblogger Wrap-Up:
Week of April 19, 2010

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If you read Copyblogger and dream of striking out on your own, you need to know that independent business isn’t always good. Bad things do happen.

For instance, I’m writing this in a bookstore cafe. Two tables down from me, there’s a guy with his headphones on belting out “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon. (You’re an old person in the blogosphere if you know who Carly Simon is. Hint: She’s kind of like the Jonas Brothers, except she’s female and not like them in any way whatsoever.)

See, people think that being an entrepreneur means freedom and independence, but nobody stops to consider the perils of the Singing Cafe Guy.

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How to Get Free When You’re
Feeling Stuck and Scared

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Spring has finally sprung here in the northeast, but I’m not sure any of us quite believe it. It could still be a snowy 10 degrees tomorrow. Twenty years in New England has taught me that.

Which is why I haven’t really done anything about the fact that my new studio did not come with screens for the windows.

I’m still opening them, mind you. And that little voice in the back of my head has been telling me that, at night while I’m sleeping, a bat could easily fly through and nest in my hair.

Only it wasn’t a bat. It was a little bird.

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Online Business Disaster:
Where to Go When the Volcano Blows

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“I don’t know where I’m a-gonna go when the volcano blow.” ~Jimmy Buffett

Ever feel like you’re trapped in a pseudo-reggae song written by a white guy from Mobile, Alabama?

Some days it’s a sick kid, or spouse, or dog.

Some days it’s a key vendor who disappears on you, or a merchant account that freezes a bunch of your funds, or a web host that implodes on launch day.

Some days it’s a choking cloud of ash that spreads over half of Europe.

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Copywriting 3.0: How to Bounce the
Fat Kid off the See-Saw

image of seesaw in playground

Today’s copywriter is more than a mere “wordsmith.”

If that’s how you think of yourself, you’ll be stuck in Junior Copywriter ad agency purgatory for eternity.

Think back to recess in third grade, when you kept getting stuck on the see-saw with the fat kid at the other end. All the cool kids were playing kickball. And there you were, waiting for the inevitable bounce.

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