Unleash Your Inner Dork to Become a Better Copywriter

Dork

An advertisement that has been pounded out in the white heat of enthusiasm can be tamed and made effective. But it is impossible to put life into dead copy. ~John Caples

Whether you’re promoting a product, a program or just an idea, exuberance sells. One of the reason blogs can be so effective is that their writers tend to show more enthusiasm than polish. And that’s not a bad thing—if you have to pick one over the other, enthusiasm wins.

Here are a few tips on how to get infectious enthusiasm into your writing. When you write with passion, you’ll grab your reader’s attention and persuade her that you’ve got something worth getting excited about.

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A Cranky, Skeptical Loudmouth Looks at Social Media Marketing

I stand naked before you with the intent of committing heresy (okay, I’m not really naked, but I’m still pretty unsettling to look at.) My heresy is this:

I don’t think the internet is all that interactive.

If I’m right, this has big ramifications for us in the online marketing world.

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The Creative Accident:
Are You Looking for the Unexpected?

Detour

Editor’s Note: We’re delighted that creativity expert and best-selling author Michael Michalko has submitted this guest article on finding unexpected gems in creative pursuits.

Whenever we attempt to do something and fail, we end up doing something else. As simplistic as this statement may seem, it is the first principle of creative accident. We may ask ourselves why we have failed to do what we intended, and this is the reasonable, expected thing to do.

But the creative accident provokes a different question: What have we done? Answering that question in a novel, unexpected way is the essential creative act. It is not luck, but rather creative insight of the highest order.

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Why Targeting Selective Perception Captures Immediate Attention

Perception

People are unique, and everyone sees the world differently.

Present two people with identical items and you’ll get two different perceptions about the packaging and material.

One man sees Pledge, an outstanding furniture polish, and the other man sees a can of spray no different from any other furniture polish. One woman sees a luxurious Gucci purse, and the other sees an overpriced bag to hold keys and makeup.

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New and Improved Prizes for the
Twitter Writing Contest

Twitter

The Twitter Writing Contest is Now Closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry, and winners will be announced Friday.

The response to the Twitter writing contest has been phenomenal. It’s looks like we’ve got well over 300 story submissions at exactly140 characters with just about 24 hours to go.

Beyond the submissions, we’ve also gotten a great response from people offering additional prizes. In fact, the top prize is actually much better than originally offered.

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How to Lose 30 Pounds of Word Flab Overnight

I don’t necessarily recommend short copy. The best copywriters know that long copy sells. You need to give yourself enough room to actually make a convincing argument — the elevator pitch is all good and well, but the only thing it can ever do is to spark enough curiosity to continue the conversation.

But I always recommend lean copy. And it’s twice as important online. Whipping copy into shape is an important skill for any writer, because all of us start with flabby first drafts. Fortunately, toning up your writing is a lot easier than curls, crunches and hover squats.

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What’s the Ultimate Creativity Killer?

Hammer

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” ~Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” ~Ken Olson, president and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” ~H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” ~Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962

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Is the “F Word” Really So Bad?

Finish Line

Oh, those dreaded ‘F’ words. ‘Finish’, along with ‘focus’ and ‘follow through’ are words that make creative types cringe.

Focus? Why? Living in the land of possibility is so much fun! I have so many great ideas, it’s really impossible to focus on only one.

Follow through? Groan. It’s much easier to entertain new and energizing ideas! I can’t get organized enough to follow through on project ideas.

Finish? Death! If I finish something, then I have to face the reality of whether it’s any good or not – will anyone want my work?

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Twitter Writing Contest: Win an IPod Nano For the Best 140 Character Story

Twitter

The Twitter Writing Contest is Now Closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry, and winners will be announced Friday, May 30.

Can you tell a story in exactly 140 characters?

That’s the idea behind the first ever @copyblogger Twitter writing contest.

It should be a great exercise and a lot of fun. Being constrained to exactly 140 characters will spark your creative juices and force you to focus stringently on word choice, sentence structure, and even punctuation.

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How to Achieve Freedom from Freelance

Freedom

When you’re a freelance creative, adding value depends on your knowledge, skills, and talent alone. It’s easy to think that creative professionals should brand themselves.

Before you choose that route, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you want to be the only resource for customers?
  • Do you want to one day retire and earn passive income?
  • Do you want your small business to grow?

In short, do you really want to create a personal branding prison for yourself?

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