What I Learned From Writing 42
Guest Posts in 7 Weeks

image of man sleeping at his laptop

Before you get too impressed, hear this: I did it all in self-defense.

Let me give you some quick background.

I have extreme Tourette’s Syndrome, as Sonia noticed recently. Tourette’s makes people move or vocalize involuntarily and occasionally results in unspeakable awesomeness. My motor tics range from eye blinking to punching myself in the face to even stranger things. My phonic tics range from clearing my throat to hooting and yowling and snarling and slobbering and screaming like the Tasmanian Devil.

Read More…

The 7 Harsh Realities of
Social Media Marketing

image of boxer taking a punch

Last Friday I was in Atlanta, where I gave a talk on social media marketing at Dan Kennedy’s InfoSUMMIT conference.

I’m something of a fish out of water at a Glazer-Kennedy event. For example, unlike at Blogworld, I’m the only person in a room of 800 who has pink hair.

I wasn’t sure they’d be too receptive to what I had to say, but they surprised me.

Read More…

The Flashing Christmas Light Technique
for Writing Irresistible Bullet Points

image of christmas lights

Step into a bookstore, find the business section, and pull out a book. Then flip the book to the back cover.

Here’s what you’re sure to find on virtually every business book: A selection of well-chosen fascinating bullets.

And there’s a reason why bullets make it to the back cover of a book.

Read More…

What My Five-Year-Old Son Taught Me About Marketing

image of kid dressed as groucho marx

You know that “inner child” we hear so much about — the one that’s supposedly deep inside of all of us?

Well, I live with it. As a matter of fact, I call him “Austin.”

In the five years I’ve been a parent, I’ve realized that the notion of the inner child is more than just a neat psychological construct. It’s very nearly a literal thing. As we grow up, we don’t change so much as drape layer after complicated layer of adult emotion on top of that inner child. The child doesn’t vanish; he just gets obscured and filtered.

You don’t get an evolved, new mature being. You get Austin with fifteen blankets over his head.

Read More…

What Purple Rain Can Teach You About Effective Online Marketing

Purple Rain

Ever had an idea that couldn’t miss?

You took immediate action, created the perfect warm-up content, the best launch strategy, and the perfect offer . . . .

And then it totally failed.

So yeah, the film Purple Rain contains the consummate lesson on this one.

Read More…

How to Make Money with Free

image of sign saying yes, it's free

We live in a world of free. If you’re trying to make money, especially online, you might think that would make things difficult.

Every day, someone releases a new eBook, video, or podcast that not only contains tremendous value, but gives away many of the “tricks of the trade” that we used to have to pay for.

You’d think that the paid content business would be shrinking in the face of all this free information, but it keeps getting stronger. How can that be?

Read More…

The Oscar the Grouch Guide to
Building a More Remarkable Blog

image of Oscar the Grouch

This week marked the 40th anniversary of the breakthrough TV program Sesame Street. I’ve written before about some of the many lessons you can learn from this cultural icon, but today I’m going to zero in something new.

You might have an Elmo blog, a Cookie Monster blog, or a Big Bird blog. (How you define those is up to you.)

But some of the smartest and most successful bloggers out there bear more in common with the show’s least-likeable character: Oscar the Grouch.

Read More…

Here’s Something to Think (and Talk) About

Image of the Audience

I’m flying to New York City today for the Audience Conference, so I thought I’d share a quotation about the relationship between writers (or any content creator) and the people they hope to connect with.

When talented people write badly it’s generally for one of two reasons:

Either they’re blinded by an idea they feel compelled to prove or they’re driven by an emotion they must express.

When talented people write well, it is generally for this reason:

They’re moved by a desire to touch the audience.

~Robert McKee

Let’s discuss. What do McKee’s words mean to you?

Read More…

Get Off Your Computer and
Become a Better Blogger

image of man with a laptop

Bloggers spend a lot of time on their computers. They’re posting, reading, commenting on other blogs, sending Tweets, checking half a dozen social networking sites, and generally being web-geeky.

They find something interesting or random, and then clue in other people to that interesting or random thing.

This is how blog posts gain steam on Digg or go viral. This is how we find out about new YouTube videos. This is how we communicate now.

Except we don’t.

Read More…

The Quentin Tarantino Guide to
Creating Killer Content

image from the film Reservoir Dogs

In a recent Copyblogger post discussing how the king of content is being slowly usurped by the Crown Prince of Context, author Larry Brooks referenced the remarkable opening scene of Quentin Tarantino’s new movie Inglourious Basterds.

There are few writers like Tarantino, and though his verbal carpet bombs and kinetic escalation of violence aren’t for everyone, there is no doubt that the dude follows his muse. Those who love him will eagerly wait in lines wrapped around the block to show their support.

In short, Tarantino sells it every time. And by it, I mean an ironclad belief in the worlds he’s created.

Read More…