The Myth of the Long Tail and the
True Value of Blogging

Death by Long Tail

One of the big buzz posts this week comes from Read/Write Web, and it does a great job of explaining why chasing “long tail” topics as a blogger is a bad move when it comes to making money. In other words, there’s certainly money to be made from the long tail (by aggregators such as Amazon, Netflix and b5Media), but very little money to be made by the individuals who actually create free content in ultra-niche topic areas.

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7 Warning Signs That You’re Drunk on
Your Own Words

Wine Bottle

This is a guest post from Jon Morrow.

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

You sit down in the computer for a few minutes, hoping to whip up a quick blog post. Then an idea hits you. It’s vague at first, but it has a certain sparkle of possibility. You start constructing a post, becoming more convinced with every word that you’re onto something.

The feeling grows and grows until your fingers are flying across the keyboard. The words are flowing, and you’re saying exactly what you want to say, exactly the way you want to say it. You bring the post to a close with an ending that you can only describe as, “Perfect,” and then pause to read what you’ve written.

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5 Improvisational Acting Techniques That Will Make You a Better Blogger

Theatre

This is a guest post from Nathania Johnson.

Recently, Brian wrote about the connections between jazz improvisation and blogging. As an improvisational actor, I wanted to offer the readers of Copyblogger insight into 5 techniques used by improv actors and comedians that can help you improve your blogging.

Let Go of Your Inhibitions

Audiences respond to one of two triggers: The Unexpected and The Common Experience. Both of these triggers are best expressed when your guard is let down.

Here’s what I mean.

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Three Great Writing Techniques I Found While Watching Television

Television

This is a guest post from Ryan Imel.

Great writing involves stepping outside of yourself and into the minds of your audience. Poor writers usually stand out because they haven’t read their material from another’s perspective. Even an inexperienced reader can pick up on thoughtless writing.

Television is full of writing that’s intended to fit its viewer. Bad writing, many might say, is characteristic of daytime soaps. There’s a reason they have a separate awards ceremony for this particular facet of television drama, right?

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The Nasty Four-Letter Word That
Keeps You From Writing

No Writing

There’s a nasty demon hiding behind writer’s block. This four-letter word represents a condition we don’t like to admit to ourselves, much less utter in polite conversation.

Yep, it’s the “F word” that’s blocking you from writing.

Fear.

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SEO for Bloggers

Blogger's Guide to SEO

Aaron Wall has just released a great free resource entitled The Blogger’s Guide to SEO. It’s full of useful information for bloggers who want to rank well in search engines, and does a great job of driving home why writing for people (instead of search robots) is more important than ever.

Make sure to bookmark it at Delicious for future reference.

Thanksgiving Link Karma

How to Create a Blog That
People Really Digg

Digg

Have you ever noticed that some blogs seem to rise to the top of Digg over and over again?

You might think that they’ve discovered some magic formula for getting attention, built a “Digg culture” on their blog, or they just get all of their friends to Digg their posts.

And they might.

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The Yogi Berra School of
Persuasive Writing

Yogi Berra

Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra is a fifteen-time All Star and three-time MVP. He played in 14 World Series games. But what is he famous for?

Mixed up quotes.

Someone once asked him what he would do if he found a million dollars. Yogi said, “I’d find the fellow who lost it, and, if he was poor, I’d return it.” When discussing a Steve McQueen movie, Yogi observed, “He must have made that before he died.” Commenting on a pair of gloves, he said, “The only reason I need these gloves is ’cause of my hands.”

On the surface, Yogi seems confused. But perhaps he is trying to convey a deeper meaning for those who care to consider his words carefully. In fact, I think Yogi can teach us quite a bit about the art of writing copy that’s intended to persuade and motivate.

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What Web Writers Can Learn from the Writer’s Strike

Writer's Guild Strike

Back in the summer of 1997, I walked into the managing partner’s big corner office of the downtown Dallas law firm I worked at and resigned. I wasn’t certain what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew I didn’t want to practice law.

So I packed up and headed south to Austin. In addition to being a Mecca for live music, Austin has a very cool film community, especially for writers. So, the plan was to become a screenwriter and just tough it out until I made it.

You know… tend bar or something. Starving artist stuff.

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