A 3-Step Blueprint for a Brilliant Blog Launch

stopwatch

Launching a brand new blog is exciting. But it can also be awfully lonely for up to a year as you build readership, unless you plan to begin with a bang.

I’ve had several readers ask me questions related to launching a new blog, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on doing that. This strategy does not require you to have an existing audience to use as a springboard. In fact, I’m assuming you’re starting cold.

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The 10 Second Rule:
How to Write for Diagonal Readers

stopwatch

If you count the number of online news sources, blogs, emails, instant messaging conversations and so on that the average person reads every day, it amounts to a massive amount of textual information. So no matter how great the substance of your content, you are going to be subjected to the 10 second rule.

Let me explain. Essentially, by the time you finish this article, you’ll know how to write in a clearer manner so that the average reader can understand the gist of your content in 10 seconds or less.

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Once More With Feeling:
Has Your Writing Got Soul?

sunrise

How do people feel when they read your writing?

Do you think that is even a relevant question to ask?

I was ordering some more of the wonderful MiniCards from Moo.com. You might have seen them, they are brilliant, tiny business cards printed with your own pictures and text. While the entire experience is very cool, it was the copy that caught my attention.

Welcome to Moo, we print things from your stuff.

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Friday Night Links

How is an Effective Landing Page Like a
Direct Mail Letter?

Image of Landing Page graphic

Answer: They’re both formatted for one column.

In his audio article, 6 Ways to Increase Conversions on your Web Pages, Nick Usborne, one of my favorite copywriter colleagues, talks about the multitude of testing he’s done on landing pages and column formatting. Long and short, the one-column format converts best every time.

This explains the stubborn effectiveness of everyone’s favorite (or not) online long-form sales letters. Garish? Sometimes. Too long? Perhaps. But they work, in part, because there are no other distractions for the reader. Even with all the insets, widgets and gadgets, each is firmly ensconced within the one column. Further, the one-column format lets readers know that there’s more to look for below the fold of the first screen. The convention of the letter-like, one-column design tells them so.

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Do You Know When to Stop Writing?

Finding Nemo picture

If you have young kids, you’re likely intimately familiar with Finding Nemo from 2003. The movie had the biggest opening weekend for any animated film at the time, and was the best selling DVD of all time for a couple years after.

Director Andrew Stanton pitched his idea and story to Pixar head John Lasseter in an hour long session, using elaborate visual aids and character voices. At the end of it, the exhausted Stanton asked Lasseter what he thought.

Lasseter replied, “You had me at ‘fish’.”

How to Improve Your Image by
NOT Delivering

Bottlneck

This is the first Copyblogger post by Michael Stelzner of Writing White Papers.

Today’s “I want it now” culture dictates that you make people happy by providing what they want, when they want it.

Need information? Google it.

However, is it really wise for marketing folks to satisfy people’s desire for instant access?

M. Scott Peck describes delayed gratification as a sacrifice of present comforts for future gain in his book, The Road Less Traveled.

By NOT providing people what they want, when they want it, you can actually improve your image, enhance your branding and increase your sales.

Why?

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Are You Writing Headlines That Sell? Stop!

stop sign

Are you stressing over writing killer headlines?

Do you write your copy and then agonize, tweak, and rewrite the headline, only to rewrite it again?

Do you often go so far as to publish your article or sales page even though you’re still not sure the headline is the best it can be?

Well, you’re not alone. People who know how important headlines are often do overly dwell on them, and for good reason.

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Blogging is Easy Money, Right?

Wrong. But you didn’t need me to tell you that.

Those who are making a living directly from blogging (as opposed to using a blog to promote an existing business) know that it took a lot of hard work to get there. Those that think the secret is cranking out generic “content” that does little more than fill up space are quitting in droves or desperately searching for the answer that will get them over the hump.

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Friday Night Links

Friday Night Lights

The long or short copy debate… again, and again, and again.

Viral Marketing vs Idiot Marketing Experts.

Has Digg jumped the shark? Mostly.

So what next? Facebook.

My belief has always been that the blog is the center… Tom Chandler gets it.

Jon Morrow interviews Seth Godin… good stuff.

Finally, every cable news network dropped everything today because of someone named Paris Hilton. Does anyone know who this is?