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

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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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The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers

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Do you want to be a successful blogger?

I do. I might be getting a bit obsessed with it, actually.

Post ideas pop into my head unexpectedly. I keep a long running list of ideas for improving my blog.

I also study how the most successful bloggers got where they are, and I pore over every word that they write.

If you want to be a great blogger, you should, too.

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4 Things an Ethical Internet Marketer
Can Learn from Spammers

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First things first: We hate spam. And we hate spammers. Maybe even more than you do.

So this article isn’t about endorsing spam in any way, or suggesting that you do anything unethical.

But as much as we hate spam and wish it didn’t exist, we can’t deny one fact.

Spammers make a killing online.

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How to Master Social Media Marketing

logo for Social Media Success Summit

When I talk with “normal” businesspeople (you know, the kind who have actual physical addresses, not just IP ones), they always ask me the same thing.

“I can see the appeal of that Twitter stuff for my teenage daughter — but how is it supposed to help my business?”

Of course, you know the answer to this question.

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Johnny’s Copyblogger Wrap-Up:
Week of April 12, 2010

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I blogcrastinated (see Tuesday’s post below) on writing this for a long time because I’ve been busy perfecting my Rock Band drumming. Nobody warns you about the time-suck danger that the Wii holds for the self-employed.

I only got down to it and wrote these summaries for you when, somewhere between some kick-butt drumming for The Donnas and Bikini Kill, my 5-year-old son came in and told me to turn the music down.

Man, as soon as I graduate, I am so out of here.

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Three Lively Blogging Debates to Explore in 2010

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Sometimes it seems like we’re running out of juicy debates in the blogosphere.

We used to have endless back and forth conversations about a few pet topics. Long posts versus short. How-to posts versus introspection. Professionalism versus authenticity. Ginger versus Mary Ann.

We never had a debate about bullet points, mind you. Everyone knows bullet points are good.

As those debates quiet down, some truths are coming to light.

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5 Dumb Design Mistakes That Crush Copy
(And How to Fix Them)

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Content is king, but if the king looks like a toad, no one will know he’s royalty.

On the one hand, your blog theme might be drop-dead gorgeous. But if your writing isn’t compelling, readers won’t stick around to read it.

Even worse, your writing might be fantastic . . . but if your design doesn’t stop web surfers long enough to read the first few sentences, you’re doomed.

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