Three Ways to Spice Up Any Blog Post

red hot chili pepper

Is your writing all meatloaf and mashed potatoes and no jalapeño and oregano? If so, you may be focusing on format and forgetting about what Ernest Hemingway called vigorous language.

We’ve talked a lot lately about how to structure your writing to make it accessible. While an easily digestible format is a critical part of effective content presentation, you don’t want to leave out the succulent seasoning.

Remember, beyond bullet points, numbered lists and compelling subheadings, it’s still the words themselves that matter most. It’s how you say it that will determine whether your audience sings your praises or heads for the hills, so don’t forget to add some zing to your language.

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Landing Page Makeover Clinic #3: HelenGraves.com

Landing Page Makeover

Our third landing page makeover is for Helen Graves, a business coach who works with solo entrepreneurs, mostly female in the 30-50 age bracket. She would like to increase the sales of her CD info-products to her newsletter subscribers and site visitors.

Here’s the background:

  • The Goal:
    Sell 50 CD-info products within a single 4-week period. (Without accurate traffic numbers, this may be an unrealistic goal.)
  • The Problem:
    Current promotions – solo email, ads in newsletter, and site link – have generated a total of 5 sales. (Tracking statistics, however, are currently unreliable.)
  • The Current Landing Page:
    http://www.helengraves.com/createsuccess.htm
  • Page that Generates the Click-Through:
    http://www.helengraves.com/resources.htm

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Don’t Like Top 10 Lists? Tell a Story Instead

Stories Target the Mind

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.
~Hannah Arendt

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.
~Robert McKee

It’s all storytelling, you know. That’s what journalism is all about.
~Tom Brokaw

If you tell me, it’s an essay. If you show me, it’s a story.
~Barbara Greene

Don’t say the old lady screamed—bring her on and let her scream.
~Mark Twain

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7 Things You Need to Know About
Writing Lists That Work

Lucky Number 7

One sure-fire way to get attention from socially driven sites is to write a really good list. If you look at the current popular articles on CopyBlogger you’ll note the following:

And this recent extremely simple list scored 109 comments and counting. People love lists.

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How to Steal Great Content Ideas

Great Content Ideas

Bad artists copy. Great artists steal. ~Pablo Picasso

“There’s nothing new under the sun,” is a saying I’m sure you’re familiar with. Yet how is it that we’re dazzled daily by the exciting and unique perspectives of emerging new voices?

The truth is, outside of cutting-edge theoretical science, there is nothing new. And even then, one might argue that scientists are merely discovering relationships amongst things already known.

And that’s the key to stealing great content ideas—discovering a relationship between your subject matter expertise and things already known. Don’t worry… it’s not really stealing, but the instant improvement in your content is almost like cheating.

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What Keeps You From Writing?

Writer's Block

Today we have a simple question that will likely draw many different answers from different people.

What prevents you from sitting down and writing?

What’s stopping that great blog post, killer landing page, compelling white paper or even bestselling book from pouring out of your mind and onto virtual paper?

Don’t be shy, step up and have your say.

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Link Karma

Link Karma

Want to see a blog that smartly applies a lot of the tips you read here at Copyblogger? Check out Anne Zelenka — great content smartly presented in a compelling fashion.

The key to effective information sales — The Bikini Concept.

The more creative thinking you apply to your subject matter, the better your content. Check out Tapping Creativity.

How to Write a Poem.

Did you know blogging is a transferable skill? Of course it is, but you might not realize in how many ways.

Mike Sigers pulls off a perfect Seth Godin post.

Fight Copywriting Flab:
How to Tone Your Writing Muscles

Muscle

My flabby, jelly-like gut is not, as it might first appear, due to an excess of cake and beer. It is in fact due to a simple and chronic lack of exercise.

What was once washboard tight is now better suited for collecting belly button lint. The only six-pack this body sees comes in cans.

What has this gruesome image of manly imperfection got to do with writing, you ask?

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Are You a Courageous Blogger?

Courage

What does it take to be a leader in your niche?

Courage.

You need the courage to alienate the wrong people in order to resonate with the right people. You need to stick to your convictions when people tell you you’re wrong simply because your knowledge doesn’t mesh with their opinions.

Blogging by consensus is a recipe for failure. Your success will be determined by the execution of your vision. Think about it… if your audience is more qualified to write your blog than you are, why should they read what you say?

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Landing Page Makeover Clinic #2: StartBreakingFree.com

Landing Page Makeover

Our first makeover focused on the high visibility SEO-focused site, SEOmoz.org. Rand was looking to generate paid subscriptions from “cold” prospects, visitors who generally didn’t have a SEOmoz relationship already established.

Today’s makeover is for Brian Armstrong’s book, Breaking Free. Although his page is converting at a pretty respectable rate, he’d like to sell more books, and why not!

Here’s the background:

  • The Goal:
    Increase total ebook and print book sales of Breaking Free. (The author didn’t give me a specific here, so let’s use a modest bump of 1%.)
  • The Problem:
    Of the total visitors to the website, only 0.24% purchase. (However, 7.6% of those who actually visit the landing page do, in fact, purchase.)
  • The Current Landing Page:
    http://www.startbreakingfree.com/breaking-free/
  • Page/Ad that Generates the Click-Through:
    There’s a link to “Book” on the blog.

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