How to Write With a Distinctive Voice


Let’s face it, most people can’t write their way out of a paper bag. Further, most bloggers are boring writers, and most journalists are so heavily edited that any personality they’ve added to a story has long since been weaned out by the editorial process.

I want to let you in on a secret, though: it’s not really that people are boring, but that too many have been taught that you shouldn’t write the same way you talk. I blame our educational system, actually, with those 5th grade teachers who drilled us on adverbs, pronouns and the minutia of grammar, coupled with too many boring, tedious academic books that we all suffered through while in college.

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10 Cool Links for Bloggers and Copywriters

Link Karma

We’ve been doing a bad job at linking out lately. I could give you plenty of excuses, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s my job as editor to make sure we’re following our own philosophies, and linking out to others is definitely part of the Copyblogger culture.

So to kick off what will hopefully be a returning regular feature, here are ten cool links to free stuff that will benefit both bloggers and copywriters.

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Three Ways to Grow Your Blog Community in an Economic Crisis

Panic Button

The economic news has most people pretty freaked out. There are rumblings about the next Great Depression, TV news gets more hysterical by the second, and everywhere you look, you’ll find someone immobilized with panic because the sky is falling.

The economic crisis creates real problems, both practical and emotional, for large numbers of people. So what’s your role? You’ve put yourself forward as an authority with your content community, so how are you living up to that challenge?

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Marketing Strategies for
Tough Economic Times

Financial Crisis

Did you know the entire cosmetics industry was born in the depths of The Great Depression? It’s true. Seems that offering ladies a little inexpensive luxury made the people who sold lipstick, rouge and eye makeup extremely wealthy.

Other products that provided entertainment value or any respite from the daily deluge of bad news did great, too.

So did products that helped people’s food money or gas money or health dollar go farther. Because even in the worst of times, people still have to eat and move around.

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The Vicious Cycle of Poverty
(Or Why Jessie Won’t Go to College)

Blog Action Day - Poverty

This post is my contribution to Blog Action Day, joining thousands of other bloggers to write about one topic for a single day. This year’s topic is poverty.

It’s not yet dawn as Jessie prepares breakfast for her younger brother and sister. Her father has already left for work, so it’s up to her to feed her siblings and see them off to school.

Jessie then attends a full day of high school before returning home to prepare dinner and put her brother and sister to bed. Then she does her homework.

Jessie’s father works 12-15 hour days as a truck driver. Despite his hard work, day in and day out, his paycheck doesn’t quite cover all the bills.

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Why You Should Stop Looking for Inspiration


Inspiration. As writers, we constantly seek inspiration to perform our craft. We want to blow away readers with something incredible – a fantastic never-told story, an intriguing blog post concept or a new theory that makes people pay attention. We want our words to change the world.

And yet, as writers, we struggle. We can’t find inspiration, or we grab it only to have it wriggle out of our grasp. It’s lost, and we have to find it again.

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How to Write a Story That Sells

What's Your Story

One of the best ways to sell is to use a narrative format, which is a fancy way of saying tell a story. Stories are engaging and enjoyable, so they don’t feel like a sales pitch.

Plus, if done well, a story will prompt prospects to convince themselves to take the action you want. This is because compared with more direct attempts at persuasion, well-crafted stories allow readers to draw the conclusion you want on their own, and people rarely second-guess their own conclusions.

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9 Little Known Traits of Successful Bloggers


We all know the “rules” of blogging. Produce consistently high-quality content, position yourself as an authority, cultivate relationships with your readers and other bloggers.

But some of the best and most popular blogs have traits that might surprise you. Here’s how being negative, angry and stupid (in the right ways) can create breakthrough success on your blog.

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Are You Blogging With Purpose?
(If Not, 5 Ways to Fix That)


When you sit down to write a blog post, what’s your purpose?

Are you just trying to fill space so your blog doesn’t go without being updated for more than 24 hours?

Are you interested in promoting a product, or convincing your reader to buy something?

Are you trying to express yourself through your blog, and make a meaningful statement?

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How to Avoid Insulting the
Intelligence of the Reader

dumb reader

Imagine I was telling you the story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears.

Imagine I told you about Goldilocks, and how she found this house of the three bears. And how she ate their porridge. And how she sat in their chairs.

And… Are you getting impatient yet?

You should be.

Because like most people, you’ve already heard the story many times before. And when you tell a story that your readers already know, your readers do two things in rapid sequence.

  1. They try to stay engaged, hoping the story will somehow reveal some hidden mystery.
  2. They realize that there’s nothing new, and they start to nod off.

In short, you’ve insulted the intelligence of your reader.

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