I’ve never appreciated classic literature.
I read Hawthorne and I get bored. I read Austen and I fall asleep. My wife likes Dickens, but I can’t stand it. Ask me who Tiny Tim is, and nine times out of ten I’ll refer you to the obsessive-compulsive ukulele player from the 60s.
Literature snobs think I’m low-brow, and that my modern reading material is hollow. I disagree. A good story is a good story. Any good story can move you … but before it can do that, it has to grab you. It has to pull you into its world, to make you feel at home. (I just don’t feel at home in a Dickens story. They talk funny.)
When I think about it, I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I was chatting with a woman with an interior design business about the changes she needed to make in her website. The conversation was going well — she loved all my ideas and was ready to rebuild her site.
I started getting excited, thinking I had found my next project. I was already putting together her proposal in my head. Then she uttered those dreaded words …
“I’d love to take you to lunch and pick your brain sometime.”
How many new high-paying clients do you get for every hour you spend blogging?
What’s that? You have no idea?
We need to talk.
Those who stalk me (and you know who you are) know that I’ve been talking a lot lately about “Storyselling,” which is a way to sell stuff using stories. But nothing is infallible, so I wanted to publicly announce some flaws I’ve found with it:
- Don’t use Storyselling with the police. Tell them about Uncle Phil’s hairpiece and they’ll still put you in jail for running over a Photomat booth with a city bus. (Don’t ask how I know this.)
- Don’t tell your story after being pushed off a building by the person you were trying to convince not to push you. Tell it before. After is too late. It’s amazing how many people get this one wrong.
- Don’t watch The Story of O with your grandmother, unless you enjoy uncontrolled squirming.
Now, with that out of the way, let me tell you the story of what happened this week on Copyblogger:
Some people think search engine optimization is a dark and mysterious art. But for online writers and content producers, it’s really as simple as 1, 2, 3:
- First, you need the right keywords, so you understand the language your readers, customers, or clients are using when they search.
- Second, you need compelling content that people love and search engines know is relevant to those searchers.
- Third, you need incoming links so search engines treat your site as a trusted and relevant source.
“The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts the moment you get up and doesn’t stop until you get into the office.” ~ Robert Frost
It’s a myth that only highly intelligent people are creative.
In fact, research shows that once you get beyond an I.Q. of about 120, which is just a little above average, intelligence and creativity are not at all related.
That means that even if you’re no smarter than most people, you still have the potential to wield amazing creative powers.
So why are so few people highly creative?
There are two types of sales page readers: those who faithfully read every word, and those who skim until they get to the end.
Since you want to sell to both of these groups, you have to know exactly how to capture and hold the attention of each — and doing so in the same sales page is no small feat.
The good news is, you can use the same writing strategy to get each group to engage with what you’re reading … and ultimately to buy what you’re selling.
It’s one thing to know you need to create lots of great content. It’s another to actually know what you’re going to write about this week.
Are you out of ideas for blog posts? Small wonder, if the only place you’re looking is inside your own head. We all need inspiration … and you’re not going to find it banging your head against the desk and hoping an idea falls out.
You need fresh inspiration if you’re going to come up with new ideas.