A Mild Warning for All Headline Writers

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These days, you want to write a headline that will blow up on the social web. A headline that will get people to pound the “Share” button … a headline to clog our Twitter feeds with thousands of retweets.

But there’s a problem …

We on the web can watch our website traffic rise like a rocket out of Cape Canaveral … and then stroke our goatees and fan our long hair as we linger in the afterglow of the rapidly fleeting adulation of people who are mostly impossible prospects for what we have to offer.

To make matters worse, the people we really want to reach may never have a clue that our content is out there. Waiting for them.

Your mom might be proud. Your boss won’t be.

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Catch More Writing Mistakes With This Underutilized Proofreading Trick

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Proofreading is simple.

That may seem like a sacrilegious statement coming from someone who spent years justifying that proofreading is a specialized skill to condescending critics.

But I want to show you a simple proofreading trick, so you are able to review your writing like a professional proofreader — even if you only have time to proofread your writing once.

This underutilized technique will help you spot and correct errors in your digital content that you’ve previously glossed over.

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How Bestselling Author Austin Kleon Writes, Part Two

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New York Times bestselling author Austin Kleon has been called “one of the most interesting people on the Internet” by The Atlantic magazine, and he stopped by The Writer Files to chat about creativity and the writing life.

Austin is the author of three illustrated books: Steal Like An Artist, Newspaper Blackout, and Show Your Work!. They’re guides The Writer Files host Kelton Reid recommends to all writers seeking insights for tapping into your endless reserves of creativity and innovation.

In addition to being featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS’s Newshour, and The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Kleon speaks about “creativity in the digital age” for organizations as varied as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and The Economist.

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A Simple Way to Boost the Credibility of Your Website

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It’s not enough today to merely be trustworthy in your digital business, you have to prove it.

Whether you sell products or services, customers have to trust you before they’ll want to do business with you, and building trust online can be a challenge.

People are much more skeptical and cynical these days about the promises made to them. Unscrupulous organizations have eroded consumer trust, so people are much more wary when believing the claims made by a business. Especially if that business is actually trying to sell them something.

So when you have something valuable to offer, it’s important that customers feel comfortable enough to listen to you, engage with your content, and even do business with you.

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How to Determine if Your Business Idea Sucks

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Today’s guest on Hack the Entrepreneur is the founder and CEO of multiple successful businesses, including StickerJunkie.com and Delinquent Distribution.

Most recently — and alongside Dan “Punkass” Caldwell (the founder of Tapout clothing) — she has created Lessons.biz, which offers a six-week course on how to run a successful t-shirt business.

She skipped college and started her first business, Rhythm Sticks, at age 23.

She also appeared in season five of The Apprentice and won two tasks as project manager, before being fired by Donald Trump in week nine.

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How Every Creative Must Think about Marketing and Advertising

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Albert Lasker. Mel Martin. Eugene Schwartz. Robert Collier. Victor Schwab. David Ogilvy. John Caples. Maxwell Sackheim. Bill Jayme.

Copywriters who wrote beautiful copy. Ads that drove results. As David Ogilvy said, “We sell or else.”

This is the point. Advertising comes in two flavors: artistic and mechanical.

One obscures the message and is judged by its originality. It conforms to the principles of art.

The other clarifies the message and is judged by performance. It conforms to principles of copywriting, of advertising.

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Steal This Trick: What Confident Content Marketers All Have in Common

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Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on October 23, 2009.

There are a million techniques that make your content better and more popular.

(Probably a half-million just here on Copyblogger.)

Strong headlines, smart copywriting techniques, storytelling, humor, etc.

But there’s one insider trick that makes the rest of it easy.

It starts from the very beginning, when you’re figuring out what type of content you want to produce.

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How Steve Scott Makes $30,000 Per Month Publishing Kindle Books

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Most Authorpreneurs earn their living from speaking gigs, consulting businesses, and other indirect sources.

Rarely does one make the vast majority of their income directly from the sale of their books. Steve Scott is different.

Steve earns a great living selling digital books on Amazon’s Kindle platform … to the tune of $30,000 per month.

With more than 58 titles in his catalog, this self-publishing mega-star has rewritten the rules of success for authors who want to earn a living writing books.

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What it Takes to Leave the Corporate World (and Not Look Back)

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Today’s guest on Hack the Entrepreneur is the founder and CEO of Small Business Trends, an award-winning online publication, which offers breaking news and advice for small business owners.

She is a former corporate attorney that left that corporate life and founded her own company in 2003.

She is considered an authoritative voice on small business issues and has been noted and quoted in respected publications (such as the Wall Street Journal).

Her name has appeared in multiple “top” lists, and she was featured as one of Hubspot’s 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter.

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7 Common Mistakes Writers Make When Pitching to Editors

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Do you have pet peeves about human interactions? What types of behavior absolutely drive you nuts?

You could hate when someone doesn’t say “thank you” when you hold a door open for him or become extremely irritated when someone chews gum too loudly.

Editors are humans with pet peeves, as well, so if you’d like an editor to review — and possibly publish — your writing, there are certain actions you should avoid.

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