The Top 10 Blogs for Writers

Michael Stelzner of Writing White Papers recently opened up nominations for the best blogs for writers. I watched to see if anyone would nominate me, and at first wasn’t sure it was going to happen. I (for once) exercised some self-promotional restraint and DID NOT nominate myself. :)

So, I was a little shocked when the results were announced this morning:

  1. Brian Clark’s CopyBlogger: This blog is the leader because it does an amazing job of helping writers improve their writing.
  2. Deborah Ng’s Freelance Writing Jobs: For freelance writers seeking new work, this site is your sole destination.
  3. Tom Chandler’s Copywriter Underground: This site provides regular doses of inspiration and writing tips.
  4. Liz Strauss’s Successful-Blog: This blog has some amazing insights into the craft of writing.
  5. Angela Booth’s Writing Blog: All writers will find something useful at this site.
  6. Kristen King’s InkThinker: This blog is focused on improving the written word.
  7. Anne Wayman’s The Golden Pencil: Wayman provides gold nuggets of information to freelance writers.
  8. Carson Brackney’s Content Done Better: Follow one man’s journey to write better copy and make a living along the way.
  9. Dianna Huff’s B2B Marcom Writer Blog: This is your destination to learn about marketing communications copywriting.
  10. Allison Winn Scotch’s Ask Allison: For writers looking to break into the publishing world, be sure to check this one out.

I’m in some great company on this list, so make sure and check out any of these other great blogs that you’re not already reading.

Thanks very much to Michael for the honor. Now I need to go write something worthy of it! :)

News Flash – People Are Gaming Digg!

It has to be true. I read it on CNET.

It still amazes me that this type of stuff is a surprise to anyone.

Why do people assume that “social” media is some sort of utopia, when “society” clearly isn’t?

Would you write a 1,500-word magazine piece on the following topic?

Man Attempts to Sell Me Stolen Speakers From Back of Van!

No.

But the worse part about this article is its naïve condescension towards marketers.

It’s not the content that matters apparently, it’s the intent.

If you intend to get Dugg, you’re a “dubious Internet marketer.”

Doesn’t matter how much work you put into the content, or how compelling it is.

I wish someone would have told me this earlier.

P.S. Anyone with a background in media knows that this CNET article is the journalistic equivalent of Digg bait. And it worked.

Copywriting Case Study: Aaron Wall’s SEOBook.com

As I promised a while back, we’re going to take a look at how presentation and organization of sales copy can make a big difference not only in how your sale page is perceived, but also in how it converts.

Aaron Wall is a leading authority in the search engine optimization field. His 328-page, continually updated SEO e-book is indispensable reading for anyone who markets online, and I’m a proud owner.

Likewise, Aaron’s blog is a treasure-trove of information, and I believe that the vast majority of his success in selling his book stems from his blog. The content is great, and the design by Chris Pearson provides a stunning presentation to the blog itself.

Like any smart online information product publisher, Aaron also has an affiliate program. Affiliate traffic is a bit different than repeat blog readers, in that affiliates want to send visitors directly to the sales page in the hopes that the traffic will convert to a sale right away.

This is where I think there might be a problem. From a presentation standpoint, the sales letter just doesn’t seem to fit. Plus, while the story Aaron is telling is on target, the organization of the copy elements might benefit from some tweaking.

[ Continue Reading... ]

Are You a Link Troll or a Spam Baiter?

Rand over at SEOmoz started a great discussion today about the two types of link bait.

The first type of link bait is what SEO types and I always talk about—reader focused, compelling content that provides a benefit.

The second type of link bait is what many long-term bloggers mistakenly think we are talking about, which is controversial statements and attacks on others.

As I pointed out awhile back, historically the term bait and its fishing buddy hook have always meant something the reader finds irresistible and satisfying when used in the context of content.

So that’s why I don’t have a big problem with the term link bait.

[ Continue Reading... ]

The Smart Way to Create a Sense of Urgency

One of the fundamental characteristics of a human being is a tendency towards procrastination.

And when it comes to reaching for our wallets and buying something, that tendency to “think about it” is incredibly strong, even when we actually want to make the purchase.

That’s why creating an authentic sense of urgency is a crucial component of compelling copy.

In less skilled (and less scrupulous) hands, that sense of urgency is manufactured. It’s a fake or illogical high pressure sales tactic that turns most people off and blows the sale.

Don’t you love those online sales letters where the “offer expires” date just happens to be—shock—today! Come back tomorrow and the javascript has magically updated the offer automatically.

Lovely.

[ Continue Reading... ]

The Five Essential Elements of an
Influential Blog

What makes a blog influential?

Influence is often attributed to traffic and readership levels. But in reality, those are actually benefits that are symptomatic of something that precedes them.

How do we get people to pay attention to what we say in the first place?

Ultimately, a blog catches on just like any other idea spreads—it must somehow speak to people in a way that they want to hear. Your posts must fill a human need, and that will most often be at an emotional level, no matter how practical we think our subject matter is.

[ Continue Reading... ]

Five Reasons Why the List Post is Dead

I’ve finally seen the light.

Some of the wiser members of the blogosphere have convinced me…

The list post is dead.

Never mind 100 years of tested headline psychology and the fact that readers skim content online like never before… these list posts have simply got to go. I mean, Jason Calacanis made $25 million off of this type of blog content, and yet even he said on this very blog that his bread and butter methods are a cliché that needs to die.

So, I figured I had better head down to the local news stand and get some inspiration to correct my evil ways.

[ Continue Reading... ]

Link Karma IV: Link Night at the Apollo

It’s been way too long since the last installment of link karma, and I’m feeling a bit out of balance. So let’s take a look at what a few Copyblogger readers have been up to with their blogs.

And don’t forget to guess the movie sequel reference in the post title (this one is a bit tougher than Link Karma two and three, but the answer is there in plain sight).

[ Continue Reading... ]

Call Me Tonight if You Have a Question

I’ve been getting quite a few requests to do interviews lately, which is quite flattering, but I’m rarely inclined to do them. However, I’ve been talking a bit lately with fellow Dallas resident and Mavericks fanatic Scott Baradell of Media Orchard and Spin Thicket fame, and he’s convinced me to stop being so anti-social about social media.

So, tonight Scott will be kicking off his new podcast by interviewing me.

Here’s the cool part.

We’ll be using a new service from Blog Talk Radio to do the interview. The name pretty much says it all—instead of just a static podcast with two guys talking, the free BTR service allows listeners to call in and participate, just like an old school talk radio show.

So, if there’s anything you want to ask, here’s your chance. Or, if you just want to listen to me make bad jokes, you can do that too.

The show kicks off at 8:00 pm CST tonight, and you can sign up to be reminded via email 5 minutes before show time here.

The call-in number is 646-915-8556.

Should be fun, so I hope you’ll join us tonight!

10 Effective Ways to Get More Blog Subscribers

The question I seem to be getting over and over is…

How did you get so many subscribers?

The answer is simple—I value subscribers more than any other measure of blog success, such as page views or raw traffic. Subscribers are the life blood of a successful blog in my opinion, and frankly, I wish I had more of them.

Okay, that may be a bit vague.

[ Continue Reading... ]