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


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?


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


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:
  • Page/Ad that Generates the Click-Through:
    There’s a link to “Book” on the blog.

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Get Anyone to Read Every Word You Write With These 7 Steps

Reading Long Copy

Here’s the secret to successful writing according to Stephen King:

Take out the bad parts.

While those 5 words sum it up perfectly, some people don’t really get what concise writing is all about. Some think that communicating less information and having a low word count is the mark of great writing.

That’s not it at all.

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Conversations with Parrots and the
Dangers of a Swipe File


Ever try talking with a parrot?

It seems like any time anyone comes across a parrot, they try to strike up a conversation to see if the bird will talk back. And it can be quite amusing when they do.

For a bit.

The problem with conversing with a parrot is that the bird has no idea what its actually saying, or why its saying it. Parrots have no clue about context, and therefore make for bad conversation. The truth is, no one really wants to speak with a parrot.

But you knew that.

What does this have to do with copywriting, you ask?

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Two Techniques That Help You
Embrace Brevity

Embrace Brevity

Editor’s Note: Last week, Muhammad Saleem submitted an article to Copyblogger on how to incorporate brevity into your writing. I decided to break up the article into two parts, and demonstrate that with the use of:

(1) a descriptive headline;
(2) a short anecdote,
(3) a famous quote from Strunk and White, and
(4) a link to another article about Steven King

you can communicate a salient point in only 59 words and still provide additional information via links.

What follows are Muhammad’s techniques and examples of how to say more with fewer words. Enjoy. – Brian

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