Writing Copy Even Grandma Will Love

Grandma is frustratedIt just happened again.

I’m reading, but I’m not getting it. Maybe if I continue to read, all will become clear.

Nope.

I feel dumb.

Obviously, there is something I’m missing. It’s my fault. I’ll read it again.

Nope, still not getting it.

The pictures look great, nice web design. Looks like a trustworthy company.

Keep your money, Chris. Maybe somebody can explain it to me later (if I remember).

Sorry friend, you’ve just lost the sale.

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Do Your Metaphors Rock?

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden

I’m looking California, and feeling Minnesota…

That metaphor is from the 1991 Soundgarden song Outshined, written by front man Chris Cornell. He shared an interesting anecdote about writing those very personal words in a magazine interview:

“I came up with that line — ‘I’m looking California / And feeling Minnesota,’ from the song ‘Outshined’ — and as soon as I wrote it down, I thought it was the dumbest thing. But after the record came out and we went on tour, everybody would be screaming along with that particular line when it came up in the song. That was a shock.”

Instead of the “dumbest thing,” those are the most famous six words Cornell has ever written. In addition to being a fan favorite, the line inspired both a movie title and an ESPN catch phrase whenever Minnesota Timberwolves player Kevin Garnett was in the news.

Why did it work? Because with those six words, Soundgarden’s audience understood instantly what Chris Cornell was trying to convey. That’s the power of metaphor. Cornell is no slouch in the lyrical department, and yet he was taken aback by how well this particular metaphor worked.

So, how do we non-rock-gods know if our metaphors are any good? That they will actually help us inform and persuade our readers in the way we intend?

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Copywriting Contest: $10,000 in Prizes for Irresistible Offers

What’s a copywriting blog without a copywriting contest, right?

I’ve wanted to run a group copywriting project here for some time, but I wanted to ensure as much real world applicability as possible. After discussing it with various co-conspirators, here’s what we came up with.

The Contest:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make an irresistible offer. That offer should be in the form of a landing page that catches the reader’s attention, barrels them down a slippery slide to your call to action, and results in that desired action. Hey, that’s what landing pages are all about, right?

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Why You Are Always Selling With Your Blog

Selling with blogsAt the beginning of the year I wrote a post about the classic AIDA advertising formula and how it could be applied to a blog post when you want readers to take some form of action. The formula essentially allows you to turn a content piece into a landing page that funnels your readers in a desired direction.

Chris Garrett expands on AIDA for bloggers, and hits the nail on the head regarding the types of actions you want to focus on when employing this strategy. In essence, you’re looking to incrementally deepen the relationship.

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Top Five New Developments at Copyblogger

This isn’t a proper entry in Darren Rowse’s latest Group Writing Project, but since I have five announcements and he’s running a “Top Five” contest this time around, I thought I should at least get in the spirit of things. If you haven’t joined in, get yourself a free link and a shot at $1001 in cash.

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Magnetic Blogging: How to Use Metaphors to Create Irresistible Content

Blogging Metaphorically

Hopefully I’ve sold you on the benefits of using metaphors when blogging, and you know the differences between metaphors, similes, and analogies.

Now let’s take a look at specific examples of how you can use metaphorical expressions to spice up your writing.

Metaphors can turbo-charge just about any element of a blog post, from the title down to the close. You might even design an entire post around an ongoing metaphorical theme.

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Check Out the New Copyblogger Design

New Copyblogger DesignOK all you feed and email readers, go ahead and click through for a look at the new Copyblogger design.

Chris Pearson’s breakout design for Copyblogger has served me well for over a year, and I think his latest reinterpretation is even better. Feel free to share your feedback in the comments section, and thanks as always to Chris for all his hard work.

I’ll have more new developments soon, so stay tuned.

Metaphor, Simile and Analogy: What’s the Difference?

Blogging MetaphoricallyNow that we know metaphors can be powerful persuasion tools, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page from a definitional standpoint.

Common sources of confusion for the metaphorically inclined include the simile and the analogy.

While all three are closely related, it’s smart to understand the differences. The distinctions among metaphors, similes, and analogies will also help to underscore why you may want to use one and not the other in certain situations.

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Become a Master of Metaphor and Multiply Your Blogging Effectiveness

Blogging Metaphorically

The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor ~ Aristotle

Aristotle and countless other masterful communicators have harnessed the power of metaphor to effectively persuade and inform.

Metaphors allow you to make the complex simple and the controversial palatable.

Conversely, metaphors allow you to create extraordinary meaning out of the seemingly mundane.

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I’m Locked in Mortal Combat with
Chris Garrett

Daily Blog Tips is having another of its Bloggers Face-Off battles, and they’ve pitted me against former Performancing editor Chris Garrett. The contest seemed pretty fair until Garrett called upon his subscribers to trounce me.

Now, I don’t want to tell you that you need to go over there immediately and vote for me. But you don’t want to see me cry, do you? Trust me, you don’t.

Stop by and see who gave the better answers, and then vote for me anyway. :)