How the Discovery Channel Can Help You Score Links

Myth BustersIt’s time to bust a myth that’s been running around the Interwebs lately.

There are some folks who feel that certain subject matter makes it impossible to naturally attract links with content. Others know that with a bit of imagination, just about any topic can support the successful development of remarkable content that results in links.

Scoring attention with the geeks at Digg is easier with certain subject matter, and that’s true of any specialized audience, big or small. When it comes to our own profession, hobby, or circumstances, we’re all geeks. We want to know the latest specialized details that matter to us, and we love it when that information is presented in an interesting or even entertaining manner.

[ Continue Reading... ]

Do These Headlines Work For You?

Let’s take a break from the headline remixing, and look at some of the submissions that I thought worked “as is.” Often the key to great editing is knowing when to keep your hands off, despite the fact that we might have taken a different approach ourselves. Feel free to voice contrary opinions in the comments—I always love to hear suggestions on how to make any headline better.

Let’s start off with the strong headlines that I didn’t even try to rewrite. In fact, I suspect that in these five cases, Jim, John, Jim, Maki and that anonymous guy at Engtech fully knew their headlines rocked, and only wanted to hear us confirm it.

My Contact Form Has Been
Broken For Months

Don’t you just love when things like this happen?

After having the nagging feeling that something was not right, I tested the form on my contact page last weekend, only to have my concerns confirmed. It didn’t work.

I replaced the old form with the new WP-Contact Form III from Kristin Wangen, which is an improvement on Doug Karr’s modification of the original WP-Contact by Ryan Duff (Duff’s site seems to have died late last year). Works like a charm now.

I’m a bit concerned about how much correspondence I’ve missed. I have no idea how long the form was inoperable, but I’m guessing at least two months. Given the amount of consulting requests, biz dev proposals, and reader email I received this week with a working form, something tells me a lot of people received zero response from me when trying to get in touch this year. That’s unacceptable, and I’m upset about it.

So, if you’ve tried to contact me over the last couple of months (and you’re still reading despite my lack of response), please accept my sincere apologies. This is one of those instances where the technology that is supposed to make our lives better instead creates new problems.

Headline Remix Madness – Part Two

This is the second installment of the headline remix series. You submitted content, I’m rewriting select titles and telling you why.

If you missed Part One it’s here. Otherwise, let’s carry on, shall we?

[ Continue Reading... ]

Headline Remix Madness – Part One

I received over 100 submissions for headline remixing, so in the spirit of March Madness, I’m going to try to rewrite as many as possible in a series of posts. Frankly, the quality of the submissions has been really good, so I will also try to point out those that work “as is” and why.

Let’s get started.

[ Continue Reading... ]

Here’s Monday Reading Material While I’m in Austin

I’ve got to run down to Austin and meet some folks at SXSW (darn the luck), so here are some links you might have missed. I’ll be back before you know it to remix those headlines.

OK, everyone play nicely while I’m gone and I’ll hopefully have something for you tomorrow. Unless there’s a good party tonight, that is (and there always is at SXSW). ;)

Tubetorial Sold to SplashPress Media

What can I say? They made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. :)

SplashPress Media Ltd. has acquired the assets of Tubetorial, LLC, which includes the Tubetorial website and the Cutline Theme Community. SplashPress is the owner of over 30 websites, including The Blog Herald and the recently-acquired Performancing.

Tubetorial was a concept I came up with several months prior to Google’s acquisition of YouTube, and the timing couldn’t have been better. I partnered with Chris Pearson to launch and develop the site last September, and we were just about to segue into phase 2 of our business plan after an initial 6 months of successful content development and promotion. However, we started receiving inquiries from several groups about acquisition. SplashPress quickly stepped to the head of the pack in terms of credibility and vision for the concepts we had created.

SplashPress plans to integrate Tubetorial and Cutline with Performancing, which shows they clearly understand the importance of community-building alongside solid content. Chris and I offer our best wishes to the SplashPress team, and expect to see great things going forward.

More at 901am.

Is the New SEO Book Sales Letter Working?

As many of you know, late last year I rewrote the sales page for Aaron Wall’s SEO Book (if you don’t own it yet, you should, and that’s my affiliate link). Aaron has come to some conclusions about the new copy, which he shares here.

Also, check out another project that I worked on for e-learning software company Articulate. In conjunction with a complete redesign of the site, I rewrote all the site copy, and moved to a headline-focused format (imagine that) for the home page, mission statement, and each product, such as the recently released Engage and Articulate Online.

Articulate is an awesome company headed up by CEO Adam Schwartz, one of the coolest clients I’ve ever worked with, in any field. If all clients were like Adam, I’d probably take on more of them. ;)

Let’s Remix a Few More of Your Headlines

Last fall, I invited readers to submit posts they had written, and I chose several and rewrote the titles. Quite a few people seemed to get a lot out of that process, so rather than writing yet another article about headlines, I thought we should do it again.

Here’s how it works:

Simply drop the URL of the post or article you want considered in the comment section. I will pick several from the submissions, rewrite the headlines in an upcoming post, and provide explanations for the changes I make.

Cool?

Five Grammatical Errors That Make You Look Dumb

image of man in dunce capOne thing blogging and good copywriting share is a conversational style, and that means it’s fine to fracture the occasional rule of proper grammar in order to communicate effectively. Both bloggers and copywriters routinely end sentences with prepositions, dangle a modifier in a purely technical sense, or make liberal use of the ellipsis when an EM dash is the correct choice—all in order to write in the way people actually speak.

But there are other mistakes that can detract from your credibility. While we all hope what we have to say is more important than some silly grammatical error, the truth is some people will not subscribe or link to your blog if you make dumb mistakes when you write, and buying from you will be out of the question.

[ Continue Reading... ]