Five Common Headline Mistakes and
How to Avoid Them

Magnetic HeadlinesWriting a great headline means crafting an enticing invitation to a prospective reader. It’s not the whole story, nor is it an attempt to convince anyone to do anything other than to keep reading.

That being said, it seems you can’t move two pages on the web without tripping across a poorly-crafted headline. While many contain one or more necessary elements, other factors are often left out of the headline, diminishing the overall power and draw of this critical aspect of your copy.

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The Benjamin Franklin Guide to Marketing Your Business Online

Benjamin Franklin PictureDid you know that Benjamin Franklin never said “A penny saved is a penny earned?”

As popular as the saying is, it doesn’t really make sense (or its meaning is not as clear as it could be). Here’s what Franklin actually said:

“A penny saved is twopence dear.”

Translated, if you save your money you can double it (or a penny saved is two pennies earned). Ahhh… sound investment advice! So maybe Ben can help you out in other business matters, even when it comes to marketing on the Internet.

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The Secret to Effective Content Promotion

Long Tail Dead Bodies
Nobody’s going to read your blog unless there’s something in it for them.
– Seth Godin

Nobody’s going to link to your blog unless there’s something in for them.
– Hugh MacLeod

Hugh published the above as The Two Immutable Laws of Blogging back in January of 2006. I tried to be a bit more specific with The 5 Immutable Laws of Persuasive Blogging in February of this year.

At the core, Hugh was dead on. My five immutable laws focused more on creating content that has something in it for the reader. This post is focused on creating a promotion that has something in it for the linkerati who you hope will promote your content.

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Why You Need To Hit Your Prospects Where It Hurts Right Now

The other night an entrepreneurial friend was drunkenly extolling the virtues of his latest scheme. A kind of mini-survival kit with several unique twists. This product would potentially help hundreds of stranded drivers every year. His problem was while most people saw the sense of it, nobody was interested in developing it with him. He couldn’t get his business idea off the ground.

We all know that feeling. Lots of nods and general agreement but no action.

Your reader really should read your advice but many won’t. Some products fail even though millions of people need them right now. There are services that are essential and executed brilliantly but nobody signs up.

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Falling in Love with the
Unintended Audience

Today’s guest post is from Carson Brackney.

I wanted to create a client-facing blog that would serve as a branding and marketing tool for my content production and copywriting business.

That’s not what happened. Instead of finding a receptive audience of potential clients, the blog attracted other writers.

My audience was unintended.

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Seal the Deal: 10 Tips for Writing the Ultimate Landing Page

Image of Landing Page graphic

This is another addition to our ongoing series of tutorials and case studies on landing pages that work.

I have a client with a deep-pocket online media budget. Google Adwords PPC, banner ads on major news sites. We’re talking some sizable money to generate traffic and turn that traffic into customers.

I bet you’re thinking a big part of their budget was earmarked for landing page development and testing. I would have thought so, too, before they became a client. But what I quickly discovered was this – there wasn’t a series of landing pages. There wasn’t even one landing page! All of the clicks, all of their costly PPC traffic was being directed to the homepage.

Literally, their best prospects were being dumped off at the front door with little direction or guidance as to how to proceed.

Yikes.

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Why Your Best Headline Could be
Too Powerful

As a geek I am a compulsive tester. I discovered how copywriting techniques really work from testing. One result that shocked me was that we can make our headlines too good. At times we write headlines that are so powerful they are ineffective.

How can this be? There is one simple concept here that can either work in your favor or devastate the results of your headline.

  • Pay zero tax in 2007!
  • Turn a Loss-Making Campaign Into a Million Dollar Profit Machine in Ten Minutes
  • Lose 10lbs Just By Playing Computer Games

What do you think when you read headlines such as these?

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I’m Outta Here…

Well, at least for a bit.

I’m off for a much-needed vacation with the family. I’ll be back sometime in the middle of next week.

But I’m not leaving you hanging. You’ll be getting great stuff from visiting copybloggers Chris Garrett, Roberta Rosenberg, and in what may become a collectors item, a post from Carson Brackney of Content Done Better, who has just announced he’s going to the dark side taking a job and closing up shop.

Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend.

A Simple Four-Step Strategy for
Developing Content That Connects

Tutorial MarketingHere’s a simple formula for creating content that effectively communicates your point, especially if the subject matter is novel or complex. This strategy can also dramatically reduce the time it takes you to put together tutorials, white papers, or presentations of any sort.

The key is to cover all the bases when it comes to the different learning styles of the audience. Let me elaborate on that point a bit.

One way in which otherwise quality content fails to satisfy the needs of much of the prospective audience is by failing to address different learning styles. Moreover, failing to properly structure the different approaches to communicating information will leave many of your readers confused and your content in shambles from a flow perspective.

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Captivate Your Audience with a
Killer Opening

I was catching up on news yesterday and came across an article that began with this:

An Illinois woman mourns her two young daughters, swept to their deaths in Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters. It’s a tragic and terrifying story. It’s also a lie.

Any article that details accounts of fraud in the aftermath of Katrina would likely contain compelling information. But that opening had me riveted, and it got me reading a detailed and lengthy piece that I might have otherwise skipped out of laziness.

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