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.


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.

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Five Steps to a Truly Unique Blog That Attracts Readers and Revenue

Build a Sticky BlogIf a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.

-Henry David Thoreau

Now that you’ve completed the important task of figuring out who it is you want to reach with your blog, it’s time to figure out how to stand apart from the competition and deliver unique value. What’s the angle that will capture attention and attract regular readers who eventually become loyal customers or clients?

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There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Business-Savvy Writer

One of the most annoying things to me is the way writing is devalued, both by those who can do it, and those who seek to purchase the fruits of a writer’s labor. Of course, that’s just the way of the marketplace, right?

Well, at this point, I’d say the “marketplace” is suffering a case of retardation. Most clients will still hugely devalue excellent content, while if you can write with the right business angle, you can clean up all on your own at this particular point in history.

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Let Cicero Build You a Sticky Blog

Build a Sticky BlogIf you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words.

– Roman Statesman Cicero

More than simply speaking to our audience, we need to connect with them. Roman orator and attorney Cicero knew that connecting at both a mental and emotional level with an audience, using their own language and lingo, was imperative.

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Are You Leaving Your Readers Out of the Conversation?

Build a Sticky BlogWe know that one of the most important words we can use in blogging is you, so our copy should be squarely focused on the reader. And we also know we need to identify just who exactly our prospective readers actually are.

Wouldn’t it be a shame to go through all of that and end up not speaking to those people after all? It sounds crazy, but speaking to the wrong “you” is a common problem throughout business communications, and blogging makes it an incredibly easy mistake to make.

The Danger of the Wrong “You”

Even when people know exactly who they are supposed to be speaking to, they often fail to tailor the message to match the audience. A great example comes from the book Presenting to Win by presentation coach Jerry Weissman.

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Link Baiting Goes Mainstream

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

Here’s a new catchphrase in search-engine optimization these days: Link baiting.

The term may sound shady, but link baiting is an aboveboard tactic that calls for generating new or particularly interesting content on a Web site in hopes that a popular Web site links to it. Having well-ranked Web sites link to yours boosts your site’s search-engine results, because most major search engines — including Google and Yahoo — consider the number and “quality” of links when generating their rankings. And, having your site linked to a popular site likely will prompt other sites to link to your site as well.

Suppose, for instance, you’d love to have a blogger who’s well-known in your industry link to your Web site. You notice this blogger frequently highlights interesting strategies for funding a start-up business. So in hopes of piquing that blogger’s interest, you add well-written, interesting content to your site about new trends in start-up financing. Then you conveniently shoot an email to that blogger with a link to the post.

Good for the WSJ for actually getting it right. More than just great content, it’s strategic content that is also of very high quality.

And these days, it has very little to do with trolling and flame wars. Authority sites won’t squander reader equity to link to that garbage.

Via Marketing Pilgrim.