Why You Should Always Write Your Headline Last

image of newspaper headline

When you write a post for your blog, your headline is the last thing you should be thinking about.

OK, I realize this is Copyblogger heresy.

There’s a lot of emphasis on writing a good headline. Hell, I’ve written posts about how to write an eye-grabbing title myself. Brian wrote an entire series on headlines (including a post on why you should always write your headline first), and he’s been known to come up with some pretty catchy ones.

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The Secret Ingredient to an Irresistible Blog

image of hamburger

Things were going pretty well until I bit into my hamburger.


Something was really wrong.

“Are you okay?” asked my date.

My eyes started watering. I was so confused, but I nodded.

I bit down harder and suddenly the hamburger flew out of my hands. I’ve never been so bewildered in my life. Only when I held my hand up did the sorry truth stare us in the face.

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What Avatar Can Teach You About
Repurposing Your Content

image from the movie Avatar

The entertainment and CGI world has been fawning over the movie Avatar for months, and it seems you can’t watch any entertainment news program without hearing about James Cameron’s groundbreaking 3D epic.

And even if Cameron went home last week without the armful of Oscars he expected, directing the highest-grossing movie of all time probably takes the sting out.

But despite the movie’s brilliant effects and the unique world it creates, you’ll likely feel as if you’ve heard its underlying story before. In fact, you may very well predict the ending about an hour into the film.

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How to Win in Las Vegas,
And in Online Business

image of las vegas sign

I’ve written a few contrarian things lately.

Specifically, I ranted a bit about why I think the most common “make money online” technique doesn’t work for most people, and about how, really, the most important ingredients of success are persistence and grit.

Then, on my own blog, I ranted about why “systems” for achieving specific results don’t work.

I got a lot of comments, emails, and tweets agreeing — too many people are looking for a quick fix, and we need to remember the basics: hard work, and good old-fashioned stick-to-it-iveness.

But believe it or not, there’s actually a problem with taking that train of thought too far.

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Blogging Lessons from
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

image from movie poster

A 40 year-old unsolved murder mystery. Strange cryptic codes in a bible. Sweden, sandwiches, and many, many cigarettes. The badass-est female protagonist since . . . forever. And an author who has, posthumously, caused quite a ruckus in the book world and in the minds of conspiracy theorists everywhere.

Yes, I’m talking about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. If you haven’t heard of it, the rest of us are inviting you to come out from under your rock. Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) is topping bestseller lists as we speak and the theatrical release of Dragon Tattoo hits the U.S. next week.

I had the good fortune of screening an advanced copy and, of course, my mind went blog, blog, blog. Because that’s what blog obsessed people like us do. So here are the blogging lessons I learned from this tattooed ‘girl’ . . .

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The Power of Confident Writing

image of a sign saying confidence

There’s a wonderful European-style market and bakery in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas. They serve everything from made-to-order salads and sandwiches to chef-prepared, ready-to-eat meals.

But what I love most about the place is the sign on the door when you leave. It’s classic.

The sign doesn’t read “Please Come Again” or “Thank You for Your Business” or some other typical exit sign platitude.

It says . . .

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What Do You Do When You
Run Out of Knowledge?

image of a sign saying S-O-T-P

Bloggers have a distinct disadvantage.

When someone hires an expert in — oh, let’s say marketing — that expert can dispense the same information she did for the last client.

And the client before that one. And the one before that.

Not bloggers. Blogging is about breaking down everything you know into bite-sized chunks so that people can learn it all over a period of time. If they look back through the archives, they can often see the entire breadth of your knowledge.

Then one day, your well runs dry.

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10 Proven Steps to Snag a
Guest Post on an A-List Blog

image of #10 pool ball

Guest posting is the “in” thing. It’s the newest craze. All the kids are doing it!

You’ve heard it time and time again — guest posting is the best way of promoting your work. So why haven’t you become part of the hip crowd yet?

I know why. You’re scared of rejection. You’re not sure if you have the chops.

I can understand these feelings, but don’t get yourself down just yet.
I’m going to show you a surefire, bulletproof, unshakable, watertight, virtually guaranteed (insert as many hyperboles as you see fit) method of putting together a guest post . . . and it getting accepted.

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How to Give Yourself a First-Class Online Business Education

image of keyboard keys saying Learn and Lead

When I first had the insane brilliant idea to start a business and get out of the alleged safety of the corporate world, I started by reading everything I could find.

I wish I could remember where the thread started for me. It might have been Dan Kennedy, it might have been Michael Port, it could very well have been the Personal MBA.

Each good resource led to three more. At some point, I found Copyblogger and Problogger and Seth Godin.

Hundreds of books and thousands of dollars in information products later, I’ve given myself an education. Was it expensive? Sure was.

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Give and Grow Rich: The Power of Focused Generosity

image of boy giving flowers

There are two kinds of people on the Internet: the greedy and the generous.

The greedy want you to pay for everything. Every link is an affiliate link. Every recommendation has a profit motive. The really good content is locked away until you fork over some money.

The generous want to give you everything free.

It never occurs to them that their time or expertise has value. They’re kind, selfless, giving, and (too often) dirt poor.

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