What to Do When Your Idea Sucks

Imagine being an author, writing a book and toiling away in solitude.

You’ve got a general idea for the overall subject matter that’s good, but of course that idea has to be executed on chapter by chapter.

How would you know if one of those chapters sucked?

I suppose if you had a really good, attentive editor, she might tell you. But that’s a luxury that even most published authors don’t have.

So, in all likelihood, you just wouldn’t know.

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How to Get on Techmeme in 3 Simple Steps

Want some good Techmeme exposure?

Here’s 3 easy steps to showing up:

  1. Do a riff on a post by a famous SEO guy.
  2. Offer pedestrian blog writing tips.
  3. This one is the real key… have the word Google in your name.

Sour grapes? Maybe.

But watered down advice like this is why so many bloggers don’t have an audience.

Bonus tip 4: Comment on pedestrian blog writing tips with a post of your own. :)

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Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully

In 1988, The Writer’s Handbook reprinted an article by novelist Stephen King entitled Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully – in Ten Minutes. In it, King told the story of the fateful 10 minutes to which he credits his success as a writer.

Back in 1964, King got in big trouble during his sophomore year in high school. Part of his punishment involved taking a job at a 12-page weekly community newspaper in the small town in Maine where he grew up.

It was at this tiny newspaper that Stephen King met an editor named John Gould, the man who taught King everything he needed to know about writing in one 10 minute review of his first feature piece for the paper.

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The Fight Club Guide to
Successful Online Marketing

Stories sell, there’s no doubt about it.

But they don’t sell because they tell people what to do.

It’s what a story allows people to tell themselves that makes it a powerful selling tool.

Sometimes people do believe what you tell them.

But people rarely ever doubt what they themeselves.

Take the novel and film Fight Club for instance.

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Do You Love Viral Marketing?

Do you?

Do you know what the secret to viral marketing is?

It’s participation.

How a Headline Can Be Link Bait for Bloggers Who Love Viral Marketing.

Have a good weekend. ;)

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Five of Your Headlines… Remixed

Late last week I asked you fine folks to submit posts that you wanted me to take a look at to see if I could improve on the headline a bit. I ended up with more than 60 submissions.

Given the horrendous week this has been (don’t ask), I could only get to 5 for now, since providing my rationale for the changes that are made is important, too.

But I think we’ll also likely do this on a regular basis if you find it useful.

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Give Me 3 Minutes and I’ll Make You a
Better Blogger

So I’m hanging around an Internet forum the other day.

People there are going on about how they “only write for themselves,” and if the reader doesn’t get it “it’s their problem.”

Was I in a creative writing forum? Or maybe over at Robert Bruce’s place?

Nope. It was a “professional” blogging site.

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10 Steps to a Viral Tutorial That Sells

Can a tutorial attract links and traffic, while selling at the same time?

We know that a well-written tutorial that stays strongly focused on benefits to the reader can fly under the “sales-alert” radar and lead to great results. This has been true online and off well before blogging and social media became big.

The same benefits-oriented focus can also cause a tutorial to go viral, just like PDF reports, free ebooks, and white papers have done via email forwards since the beginning of the commercial web.

So let’s look at a time-tested 10-step process to creating an educational marketing tool that generates both buzz and sales.

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How Great Headlines Score Traffic

So, it’s Wednesday morning of this week, and I’m right in the middle of the daily train wreck that occurs as soon as the kids roll out of bed.

As I deftly prevent the 18 month old from bashing his head on the corner of my desk, the old IM chimes, and despite myself I cannot resist its Siren call.

It’s Markus from AU interactive, and he wants some quick headline advice for a post he’s about to release.

We quickly bang it out, and go our separate ways.

Later on in the day, I notice that his post, 10 Things That Will Make or Break Your Website is on the front page of Digg. Last I looked it had scored over 1100 votes, a bunch of Delicious bookmarks, and spent time on TechMeme.

Not bad.

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The Two Types of Tutorial Marketing

Used to be, there were two steps to using media to market your business.

First, you found an appropriate media outlet to advertise in, and you paid your money.

Then, you created your advertisement so people would call, order, or visit your website.

Now, you are the media outlet, and your “advertisement” had better be quite useful to your readers / listeners / watchers, or you’re wasting your time.

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