Seven Tricks for Magical Copy

Spine X-Ray

Magicians are skilled manipulators of perception. They can make people think something is moving when it isn’t or see things that aren’t there. Diverting attention this way and that, they can hide cards and rabbits or make objects appear from thing air.

Sales copy is a little like that, depending on who writes it. Diverting attention with a little smoke and mirrors often draws readers inwards towards a sale. It’s persuasive copy, written to get people believing in the buy.

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Are You a Spineless Blogger?

Spine X-Ray

Have you ever sat for what seemed like hours, writing and rewriting, trying to communicate an idea, but you just feel… lost?

You write a paragraph, only to decide that’s not what you really want to say. So then you rewrite it to something you’re reasonably happy with, but then you can’t figure out what comes next.

You sit there thinking about it for awhile, becoming increasingly frustrated with yourself. Finally, you just walk away, trying to find some perspective, but when you come back, it seems like your ideas are even more muddled than before.

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Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2008

Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2008

I’m please to say that Copyblogger has been chosen as the top blog for writers for the third year in a row. Thanks to Michael Stelzner for the honor once again.

Here are all the winners with Michael’s commentary. You should really be reading all of these excellent blogs.

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How to Grow a Blog Post in 7 Easy Steps

Seven Lead Plant

My friend Tom thinks I should create a how-to product on “writing for the paralyzed and confused.” He’s a very creative and articulate guy, but writing kills him. Knocking out two pages can take him hours. And when he’s done, he second-guesses himself for a couple more hours about whether it’s any good.

Since I don’t have a spare month right now to create a complete information product for you, here’s a blog post to get you started. A step-by-step guide you can use to write as many blog posts as you need, without tears, frustration, or brain damage.

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Are You a Writer?

Quill and Ink

I’m a writer. I spent over three decades unaware of this essential truth, but I’m ready to atone for my ignorance.

For some reason, it never mattered that I’d been reading at least a book a week since my eyes could string the syllables together.

I could never be a writer.

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How to Hit a Copywriting Home Run With Perceptual Contrast


Have you ever watched a baseball player on deck to bat next? You’ll notice that batters often place a weighted ring around the bat while doing warm-up swings.

Why? When the player steps up to the plate, the bat feels relatively lighter. This helps the batter swing faster when a hot fastball comes blazing down the middle.

It doesn’t matter that the bat isn’t really lighter. From a psychological standpoint (which is where world-class athletes leave average players behind), the batter feels like he has a stronger, faster swing. That mental edge makes a difference.

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When to be Redundant, Repetitive, and
Say the Same Thing Twice


Remember your fifth grade “What I did on my summer vacation” paper, where you used the words “pool,” “baseball” and “bike” 100 times apiece? And your English teacher dutifully marked your paper up with her red pen. Redundant. Don’t repeat yourself. Choose a new word.

Bloggers sometimes get so fearful about repeating ourselves that our message can get completely lost. The truth is, after fifth grade is over, there are times when you want to repeat yourself to make sure your point comes across. Here’s how you can tell if your content could benefit from a little strategic repetition.

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Everybody Loves Marla

Lateral Action Marla

The final character to get to know in the Lateral Action universe is Marla. Compared with Lou and Jack, she’s like Yoda.

Next week we’ll start publishing a lot of foundational text content that will help you make sense of where we’re coming from. The characters are the stars of an ongoing story that will develop alongside the tips, tricks, instruction and opinion that drive Lateral Action.

But let’s get back to Marla:

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What Jergens Hand Soap Can Teach You About Crafting Compelling Copy

Jergens Hand Soap

Want to be a better writer? Read. That’s a given. The more you read and comprehend what others have written, the more you can discern the good from the bad or various techniques that packed a punch.

But what should you read?

Should you read textbooks and manuals for some how-to tips? Should you read fiction and creative works to pick up better storytelling tricks? Should you read more poetry to learn timbre and pentameter?

I read product packaging… and you should too.

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Here’s How Affiliate Marketing Works

Affiliate Marketing

A while back you might have read Brian’s Effective Copywriting Tactics for Affiliate Marketing, which offered some great advice. But something tells me you might have wondered how to apply that advice to real-life affiliate marketing.

I’m going to show you exactly how I implemented those 5 tips with the Thesis theme affiliate program. And this isn’t theory–I used these five steps to earn a four-figure commission check in just ten days.

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