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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Finally, Something New in RSS

I haven’t posted about RSS much lately, since there’s been very little going on.

But this week Gabe Rivera of TechMeme announced a very cool use of RSS—he pulls posts from his sponsor’s blogs via feed and displays them in the sponsor area.

Great content is the advertisment (as it should be).

That’s very cool, and there’s a lot more to explore in the area that Gabe is blazing a trail in.

Now today, Text Link Ads released Feedvertising, a free WordPress plugin that allows you to rotate sponsored advertising copy and links in your RSS feed. If you’re reading this via feed (or email) right now, look down at the bottom to see an example.

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The Importance of Social Media

There are so many things in this post by Chris Heuer that resemble my own thoughts lately, I simply couldn’t believe my eyes as I read. I’d like to think I would have written something like this eventually, but now I don’t have to and can simply continue working on pushing the vision into reality.

Give it a read. It’s fantastic from start to finish (hat tip to Brogan for the heads up).

While this represents only a small part of the overall scope of Heuer’s post, I found this snippet particularly relevant to what I’ve been working on lately:

As we have seen with reality television, the hybrid of overly produced “barely based on reality” does not hold sway with people for long. The deep human desire for genuine connections with the hero’s journey via Joseph Campbell will not tolerate gimmicks or fools for long. Genuine human drama, ‘How To’ content, insightful commentary, truly funny comedy, emotionally charged entertainment, engaging conversations, factual news of the world and stories well told will rule the day.

Emphasis mine.

I’ve been talking about Tubetorial a lot lately with people, as you might imagine. And most people instantly get it.

We try hard to make these video tutorials visually interesting while they also teach. We might even try to make you laugh (or at least smile) in the process.

But Tubetorial videos don’t look like overly-polished television productions for a very important reason.

And they never will.

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