6 Steps for Writing Simple Copy That Sells

image of zen stones stacked on top of each other

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

That’s what Leonardo da Vinci said anyway.

And four centuries later, Steve Jobs agreed. Actually, Jobs more than agreed. He flat-out stole it.

So here’s the question: What does plagiarized advice from the 16th century have to do with marketing copy in the 21st?

The simple answer (pun intended) is everything.

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The 8 Types of Images That Increase the Psychological Impact of Your Content

Close-up images of old school cameras

The importance of using images in blogging goes far beyond “looking nice.”

It’s actually deeply psychological.

For one thing, your brain (and your reader’s brain) is better at processing visuals than text. In fact, 90 percent of the information that our brain gets is visual, and it processes that information 60,000 times faster than text.

And visuals, when they complement your text, help your message connect: 40 percent of people will respond better to visual information than to text.

Read on to learn about the eight most effective types of images, and where to find them online.

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A Sobering Lesson on the Value of Compromising Your Creative Ideas

David, Dannis, and Bobby Hackney -- the brothers who formed the band called Death

Mollie Politzer was 32 years old when she got sick.

She was in the hospital for months, and when her condition eventually worsened to the point of death, her rabbi was called in. The rabbi arrived and proceeded to change her name.

He did this to fool the Angel of Death — so that when the Angel of Death came, he wouldn’t know who she was.

It worked …

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How Successful Writers Curate Ideas

The blank page.

Writer’s block.

Newer writers often claim to fear both of these. We’ve all been conditioned to do so. (I admit: I still do sometimes too.)

But as I’ve studied writers, successful writers, I’ve found that most of them have found ways to overcome the trepidation of the blank page, and most don’t even consider “writer’s block” to be a real thing.

So what is it that separates these writers from you and me?

Two traits, I’ve found:

  1. They have found a way to channel their fear into productivity.
  2. They have a system for recording and recalling ideas.

And make no mistake, number two has a huge impact on number one.

Because if you know that you always have a catalog of great ideas to fall back on for those days when you wake up with nothing fresh in your head, it completely removes that fear of the blank page from the equation.

So how do you do it?

How do you create, maintain, and use that catalog of great ideas?

That is the subject of today’s episode of The Lede.

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Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Writer? Answer This Question to Find Out …

Image of Walt Whitman

Let’s say this:

You’ve been a graphic designer since high school, went to college, and got a degree in computer science. During that time you’ve dabbled in writing. You have a blog. You don’t publish frequently, but when you do, you get traction.

Or how about this:

You are middle-aged woman who’s been a successful CPA with a large firm for 10 years. While the pay is divine, you are not entirely happy. In fact, if pushed, you’d probably say you hate your job. You’ve been breaking out the journal before bed each night.

Here’s another one:

You own a business. It’s septic tank installation. One you inherited from your father. Septic tank installing is all you’ve ever known. But a little over two years ago you were involved in a tragic accident. And you think the story needs to be told.

Each scenario above is based upon a real-life conversation I’ve had with someone. I’ve changed the details to protect privacy, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you understand what I’m trying to do.

At some point in the conversation these people ask me: “Should I become a writer? Do I have what it takes?”

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AWeber Now Offering 7 Beautiful, StudioPress-Inspired Email Templates

studiopress-themes1

How do you design an email template that looks and feels like your own website design?

Sounds like it would be hard to do, doesn’t it?

You either need to be a whiz with code, or you need to find an email marketing service that just so happens to have templates that look and feel like your website. Not very likely.

Until now … because AWeber decided to do something about it.

Many of our StudioPress customers now have an email marketing option that will seamlessly extend their website’s branding into their email communication …

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35 Blogging Tips to Woo Readers and Win Business

black and white image from 1910 of three men with pipes looking toward the left edge of the image with intrigued expressions on their faces

Let’s not pussyfoot around it.

Blogging is a lot of work. Hard work.

Generate new blog post ideas. Write weekly content. Promote posts via social media and email.

At times, we all wonder whether our blogging efforts are paying off. Do we need to keep plugging away? Write more? Promote more?

The thought of quitting might even creep up now and then. Wouldn’t it be nice to stop worrying about your next blog post? And have some extra time to go out with friends? Or to read a book?

But the benefits of writing a business blog can be tremendous. Career-changing.

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It’s Time For Our Annual Summer Brake at Copyblogger

Image of a deck overlooking the ocean near some tiki huts, with a pelican standing near a laptop that lays on the deck

As we do each summer, the time has come to tap the brakes on our posting schedule.

We’re not turning off the free blog content spigot completely, not by a long shot. Just slowing down a bit.

Why?

Sonia summed it up perfectly in her summer post last year. So I’ll just let her tell you:

We spend a lot of time teaching people how to build smart, sustainable businesses with content. The kind of businesses that give us enough free time to have some decent work-life balance.

After all, working your own schedule, to suit your own life, is one of the biggest benefits of running a business, right?

Makes sense to me.

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The 5 W’s of Link Curation

When someone shares a link, and you click on it, and you are moved in some way by it — to action, to inspiration, even to tears — how do you feel about the person who shared it with you?

You likely feel equal parts appreciation and respect. If you’re honest, you might even feel a slight twinge envy. (Damnit, why didn’t I find that link to share first!)

It’s okay.

Being the clicker and the consumer is just fine. Content marketing is an ecosystem, and we all have to play multiple roles to keep it in motion.

But there is no reason you can’t be the link sharer more often. There is no reason you can’t consistently share useful links so that the appreciation and respect of an audience gets directed towards you.

To do this, all you have to do is understand the who, what, when, where, and why (plus the how) of link curation.

Which just so happens to be the subject of this week’s episode of The Lede.

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SlideShare Best Practices: How to Turn Written Content Into a Winning Deck

Title slide of Dave Paradi SlideShare deck

At the recent Authority Intensive 2014 conference, there was a lot of talk from the stage and amongst the attendees about SlideShare.

And with good reason.

SlideShare was the “quiet giant of content marketing” way back in 2011, even before being acquired by LinkedIn. Now? It’s one of the most influential social media platforms for businesses and big thinkers.

But while SlideShare has proven to be a great new medium for sharing content, many people are still asking how to get started with it.

In this article, I want to provide best practices for the simplest way to get started with SlideShare: turning a written piece of content into a SlideShare deck.

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