The Decline and Fall of The Great Gate

Image of Victorian Hang Glider

For as long as many generations could remember, The Great Gate stood in the center of The Great City.

It was an ominous and magnificent structure, one that the people looked to for a constant supply of wonder, enlightenment, and joy.

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How to Use Persuasive Words

I’m glad you are here.

Because I’m excited to share a quick bit of free advice with you that will instantly make you a more persuasive writer.

It’s the new edition of The Lede.

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What to Do When You’re Sick of Your Blog

Let’s talk about your blog.

You might just have mentally winced — blogs can be a painful topic.

You know you should have one, because everyone tells you so. You know you should write blog posts on a fairly consistent basis. And you know you should publish regularly too.

But you don’t.

Just thinking about blogging makes you cringe.

You’re not alone. A lot of business owners feel the same way, and for three good reasons:

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Why the New Rainmaker is a Digital Media Producer

Back in the day, the Big Dream of any creator involved striking a deal with a name like Random House, Warner Brothers, or Atlantic Records.

Signing a deal with one of those immortal entities was considered the gold ring, the opening of the only door to independence, respect, and success in media and entertainment.

Then, in the course of less than twenty years, the Internet obliterated those power structures, leaving creators of all kinds — for better or worse — holding their futures in their own hands.

That game hasn’t just changed. It’s now an entirely new and different game.

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Does Your Copy Pass the “Forehead Slap” Test?

One of the most repeated rules of writing compelling copy is to stress benefits, not features.

In other words, identify the underlying benefit that each feature of a product or service provides to the prospect, because that’s what will prompt the purchase.

This is one rule that always applies, except when it doesn’t.

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Do You Want Your Website To Tell a Better Story?

parallax pro for Genesis

Paralyzed.

That’s how you feel some of the time, maybe a lot of time, when you sit down to deliver your message to your audience.

How do I know? Because it’s how I feel some of the time (okay, a lot of time) too.

You want to tell a story. I want to tell a story. But so often when we tell stories on the Internet, our words have to do all the heavy lifting.

That’s pressure.

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How Paying for Postage Made me a Better Marketer

image of postage stamps

I have a confession. I’m a direct mail guy.

I’ve been responsible for over a billion pieces of mail. And when I say “mail,” I mean those paper things that come to your physical mailbox. (Good thing I didn’t have to lick the stamps.)

I’ve learned a ton from the online marketers I’ve been hanging around with the last few years. Your expertise in harnessing technology amazes me, and the speed with which you execute astounds me.

But as we all know — especially in the Copyblogger community — good great copy and creative raises all boats.

And anyone who claims to be “crushing it” online could, well, “crush it even more” if they paid as much attention to their copy as they do to the technology.

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Michael Stelzner on Capturing Emails and Committing to Quality

From nothing to Technorati’s #1 business blog in a little over four months.

That’s quite a story.

It’s Michael Stelzner’s. And on the latest episode of The Lede, he shares two of the most important ingredients in his online success — ingredients that too often get overlooked.

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How Email Design Limitations Can Actually Be Liberating

Authority Intensive Presenter Dean Levitt

Long before email newsletters became a central part of my life, I harbored dreams of being a famous jazz guitarist.

While I know now that fame and jazz is a mythical combination, akin to a unicorn triple-crown winner, that was my goal in my early twenties.

One of my jazz improv teachers would force his students, including me, to practice for hours using only two fingers (on the piano or guitar). It was frustrating, annoying … and then, eventually, freeing.

One day, it clicked.

Freed from the pressure of virtuosity, I could focus on just keeping it simple.

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Timeless Marketing Advice from the Father of Advertising’s Favorite Book

david ogilvy eyes

Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book seven times. It changed the course of my life.
~ David Ogilvy

The moment I saw these words an immediate investigation began: who, what, where, why, and how could I acquire this book?

Because when the “father of advertising” gives that sort of praise, you better listen.

The work in question, Scientific Advertising, was written by none other than the legendary Claude C. Hopkins. Many a master copywriter has hailed it as one of the most important works on marketing ever written.

Truthfully, no blog post could replace the experience of reading the book in its entirety. If nothing else, I’d simply like to be a conduit for some of the fundamental lessons inside.

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