Why Being Too Diligent About Your Facts
Can Hurt Your Content

image of scientist examining liquid

Once upon a time, the world was flat.

Now it’s round.

Who knows? Maybe some day we’ll find out it’s square.

It’s hard to come across a cold hard fact anymore.

Drink 8 glasses of water a day. Drink 16 glasses of water a day. Don’t drink any water; get all your water from fruits and vegetables.

The contradictory advice goes on forever. There’s almost nothing you can nail down with absolute certainty.

Even your own content.

[ Continue Reading... ]

3 Reasons to Tell Readers Why

image of question mark

You know you’re right, right?

Everyone should fall in line and accept what you know in your heart to be true.

Sorry, that’s not how people work.

So much of persuasive writing comes down to proof. And so many people fail at persuasion because they offer assertions without giving people reasons.

[ Continue Reading... ]

The Freakonomics Guide to Making Boring Content Sexy

image of orange with skin of an apple

It’s easy to write about certain topics, like celebrities, or technology, or even social media. Everybody wants a piece of it.

But what if your passion is botany, supply chain logistics, or cognitive psychology?

How do you get noticed with a compelling story when your subject is … well … boring?

In the summer of 2006, an economics book was on the New York Time Bestseller list. The title was provocative and promised to be anything but a boring read.

Even my hero Malcolm Gladwell said, “Prepare to be dazzled.”

[ Continue Reading... ]

How to NOT Get Paid to Write Online
(And Make Money Doing It)

Writer for hire

Fresh out of college, I landed a job writing one-page sell sheets for a marketing company for $50 each. On a rare excellent day, I might do as many as two of these.

Soon after, I found a freelance gig that would pay me $300 per article I wrote for an inter-organizational newsletter. I got to interview people for that one. It was more work, but better money.

Eventually, I hooked up with a pretty big industry magazine and was being paid $1300 for 2000-word feature articles. That was the big money.

[ Continue Reading... ]

6 Online Marketing Mistakes that
Will Kill Your Business

image of chalk outline of crime victimUsually on Copyblogger we talk about how to grow your business with online marketing, get more customers, increase your conversion rate, build thousands of daily readers, and all the rest of it.

But you also need to know about the factors that will kill off your business. Sometimes it’s a question of attitude, like when you’re sick of it, when it’s only a hobby and you don’t want to take it too seriously, or when you’re equally scared of success and failure.

And then there are just downright mistakes, which, fortunately, can be corrected.

[ Continue Reading... ]

5 Reasons Why No One Is
Reading Your Email Newsletter

image of newspaper

Five reasons?

There may be seven thousand reasons why your newsletter won’t get the response you’re looking for.

Most of those reasons have the same common problem, though: readers just don’t like it.

And that’s probably because you’re making one of these five mistakes.

[ Continue Reading... ]