5 Dumb Design Mistakes That Crush Copy
(And How to Fix Them)

image of ugly toad with crown

Content is king, but if the king looks like a toad, no one will know he’s royalty.

On the one hand, your blog theme might be drop-dead gorgeous. But if your writing isn’t compelling, readers won’t stick around to read it.

Even worse, your writing might be fantastic . . . but if your design doesn’t stop web surfers long enough to read the first few sentences, you’re doomed.

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Johnny’s Copyblogger Wrap-Up:
Week of March 29, 2010

image of copyblogger logo

So this is the second week of the weekly wrap-up, and Brian seems to suspect that I might need encouragement to keep going or something. I tell him I don’t need encouragement as long as the pay is good, and that’s when he tells me for the last time he’s NOT paying me, and then throws rocks at me until I drop his wallet and scamper back into the bushes.

Really, the question is why these Saturday installments exist, and why I’m the guy writing them. And the answer is that like many of you, I have a short attention span. A weekly reminder gets me back on track, so maybe you might need . . . oh, look . . . shiny!

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Johnny’s Copyblogger Wrap-Up:
Week of March 22, 2010

image of copyblogger logo

I know what you’re thinking. Here you thought it was Saturday, and yet there’s a new post on Copyblogger.

So either you’re drunk, or it’s actually a weekday and you stayed home by mistake and now you’re going to get fired and lose the family farm.

Or maybe this is a new feature. Maybe each Saturday, I’m going to run down the week’s posts for you in my own inimitable style so you can see what you may have missed in concise little blurbs.

Think of it as the Readers’ Digest or Cliff’s Notes version of copywriting and content marketing . . . on crack.

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The Difference Between Salad and Garbage

image of carrots

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? ~Woody Allen

You’ve got to feel for insurance salesmen.

They actually rank below used-car salesmen and bloggers on the list of people no one wants to hang out with. With only a slight edge over politicians . . . maybe.

Pushy pitches, cheesy glad-handing, clumsy attempts to build rapport. And all those lame rehearsed messages to move the sale forward. The worst, right?

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The Betty Crocker Secret to Email Marketing
That People Want

Email Marketing 101

You’ve heard it a thousand times: the money’s in the list. If you’re serious about getting results online, you need to build a list of people who are paying attention to you, typically an email list.

So how do you get people to sign up for your email newsletter?

You probably already know the answer to this one: Reward them. Give subscribers something great as a “thank you” for signing up. This is usually some form of content — a useful video, a killer PDF special report or white paper, an exclusive podcast.

Sure, everyone else does that. Because it works.

It works . . . if you do it the right way.

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What Avatar Can Teach You About
Repurposing Your Content

image from the movie Avatar

The entertainment and CGI world has been fawning over the movie Avatar for months, and it seems you can’t watch any entertainment news program without hearing about James Cameron’s groundbreaking 3D epic.

And even if Cameron went home last week without the armful of Oscars he expected, directing the highest-grossing movie of all time probably takes the sting out.

But despite the movie’s brilliant effects and the unique world it creates, you’ll likely feel as if you’ve heard its underlying story before. In fact, you may very well predict the ending about an hour into the film.

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