Train Wreck Blogging: Ain’t Nothing To See Here Folks

Train Wreck

It’s the reason people love NASCAR and read National Enquirer.

We don’t want to admit it. We’re not supposed to feel that way. But secretly buried, deep down inside, we all want a front row seat to the wipe out of the season.

It’s not that we want to see anyone get hurt. It’s not that we wish failure or disaster on anyone (let’s keep our in-laws and competitors out of this). We just want to know all the juicy details once it’s already gone down.

We even feel bad about this irrepressible urge…but we just gotta know!

And, understanding this impulse will let you tap a side of blogging that holds the potential to explode readership… if you have the will.

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The Ultimate Blogger Writing Guide


There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of writing guides out there. But in my opinion, none surpass the simple, direct advice of The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B.White.

This classic serves up much good advice, especially in the last 20 pages in a section titled “An Approach to Style.” Nowhere have I seen more helpful advice in so few words and with such precision. This is why I always keep this book within reach.

If (for shame) you don’t already have this reference in your library, I will leave it to you to explore it in depth. But I would like to provide my own version of eight important writing tips as they apply to blogging.

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The Four “P” Approach:
A Persuasive Writing Structure That Works

4 Ps of Persuasion

More than half the battle of creating compelling content and copy is solid structure. Disorganized writing inhibits understanding, and without understanding, you’re not going to get a warm reception when you ask for action. Plus, without structural guidelines to follow, you end up leaving out information necessary to your case or promotion.

There are plenty of popular writing structures. One is the inverted pyramid that some journalists favor, which is fine if your goal is to allow the reader to leave mid-story, but not so good if you want people to stick around while you make the case for your call to action.

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How To Avoid Overdoing the
Curiosity-Factor In Your Headline

Curious Cat

If you’re going to write a headline, you want the headline to attract. And one of the many elements of attraction is ‘curiosity.’

The more curious your headline, the more you have a chance of the reader stopping long enough to get interested. But hey, in the desire to write a really curious headline, we inevitably risk overdoing the headline.

So let’s analyze a headline for an example:

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A Copyblogger Tagline Clinic…
In the Comment Section!

Looking for Your Tagline

Are you displaying the message that your site visitors are looking for the instant they land on your blog? The one that lets them know they’re in the right place?

That’s your tagline. It’s what instantly communicates to people that you’re the resource that addresses their problem from a general standpoint.

No matter what the specific urgent need, people will look for a general signpost that says “Welcome, you’re in the right place and heading in the right direction.” This has to happen before anyone subscribes or buys, and even before anyone devotes time to reading your content.

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13 Emotion-Based Headlines That Work


Last week’s post talked about why emotional benefits are critical to persuasive copy. But it’s one thing to talk about general concepts like “connection” or “fear,” and another to actually get these ideas into your writing.

In honor of Friday the 13th, I thought I’d give you 13 actual examples of emotional benefits you can use to persuade your readers. These emotional triggers have been used effectively in countless promotions, because they speak to underlying desires and fears that nearly all of us have.

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