The Best of Copyblogger in 2012

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For a mere blog, Copyblogger has been around for quite awhile now. And we’ve developed a few traditions.

One of them is that every year, just around the time when you wondered if your relatives were ever going home, we slip in a “Best of Copyblogger” post right before New Year’s.

It’s a chance for you to catch up on something you might have missed.

And it lets us revisit content we are particularly proud of.

These are some of our votes for the best Copyblogger articles from 2012, based both on your enthusiasm and our own.

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Hey …

Email Marketing 101

How’s that for a headline?

If you saw the news out of the Obama camp yesterday, “Hey” was the most successful email subject line of a very data-driven and oddly personal email campaign for fundraising. By all accounts (especially election results), Obama’s digital strategy was a wild success.

So, I decided to try that headline with this post. I’ll be able to easily see how it does based on email open rates and traffic levels, plus other metrics like social sharing and commenting.

And, despite violating every bit of headline and subject line advice we’ve ever given you, it just might work. The reason why may surprise you, though.

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A History of Social Media [Infographic]

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I’m going to let you in on a well-kept secret.

There’s nothing new about “social media.”

Further, most online social sharing still happens outside of social networks.

From the very first email sent by researchers in Switzerland in 1971, to modern sites like Google+ and Pinterest, the Internet, and the valuable content it distributes, have always been social.

The very purpose of the Internet (every blog, website and virtual gathering place within it) is to let people connect, communicate, and collaborate.

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The Difference Between a Mediocre and a Great Website

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The year is 1962. The public approval rating for US president John F. Kennedy is dipping. And dipping fast. It’s fallen from the once incredible 83% to a merely average 62%.

That’s the time when his old friend — and Republican Party member Clare Boothe Luce — gives him a piece of advice.

Her advice is simple: stop doing so many things. Stop catering to everyone. Concentrate.

A great man is one sentence.
~ Clare Boothe Luce

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Piecing Together Your Online Marketing Puzzle

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My grandma, Nana, loved putting together puzzles. I remember visiting her on the weekends and spending hours putting together 500- and 1000-piece puzzles.

During this time, my grandma would share bits of wisdom. She would encourage me to “stick with it” when I became frustrated. She celebrated every victory no matter how small. I still remember our banter back and forth as we competed to find a hidden piece.

Thirty years later, Nana’s lessons still guide me.

Imagine my surprise when I realized that our puzzle adventures actually offer an incredibly precise blueprint for marketing your business online.

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WordPress Hosting That Means Business

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Did you know Copyblogger Media has a WordPress hosting division? Many people don’t, because it’s been a bit under-the-radar.

The whole thing started with our frustration with web hosting in general. Specifically, the fact that a lot of “WordPress hosting” amounts to generic one-click installation of the CMS on a standardly-configured box — which simply doesn’t cut it for optimal performance and security.

So, last year we decided to manage our high-traffic network of content and product sites ourselves.

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