Every year on the 24th of December, we tell you we’re taking the rest of the year off. And every year, we instead slip in a “Best of Copyblogger” post before New Year’s just in case you missed something from the past year.
So here are the best Copyblogger articles from 2010, based on your enthusiasm via comments, links, retweets, and indecent propositions made to our writers for creating exceptional content (I hear it happens … how’s that for a guest blogging incentive?).
So let’s see who got lucky this last year, in chronological order:
Johnny kicked off the year telling us how he worked months of 15-hour days in order to make $111 from his AdSense sites. And then he did something else, which resulted in a business that’s stronger than ever almost a year later. And just to be clear … there’s no truth to the rumor that Johnny is still a meth dealer.
My friend and business partner Chris Brogan likes to say he liked me better back when I was a blogger, but contrary to that sentiment, I actually did write a few posts in 2010, and here’s one of them. It’s on SEO copywriting, and it’s part of a long line of content that’s taught Chris Brogan everything he knows.
Dean Rieck delivers 11 much-needed lessons in brilliant writing, which can be summed up as “trying to sound smart makes for stupid writing.” A related tip – ordering the second cheapest wine on the list instead of asking for advice means you’re getting ripped off.
With a slightly remixed headline based on Steven Covey’s famous book, we were already swinging for the fences. Luckily, Annabel Candy delivered with the content by distilling for you the common character traits shared by people who’ve made it in the blogging biz.
People talk about authenticity all the time when it comes to online content, but what does that actually mean? It’s about developing the ideal voice that makes you click with your audience. English teacher Joy Tanksley takes us back to school to discover what authenticity really means.
Jon Morrow is Copyblogger’s resident “tough love” writer, and he pulls no punches here. If your content sucks, you need someone to let you know now so you can fix it. It’s just like when your ass looks fat in those pants — only a real friend will tell you.
Where else will you find a Meryl Street quote used to explain why blogging is like high school? Except this time no one stuffs you in a locker just as you approach the homecoming queen to see if she wants a ride home in the second-hand AMC Concord your mom gave you.
Sonia Simone went a little nuts and packed 101 solid conversion tips into a single post. Plus, there are lots of links to related content for deeper exploration. Strangest tip – know when to put a sock in your mouth.
Sam Rosen brought together 60 of the web’s brightest minds for a free online conference, built an opt-in email list, summarized the content for Copyblogger, and ended up with one of the top posts of the year. Make that 61 ways to increase your influence online.
Another popular article that demonstrates the power of the “negative” headline and our attraction to avoiding mistakes (or delighting in the mistakes of others). Melinda Brennan’s one and only Copyblogger post hits the big list with these common online marketing mistakes.
Who knew being naïve was a business asset? Turns out it can be, as Sonia deftly proves with her own personal path. Coming next year: “How Being Feckless Can Make You More Productive.”
This post was the most popular of the year in social media channels. Creativity as a topic always does well, especially when paired with another compelling “negative” headline. This is also Dean Rieck’s third post of the year to make this list, which has other Copyblogger writers whispering about “liberating” him. Not sure what that means.
What to write, what to write … it’s the eternal question that nags bloggers. Carol Tice gives you 50 methods to generate strong blog topic ideas, and not one of them involves watching your cat for its next adorable scampering behavior.
This article from Logan Zanelli makes a great companion to Joy’s post on finding your ideal writing voice. Here Logan explores the intersection of authenticity and productivity, which is way safer than the intersection of 51st Street and Memorial Drive in Tulsa.
This post from D Bnonn Tennant had two really strong things going for it: (1) the advice to write drunk and edit sober, which many really wanted to take literally for some reason, and (2) the author’s name is D Bnonn Tennant. I could repeat that marvelous moniker over and over if I had any idea how to pronounce it.
Everyone deals with invisible content syndrome when they first start out. But if it’s been going on for too long, you might want to check out some advice from Sonia. This post really struck a chord, most likely due to the tight relationship with “invisible money syndrome.”
Standford Smith uses the Material Girl to show you sound principles of creating a strong personal brand. No mention of conical bras, lurid coffee table books, or Kabbalism, either.
The piece from Jon Morrow uses the hit show Mad Men to demonstrate that changing the world boils down to 3 essential W’s: whisky, womanizing, and words. Okay, it’s really only about words, but sometimes you have to coax those little devils out.
Everyone can use a bit of immediate improvement for their writing, so this article from James Chartrand received a lot of attention. Or maybe it’s because one of the subheads is “Talk Food, Sex, and Danger” and James is a woman pretending to be a man. Choose whichever hook works for you.
Make no mistake, what you say is most important, as long as people actually know what you said. Pamela Wilson points out 8 simple ways to present your words in the friendliest way for online readers, so, you know, they actually read it.
And finally, we close out the year with my little tongue-in-cheek rant against those unmentionable people who unsuccessfully try to declare blogging dead each and every year. Whether you call it blogging, content marketing, or something else … the people who create content benefit the most from the explosion in social media. So keep going.
More in 2011.
Happy New Year, and be safe!
About the Author: Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger and CEO of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Brian on Twitter.