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

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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!

Okay, I’m back. Here’s what happened this week on Copyblogger:


How I Became a Better Writer Thanks to Distracted, Hungover College Kids

I hereby give this post by Chris Birk the proud title of “My favorite Copyblogger headline other than mine about the drunk Swiss guy.” Laugh all you want, but the headline on this post did what the copywriting maxim says a headline is supposed to do: It makes you want to go back to college.

Other than that, this is an excellent post on some core tenets of writing crisp, powerful copy as learned in response to the inexperience, impetuosity, and even a bit of the ego of youth. I suggest you check it out before heading off to that kegger.

Read the full post here.


The Houdini Guide to Getting Noticed Online

The thing you don’t realize about famous “escapist” Harry Houdini is that the guy really had pretty remarkable quad development. I’m serious; click over and look at the legs on that guy. Then come back here and forget that I was talking about a guy’s legs and instead check out the hot young chippie behind him with the buffet on her head. So hot.

AmberLee Fawson’s Houdini post is really about showmanship. You may not be escaping from underwater shackles on your blog (though I’d visit if you were), but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn a thing or two about how Houdini could ramp his audiences up and leave them breathless. Take a peek.

Read the full post here.


The Secret Life of Testimonials

I always think it’s funny when prospective employers or landlords ask for references because it’s a loaded request, guaranteed to generate only positive sources. Think about it. Would anyone hand over the phone number of their angry ex and say, “Here, call her… she thinks I’m a jerk”?

Testimonials are the same way — you can populate your site with testimonials that make you look great, but one of the problems is that people realize that you’d never post your complaints. While prospects do expect testimonials to make you look good, it kind of loses some of its punch if all that’s said in all of them is 100% great stuff.

Sean D’Souza tells you what should do with your testimonials to make them powerful and believable.

Read the full post here.

Also Wednesday:

Thesis Makes WordPress Way Better (Again)

This was a P.S. post that ran on Wednesday afternoon and given that it was itself a summary of the new advances in the recently released Thesis 1.7, I won’t double-summary-vertigo it too much by doing my summary here. Head hurt yet?

(Note: “Double-summary-vertigo” is not the same thing as “double-secret probation.” If you get that reference, you win a cookie.)

Suffice to say that as hard as Thesis rocked prior to this new version, it now rocks much harder. For those with a short attention span but a heaping helping of Thesis-related curiosity, check out the Thesis 1.7 new features list and watch this video tour that features a South Park version of Brian Clark.

Read the full post here.


Why Third Tribe is Shutting Down

On April 1st, Sonia Simone wrote a post announcing that the Third Tribe community would be shutting down due in large part to massive amounts of Fear and Loathing between its principals, thanks to a vortex of drugs, ego, and identical twin Thai massage girls at the South by Southwest conference last month.

But there’s more to the story here, people.

Sonia conveniently doesn’t mention how the streets of Austin were shut down for all of Saturday afternoon until the woman dropping Segways off of the roof of the convention center could be taken down with rubber “knee-knocker” riot squad bullets, and then how her PCP rage eventually necessitated a full SWAT assault anyway.

She doesn’t tell you about the “This isn’t a [expletive] donut, Chris. It’s an [expletive][expletive] BAGEL!” incident in which several German tourists were hospitalized.

And she doesn’t even mention Steven Seagal, for reasons that should be obvious to everyone.

Anyway, get the rest of the April Fool’s fear and loathing here.


10 Tricks For Getting Inspired to Write

So what I got out of Jonathan Morrow’s post about getting inspired is that it’s NOT okay to sit down to write a post, decide I’m out of ideas, and then blow it off and go to Burger King. And believe it or not, it’s NOT just because Burger King sucks. It’s because there are ways to get inspired enough to write the post you don’t think you can write. Gee, thanks, Jon. I guess that means I can’t go to Taco Bell, either.

Jon lists ten ways to get ideas into your head and ring some inspirational bells, and they’re not what you may think. Which is probably why you haven’t tried them, and why you really should give them a shot when the well runs dry.

Read the full post here.

About the Author: Johnny B. Truant has a dumb blog at You should also really check out his Jam Sessions with Charlie Gilkey, because they’re filled with tasty informational nuggets that will make your business better.

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Reader Comments (17)

  1. says

    I’m really diggin’ these synopses…

    I laughed out loud when I read, “This isn’t a [expletive] donut, Chris. It’s an [expletive][expletive] BAGEL!” :)

    Have a great weekend, y’all!

  2. says

    PS Johnny I did that exact same joke to my wife. Telling her “hey what do you mean short attention span I have a long aten-ooo look a pretty pony” LOL That was our joke for years

  3. says

    Does anyone else think that the weekly wrap ups are overkill? I had the perfect balance of inbox Copyblogger before the wrap ups started coming in. Maybe I should give them some more time…

  4. says

    Ah! Sonia, I might have guessed the pink-haired genie was behind it.
    Incidentally, I lapped up your gripping yarn ‘Why Third Tribe is Shutting Down’ like an innocent. It had me repeating “Whaaat!! . . . I can’t believe this.” (It all fell into place when the connection between ‘Hunter’ and ‘Fear & Loathing . . .’ suddenly hit me.)

  5. says

    Sonia, no apology requested nor expected, and yes, you made me laugh too. But next April the 1st, you may be advised to leave present subscribers off the list, just for the day.

    (My fondest memory of the book was when they avoided the police by mingling with delegates at a police convention.)

  6. says

    Hi guys,

    I enjoyed all these blogs on last week. But my favorite was “Why Third Tribe is Shutting Down.” It was crazy and entertaining to read.

    Kind regards,


  7. says

    I have missed out some of the posts this week and I’m going to check them. Johnny, a small explanation about the posts does definitely help to polish the blog post and attract readers to read them again.


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