Johnny’s Copyblogger Wrap-Up:
Week of May 3, 2010

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Earlier this week, I was driving down the road with my family and we saw this chicken on the berm. Suddenly, I realized that it was about to cross the road. I had an opportunity to answer one of mankind’s biggest quandaries, like the time I planted those cameras in the forest to see what happens when a tree falls and nobody’s around to hear it.

“Why do you think that chicken is crossing the road?” I asked my wife, Robin. “I want to go back and see what he’s up to.”

“You’re going to hit that mailbox,” Robin said.

So I swerved, and in the ensuing confusion, I forgot all about the chicken. So yes, I blew our chance… but I think I know the answer. He probably dropped his iPhone on the other side, and was crossing so he could catch up on this week’s Copyblogger posts.

This one is for all you metaphysical chickens out there with lost smartphones. Here’s what happened:


17 Easy Steps to Brilliant Blog Posts

I like what Jill Chivers did here with this post, because sometimes we’ll see “3 keys for this” or “5 ways to do this,” but rarely do we venture above 10. (Unless it’s a “101 ways” post, but that’s as cliched as ending the price of your product in a 7 — something I would never, ever, ever do, except for last week.)

So we don’t just get a chincy 5 or 6 steps to brilliant blog posts here. We’ve got SEVENTEEN steps. Seventeen juicy ways to make your posts sparkle and sizzle. And this isn’t Ivory Tower gospel either, coming from some jaded old blogger who lives in Texas and is into Mitch Hedberg and William Gibson. It’s coming from a gal who is a student of blogging, learning as she goes. Which makes it even more useful.

Speaking of seventeen, remember that Winger song called “Seventeen”? It went like, Her daddy says she’s too young… but she’s old enough for me!

I wonder if those guys are out of prison yet.

Read the full post here.

Monday, part deux:

Gravity Forms Review: Powerful WordPress Forms Made Simple

No joke here… Gravity Forms provides the quickest, easiest, and most powerful way to collect all sorts of information on your WordPress site. You can even enable people to submit guest posts and create user-generated content for you.

But what you really need to know if that until the end of Sunday, May 9, 2010, you can use the super-secret code contained in Brian’s review and get 1) 25% off, 2) lifetime support, and 3) lifetime updates.

Hurry up and read the review here before the joke’s on you for missing this deal.


The Myth of Beautiful Website Design

Aaaaaaand it’s official: With one little blog post, Pamela Wilson has totally squashed my plan to remove all substance from my business and bluff my way to billionnairehood by filling my site with lollipops and rainbows. Thanks a lot, Pamela.

Ever hear the old expression “You can’t put makeup on a pig, because pigs don’t like it and doing so will make PETA put pipe bombs under your hot dog carts”? Yeah, me either. But you should probably fix your offer and improve your content before you focus on finding a web font that truly completes you.

Read the full post here.


Why You Shouldn’t Write for Other Writers

First, I write about personality marketing for tailors here on Copyblogger. Then I get a call from bespoke tailor Martin Stall in Spain, who makes beautiful suits and wants my help to attract buyers. And now Hugh McLeod is on Copyblogger, writing about tailors who blog in order to sell suits.

Hugh’s point is simple: Are you writing for other writers, or are you writing for the people who will buy your stuff? Because writing to impress creative directors probably isn’t going to get you any more money. It’ll just get you more enmeshed with the tailoring industry. If you want to actually sell more stuff, you definitely need to read this one.

Just don’t try to become yet another blogging tailor. The market is apparently totally saturated.

Read the full post here.


How to Sell Without a Sales Pitch

This post by James Chartrand is a “must” for Third Tribe marketers. Remember, sales isn’t about pushing a product so much as it’s about matching a problem with a solution. Raising awareness of that problem and solution is a great way to sell without pushing, and James has tips on how to do that.

And actually, the kids in the lemonade stand at the top of this post are very Third Tribe. They’re doing it right. They’re selling a solution to the problem of thirst, while relieving the inherent guilt that comes with snubbing cute little kids on a hot day. Smart marketing, boys.

I just hope they don’t get complacent, because that’s the way for any Mom and Pop shop to get subverted by Big Lemonade. They should dress it up a little. Those kids could go far if they were decked out like ZZ Top and had those hot chicks from the videos leaning against the stand. I’d pay a dollar to see that.

Read the full post here.


Beyond Motivation: Getting to What Really Drives You

I was just thinking about this concept today. I totally believe that the #1 key to success is persistence, and the truth is that you’ll persist automatically if you’re motivated enough, and if you don’t just fold under the pressure. This post by Steve Errey is all about how to find your motivation and keep it stoked.

(And by the way, that’s “stoked” like how you’d “stoke” a fire — i.e. prodding it and adding wood to keep it burning. I’m not talking about how a kid outside of 7-11 might talk about being “stoked” to skate the half pipe later… which actually doesn’t make sense because said excited skaters are seldom on fire. Although that would make for a totally rad trick now that I think about it.)

Anyway, Steve Errey has packed this post with ways to stay motivated, and therefore persist, and therefore succeed, and therefore end up living in Hawaii with bikini girls. Or Spandex guys. Or many, many squirrels. But never gnomes.

Read the full post here.

About the Author: Johnny B. Truant has a dumb blog at and is one of the guys behind Question the Rules. 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 (18)

  1. says

    …some jaded old blogger who lives in Texas and is into Mitch Hedberg and William Gibson.

    Wow, these obscure references are real mindbenders. It’ll take me all weekend to figure that one out.

  2. Johnny B. Truant says

    I just can’t believe you took out my other jab involving that obscure “Saw” reference.


  3. says

    You’ve both cracked me up AND proven to me that missing a week of CB posts is missing invaluable information. I’ve been worrying over my brother’s family caught in the Nashville flooding situation, but now that’s dealt with, I’m off to catch up on what I’ve missed.

    This place is like school. Fun school. Fun school where the only tests come in the form of your own blogging betterment.

    Oh, and it’s chintzy. I’m just geeky this way.

  4. says

    How could you mess something so perfect up? This specifically reminds me of an episode of South Park where the townspeople were given the opportunity to ask “God” one question. Then a little boy steps up and asks why he hasn’t had his period.

  5. Matthew Needham says

    Johnny, always entertaining!

    I’m off to check out the 17 tips now, thanks for the round up.

  6. says

    Well, you got me off my small but shapely butt! I have been avoiding doing a blog for lack of time and desire to learn. This week I googled how to blog and you showed up. I scribed so I could see what goes on. And low and behold I hit a gold mine…

    Thanks for inspiring me to get moving. And your content is priceless and well written. My blog is up in a shell form but it’s up. Not sure if made a difference between Blogger or wordpress. I flipped a coin.

    In Colourful Stitches…gyleen

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