12 Easy Tweaks that Could Lead to Outsized Improvement in Your Content and Writing

We often write about big, strategic changes you can make to give your writing more power. But this week, we went micro. The posts offered 12 simple hacks that can have an outsized impact compared with the effort involved. On Monday, Stefanie built on her post last week about writing strong introductions. This week, she proposed three ways you can stimulate your audience’s interest so they want to keep reading. Try them in your next three pieces of content and see how they can improve your engagement and readability. On Tuesday, Nick Usborne talked about five habits we can strengthen that make it easier to sit down every day and write well. They range from the very simple (don’t get too perfectionistic about your headline before the piece is written) to the profound (listen to that small voice in your head that says, this isn’t right yet). And on Wednesday, […]

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Become a More Confident Writer with This 10-Minute Hack

Are you producing the volume and quality of work that you want to? Do you feel confident about your work every day? And are you certain that your content resonates deeply with the audience you want to attract? Most of us have days when we don’t feel 100 percent good about one (or all) of those questions. What if I told you there was a 10-minute hack that could: Radically improve your productivity, Shrink impostor syndrome, and Make your content more magnetic to the audience you want to attract? Would you want to know more about it? If this sounds kind of ShamWow, I sympathize. But there’s a simple, easy mindset intervention that’s well supported by psychological studies. And it’s well worth a few minutes of your time to find out if it will work for you. According to one scholarly review of the research: “Timely affirmations have been shown […]

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Writing Nuts and Bolts: Fast Starts, Mindful Tools, and Remarkably Improved Habits

This week, we had a nuts-and-bolts focus on getting more of the right things done in your writing and business life. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman reminded us of the soul-crushing boredom that arises in our poor readers when we force them to wade through endless paragraphs before we get to the good stuff in our writing. There is a better way! Stefanie walks you through how to get a faster start: In Search of Better Introductions On Tuesday, Loryn Cole talked about how we can approach digital tools in a more mindful way, and really think about their purpose in our lives. How Wrenches Changed the Way I Think about Digital Tools And on Wednesday, I announced our new book club selection for November — James Clear’s Atomic Habits. We hope you’ll join in the conversation and start working on the habits that will serve your goals and create a […]

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Sharpen Your Habits in November with the Copyblogger Book Club

Did you ever have one of those book clubs where you spend most of your time drinking wine and talking about anything other than the book? Yeah, we have no idea what that would be like. Ahem. OK, OK, we admit it, the Copyblogger book club has been a little … unfocused. We’ve had lots to put together in the past months, and getting on Facebook wasn’t always at the top of the to-do list. But, as luck would have it, James Clear has written a genuinely useful new book about improving habits. So, because we enjoy being meta at Copyblogger, we’re going to use James’s habits book to tighten up our book club habit! Yes, our November book club book is Atomic Habits by James Clear. It’s smart, it’s thoughtful, and it’s full of solid, pragmatic advice. “… the people who don’t have their habits handled are often the […]

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Last Day to Join Persuasive Copywriting, and a Punch in the Mouth for Facebook

Heads up: The introductory rate for our Persuasive Copywriting 101 Course is ending today, November 1, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific U.S. Time. After that, we’ll close the course for a few weeks — and when we re-open, the registration fee will be significantly higher. Click here to get all the details: Persuasive Copywriting 101 On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman had a conversation with Loryn Cole about smart communication practices when we work on complex projects. No matter how big or small a company you work for, Loryn’s ideas will help you get better clarity with your colleagues. (These are great tips for client communication, as well.) On Tuesday, content strategist Lacy Boggs joined us to outline the three big, important strategic questions we all need to answer when we’re thinking about what to do next with our content. And on Wednesday, Copyblogger founder Brian Clark dropped by to punch Facebook in […]

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Communication, Creativity, and a Sweet Halloween Deal on Our New Copywriting Course

The big news for us this week is, of course, the new copywriting course. If you didn’t see the announcement yesterday, you can get all of the details here: Copyblogger’s First Dedicated Persuasive Copywriting Course. There’s a sweet deal (all treat, no tricks) for those who pick it up by the day after Halloween, November 1. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman talked about how to dive in and tackle tricky communication challenges. She outlines three steps any of us can take when we find that we’re being misunderstood. On Tuesday, Kelton Reid shared some thoughts (and neuroscience) on how to protect and nurture our curiosity, as a wellspring for our creativity. And on Wednesday, I talked about the three essential elements of persuasive copywriting, and how good copywriting education (we’re partial to ours …) can help you learn to express those elements clearly and effectively. Over on the podcast network, on […]

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Join Copyblogger’s First-Ever Persuasive Copywriting Course

Last week, one of our very dear community members, Hashim Warren, said something I loved about our new persuasive copywriting course. “A copywriting course that’s positioned as a copywriting course???” Because, yeah, there are all kinds of classes and programs out there that are positioned as anything but the art of putting words together in a way that persuades your audience. There are “success” seminars and “launching” workshops and plenty of “money getting systems.” And they’re all (if they’re any good) … copywriting courses. When we arrange our words in order to persuade someone to take action, that’s copywriting. There ain’t no magic words Some resources will tell you that there are “hypnotic” terms that will do some kind of crazy magic on your buyers and “make” them buy from you. Yeah, no. Basically, good copywriting boils down to three things: Desire Relationship Safety What you’re selling has to be […]

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A Week of Sweet Copywriting Advice

It’s Carb Week on Copyblogger! This week, we have three sweet posts to share with you on how to write content and copy that serves your goals. We’re also getting ready to launch something that we’ve been asked about for years — Copyblogger’s first-ever copywriting course. If you’re interested in learning about persuasive copywriting, drop your details here, and we’ll let you know as soon as the course is ready for you! Ready to get started with persuasive copywriting? Copyblogger is delighted to announce a brand-new copywriting course, coming in October 2018…   On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman talked about what to do when just being good isn’t enough. Often, you need to discover a way to be different as well. If Vegan Donuts are Commonplace, Offer Vegan Cinnamon Rolls On Tuesday, Kelly Exeter swung by to talk about how to turn “vanilla ice cream” writing (pretty good) into “chocolate chip […]

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Persuade Your Audience to Take Action with Copywriting Clarity

Copywriting is the answer to: “How can I make money on the Internet?” That’s why there’s so much advice about it. Websites, communities, courses, masterminds. If you’ve built an audience, taught them a bunch of stuff, and maybe even attracted some loyal fans, but you still don’t have a business … it’s probably because you’re expecting content to do the work of copywriting. (And no, a greater volume of content does not compensate for a lack of strategic persuasive copy.) If you don’t have enough sign-ups for your email list, the answer is copy. If you don’t have enough sales for your ebook or course, the answer is copy. If you don’t have enough clients for your business, the answer is copy. If you don’t have enough volunteers for your nonprofit, or voters for your political cause, the answer is copy. And if you’ve been running ads but you still […]

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17 Tips on Creating Thoughtful Marketing Your Audience Will Love You For

Some people talk about “ethical marketing” and “effective marketing” like they’re two different things. But that’s just silly. This week’s content explored 17 different ways we can be more effective as marketing writers and show more care and love for our audiences. Every professional content writer knows that if the headline is weak, it’s hard to get your work the audience it deserves. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman shared three questions we can ask to sharpen our headlines for better traffic and shares. On Tuesday, Nick Usborne joined us to examine four copywriting techniques that work brilliantly … right up to the moment when they don’t. Read the post to find out the wise ways to use these copywriting standbys. (Bonus question: What thread do you see that links all four? I have some thoughts, but I’d love to know yours. Let us know in the comments!) On Wednesday, I wrote […]

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Spark Your Next Breakthrough Copy Insight with Systematic Listening

I enjoyed Nick’s post yesterday about some copywriting techniques that work … until they don’t. And I’m glad he spoke to the danger in trying to blindly follow what we think of as copywriting “formulas” without putting the homework in. From the outside, writers can seem like magical creatures. (I encourage this belief.) Because we can create images, emotional states, and even money and freedom, seemingly out of nothing. But we don’t really conjure great copy and content like a Patronus from the tip of a magic wand. Effective writing comes from a very specific kind of homework. From empathetic listening. From spending time with the kinds of folks who make up our audience, and striving to see the world through their eyes. I don’t mind copywriting formulas at all. They’re wonderfully handy cheat-sheets, so we can remember to include important persuasive elements. But formulas are just the beginning. We […]

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A New Free Resource and an Empathetic Approach to Copy

Coming out of the intensity of our annual Certification launch, the Copyblogger team this week has been all about refocusing and turning our attention to interesting new projects. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman started our week with a restorative session on yoga and content marketing. And yes, there’s more to her advice than stay flexible. Pick it up for a serene look at what matters most for content creators: The Friendly Way to Adapt Your Content Like a Flexible Yoga Instructor. On Tuesday, Jerod Morris swung by to make us all feel old remind us how long Copyblogger has been publishing, and how much the online world has evolved in that time. Jerod recently led an effort to pull together a nifty new free resource — The Copyblogger Guide to the Best WordPress Tools: Hosting, Themes, Plugins, SEO, Security, and More. If you’ve got WordPress questions, we’ve got recommendations. And on […]

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Using Empathy and Connection to Craft More Powerful Content

I recently heard our friend Joanna Wiebe say something that blew my mind. I didn’t get it down word for word, but this is the gist: “It’s a copywriter’s job to be really, really good at listening, and then make it all sound good.” That’s very aligned with what Copyblogger has taught for years. No matter what kind of writing you do, empathy is what allows you to create powerful messages that move your audience. Whether you fall more to the content marketing or the copywriting side, deep understanding and empathy is the foundation that lets you move — and help — your audience. A personal voice We often say that content needs personality. It needs a strong, distinctive voice, or it just gets lost in the sea of mediocrity and mush. But can that strong, distinctive voice drown out the voice of the audience? Is it possible to put […]

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Practical Success Advice for Creative Professionals

There’s a bizarre myth in our culture that we have to choose between making a living and being creative. That creativity is somehow the enemy of a good livelihood. That, of course, is crazy talk, particularly in the world of content creators. This week, we offered thoughts on nurturing your creativity and boosting your career. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman explored Why Writers Need Editors to produce great content. Not simply proofreaders (although it’s lovely to read work that demonstrates mastery of the comma … or maybe even the semicolon), but editors who shape superior content experiences. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to be able to hire this out, but have no fear: Stefanie will show you how to engage your inner editor to produce more compelling work. On Tuesday, Copyblogger’s Data Analyst Loryn Cole sported a brand-new last name and a dandy post on the importance of occasionally breaking […]

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Doors to Copyblogger’s Content Marketer Certification Close Today

Just wanted to make sure everyone knows that today is the last day to join us inside the Copyblogger Certification program! We’ll be closing to new enrollment at 5:00 p.m Pacific U.S. Time, and this is your last opportunity this year to join our list of recommended writers. The last time I had a “normal job” was in 2008. Maybe you remember that year. There was a spectacular market crash in October, followed by a prolonged, painful buckling of the global economy. Lots of hyperventilation and money stress going on, pretty much all over the world. The company I was working for was going through round after round of layoffs. I had a three-year-old, and I was the primary breadwinner in my house. That’s the kind of stress that wakes you up every morning at 4:00 a.m. feeling like you can hardly breathe. I had a decision to make: Should […]

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Get Copyblogger to Tell the World Just How Great You Are

Hey, writers! Whether you’re a freelancer, an employee, or you write content to support your business, you might find it beneficial to have Copyblogger publicly declare: “This person has a terrific writing voice and rock-solid grasp of content strategy.” If that sounds good to you, go check out our Certified Content Marketers program before we close enrollment next week. (If you’re a member of our Authority community, make sure you log in to get your substantial member discount.) Now then, on to the week’s content … On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman gave some practical advice on how to impress and score your next freelance writing client. And she talks about why setting expectations can be a surprisingly magical secret to strong client relationships. (This post uses freelancing for the specifics, but this advice works for bosses and employees, too!) On Tuesday, Kelton Reid offered us a wealth of ideas on how […]

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Copyblogger Certification Is Open to New Writers (Limited Time)

Heads up: We just opened the doors to enrollment in our Copyblogger Certification program. If you’re a writer with a terrific writing voice and the desire to learn rock-solid strategy, we’d love to see you there. 🙂 If we had you at Hello, you can jump in here: Learn more about joining Copyblogger’s Certified Content Marketer program (And if you’re in our Authority community, make sure you’re logged in so you can get your substantial member discount.) Certification is our program that lets the world know about excellent content marketers. It’s designed to help you turn your back on the soul-sucking moments when it feels like you’ll never get a solid handle on finding great clients. And maybe even turn your back on self-doubt and impostor syndrome that can creep up on the best of us. We don’t do a ton of videos or webinars to promote this program, mainly […]

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10 Meaningful Ways to Pursue the Success You Deserve as a Writer

We’re always all about sending love (and useful advice) to our community of writers, but this week we were particularly tightly focused on helping you find more success. I did a little count of the advice we’ve published this week, and found 10 discrete ways that you can improve your success as a professional writer. Nearly all of them will work for you, whether you’re an employee, a freelancer, or a business owner who supports your projects with content. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman explored the not-necessarily-sexy skill that professional writers need — that has nothing to do with your writing ability. (She’s got five of our 10 in here.) On Tuesday, conversational copywriter Nick Usborne showed us how to spark more “feelgood” brain chemistry with your marketing content — and how to avoid triggering the brain cocktail that warns your readers to “run away from this person as quickly as […]

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Why the Best Writers Aren’t Always the Most Successful

Have you ever noticed that the really marvelous writers — the ones who think carefully about every word, who can make you laugh or cry or sing with their writing — aren’t always the ones who see the most success? You read their work and you just feel good. And then you find out that they’re having a tough time swinging the rent every month, never mind their health insurance payment. There are a lot of factors that can come together to cause that. Luck is one of them. Luck is a real thing — some people have more access to opportunities than others, based on things they have no control over. But since luck (if it’s really luck) isn’t something we can influence, we might as well think about what we can control. So let’s get into that. Success is a skill There’s a saying in certain corners of […]

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Are You a Writer Looking for Recognition and Clients? Copyblogger Certification Is Re-Opening Soon

First things first: We’re re-opening our Content Marketing Certification this month! It’s a four-week educational program on content strategy (taught by me and Brian Clark), paired with the opportunity to apply to be Copyblogger Certified. If you’ve ever wished for a way to stand out in the sea of freelance writers, this might be a great opportunity for you. We’re looking for writers with strong voices who are willing to learn solid content marketing strategy. Not everyone who applies is accepted for Certification … which is precisely why it’s such an excellent showcase for confident, qualified writers. So, let’s talk about this week’s content. We took Monday off for Labor Day, which I celebrated by catching my kid’s cold. Never let it be said that I do not know how to party. On Tuesday, Stefanie Flaxman highlighted some of the unproductive ways we compare ourselves to other writers. She helps […]

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