What You Need, When You Need It: Vital Digital Marketing and Sales Training

Copyblogger has always been a place that encourages creativity. We want to help people have creative careers and do meaningful work every day. It’s perfectly reasonable to want to have a job where you get to be creative. But in order to make creativity a part of your job — and not just make art for the sake of making art — you need to learn to be strategic. And that’s what we merge in our courses: the freedom to be creative, with the digital marketing and sales training that helps you build an audience that builds your business. So, if you haven’t already seen the limited-time deal we have going on right now with our Best of the Best of Copyblogger Sale, check it out by clicking this button: Start Your Copyblogger Premium Education Today I’ve outlined some of the good stuff below, as well. This week on the […]

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Update Your Focus to Work Hard on the Right Things

Last week, I affirmed that “hard work is luck.” However, what if you work hard and aren’t seeing any progress or results? What if hard work just leads to you feeling disappointed and ready to give up? Before you actually do give up, it’s helpful to take a look at the activities that consume your time and attention. Why do some people who work hard succeed, and some don’t? I think those who “work hard and succeed” are open to a variety of pathways that will help them reach their goals. They are flexible and don’t have a fixed mindset about the work they should be doing or a rigid definition of success. In other words, those who “work hard but don’t succeed” might work hard on the wrong things and ignore other versions of success within reach. It’s not the most exciting truth, but we have to crawl before […]

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How Serious Writers Expand Their Audiences with Guest Blog Posts

Note: While we encourage you to explore guest posting to grow your audience, Copyblogger does not currently accept guest post submissions. But don’t worry, these pointers are useful for any publication. In my first edition of the Copyblogger Weekly, I mentioned a running joke Sonia Simone and I have: that she rejected the first guest post I submitted to Copyblogger. (If you’re not already subscribed to the Weekly, sign up here to get a short note from me straight to your inbox every Thursday.) Today, I’m going to share that story to shed some light on the delicate nature of writer-editor relationships. Let’s take it back to 2008 … When I began developing my personal guest posting strategy, Copyblogger sat atop my “Where I Want to Guest Post” list. Five years later, I achieved my goal. So, how did I spend the time between May 2008 and May 2013, when […]

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Join the Copyblogger Renaissance to Pursue the Career You’re Meant to Have

If you told me 10 years ago that one day I’d be taking over writing Copyblogger’s weekly newsletter from Sonia Simone, I’d have said: “In what fantasy world? I don’t know her, and she didn’t review the guest post I submitted.” (True story.) But I believe four simple words: Hard work is luck. Long story short, Sonia and I did eventually connect and have had a great working relationship for the past five years. I’m honored she passed the baton keyboard to me and I now get to talk with you every week, in addition to the other posts I write on the blog. This week, we took Monday off to observe Labor Day in the United States. On Tuesday, Brian Clark talked about why he’s returned to Copyblogger. He shared behind-the-scenes stories about the company and what we have in store going forward. For even more details, check out […]

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Have a Great Labor Day!

Today is Labor Day in the U.S., and we hope you’re taking time to celebrate the potency and dignity of… Continue Reading The post Have a Great Labor Day! appeared first on Copyblogger. Related Stories Happy Labor Day! Read_More Related posts: How Integrating AI Into Recruitment Can Benefit Companies Facing a Labor Crisis My Top Productivity Hack Is . . . Hire Great Managers Happy Labor Day! Why Great Content Alone Isn’t Enough to Build an Audience It’s Black Friday Week on Copyblogger: Get Great Deals on Premium Marketing Education 4 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Take Labor Day Off The Best Labor Day Sales to Grow Your Business Labor Day Deals to Help You Climb the Career Ladder

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Why Your Prospect Chooses Your Competitor

You had trouble sleeping again last night. Up until the time you got into bed, you were looking at their Twitter feed, their YouTube channel, and their website. It’s your competitor. You’re completely preoccupied with everything they do … and for a seemingly good reason. Their customer base seems to keep growing and they keep expanding their offerings, while you’re just trying to keep your head above water. You constantly ask yourself: “What will it take for my business to be viewed like theirs?” While it’s natural for that question to arise in your mind, it may stifle your progress if you’re thinking in terms of duplicating their marketing efforts. Prospects don’t want to see a carbon copy of another business and you don’t want to obsess about competitors anymore, so I’m going to show you how you can immediately become energized about and sharply focused on your own marketing […]

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One Ridiculously Easy Addition to Enhance the Power of Your Blog Posts

The overall aim of your blog is to help your audience with the issues they struggle with while also educating them on what they need to know to do business with you. That’s too much responsibility for just one article, so each blog post you publish can be thought of as a piece of your content marketing strategy puzzle. And how do you connect those puzzle pieces to keep readers engaged with your story and on your site for longer? Internal links: a strategic way to connect your content I often advise writers to be selective about the hyperlinks they include in their blog posts. While links allow you to cite external sources and provide more background information on certain topics, articles that make sense without clicking on a bunch of links are naturally easier to read. That said, linking to your own content is an opportunity to showcase your […]

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Why Your Friend with a Creative Job Isn’t the Village Idiot

It happened again. You were out to dinner with your Writer Friend, and the waiter came over to see if you needed anything. This led to a short, friendly conversation with him. As he walked away, your meal companion apologized for reaching into her purse to get her phone. She opened her Notes application and explained: “I have to jot that down. What he said was so perfect for something I’m working on. It just gave me a bunch of ideas.” You sat back and took a sip of your Syrah while thinking: “We’re supposed to be having a relaxing dinner. The last thing I’m thinking about right now is work. She’s not doing real work anyway. It’s annoying that she calls it work.” The nonsensical nature of creative work can bewilder onlookers. But is creative work that much different from other types of work? The development of a creative […]

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How to Break Down Your Big Idea and Make Your Next Move

You know when you get a Big Idea for a project that lights you up and derails your to-do list for the day? It could be a content series or a whole new business concept. You might even spend a few hours writing down why you’re qualified to do it and who it will help. But, inevitably, that fervor dies down and you deem the idea a distraction. After all, you don’t have the time and money to actually execute it, right? What if I told you: You can use time and money constraints to your advantage and move forward with your Big Idea in a manageable way. There’s a common misconception that all the time and money in the world will create the business of your dreams. Even if those factors help you set up the foundations of your business fairly fast, you still have to build your business. […]

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3 Fundamental Editorial Standards for Any Serious Publication

I’m a “go big or go home” kind of gal, and when it comes to content marketing today that translates to “have editorial standards or don’t publish.” If a reader, listener, or viewer begins to like you, but you fail to earn their trust, your hard work will feel like a waste. Editorial standards are essentially rules that help you establish and uphold your reputation as a trustworthy resource for your audience. I’m particularly fond of this other cool part: They give you the freedom to be creative, or straight-up weird, as long as your content is built on a foundation that serves your audience. It’s time to meet the first cousin of editing and proofreading — the 3Fs of editorial standards you can use to evaluate whether or not a piece of content is a proper reflection of you or your client. 1. Fitness A simple question used to […]

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30 Sure-Fire Steps to Become a Successful Freelance Writer

You may or may not know that I haven’t always been Copyblogger’s editor. For many years, I was a Copyblogger reader. I didn’t know Brian. I didn’t know Sonia. But I pretended that I did. Of course I didn’t tell anyone that … I just received so much guidance from Copyblogger that helped me position my writing and editing services for success that it felt like I knew them. Although it was just a website with content I read, Copyblogger supported my business journey. I’m bringing this up today because I’m happy to pay it forward, if you will, and share a list of Copyblogger’s top 30 steps that help you become an in-demand freelance writer. 1. Start with the basics The overhead to work as a freelance writer in the digital space is quite small compared to a brick-and-mortar business. Get clear on the bare minimum you need to […]

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3 Content Marketing Don’ts from a Grocery Store Solicitor

A grocery store solicitor is a nuisance because grocery shopping isn’t typically a leisurely activity. The shopper needs to get down to business, because there are many other tasks to perform when they leave the grocery store and carry on with their day. However, some people might treat grocery shopping as a more casual activity, perhaps time to explore new products or even meet new people. Those are the ideal prospects who are more open to grocery store solicitors. So, the solicitor does have a chance, but I recently witnessed one blow his opportunity … twice. The Meditation Table On this fateful day, a table with a sign on top of it that simply said “Meditation” was adjacent to the front of the organic grocery store I walk to regularly. Not a terrible start. The location has potential. Not all people who buy organic groceries care about upping their zen […]

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8 Calls to Action that Initiate New Relationships with Customers and Collaborators

I know. I know. I know. “Viral” is an actual term people use to describe wildly popular content that has spread across a variety of distribution channels, landing in our Twitter feeds, Apple News updates, text messages, and emails from Uncle Sue. But I still don’t like the word. When “going viral” is a goal for a piece of content, it puts me a little on edge. Viral content may feed your ego, but it doesn’t necessarily feed your business. Business success without “going viral” I understand it’s frustrating if no one knows about your products or services. That’s why you want a lot of people to see your work. But sustainable success stems from your dedication to produce one great line at a time and consistently publish your content. One article or podcast episode or video is not going to change everything. Plus: Many smart content moves have nothing […]

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A Simple, Two-Month Plan to Complete a Content Project

At the end of June 2009, I was reading Copyblogger and I got a new idea: I should write an ebook. My writing and editing business was less than a year old, and I had never written anything that resembled a book. Could I actually do it? I knew I wanted to try, so I established a plan on July 1 that would help me write, design, and self-publish an ebook on my website by September 15. I’m going to share that plan with you today, so you can adapt it to any type of content project you’d like to finish by the fall (in the Northern Hemisphere). Select the right topic Writing an ebook could easily take a year or two … or five. But launching it as soon as possible was an important step for my business. The ebook would help: Establish my authority as a writer and […]

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4 Steps to Finish a Practical Project Instead of Fantasizing about a Lofty Idea

If I set out to practice yoga for an hour each day, I would practice zero hours of yoga each day. Something else would always take priority over that hour of yoga. We all have other things to do. Instead, I consistently practice five to 20 minutes of yoga Monday through Friday. I had to find a routine I could fit in regularly — without making a big production of it. What have you turned into a big production? The long-term goal. Where you want to go. An ultimate objective. All of those thoughts can serve you well. The problem occurs when those thoughts stay thoughts because meeting your goal requires too much time or energy — time or energy you don’t realistically have. Overwhelm and disappointment cloud your hopes and dreams because you haven’t actually done anything related to them. Here’s a quick litmus test: You know you’re wasting […]

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A Micro Audience: Your Macro Win

I finally did it. After years of presenting examples of great content I’ve found while feeding my YouTube habit, I stopped only consuming and started producing. In the beginning of May, I launched two YouTube channels. I have very few subscribers. And I’m over the moon about it. Here’s why. You’re not entitled to anyone’s attention Just because you’re excited about something you’re doing, it doesn’t mean anyone else is. It doesn’t mean they’ll pay attention. It doesn’t mean they’ll share it. So, when someone does care — even if it’s one person — it’s a reason to celebrate. Everything has a micro start. The content creator who’s preoccupied with 100, 1,000, 10,000, or some other magical number of subscribers, takes what’s right in front of them for granted. And reaching some ideal number is never as satisfying as you think it will be, so you’re forced to begin a […]

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How to Zap Your Reaction to Criticism and Grow from ‘Good Enough’

Content creators are easy targets for criticism. Some might even say they “ask for it” by publicly displaying their thoughts, opinions, interests, and art. But I hold the position that anyone who stands by the “asking for it” belief fundamentally doesn’t understand why most people publish content. Content creators don’t share their experiences and knowledge because they think they know it all. Why people publish content Publishing content online is an extension of basic humanity in the offline world. We share. We compare. We inquire. We communicate. We bond. We disagree. We endure. We understand. We tolerate. We connect. Meaningful interactions require vulnerability, which content creators also infuse in their online work. Quite frankly, I think it threatens those who feel unable to communicate their own truths. So, these critics split hairs, they give straw-man arguments, they look for weaknesses to exploit. They attempt to strip us of our humanity […]

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Remembering and Reflecting on Memorial Day

It’s Memorial Day in the United States — a day to remember the men and women who have died in military service. It’s our tradition at Copyblogger to take today off, to honor those sacrifices and to take time for family, community, and gratitude. We look forward to seeing you back on the blog tomorrow. Image courtesy Hugh MacLeod. Read_More Related posts: How Imagination Can Accelerate Performance Memorial Day: A Time to Reflect and Remember Watch Tim Cook’s 2018 Duke University Commencement Speech (Transcript) Five Coffee Facts to Impress Everyone With on Coffee Day Why Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know About the ‘Alter Ego Effect’ Copyblogger’s Guide to the Best WordPress Tools and Plugins The World Series and a Call for Unity. Happy Labor Day!

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When to Send Article Pitches (and Other Important Emails)

It feels good when you’ve done your research before pitching an article idea to an editor: You know the publication’s audience. You know your topic offers value in unique ways. You know the editor’s content preferences and pet peeves. But you’re not done yet. Although hitting the “send” button on your email seems like an inconsequential step in your article-pitching process, pause before you take that action. That moment of excited impatience could spoil all of the important research you’ve just performed. Caution: avoid these days of the week Have you ever suggested a fun activity to a friend, significant other, or family member when they’re in a bad mood … and they immediately decline? Although they typically would love your idea, you’ve asked them at a time when they don’t want to be bothered. I compare that experience to submitting an article pitch to an editor on a Friday […]

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What to Do When Your Eyes Are Tired from More than 15 Years of Professional Proofreading

Me: “Hey, Brain, it’s time to proofread!” My Brain: “We don’t want to.” Me: “But, Brain, this article isn’t complete until we proof it.” My Brain: “Our eyes are tired.” Me: “There might be a mistake I want to correct, or I might find ways to make the text even better.” My Brain: “We want to eat chocolate chips.” Me: “Braaain. I’m losing my patience.” My Brain: “Fine, that wasn’t entirely true. We want to eat cinnamon rolls.” I’ve proofread a lot on a regular basis over the last 15 years. And no matter how tired my eyes may be on any given day, every article we publish on Copyblogger gets a dedicated proofreading session. All content deserves to be reviewed by a bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed proofreader invigorated by catching errors. While my eyes are no longer bright and my tail is no longer bushy, I do have a technique that helps […]

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