15 Marks of Exceptional Writing that Gets Noticed

One of my favorite writing exercises requires very little original writing. Want to know what it is? Find 3 pieces of writing that you love. For each piece, list 5 qualities that make it stand out to you. Then, brainstorm 5 ways to adapt those qualities to your own writing style. You’ll end up with 15 potential ways to improve your craft. This week, we also had 15 marks of exceptional writing to incorporate into your writing practice. On Monday, Brian Clark gave us Ernest Hemingway’s Top 5 Tips for Writing Well. On Tuesday, I dissected 3 Reasons Why Good Ideas Are a Real Threat to Good Writing. And on Wednesday, Sonia Simone outlined A 7-Point Plan for More Shareable Content. Sonia’s guide reminds us that finding an audience for your outstanding writing is a process, and … We know making a living as a writer isn’t easy Finding new […]

Read more

A 7-Point Plan for More Shareable Content

Content marketing is a beautiful thing — a great way to build an audience and grow your business. That’s if your content is actually getting found by the folks who might buy your product or service. Most of us would love to have more people reading, listening to, and watching our content. And one of the smartest things you can do for your content is to make it easier and more fun to share. Even better, as long as you’re starting with high-quality work, you can do it without spending a lot of time or money. By the way, I’m including links from other websites as “shares,” as well as the usual assortment of retweets and likes. If your audience is helping you get the word out about your content, we’re counting that as a share. Here’s a straightforward plan to format and present your content so that lots more […]

Read more

Compare Apples to Oranges (In This Case, It’s the Smartest Thing to Do)

We’re having dessert before dinner this week — and it’s a healthy bite too: apples and oranges. While my post on Monday and Kelton’s post on Tuesday share the power of persuasive writing and how to put it to work for both your business and your clients’ businesses, we have an extra special nugget of wisdom in Sonia’s post on Wednesday: Remember, you can compare apples to oranges in persuasive writing. Don’t compare the cost of your $39 online course to other online courses — compare it with a $499 in-person seminar that delivers the same results. It’s common to over-think when we’re looking to stand out. Instead, try Sonia’s apples-to-oranges tip to discover the “no-brainer” reasoning that will help someone say “yes” to your offer faster. Talk with you next week! — Stefanie FlaxmanEditor-in-Chief, Copyblogger Media Catch up on this week’s content 3 Resources for When You’re Ready to […]

Read more

3 Resources for When You’re Ready to Take Control of Your Writing Career

The struggle when I started my freelance writing service business looked like this: I was fascinated with crafting words that accurately conveyed a message. I knew that offering basic content writing services for businesses — filling up pages with words — would not pay high rates. And I completely understood why filling up pages with words was not valued. Nothing is worse than paying for a service that doesn’t produce results. When writers charge low fees for content writing that doesn’t persuade prospects to take action, two dangerous things happen: It’s difficult to support yourself through your writing services. Your clients don’t make new sales. If a client thinks that the money they paid you was a waste because they didn’t make it back in sales, they’ll view you as interchangeable with any other writer — and there’s probably someone else who charges even less than you for a comparable […]

Read more

10 Ways Specificity Helps You Build a Profitable Audience

If you’re building a business with content marketing, you’ve probably noticed that the attention span of your audience is shrinking by the second. We’re all on the verge of an attention meltdown. This can be a huge hurdle if you’re trying to effectively engage your audience and get your products or services in front of them. That means you have to use every writing tool you can to gain and keep audience attention. Believe it or not, a return to solid writing fundamentals — and more specifically, specificity — can get you out ahead of the competition. One small note before we get started … If you only read one section of this article, read this one Specificity is especially helpful for writing your headlines. Remember the 80/20 rule: 8 out of 10 readers will read your headline copy but only 2 out of 10 will read your entire post. […]

Read more

3 Resources to Help You Take Control of Your Writing Career

The struggle when I started my freelance writing service business looked like this: I was fascinated with crafting words that accurately conveyed a message. I knew that offering basic content writing services for businesses — filling up pages with words — would not pay high rates. And I completely understood why filling up pages with words was not valued. Nothing is worse than paying for a service that doesn’t produce results. When writers charge low fees for content writing that doesn’t persuade prospects to take action, two dangerous things happen: It’s difficult to support yourself through your writing services. Your clients don’t make new sales. If a client thinks that the money they paid you was a waste because they didn’t make it back in sales, they’ll view you as interchangeable with any other writer — and there’s probably someone else who charges even less than you for a comparable […]

Read more

4 Ways to Create Content Your Digital Audience Can’t Help But Consume

Create content that gives people what they want. Here’s how. October 30, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. These days, regardless of what industry you’re in, the best way to reach your audience is through digital content. The 2019 Q3 Global Digital Statshot report from Hootsuite and We Are Social perfectly illustrates just how big of a role digital content now plays in our lives. More than 4 billion people watch online videos on a monthly basis. Of those, more than half are watching vlogs. Approximately 39 percent of internet users now listen to podcasts. Related: The Simple Reason Creating Content Is Still Integral to Your Business’s Marketing Even once-traditional forms of media are now seeing an uptick in digital consumption. For example, Statista reports that The New York Times exceeded 2.8 million digital subscribers in early 2018. For marketers, there also remains considerable […]

Read more

Writing Advice: Trick or Treat?

Happy Halloween! I have two tricks — or two treats — for you, depending on how you look at it: Realize your creative potential. Schedule the right amount of time to do excellent work. It’s that simple, and it’s that hard — and it’s about finding a specific type of balance that’s critical when building a portfolio. Professional writers learn the essential techniques that have helped grow their mentors’ careers, but they also find their own way forward by developing the habits and methods that work best for them. Progress Guide: Try This When you read Tuesday’s post, you’ll find that legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz said, “Learning the craft and doing the research are the hard work.” Writing can be the impossible work. If you’re looking to write more consistently: Stop asking questions and start writing. (More about this in Monday’s post.) Commit to writing five days a week, even […]

Read more

Take 15 Minutes to Find Your Winning Difference

A unique selling proposition (USP) is the reason people do business with you and not someone else — a winning difference that sets you apart and makes you the only real choice. Traditional marketing advice will have you lock yourself in a cave for weeks listing all of the features of your business, translating them into benefits, then somehow finding that one compelling point that will differentiate you from everyone else you could possibly compete with. These days, your winning difference depends more on who you’re selling to more than the features of what you’re selling. You need to stake out a favorable position in the minds of those you’re trying to attract, even while turning the wrong people away. If you have a firm grasp on what your ideal customer looks like, then you can do some simple exercises to discover your own winning difference. Three five-minute exercises to […]

Read more

What Profitable Digital Businesses Hope You Won’t Discover

How often do you feel stuck when trying to grow your business? Since we’re creative people, we like to come up with all sorts of creative excuses reasons for why we just aren’t getting any momentum. But there’s only one true reason: You’re stuck when you’re not selling. The ability to sell is the single factor that separates successful digital businesses from those that struggle. And some of the most effective salespeople you will ever meet — the folks who sell a million dollars a year or more — would never strike you as “salesy.” That’s because the killer skills for sales professionals are listening and empathy. So if you’re interested in making listening and empathy work for your business, we have a new 4-week live training you’ll want to check out today … Live Training Mastery:How to Sell More with Webinars, Workshops, and Live Training Events It kicks off […]

Read more

15 Copy Editing Tips that Transform Your Content into Persuasive and Shareable Works of Art

What’s special about the compelling content you retweet, Like, bookmark, and email to your friends? Those articles serve the audience, not the content creator. Creative work that instantly captivates and holds an audience’s attention influences their lives. So, you have to remember that transcribing the thoughts in your mind won’t always serve a purpose. You must craft the right instructions and help a reader optimize a part of their daily life through the topic you share. Here’s how you get there: Strengthening your ability to create content that spreads includes improving your editing skills. Editors transform basic text into powerful stories (in all media) that persuade people to take action. Once you’ve written a draft, review these 15 copy editing tips that help turn your articles, landing pages, webinar content, podcast episodes, and videos into shareable works of art. 1. Walk away Realistically assess your post’s urgency. Unless you have […]

Read more

How to Motivate People to Buy

If you’re in business, someone’s got to buy something for you to make money. At least last time I checked. And if you’re sick of hearing that people buy because of emotion, well then … that would be a strong emotional response to a logical assertion, no? But I hear you. Over and over you’re told that people buy according to emotion, and it seems not to make sense when it comes down to selling your products and services. Maybe that’s because you’re thinking about emotion in the context of feelings rather than motivation. And that would definitely be confusing, because it’s not feelings you’re after. In fact, provoking feelings can kill the sale instead of prompting it. Nothing more than feelings … (fail) Feelings are magnified, messy, and often misunderstood forms of emotion, and that makes playing with them potentially dangerous. What we’re trying to do is motivate people […]

Read more

7 Golden Rules for Hosting Webinars that Engage and Convert

Webinar shock. Familiar with it? Probably not, because I just made up the term. But you’re probably familiar with Webinar Shock’s sister term, Content Shock. It’s the idea, first described by Mark Schaefer, that we have entered an age in which “exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.” In other words: there’s just too much damn content. And, well, it’s tough to argue with that. Just open up Twitter, perform a web search, or check your inbox. Good luck consuming even a fraction of what piques your interest. That’s a major obstacle for content creators, but not a substantial threat to content marketing. What it does mean is that your content marketing strategy better start with creating the highest quality, most audience-focused content possible — because that is the only way to have a smidge of a chance at getting and keeping your target […]

Read more

Why Writers Don’t Seem Hireable (and How to Get Hired)

This week, we uncovered an uncomfortable truth for many introverted writers: Great writing does not equal a great writing career. If you have your own business, you need to learn how to sell. Yes, the “s” word. But it doesn’t have to be some foreign activity that makes you feel like someone else. In fact, being yourself with the right presentation is the winning combination. A prospect needs to know more about you — and what it’s like doing business with you — before they’ll feel comfortable taking the next step. So, what more can you do to reveal those special qualities about your product or service? We have a free event next week that’ll help you out with that. Teach Your Way to Success:How Live Training Events CanIncrease Your Sales in 30 Days Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 2:30 PM Eastern Time During our session together, you’ll learn: How […]

Read more

The Three Key Elements of Influential Digital Marketing

Ever see a numbered headline like the one above and try to guess what the three things are? Sometimes it’s easy; sometimes it’s not. In this case, you could be thinking I’m going to talk about content, copy, and email. And while you’re right that those things are important, that’s not what this article is about. Content and copy contain the messages you need to get across, and email delivers those messages within a conversion-rich context. But without understanding the fundamental elements of those messages, you won’t create the kind of influence with your target audience that leads to sales. With companies of all sizes rushing to embrace “influencer marketing,” it seems that many have given up on the unique power the internet provides to form direct relationships with prospects. Instead, they’re trying to avoid the work by reaching the audiences of people who have already put in the work. […]

Read more

How Introverted Writers Transform into Business Professionals

There’s a well-loved myth out there that if you do something reasonably remarkable and distribute passionate content, you’ll automatically have an audience who will support you in style for the rest of your life. You don’t have to do anything scary. Like sell, for example. Now if that works for you, that’s terrific. So does it? The painful truth is that there are lots of trusted, loved, and wildly influential smart people out there who are working like maniacs creating amazing content. And who are nonetheless still broke. It’s easy to think that if your audience loves you, all that love will translate automatically into paying customers. But if one of your goals is a financial payoff from your content, you still have some work to do. You have to offer something they want Your Aunt Frances loves you very much, but if you’re a Prius dealer and she’s more […]

Read more

It’s Time to Start the Critical Activity You Can No Longer Afford to Postpone

I’ve always been stubborn. So, it wasn’t out-of-character for me to stand my ground when everyone I knew was quite skeptical about my career ambitions. “How are you going to be a writer?” “What have you written?” “Who is going to listen to you?” I’ve heard it all, and I really didn’t care in the beginning. But a couple of years after pronouncing myself a “freelance writer and editor,” things started to get a bit scary. I wasn’t getting the long-term work and challenging projects that I hoped would grow my business. Every time I ran into a former colleague who had given up on writing and currently had a completely different job, it got a little scarier. “Writing? I don’t do that anymore. Not for work. You don’t make a living writing.” Maybe everyone else was right. Maybe I was ridiculous to think I could become a full-time writer […]

Read more

In a World, Where Your Marketing Is Too Intelligent to Ignore …

You have the opportunity to help your ideal prospects with the problems they struggle with or the desires they’d like fulfilled. Progress Guide: Try This Prepare a new 7-to-10-step tutorial for your audience. Craft each step into a stand-alone piece of content. Use the sequence to create an email autoresponder or enhance your existing one. Once you have this new series, you can repurpose it into other types of content as well, such as podcast episodes or videos. Ready to go deeper? On Monday, Sonia Simone outlined The Betty Crocker Secret to Email Marketing that People Want. She expands on the value of creating the type of tutorial series I mentioned in this week’s Progress Guide. If selling makes you feel uncomfortable, you’ll like this approach. You start by “selling” your terrific, free email autoresponder. It will build trust and rapport so that down the line you can fully explain […]

Read more

5 Content Optimization Mistakes You’ll Wish You Fixed Sooner

So, what happens when someone clicks through to your website? Do you persuade them to stay and find out more about you through the experience you immediately provide? Or, do visitors see information that looks just like the other sites in your niche? Those are enough questions for now. 🙂 But as you think about your answers, take a look at these five common optimization mistakes that keep prospects from connecting with your content. Each section includes guidance on how to fix the mistake. Mistake #1: Your visitors can’t tell if your content’s right for them A row of four new houses that all look basically the same were recently built on the street where I live. When a real estate agent starts taking potential buyers on tours of the houses, do you know what’s going to happen? The potential buyers are going to examine the properties and make judgments […]

Read more

How to Make Your Writing Real

In this day and age, substance matters. What you say must be meaningful to the people you’re trying to attract. Your content must solve real problems and satisfy real desires. So why should it matter how you say it? The reality is, how you say it has always mattered, and it matters even more today. For content marketing, it’s basically the difference between success and failure. You’re in a battle for attention. A headline that doesn’t specifically convey a compelling promise results in content that is too often simply ignored. Beyond that, your copy has to hold that precious attention, sentence by sentence, until the conclusion. Even the appearance of your content on the page matters when trying to make a substantive point. Finally, the way you convey information, no matter how independently valuable, affects everything from clarity to engagement to retention at a psychological level. Your ideas and advice […]

Read more
1 2 3 17