How to Make Exceptional Communication Your Winning Difference

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I wrote this tagline: “Remarkable business begins with remarkable communication.” That was a bedrock principle for me when I was starting out as a marketer. I still find it a bedrock principle of marketing, particularly content-driven marketing. This week, we got into a When, a Why, and a What for the kind of exceptional, empathetic communication that builds great businesses. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman shared her experience and advice on when to send article pitches and other “cold” (or at least not piping hot) requests by email. She also gives recommendations for when and how to follow up gracefully if you don’t hear back. Because email inboxes can be scary, scary places. On Tuesday, Loryn Cole explored why effective communication — with colleagues, employees, clients, or anyone else — is a lot like a growing garden. You can pull up […]

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11 Ways to Stay an Alert Copywriter and Content Marketer (If Taking a Nap Isn’t an Option)

Well, this week was anything but sugarcoated. We got right into it. How do you stay motivated to do great work when you’re burned out, bored, or busy? On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman shared what to do when your eyes are tired from more than 15 years of professional proofreading. The technique she teaches works just as well for any proofreader, no matter how long you’ve been at the error-catching game. On Tuesday, Nick Usborne outlined five ways to keep your copywriting skills fresh. Nick has been a copywriter for 40 years, so check out the post to discover how he stays interested in his craft. On Wednesday, Belinda Weaver dished out five excellent tips for anyone who has non-negotiable time constraints. Managing your time like a pro can transform any seemingly stressful situation into one that builds confidence in your work ethic. And you need a strong work ethic if […]

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Sharpen Your Writing and Content Focus for Materially Better Results

Our culture glorifies being busy. But we don’t always glorify spending time on the right things. This week was about spending your time and effort intentionally. About getting more powerful results, without necessarily putting in a lot more hours. It’s not always easy to work on the right things over the familiar things, but it’s usually the way to make real progress. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman set out to help you sharpen up your content by focusing on one slice of your audience — the ones who read and take action. On Tuesday, Brian Clark shared his most important 10 secrets to becoming a better writer. This one has multiple formats that you can print out or even embed on your own site. And on Wednesday, I talked about some of the ways you can repurpose your existing well-thought-out content into new formats to reach your audience in new ways […]

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Fire Up Your Creative Courage and Reach Your Audacious Goals

It’s a funny thing — so many of the most gifted and capable people wrestle the hardest with impostor syndrome and self-doubt. And often, the biggest barrier between you and your ambitious goals is your own head. This week, we offered resources to get your confidence kickstarted and your creative brain humming. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman explored why the hardest working, most professional writers aren’t always the ones who jump into freelancing. (If this is you, you might be a lot better at it than you imagine.) On Tuesday, Pamela Wilson shared eight effective ways to bring powerful visual elements to your content — even if you don’t think of yourself as a “visual person.” This is a great way to add polish and impact to your work, and it’s easier than you think. And on Wednesday, I announced our new book club selection — Austin Kleon’s Keep Going. If […]

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Creative Self-Care to Keep Your Writing Mojo Strong

We content marketers are strategic types — but we’re creative as well, and that creative side needs nurturing. This week, we offered tips and practices for creative self-care, so you can keep producing extraordinary work. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman shared five unconventional ways to meet your deadlines — and banish the “flaky creative” stereotype for good. On Tuesday, Claire Emerson outlined 10 ways to make progress on your big projects — even when paying gigs or daily obligations seem like they’re gobbling up every second of your time. (I’m a big fan of the second item on Claire’s list — it seems like a small thing, but it can make a big difference in how you approach those intimidating projects.) And on Wednesday, author Karl Staib swung by to suggest a creative self-care 30-day challenge — using a practice you might not associate with professional productivity. On the podcast, I […]

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How to Meet (and Exceed) Your Creative Content Goals

Why is it so hard to produce good content? Because creative work is uniquely draining … and uniquely rewarding, too. Smart writers know that the right creative practices will keep you motivated and productive. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman talked about mastering the part of editing that has nothing to do with grammar, spelling, or punctuation. It’s the thoughtful, human element that no app can ever hope to reproduce. On Tuesday, Stefanie joined us again to talk about six behaviors that build trust when you work with a creative team — including making one another’s lives easier and even listening to the voices inside your head. And on Wednesday, I wrote about 10 business goals that take good content and turn it into good content marketing. Because if you’re going to put the work in, you might as well get the results you’re after. I’ve got more strategy for you on […]

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Creating ‘Craft Content’ for Remarkable Business Results

The term “craft” is a modern trend indicating something that’s been put together with care, appealing to select palates. In… Continue Reading The post Creating ‘Craft Content’ for Remarkable Business Results appeared first on Copyblogger. Read_More Related posts: Is Creating Online Tools Better Than Writing Content? Thoughtful Elements of Distinguished Content Marketing Ten Expert Tips for Creating a Viral Content in 2018 3 Resources for Creating More Courageous Content Using Empathy and Connection to Craft More Powerful Content Craft a Deliciously Effective Content Marketing Strategy with a Farm-to-Table Approach 4 Ways to Craft Content that Earns Audience Attention How This Woman’s Remarkable Life Helped Her Demystify Business for Underserved Entrepreneurs

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Serious Writing Advice for a Foolish Week

I may be the last person who really enjoys April Fools’ Day … maybe because I was already a fan of taking a moment to fact-check what you find on the internet. Copyblogger has a long tradition of celebrating the first of April with a bit of nonsense. Stefanie Flaxman stepped up this year with her announcement of our new content publication app, Pooblíche. I still think “If your content’s rubbish, it won’t let you publish” is our best tagline ever. On Tuesday, Brian Clark talked about using the Rule of Three to make your writing more memorable and engaging. (Note to self: Use the number three for my next list post.) And on Wednesday, we returned to shenanigans with a republish of my April Fools’ Day post from 2014, Announcing RealWriter. Over on the podcast, Robert Bruce joined us again to chat about a cornerstone practice that too many […]

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Does Your Content Spark Joy? Try These Handcrafted Tips for Quality Content

Sonia Simone is co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger. She writes about content marketing strategy here, and about creativity, the craft of writing, and creative productivity at Remarkable Communication. If you like audio content, you can hear Sonia’s takes on marketing and business on the Copyblogger FM podcast. Read_More Related posts: A Potent New Content Tool and the Power of “No” Thoughtful Elements of Distinguished Content Marketing Are You Making These Authority-Crushing Mistakes with Your Content? 3 Areas of Focus for Consistently High-Quality Content Why Strategy Is Key for Generating Backlinks with Quality Content Spark Your Next Breakthrough Copy Insight with Systematic Listening The Only Thing More Important Than Quality Content 12 Easy Tweaks that Could Lead to Outsized Improvement in Your Content and Writing

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21 Recommendations for Spending Your Content Marketing Time Wisely

One enduring challenge with content marketing is how quickly it can turn into the content treadmill. This week, we’ve got 21 recommendations for specific ways you can make your content marketing do its job — without consuming every minute of your time. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman shared seven content projects you might take on if you were handling marketing for your local coffee shop. (The post also features both Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen quotes. #ftw) On Tuesday, Pamela Wilson came by to help us avoid the perils of cringeworthy stock photos in our content. (You know the ones. Who is that lady, and why does eating salad make her laugh?) Pamela will help you choose imagery that feels natural, that evokes the right emotional reaction for your audience, and that avoids the whole “people in suits jumping in the air” cheese factor. And on Wednesday, I answered a question […]

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Tactics and Strategies that Help You Look (and Think) Like a Pro

This week, we’ve got a bunch of tips, tactics, and strategies to help you get more out of the work you do behind that keyboard. While the promise of the internet seems limitless, the reality is that you still have to make meaningful connections and help potential customers understand your worth — just like every brick-and-mortar business does. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman outlined the process of going from idea to useful product or service and on to a viable business. She shows how to use content to experiment and test ideas, as well as to connect with the audience that will go on to become your most loyal customers. If you’re a freelancer or solopreneur, you know that expectation doesn’t always match reality. Expectation might be 9–5 and business casual, but freelancers know that some days it’s 5:00 p.m. before you have time to put on pants. Fortunately, whether or […]

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Need a Breakthrough? Find the Right Balance of Creative and Strategic Thinking

For the marketing writer or business owner in 2019, deciding between strategic and creative is a luxury we can no longer afford. Giving rein to our creative individuality will set us apart and help us stand out in the vast sea of content. But we also want to be purposeful and strategic about how we’re spending our time. This week, we offered three posts that will nourish your creative side — while giving your strategic brain room to develop creative ideas into powerful strategies. Stefanie Flaxman started us off by talking about how damaging rigidity can be to creative work (like writing, marketing, or running a business). She turns “my way or the highway” to: “My way, or we could take the scenic route. Let’s open ourselves up to the best option.” Check out her post to help you find more creative flexibility — while staying true to your vision […]

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Thoughtful Elements of Distinguished Content Marketing

Content that drives real business results often looks effortless, but we all know how much creative and strategic planning it takes to make a meaningful impact on an audience. This week, we tapped into the qualities that comprise distinguished content marketing. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman showed us how to transform draft paragraphs into smart articles. Use her 10 tips to review your next blog post like an editor. On Tuesday, Loryn Cole championed all notebook lovers by exploring the irreplaceable power of paper. You don’t have to choose between paper and digital, either. Loryn explains how your work can benefit from both formats. And on Wednesday, I talked about why it’s so hard to make time for creativity. I also let you know about a fun workshop I’m leading that will help you add more writing practice into your daily routine. That’s the content — stay thoughtful, and we’ll see […]

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3 Not-So-Obvious Ways to Nurture Your Creativity

This week was all about nurturing your creative spark — in new ways that you might not have considered before. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman reminded us of something that every writer needs in order to do their best work. Easy to forget, important to remember. On Tuesday, Pamela Wilson swung by to help writers get over the intimidation factor of creating visual content. When you add compelling visuals to your terrific writing, you’ll make a much stronger impression with all of the content you publish. Don’t miss the chance to attend Pamela’s free workshop, where she’ll walk you through creating signature branded images for your own projects. And on Wednesday, I let you know about a nifty new tool — the THINKERS Notebook. It was developed by our business partner Sean Jackson, and it has some neat features that will help you capture, refine, and share your great creative (and […]

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Romance Your Customers with Some Seriously Practical Business and Marketing Advice

Happy Valentine’s Day! Or if you’re not a fan, Happy Fake Emotional Obligation Day! Whether you’re hunting down a table for two or have plans to binge on Russian Doll and cookie dough ice cream, we thought you might enjoy some business and marketing content to go with that. On Monday, Brian Clark talked about why the element of placebo informs so many of the stories we tell ourselves — including great marketing stories. On Tuesday, Jerod Morris shared ways to reduce the distractions that clutter up our thinking. (He has a tiny but potent hack for your phone that will probably take you about 15 seconds — I think it’s brilliant.) And on Wednesday, I looked at how smart writers can use content to guide their audiences through the buyer stages of awareness — all the way from casual acquaintance through to falling truly, madly, and deeply in love […]

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15 Ways to Be a Wiser Content Marketer

It’s great to be smart. It’s wonderful to have clever strategies and tactics that help us do our work better. But sometimes, it’s also a good idea to think about how we can be wise. This week, we offered up 15 ways to be a wiser writer and content marketer. Jerod Morris started us off with seven steps to improve the quality of our thinking. We’ll be playing some more with this theme in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out. On Tuesday, Claire Emerson brought us three strategies to strengthen your relationships with clients so you (and they) can have a much happier experience. And on Wednesday, Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer Austin Mullins made his debut on the blog with a post on five things that successful copywriters do to make sure their well-crafted content gets the audience they deserve. Do you have all of these covered? Over […]

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Boost Your Professional Skills with Cilantro, Selling, and Social Media

This week, we had a flavorful collection of tools, tips, and techniques that will enhance your skills as a professional writer and marketer. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman made the point that writing templates are a little bit like cilantro — some folks love them, and others run shrieking from the room crying out, “Gaaaaahhhhhh!” You don’t need to run shrieking. But you will benefit from learning how to use writing templates to save time and give your work structure, without getting into cookie-cutter territory. On Tuesday, Nick Usborne wrote about some of the tough (and valuable) lessons a copywriter can learn from selling something of their own. When you understand the complexity and stress of having skin in the game, you become a lot more passionate about the details that make for great copy. And on Wednesday, Jerod Morris swung by to talk about the four key functions we perform […]

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Are You Making These Authority-Crushing Mistakes with Your Content?

Throughout the years, Copyblogger has been here to give you lots of advice on what to do to improve your writing, your content marketing strategy, and your business results. But on this short week, we also offered some advice on things you should probably stop doing. (And, of course, ideas on how to fix them.) On Tuesday, Data Analyst Loryn Cole explored some of the tired content “mashup” formats that are worth leaving behind — and shared her ideas for replacing them with fresh, original work that adds to the conversation. And on Wednesday, I talked about why we need to quit thinking of writing blog posts or podcast scripts as a “soft” skill. If the content on your site is fluffy or lacks strategic focus, that isn’t content’s fault. I presented three measurable ways you can use content to drive real business results. (This post is the first of […]

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A Plan for Mindful Growth and Bringing Fun Back to Your Writing Process

This week on Copyblogger, we’ve been talking with writer, designer, and entrepreneur Paul Jarvis about mindful growth for our business projects and organizations. Paul’s new book, Company of One, explores how we can be more intentional when thinking about the size of our businesses. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman reminded us that bringing more enjoyment to our writing processes can result in work that brings more joy to our readers. She looked at three game-changing (and satisfying!) steps that can put us in the right mindset to put the most care into our content. On Tuesday, Paul Jarvis showed up to offer some of the benefits of keeping your business or project small. He presented ways that larger businesses — like big predators — can become vulnerable within their ecosystems. Paul’s book is also our next choice for the Copyblogger book club! If you’d like some company and conversation while you […]

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24 Ways to Give Your Content an Eye-Opening Shot of Vitality

At this point in January, I like to think that the new year has just had its second cup of coffee. The holidays and those foggy first few days of the year are behind us. And our goals and intentions are starting to come into focus. But the desire to create exceptional work can sometimes lead to stress or even burnout. We want to avoid generic, lackluster content — but we can also use some routines and reminders to keep us on track toward The Good Stuff. This week, we covered 24 ways you can give your content a double-shot of vitality, without running yourself ragged. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman got us warmed up with 7 routines to nurture and protect our creativity. On Tuesday, Kelton Reid refilled our cups with 12 ways to get from the sad emptiness of a blank page to the rewarding warmth of a first […]

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