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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How Wrenches Changed the Way I Think about Digital Tools

About a year and a half ago, I made up my mind to rebuild a motorcycle. I had no mechanical training, no hand-me-down garage wisdom from friends or relatives — no real experience at all. But I had recently repaired a starter motor for my currently-running vintage motorcycle, and I was hooked. So I bought myself an already-running 1982 Honda dirt bike, and holed up in my garage on weekends and evenings to tear it down. Since then, I’ve come a long way. I’ve rebuilt the wheels, the brakes, and the engine’s top end. And I’m this close to getting it back on both wheels again. In that time, this project has taught me so much. About motorcycles, of course, but also about myself and the world. I could go on forever with lessons I’ve learned while rebuilding this motorcycle. But, for today, I’d like to talk about my newfound […]

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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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Successful Communication at Work: Some Candid Advice

Since lately I’ve been interested in small tweaks we can all make to improve our communication skills (even if we already pride ourselves on them), I wanted to talk with my co-worker Loryn Cole about the topic. Loryn is Copyblogger’s Data Analyst, and we share a similar style when it comes to communication. Some might call it over-communicating. We call it avoiding miscommunication. 🙂 Here’s my conversation with Loryn about successful communication in the workplace. If you’d like to get more “You rock!” email replies from your co-workers, clients, or bosses, check it out. Q: What elements make up the type of emails or project notes you like reading? Loryn: I tend to like emails and project notes that have two seemingly contradictory qualities: They are clear and concise, but also comprehensive and wide-ranging. Good project communications use as few words as possible to communicate what’s important, but they also […]

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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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Cut Out These Everyday Distractions and See Your Productivity Skyrocket

Open up your schedule with the help of Brian Tracy and these efficiency hacks. October 22, 2018 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner talks about how to avoid distractions in your social and professional life.  One tip to consider is planning your day the day before. Simply logging off will also free up some mental space. Putting aside your smartphone and choosing to only check it at certain times is often the best way to use your device during a workday.  Another source of distraction is clutter. It can very difficult to think clearly when your surroundings are disorganized.  To add to that, consider starting your day earlier. If you are able to tackle the focus-heavy tasks at the beginning of the day, you will be more able to address other responsibilities as they come up.  Click the video to hear more. […]

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3 Communication Tips for Better Relationships

I’m not too humble to proclaim that clear communication is my strong suit. Each day, I make a concerted effort to avoid misunderstandings with straightforward and thorough correspondence, whether I’m speaking or writing. And when other people don’t take the time to interact with me in a similar way, I get a little … irked. So, I was taken aback recently when I realized I was the source of multiple misapprehensions. Damn … I got a taste of my own medicine The first time it happened, I blamed it on my Southern California accent. The second time it happened, I blamed it on being a cut-throat professional. The third time it happened … I couldn’t ignore the pattern that was emerging. People in both my personal and work lives think I’m being sarcastic or snarky when my intention is actually to be enthusiastic and sincere. I understood that my way […]

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How to Build Atomic Habits—with James Clear

Pat Flynn: Who you are and what happens in your life, the results of the work that you do, is often a reflection of the habits that you form and the systems that you create to achieve those goals that you have. There is a very famous quote out there that is actually often—I’ve done some research here. A lot of people think Aristotle said this, “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” I love that quote but it’s often misattributed. But I want to give credit to where credit is due: It was first written in a small book called The Story of Philosophy by a man, a philosopher named Will Durant, back in 1926. So anyway, now that we got that out of the way, I do want to talk about another book that just came out, written by a […]

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Four Freelance Productivity Tips That Will Have You Slaying Work Projects

It’s the eternal struggle with working from home. You could call the dentist, watch the show you’ve been meaning to watch, clean the bathroom. Even the most mundane things can seem more interesting than another article about search engine optimization. But there’s no excuse to slack off at making money as a freelancer. There’s plenty of work to be done. Your e-mail is probably full of opportunities right now. It’s time to don the headphones and get to work. Here are some ways you boost your productivity while working as a freelancer. 1. DO NOT DISTURB I had to have a talk with my wife a few months ago. I’d be deep in a project. My door was closed. And she would burst in after her 9-5 was done and just start talking about her day. I made it clear that she needed to ask if I was at a […]

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My Top 10 Favorite Apps on My Phone (And Why I Love ’em So Much)

Mobile apps can make a world of difference in your personal and business life. Here are my top 10 favorite mobile apps on my phone right now. Start downloading! Pat Flynn September 24, 2018 In June 2014, I shared my top ten favorite apps on my phone. But, since it’s now 2018, I thought it would be fun to share an update on what apps I am using and loving today—from productivity apps to writing apps and more. All of these mobile apps make my personal life and business life better, so open up your app store because you’re going to want to start downloading! Here’s a list of my top ten favorite applications on my iPhone right now, and why I love them so much: 10. Slack Since building a small team to help me with my projects, I’ve learned the importance of organized communication—convenient and sorted conversations between team members with […]

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How to Reconnect to What Really Matters

For the past several months, I’ve thought a lot about routines. How do we build a good routine? How do we make it stick? In my research and reflection, I’ve learned that the best routines are based on our values, things we find meaningful. I’ve also discovered that cues from the physical world can be powerful tools to help us stay on track. And I’ve worked to act on my own advice. I’ve built a morning routine I love, I try to walk more, I make time for my hobbies, I protect the habits that help me focus. I’ve also realized there’s another key ingredient to having a good routine. To have a good routine, sometimes you have to break it. Why you need both scheduled and unscheduled breaks If you’ve read anything about productivity lately, you’ll know that breaks are important. Breaks help boost your creativity, your energy, your […]

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Done Is Better Than Perfect.

Jessica Abo shares one productivity lesson that motherhood can teach. August 31, 2018 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This video is part of a series brought to you by Entrepreneur’s book division, Entrepreneur Press, the publisher of Jessica Abo’s book Unfiltered: How to Be as Happy as You Look On Social Media. I’ve always loved to work toward something and produce my best work possible. As I went through the design notes for my book, the process required attention to detail. I also was in the thick of motherhood, fashion show planning and finalizing the testimonials for the book. For the first time in my life, I embraced the saying that done is better than perfect. If you have a lot on your plate, I hope you can make peace with letting go a little bit, too. Related: My Book and Baby Are Due the Same Day! Follow […]

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3 Famous Writers on Process and Productivity

There is something both tragicomic and cathartic about trying to assume the dispositions of incredibly successful and prolific authors when you’re staring at a blank page. But what better way to procrastinate than to live vicariously through the habits and productivity secrets of renowned writers of yore. A brief tour of the scribe Hall of Fame might recalibrate the hemispheres of your brain. Just don’t get distracted by all that noise over there on social media. I encourage you to print any of these to post over your desk. I’ve got a whole stack clipped together that I flip through when I’m bored. After all, great writers steal. Ernest Hemingway, 1899 – 1961 Heavyweight journo, literary lion, bearded tough guy, proto standing desk advocate, and prolific legend. I had the pleasure of interviewing journalist Sarah Stodola, author of Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors, on The Writer Files podcast. […]

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Become Ruthlessly Productive by Tightening Up These 3 Systems

Okay, maybe not “ruthlessly.” But we all have lots of things we need to get done, and that means we need smart strategies to work efficiently — without compromising quality. This week, we shared some adjustments you can make to your systems that will help you kick your productivity into a higher gear. If we’re going to put in the time, we might as well see great results. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman tackled an important task that tends to eat more than its share of time: managing blog comments. She outlined her system for keeping audience engagement, while limiting wasted time. On Tuesday, Loryn Thompson talked about constructing a better environment for productivity — and how to use activities that might look like procrastination to trick yourself into getting solid work done. And on Wednesday, I ran through a list of the essential elements you want to have in place […]

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How to Architect Your Day to Be More Productive

When I sat down to write this post, I drew a blank. I knew what I wanted to write about, but the words just weren’t there. My head was empty — a smooth, cavernous zilch. So I answered some emails. And then I went to the gym. After the gym, I headed for a coffee shop, which is where I sit now, hammering out this post. It might seem like I was procrastinating — and in a way, I was. But these procrastinatory steps were actually some of my tried-and-true tricks for getting my mind in the mood to write. An unavoidable part of being a writer is that inspiration doesn’t always come through for us. And no matter how hard you try, you can’t force it. But here’s a secret: Even though we can’t force inspiration, we can learn to set the table for it. How environment influences your […]

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Top 10 Book Recommendations from the SPI Book Club!

Looking for books that challenge and inspire your life and business? Look no further than these top-shelf recommendations from the SPI Book Club! Pat Flynn August 3, 2018 Last month, I sent out an email to the SPI Book Club asking for book recommendations to share here on the blog. Here’s what I asked: What is one book you read this year that you’ve really loved? And what is the number one reason you recommend the book? I started receiving book recommendations almost immediately after I sent the email, and I’m so grateful. Thanks so much for sharing your current book favorites with me, book club members! There were so many amazing book recommendations to choose from, including one book we picked for the August edition of the book club: Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss as recommended by Matt (@mds on Twitter)! [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I […]

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5 Things Only Serious Writers Do

Whether you’re a pro content writer, fictionist, screenwriter, academic, poet, stateswoman, or bard-preneur (h/t Sonia Simone), you’ve likely experienced anxiety or elation about any number of the habits we all have in common. Authors of all stripes share a deep connective tissue that compels them to congregate in coffee houses and taverns — across the globe — to tell one another stories of their travails over a beverage or two. We all have our varied neuroses, methods of madness, well-worn manuals, muses, writer porn, and incantations that we feel grant us the strength to face the glaring blankness of the page. But there are five fundamental things that set serious writers apart from the rest. Only serious writers: 1. Show up regularly.2. Get started, no matter how inspired they’re feeling. Showing up is an undervalued talent. You could be a word-counter, time-blocker, Pomodoro technician, or an edge-of-your-seat procrastinator … all […]

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