Blogging

How To Quit Your Startup (Or Anything Else You Need To Quit) – FS203

Listen, some things you just need to quit. You realize you need to stop doing it, stop it. Acknowledge and move on. But other things… other things are big, hairy, important, terrifying things. To quit these kinds of things is heavy, emotional, traumatic. So, in this article (and accompanying podcast) I’m going to share: How we get “bamboozled” into working on stuff that burns us out; What role our intuition plays in deciding what to quit and what to pursue; How to play a simple game to make your quitting decision crystal clear. Let’s get into it. But First, the podcast If you are thinking about quitting something you need to listen to this podcast. You’re going to hear three different stories of quitting, how each person knew, what they learned, etc. Their different perspectives will inspire you. But even MORE important, we interview a Fizzle member who JUST resigned…

Blogging

How to Build Trust and Enhance Your Influence with Content Marketing

Know, like, trust. At its essence, those three things are why we do content marketing. And if you’re not hitting all three, you’re likely not enjoying success with your content. Traditional marketing is big on the know — it’s all about creating awareness in the marketplace. Add in some clever messaging to prompt some level of liking, and mission accomplished, right? It’s as if awareness of a brand is enough to spark trust. And it’s true — we do tend to prefer brands that we know, even if there’s no true difference between one product and a generic one. But when it comes down to choosing between two or more brands, trust becomes critical. This is one of the benefits that content marketers have over competitors who don’t create and freely share valuable information — and it can be substantial if done correctly. Trust works on many levels: Do you…

Blogging

A Guide to Meaningful Content that Resonates

Oh the drama! No, I’m not talking about the latest political fight you got into on Facebook — I mean this week on Copyblogger has been all about creating dramatic, meaningful content that pulls your audience toward you. On Monday, Brian shared five proven techniques that stir emotions and inspire people to act on your content. And on the Copyblogger FM podcast, I talked about how some of the Super Bowl ads sparked more drama than they intended — with thoughts on what to do when your once-neutral message takes on a political charge. On Tuesday, our friend Sean D’Souza dove into interesting ways to use audience objections (all of those annoying reasons people don’t buy) to increase the dramatic tension in your content. And on Wednesday, I just flat out broke down and pleaded with you (well, maybe not you, but someone like you) to quit hiding your best…

Blogging

How to Quit Being So Damned Boring

It always begins with so much promise. “I’ve been working really hard on my site. I put a lot of time and effort into it, but it’s just not getting any traction. Can you take a look?” I don’t want to take a look. Because by now, I know what I’m going to find. And it just makes me sad. There it is, the capable site design. The perfectly decent headlines. The bullet points of usefulness. The careful, even painstaking articles, describing 7 Ways to Do the Thing. The blogger has been studying, and that’s excellent. We love content marketing strategy. But not when writers forget the most important thing: Nobody has the time or attention span to read a boring website. Why do we do it? Why do we launch a new site, when there are already hundreds of sites exactly like it? Why put hours into writing content…

Blogging

Transform Your Content from Predictable to Provocative with This Bold Method

Stop for a moment to think about a super-athlete. A person who won 122 consecutive races and broke the world record four times. That super-athlete is Edwin C. Moses, a man who completely dominated the 400-meter hurdle event and won every race in sight between 1977 and 1987. And then it happened. On June 4, 1987, in Madrid, Spain, Danny Harris beat Moses. Objections in articles are like Danny Harris. They bring in an unexpected element to one-sided content. Instead of the article pushing a single idea forward, there’s a sudden disturbance. Let’s find out exactly why objections are so powerful and how to use them in your writing. So, why are objections so critical? There’s the obvious reason why objections are part of content that deeply engages your audience: it’s called drama. Most articles start off driving home a point and keep that sustained point of view until the…

Blogging

5 Writing Techniques that Stir Your Audience to Action

We all want a positive response to the content we work so hard to create. Not all positive responses, however, are created equal. I’m reminded of this David Ogilvy quote from Ogilvy on Advertising: “When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product. When Aeschines spoke, they said, ‘How well he speaks.’ But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, ‘Let us march against Philip.’” In other words, if you’re looking for something more than “Great post!” comments, then you’ve got to prompt action. And that means you’ve got to stir something in the audience before they’ll do something. Now, before we get to that, one easy way to get someone to do something is to simply ask. I’m assuming you’re already using calls to action, but if not, click that…

Blogging

2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The February Prompts

Leave a comment with your entry for this month’s content challenge. You’ll have the chance to win a really good book! Hey, it’s February! And that means we have two new prompts for our 2017 Content Excellence Challenge. This month, we’re going to send a copy of Jonah Sachs’s book Winning the Story Wars to five randomly selected commenters. (See the details below for more about who we will and will not be able to send books to.) Remember, you have two weeks before comments on the post close, so don’t dawdle. Give the creative prompt a try and show off how it turned out. February’s Creative Prompt: Speak to one person This is one of my all-time favorite ways to make your writing much better, instantly. The prompt is: Craft your writing to speak to one, and only one, person. As you write, imagine you’re sitting down with this…

Blogging

Get Engaged to Your Audience and Customers

Roses are Red Violets are Blue Valentine’s Day is Tuesday Why is content marketing so hard? Welcome to the week before Valentine’s Day! As it happens, it’s connection and engagement week at Copyblogger — and the content this week is all about how you can create a more profound bond with your audience. On Monday we had a fun day, because we got to finally let you know about something cool we’ve been working on behind the scenes — StudioPress Sites. This new product was conceived and shaped based on our in-depth conversations with customers, and we’re super proud of it. If you’re looking to launch a new site with all the flexibility of WordPress — and without the irritating parts — check it out. On Tuesday, Brian gave us an in-depth post about how to create content that deeply engages your audience. This is a meaty post, so plan…

Blogging

5 Cognitive Biases You Need to Put to Work … Without Being Evil

All writing is persuasion in one form or another. This is more obvious in some types of writing than others, but it is nonetheless true for all. When it comes to copywriting, it is clearly true. Every piece of copy we write should drive a reader toward a specific action. “Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it’s just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it.” – David Sedaris But even the best piece of copy in the world doesn’t actually control a reader’s actions. Well-written copy only provides the “illusion of control.” What a reader does after reading is dependent on the “stuff” they brought into it. That “stuff” includes past experiences, preconceived notions, and, above all else, cognitive biases. Let’s discuss a helpful handful of these cognitive biases — some you’ll know well, some you may not —…

Blogging

How to Create Content that Deeply Engages Your Audience

Art Silverman had a vendetta against popcorn. Silverman wanted to educate the public about the fact that a typical bag of movie popcorn has 37 grams of saturated fat, while the USDA recommends you have no more than 20 grams in an entire day. That’s important information. But instead of simply citing that surprising statistic, Silverman made the message a little more striking: “A medium-sized ‘butter’ popcorn contains more artery-clogging fat than a bacon-and-eggs breakfast, a Big Mac and fries for lunch, and a steak dinner with all the trimmings — combined!” Yes, what you say is crucial. But how you say it can make all the difference. How you say it is determined by your “who” “Marketing succeeds when enough people with similar worldviews come together in a way that allows marketers to reach them cost-effectively.” – Seth Godin When you create a well-rounded representation of your ideal customer,…