As I’ve said before, overcoming perfectionism is not an excuse to publish sloppy or uninspired writing. Content that works for your business is not only clear, accurate, and educational, it also gives insight into your values. And if it doesn’t contain aspects that make it memorable, it’s not going to work. Of course, memorable content Read More…
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What do the Solar Eclipse of 2017 and Content Marketing have in common? You may be surprised…
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Website security has never been more critical. Hackers, ransomware, and denial of service attacks are all concerns for modern business websites. Nothing will erode your audience’s trust in you faster than visiting your website and getting a security warning, or having Google flash a “You can’t trust this site” message in your search results. Even Read More…
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This week on the Hubcast: An INBOUND speaker cancellation, convincing your boss to send you to events, and is live video practical for your video strategy?
The post Hubcast 148: #INBOUND17 Cancellation, New Speakers, & The Donald appeared first on The Sales Lion.
This week offers a mix of inspiration, clarity, purpose … and some good, old-fashioned results-oriented copywriting. On Monday, I shared some of the practical, repeatable steps you can use to create an online course that people actually want to buy. (That’s a fun thing to do, by the way, and I totally recommend it.) Brian Read More…
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The right users may be signing up for your free trials…
They may be activating.
They may be experiencing AHA moments and getting value out of what your SaaS offers. They may be the perfect candidate for a paying customer.
But here’s the problem: too many of them are not buying. They’re not converting from free to paid. They should convert. But they’re just… not.
Could be your free trial is too long. Could be your pricing is wrong. Could be your whole business model is wrong. Or it could be something much
URL to post
Once upon a time, there was a straightforward solution to “monetizing” your website when you got tired of trying to make AdSense work:
Write an ebook!
Having something of your own to offer, even a simple $7 ebook, virtually always beats trying to monetize your traffic with advertising.
And that’s still true. (In fact, sales of ebooks hit $9 billion in 2015.)
But as more and more people have taken that advice, we need to get a little more strategic to build strong businesses around ebooks.
It can still be done, and I’ll be talking about folks who are doing it. But you can also let ebooks become part of a bigger game, within a larger digital business strategy.
The straight ebooks-for-sale play
We all know that some fiction authors are making a killing selling digital-only books on Amazon.
In fact, a few of those authors are dear friends of ours.
But that’s not what we’ll be talking about today. The world of fiction is a fascinating one in its own right, but the other type of ebook — the somewhat traditional “information product” designed to teach something valuable — is one we have a lot of experience with.
Two powerhouse ebook publishers
It’s getting trickier to build a business around ebooks alone, but if you look at Darren Rowse’s Digital Photography School, that site grew to an ecommerce powerhouse on the strength of ebooks.
(In recent years, DPS has expanded to offer courses as well — a natural evolution that can be remarkably profitable.)
The DPS ebooks
We definitely had a creativity thread weaving through the week, both on the blog and the podcasts.
On Monday, I continued our “Quick Copy Tips” series by talking about the difference between benefits and features. It’s one of the first topics covered in nearly every copywriting book, but even experienced writers often get it wrong — because it can be so tricky to see with fresh eyes. I gave you a fast way to do exactly that.
On Tuesday, Stefanie addressed that nasty creativity killer: perfectionism. It takes many forms and hides in many disguises. She reminded us of the one thing we all have to do to defeat it.
And on Wednesday, we posted our creativity and productivity prompts for August. We’re offering a new pair of prompts for you every month this year, to help you create stronger work and more of it. This month’s prompts were heavily influenced by Growing Gills, Jessica Abel’s terrific book on productivity for creative people.
Over on Copyblogger FM, we republished an episode on writing (much better) blog comments. Blog comments can be a surprisingly great way to forge connections with web publishers … but there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way. Quit writing flat, stale comments and start leaving comments that actually make an impact.
And in an encore episode of The Writer Files, Kelton Reid shared a fascinating conversation with neuroscientist Michael Grybko about the nature of creativity — where it comes from and how to nurture
Happy August! It’s time for our pair of prompts to make you more creative and more productive.
For those of you who haven’t joined us yet, each month in 2017 we’re providing a pair of prompts: one to make you more productive and one to improve your creativity or writing skill.
Feel free to try one prompt or both. You can join the fun anytime you like. And let us know about your experiences in the comments!
The August Productivity Prompt
This month’s prompt is inspired by Jessica Abel’s excellent book for creative souls, Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When You’re Drowning in Your Daily Life.
I’m presenting the very start of her program here as a bit of a “hack,” but the strength of Abel’s book is that it isn’t a collection of hacks. It’s a smart, flexible, and comprehensive system that lets you make more progress on your creative work — including the kind that you don’t have a deadline for yet.
Our August productivity prompt is:
For the next week or 10 days, keep track of how you spend each hour of your day.
You’re not going to figure out your priorities (yet). You’re not going to decide what to attack during your most productive time (yet). You’re just going to make quick notes as you go through your day about how you’re spending your time.
Just like tracking what you eat or how much money you spend, tracking your time gives you a clarity you
The fear of criticism …
It can certainly discourage you from writing in the first place, and it also can disguise itself as perfectionism when you do attempt to create content for your business.
If you delay publishing your writing — while you try to improve your content before anyone else reads it — you are likely trying to avoid criticism.
The false belief associated with perfectionism is that if everything is “just right,” you’ll protect yourself from someone pointing out something you did wrong or something they don’t like (which is impossible to control).
The pivotal word in the sentence above is “false.” In the pursuit of perfection, you both perpetuate a false belief and prevent yourself from being as prolific of a writer as you could be.
So, how do noteworthy business blogs gain recognition for their remarkable writing without the perils of perfectionism?
Face your true challenge (it’s not criticism)
Let’s imagine a scenario where no one criticizes your writing.
It’s not that far-fetched of a concept because it happens on many blogs every single day … blogs no one reads.
The downside of a lack of criticism is that your blog probably doesn’t have a substantial number of readers yet or your content doesn’t meaningfully impact the people it does reach.
Criticism can be unpleasant, but it’s not the most harmful thing for your blog. Obscurity is.
The non-perfectionist knows …
When you create content that isn’t boring and forgettable, there will always be someone who doesn’t like what you do.