Archive | October, 2011

Good Writing Friday

28 October, 2011

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From the article, “The Modern Hunter-Gatherer,” by Michael Pollan Walking with a loaded rifle in an unfamiliar forest bristling with the signs of your prey is thrilling. It embarrasses me to write that, but it is true. I am not by nature much of a noticer, yet here, now, my attention to everything around me, […]

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Reusable Web Content

27 October, 2011

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consistent reusable web content

There are a lot of websites that contain content that may appear elsewhere on the site or could at some point in the future. Button text, calls to action, link text, notifications and disclaimers, promotional content and informational text are some examples. Maintaining like content across multiple websites or webpages can quickly become cumbersome. The […]

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Split Testing Web Copy

26 October, 2011

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Two web sites I refer to regularly offer fantastic split test case studies. The results prove the value of testing various elements of copy and layout. Which Test Won offers a Test of the Week. My recommendation: subscribe so you don’t miss it. Otherwise the archives are pushed behind a pay wall. AB Tests.com enables […]

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Good Writing Friday

22 October, 2011

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I missed posting a good writing clip yesterday, so I’m playing catch-up. This is from Bryan Burrough’s book, The Big Rich which was a fantastic read. A few passages from the book stick in my mind for their sheer brilliance as stories: from the Introduction: The myths about Texas die so hard, mostly because Texans […]

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QR Codes: Sample Calls to Action

21 October, 2011

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I have a little fetish for QR codes and I’ve especially become fixated on the calls to action that are being used in combination with these not-so-odd-anymore codes. List of qr codes and calls to action I’ve found so far: Aetna: “See the proof and the savings at smarteris.aetna.com/estimator, or just scan the code.” Asus […]

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Finding Quality Web Content: For Dummies

20 October, 2011

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Kids are unable to distinguish quality web content from crap when doing a Google search.

Clive Thompson’s article, “Why Johnny Can’t Search,” in this month’s Wired magazine (19.11), exposes the sad and surprising inability of kids to identify authoritative web content when doing a simple Google search: “Kids know how to Google–they just can’t tell when the results are crap.” Between secondary school and college it’s assumed in the 21st […]

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Writing Web Headlines for Maximum Effect

18 October, 2011

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AdWords headline as an example of an effective web headline

Web headlines have the potential to affect every other word of content on a web page. Given those magical powers, doesn’t it make sense to know how to write a powerful web headline? Web headlines are non-negotiable components of webpages, articles, press releases, reports, white papers, blog posts, landing pages, sales pages, and ads. An […]

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Reading: The Lean Startup

15 October, 2011

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From The Lean Startup by Eric Ries: …the way forward is to learn to see every startup in any industry as a grand experiment. The question is not ‘Can this product be built?’ In the modern economy, almost any product that can be imagined can be built. The more pertinent questions are ‘Should this product […]

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Good Writing Friday: Tech

14 October, 2011

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I pull a paragraph from Sam Anderson’s, “The Human Shuffle,” (a review of social media site ChatRoulette) that appeared in New York Mag: As Internet culture has grown, we’ve come to romanticize certain kinds of unmediated, old-fashioned “human” interactions. But this fantasy ignores how much of normal social interaction is fleeting, bite-size, instant, tweetlike. Humans […]

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What Color is Your Web Content? Breaking the Monotony of Content Strategy Documents

12 October, 2011

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a set of brightly colored pencils

Ethereal ones and zeros assemble to give web content its shape and form. And yet we loooooove to copy and cram it into spreadsheets for the sake of evaluation and analysis. We should be able to walk around content, looking at its shape, even its ….. color. Ideally, there should be other options for analysis. […]

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Adding Message Maps to a Content Strategy

11 October, 2011

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drawing of a maze with a customer at one end and money at the other concept of a sales funnel

Why mapping messages can strengthen customer engagement, win you trust, and fortify your overall content strategy. Recently I’ve built into my own strategy toolkit this little content artifact that I would probably not fly without ever again. I’ve dubbed it a “message map” because that’s precisely what it is. When you have a complex user […]

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Quick Examples of Voice, Tone, and Style

10 October, 2011

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concept of unique style: red sneakers stand out alongside a row of black business shoes.

Tone and style figure prominently in a content strategy, but they are powerful ways to strengthen any kind of content, particularly that of a business, organization at large or the content on a website or as part of a standalone work. How do you establish a tone and voice? Identify and explore the content goals […]

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Swiss Army Knife: History and Metaphor – INFOGRAPHIC

9 October, 2011

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Visual timeline of the Swiss Army Knife from invention in 1891 to marketing metaphor in the 1990s and beyond.

I have used “the Swiss Army Knife” as a metaphor in the past; I proposed it recently as part of a slogan I was working on. The more it nagged at me that I’d heard this metaphorically before, the more I wanted to dive down the rabbit hole. This is a two-part infographic on how […]

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Does Your Content Begin in Bloomingdales and Finish in a Dollar Store?

6 October, 2011

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lost and confused signpost

Any time we give customers a link to follow — where we also control the content on the other end — we must consider the relevancy of the content between here and there. Does point A “match” point B? Or does your content leave them feeling bewildered and disoriented, as if they stepped in the […]

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7 Web Content Strategies for Landing Page Conversion

5 October, 2011

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Or, “How to optimize web content on landing pages following some simple “tricks” all the cheesy affiliate landing pages use.” I clicked what I considered an appealing ad on Weather.com this morning only to find that it kerplunked me on a HORRIBLE landing page for a national property restoration company. No small biz faux pas. […]

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Do Your Customers Know How To Use a QR Code?

3 October, 2011

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Instructional copy when, where, and how to use it is largely driven by audience. QR codes are one application of web content that users may or may not be familiar with. Who are your customers and do they need some assistance to actually access the content locked away in a QR code? While plundering my […]

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