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In his essay, “It’s Necessary for the Scene,” American playwright David Mamet explains why no play or movie he writes or directs include explicit sex scenes. Mamet is no prude. He cut his teeth in the theatre, working in and around that last great institution of vagabonds and players, excess and fornication.
Copywriting is not writing. It is assembling. The best copywriters collect the varied parts of their research and assemble those parts into a true story that resonates with the particular worldview of an audience. Then that story is tested, tweaked, and deployed again. A story that enters the conversation an audience is already having, can be a story that travels.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s something the immortals — from Aristotle to Ogilvy to Mamet — have known, but few have stated it as directly as I’m about to. By now, many of you know the basics of the craft of copywriting … Know your audience. Know your product cold. Research. Nail the headline. Write plainly, in the language of your audience. Research more.
Sherlock Holmes was the greatest Consulting Detective in the world. Though merely a fiction — written over a century ago by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — his methods of logical deduction are without equal. Holmes’s mastery of his craft brought him to the fog-cloaked London doorsteps of the most powerful people of his time. Correction: he was so good, those clients came to him.
This is a simple story about the life of a particular writer, and how he ignored the one thing about his craft that would have given him everything he truly wanted … A young man in his late twenties decided to become a writer. At the beginning of the pursuit of his craft, he sought out all the writing advice he could find.
Let’s go deep for a moment. Below the surface, not in the 20th-century French existentialist sense, but to a much more simple understanding of depth that can actually start to make things happen for your content marketing strategy … whatever it is you’re trying to do online. As Mr. Sartre once said, “Words are loaded pistols.” I happen to believe that is a true statement.
The blank page is a nightmare. The great writers of the ages have feared it more than evil spirits, wasting disease, and visiting in-laws. Yet, if you want something to happen, you’ve got to spill the ink on that thing. You’ve got to do it every day. Like a detective, the writer is always digging. And when that digging unearths an idea, the writer is desperate for a way to get it down.
Every writer who has ever lived has lusted after ideas. Where are they, how do I get them, and how do I keep them coming? If you’ve been writing long enough, you know that — like Solomon — there is nothing new under the sun. Try as you might to sweat them out of your head or pull them gently from the stars above, there are no new ideas. So, relax.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we rolled out our digital business podcast network, Rainmaker FM. A lot has happened in the time since Brian Clark and I started throwing this idea around in late 2014. Here are just a few of the facts on how things have gone … In one year, Rainmaker FM has: Created or partnered with 24 distinct shows Published an average of ...
Brian and I have been talking about his new curation-based email newsletter lately, and I thought it’d be interesting to have a similar conversation with someone in a completely different topical market. It’s about one person writing and curating a topic he knows and cares about, building a massive email audience over a period of four years, then turning all that work into ...
Before you get down to business online, you need to find the topic(s) and market(s) that can support that business. And, after answering your questions on digital sharecropping and content curation, that’s exactly what Brian and I get into on this week’s episode of Rainmaker FM. Listen in and check out the seven-part process for finding the topic market that can fuel ...
In the latest episode of Rainmaker FM, Brian Clark and I talk about the big picture of digital commerce. Many of us are now familiar with platforms like Udemy and Skillshare, but in 2007 Copyblogger launched its first product, one that was aimed directly at the myth that people wouldn’t pay for digital content.