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A Cheat Sheet for Writing Blog Posts That Go Viral

Ever wish you could get the Cliff Notes for writing popular posts? You know, just go straight to what works, and forget everything else?

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Why Educating Readers Is No Longer Enough (and How to Really Build an Audience in 2014)

Why Educating Readers Is No Longer Enough (and How to Really Build an Audience in 2014)

Only fools depend on educational content to grow their audience.

There. I said it.

But…

What about all the huge sites like WebMD and Moz getting millions of visitors through publishing educational content?

What about all the blog, podcast and video heavyweights who say publishing educational content is key to building a presence online?

And for that matter, what about this blog post? Isn’t this educational content? Aren’t I being a bit of a hypocrite?

All fair questions. In the next few minutes, I’ll answer all of them.

For now though, let me pose another question:

If you’re a beginner, and you’re starting from scratch, what’s the best way to build an audience in 2014?

Ask a dozen popular bloggers that question, and at least half of them will tell you to publish great content. I would be one of them.

The problem?

It’s a useless answer. Here’s why:

Nobody truly knows what great content is. Not even me.

Let me explain. More

9 Essential Books That Will Transform Your Writing Forever

9 Essential Books That Will Transform Your Writing Forever

Admit it.

You have several half-read writing books stacked up on your nightstand, several more squirreled away in a desk drawer and a dozen more on your Amazon wish list.

You scrutinize all the books that “customers also bought” looking for those one-of-a-kind books that will transform you into a great writer. You jump “inside the book” to read the table of contents and credits and page through the free preview.

Searching for the magic formula.

The formula that will erase the silent self-doubt. The nagging thought that you’re not quite good enough as a writer.

Books have an uncanny power to teach us, to transport us, to move us light years beyond our ordinary lives. If we could only find the right books, the tried-and-true books written by trusted masters. So we keep looking.

And once in a while you find a writing book that speaks to your heart and gets to the core of what you’re struggling with right now. It changes you. It changes your writing. It changes your life.

Because mastering the craft of writing depends upon your continuing education as a writer. It means you regularly upgrade and fine-tune your skills.
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Are You Damaging Your Email List with These 11 Rookie Mistakes?

Are You Damaging Your Email List with These 11 Rookie Mistakes?

So you’ve finally done it.

You’ve been thinking about it for a while, but now you’ve actually done it.

You’ve set up an email list for your blog.

Feels good, doesn’t it?

Because you just moved up in the world.

You’re not just a blogger any longer; you’re a list owner.

That means you’ve joined the ranks of serious bloggers who understand the value of a captive audience.

The same bloggers who know that email is still the best way of getting readers to take the action you want them to take. Like reading your latest killer post.

So you’ve put a sign-up form on the front page of your blog to catch new subscribers.

And each time you publish a new post, it automatically gets sent out to your list.

Job done, right? You’ve set it, so now you can forget it.

Sadly not …
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How to Run Your First Webinar (with No Skills, No Stress and No Budget)

How to Run Your First Webinar (with No Skills, No Stress and No Budget)

It’s just too scary, isn’t it?

You see all those fancy schmantzy bloggers offering webinars.

And everyone and their cat is queuing up to watch them.

They have the authority; they get the attention.

Yes, I bet it’s crossed your mind to do it too.

After all, webinars are supposed to be the hottest thing on the Net.

But to run a webinar yourself? It’s just too damn scary.

There’s the huge cost.  And how to even start creating a webinar, let alone broadcast it?

It’s beyond the reach of a blogger like you, right?

I’m here to tell you something: the world of webinars has changed.

It’s now affordable. It’s easy. You can do it.

In fact, you should do it.

Here’s why …
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How to Write Spellbinding Introductions by Shamelessly Copying the Pros

How to Write Spellbinding Introductions by Shamelessly Copying the Pros

You’ve heard the advice a million times, right?

“To write better, study the writing of other great writers.”

And on the surface that makes sense.

Until you actually try to do it.

Seriously, how exactly do you study great writing?

Should you just read other writers and hope their brilliance rubs off through some form of literary osmosis? Should you write out in long hand what others have typed, in hopes of similar spontaneous hand-to-brain absorption? Or should you rely on something more concrete?

Writing well is hard enough, and the last thing you need is ambiguous advice to further complicate the successful-writer puzzle.

What you really need is a cheat sheet. You need a map to help you navigate the successful writing tactics used by the masters.

Fortunately, you can learn many lessons about great writing technique from just one place – the blog post introduction.

Let’s take a look at a specific example.
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