FanDuel, Thomas Smith & the Power of Ad Repetition

FanDuel, Thomas Smith & the Power of Ad Repetition

Let’s pretend you want to promote your business on the radio.

First you have to hire somebody like me to write the ad for you.

Then a voice-over actor has to record the copy for you.

Then you have to buy some ad spots from a radio station.

But here’s the thing: You can’t just buy one spot to see how it does. No, no. You’d probably be forced to buy at least five.

Why?

Why Successful Copywriters Don't Sell Words

Why Successful Copywriters Don't Sell Words

Ring.

Ring-ring.

You hear that?

Ring-ring-ring.

That's the sound of a client calling -- a potential client, actually. You haven't signed her yet, but you're about to...

Me, You, Minecraft & the Queen of Content, Sonia Simone

Me, You, Minecraft & the Queen of Content, Sonia Simone

Sonia's hair really is pink.

It's what helped me spot her in the crowded halls of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center last week, where she was a speaker at HubSpot's annual content marketing conference, INBOUND.

"Are you Sonia Simone?" I asked...

Write Less: Say More

Write Less: Say More

Brevity can be beautiful.

Simplicity can be impactful.

Watch...

How to Paint a Picture with Words (Thanks, Babulya)

How to Paint a Picture with Words (Thanks, Babulya)

Imagine a sixty-something woman wearing light blue jeans and a pink sweater.

A single gold band – her only piece of jewelry – adorns her ring finger. Her hair is thick and short and silver. She’s walking hand-in-hand with a brown-haired little boy who won't stop jumping.

The woman was my grandmother, my babulya, in 1992. I'm the boy. And little did I know I was about to witness a miracle...

The Critical Marketing Principle a Kind-Hearted Homeless Man Never Lets Me Forget

The Critical Marketing Principle a Kind-Hearted Homeless Man Never Lets Me Forget

"Good morning to you, too," I said. "What's your name, anyway?"

"Harry!" he boomed. "Good to meet you, man!"

"Good to meet you," I said. "Have a good one!"

And with that I walked away from my first discourse with Harry, a good-natured homeless man I've been passing on my way to work for months.

Harry, however, isn't your "typical" homeless person.

4 Steps to Crafting Professional-Grade Headlines That Won't Be Ignored

4 Steps to Crafting Professional-Grade Headlines That Won't Be Ignored

A professional-grade headline gets noticed, clicked, and (if the content behind it is valuable) shared.

A professional-grade headline sticks in your head if you don't click it.

It doesn't give you time to think. It's as though it's speaking to you and you alone, controlling your attention and paralyzing you with curiosity.

How a Stranded Mountaineer's Life-Saving Strategy WILL Help You Write More Efficiently

How a Stranded Mountaineer's Life-Saving Strategy WILL Help You Write More Efficiently

Joe Simpson, an English mountaineer, messed up:

In 1985, while descending the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes, he slipped, landed awkwardly, and shattered his tibia into his knee.

Joe’s climbing partner, Simon Yates, was forced to lower him down the side of the mountain using a belay and rope. But the conditions were less than perfect -- it was dark, and a storm was coming through -- and Simon accidentally lowered Joe off a cliff.

Whoops. 

The pair were tied together, so, after some time in a weight stalemate, Simon was forced to cut the rope.

The Truth is People Aren't Going to Read Your Web Content (But That's OK

The Truth is People Aren't Going to Read Your Web Content (But That's OK

Last week, a doctoral student came to me for some blogging advice.

“So you want me to be more concise?" she said. "In academia, I just write until I die."

“Remember,” I said, “your professors are getting paid to read your writing. Everyone else is reading it because they want to."

That's why people who publish content on the Internet -- from established bloggers and journalists to ordinary Twitter and Facebook users -- need to: 

This Movie Forever Changed My Outlook On Work (And It Can Change Yours, Too)

This Movie Forever Changed My Outlook On Work (And It Can Change Yours, Too)

Shinzō Abe is the Prime Minister of Japan. Being Japanese, his sushi standards are high... Prime-Minister-high, you might say.So where does Shinzō Abe take Barack Obama for dinner during the President's trip to Japan last April? He takes him to Sukiyabashi Jiro, a small sushi restaurant that's hidden away, underground, in a Tokyo subway station.

Someone Else's Acid Trip

Someone Else's Acid Trip

What do real-estate agents and the Ku Klux Klan have in common?

Why are drug dealers so fond of living with their mothers?

What makes the perfect parent?

I don't have the answers to these questions, but Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner do...

How to Make Your Writing Better Overnight

How to Make Your Writing Better Overnight

You've likely heard it before: If you're ever feeling unsure of something in life, put some:

  1. Time and
  2. distance

between yourself and whatever has you in doubt. 

How to Swear in Your Writing (Like a Boss)

How to Swear in Your Writing (Like a Boss)

I don't know about you, but when my boss calls out my name, I perk the fuck up. And if he ever swears in a sentence (the way I just did), I stand at attention because I know he means business.

But cursing won't always command attention... It all depends on: