You want to be the world’s best online writer, a David Ogilvy of the blogs, a Shakespeare of the social media. Or maybe you just want to be good enough to get by on freelance writing.
Where do you get your education?
How do you improve?
I faced these questions / still face these questions as I aim to keep improving as an online writer. I majored in journalism in college. There wasn’t a content marketing course back in the day.
Everything I’ve learned has been self-taught.
And I’d love to share some of my favorite lessons.
I’ve emptied my swipe file. What you see here is everything I’ve got. You want to learn more about writing for the web, content marketing, the most persuasive way to communicate online. Here’s the place to start.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
I really wanted this to be a 30,000-word guide to content marketing.
#1 on Google.
1000s of social shares.
Linked to by Copyblogger’s Brian Clark!
And the more and more I thought about it — and the more and more I’ve been amazed at the 30,000-word content marketing resources currentlyout there — I came around to this one small thought:
What’s the best way I can help you have the biggest impact on your content today?
For me, I tend to get my best, most actionable insights in bite-sized snippets. One of my favorite newsletters is from 500 Distro, a newsletter called #DistroSnack where each daily email is bite-sized — 50 words or less, plus a GIF. So …
I would love to help you, today, in 50 words or less, plus a GIF.
It might not be an email newsletter series (yet), but it is a post that you can skim and grab a nugget, or bookmark and revisit. Actionable snacks galore. :)
Thanks for the chance to share these tips with you. Thanks for reading!
Big thanks to Brian and the Autopilot team for letting me ramble a bit about my favorite copywriting tips. I’ve already found myself going back to this post for the info on customer development questions. Guest posting = Evernote!
Ryan Holiday’s Growth Hacker Marketing goes into great detail to describe what it is that a growth hacker actually does (my translation: he or she combines data with marketing and is able to ship, test, and analyze everything on his or her own).
What I found really useful was seeing what a growth hacker process might actually look like:
they merged marketing into their product development;
they kicked off growth with early adopters;
they added viral elements;
and then they relentlessly repeated these cycles, always guided by the data, with an eye toward optimization.
Cool! I can do that!
The book was super valuable for understanding the mindset of a growth hacker and also what growth hacking might look like in a startup or company. It feels much more attainable having read this. It feels right on point, too.
We’re working on a lot of exciting new projects at Buffer, and with new projects come new marketing opportunities.
And with new marketing opportunities come new taglines.
It’s been so fun to work with teammates (Leo, Courtney, and others) and riff on possible taglines for products like Pablo (“Design engaging images for your social media posts in under 30 seconds”), new Buffer analytics (“Easily find your most popular social media posts”), and more (Buffer: “Powerful social media sharing and scheduling on the go”).
And the more chances I’ve had to participate in these exercises, the more I realize there is somewhat of an art and science to the way we approach things.
I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with a brand new newsletter here on my site, and I’d love to let you behind the scenes on how it all came to be. My newsletter journey is an ongoing one (shameless plug: you can join the list here), and I feel even slightly odd sharing anything about it yet. I’m no expert, just an experimenter.
That being said, sharing stuff—every little tiny detail that might be helpful—is kind of why I got into the newsletter business.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here’s the gist of what I’ve learned so far about how to start a newsletter.