If you read Copyblogger and dream of striking out on your own, you need to know that independent business isn’t always good. Bad things do happen.
For instance, I’m writing this in a bookstore cafe. Two tables down from me, there’s a guy with his headphones on belting out “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon. (You’re an old person in the blogosphere if you know who Carly Simon is. Hint: She’s kind of like the Jonas Brothers, except she’s female and not like them in any way whatsoever.)
See, people think that being an entrepreneur means freedom and independence, but nobody stops to consider the perils of the Singing Cafe Guy.
So be careful what you learn around these parts, or you could end up where I am. Now don your earplugs and take cover, because here’s what happened this week on Copyblogger:
In this post about things that non-spammers can learn from spammy tactics, Daniel Scocco missed at least one technique that successful spammers use to make sales: innuendo mixed with crime reports. I once got a spam email for some “adult services” that ended with this disturbing signoff:
Mwah XOXO always
Police: Man hunted in family slayings kills self
I didn’t join up (despite promises that “i setup a private entry for you with my contact info for tonight”), but I did write about it on my blog. That has to count for something.
Any post that has to start with a disclaimer is a good one in my book, and Daniel’s does. We’re not spammers… okay, fine. But if we can think like spammers just a little bit, we can probably improve our conversion even if we’re not selling Viagra.
Mwah XOXO always
So it wasn’t yet 11am on Tuesday when Stephen Covey called me all angry and yelling about Annabel Candy’s post title on Copyblogger, and how he wanted remuneration for use of his “X Habits of Highly Effective Ys” format.
So I told him, “Stephen, I’m not in charge of Copyblogger. And plus, it’s fair use. And plus, how did you get my phone number?” That’s when the giant talking Lambchop puppet appeared and I realized I was dreaming, and then woke up in a bin of dead fish once again.
Now that Covey is contained (oh yes – we’ve dealt with him), you definitely need to check out this post so that you can learn how to be Highly Effective. Annabel lists eight things that successful bloggers have in common… so that you can cut to the chase instead of getting lost in the minutia of what they do differently.
My job in writing this wrapup is to give you just enough of a tease about each post so that you’ll want to click through and read the whole thing. I can hint at interesting content, promise free tacos, or (my favorite) use “the WTF technique” — writing something that makes you say, “WTF? Better go check that out.”
Well, I kind of don’t have to say anything on this one, because Erika Napoletano has written the ultimate “WTF” headline.
It suffices to say that playground obesity and dismounting antics do, in fact, have a lot to do with copywriting. And it also suffices to say that Erika has five hot tips for how to unseat overweight children with linguistic jiu-jitsu.
Let’s face it. With that headline, there’s no way you’re not going to read the full post.
Leave it to Sonia Simone to find a way to reference both Jimmy Buffett and an Icelandic volcano (the one named when a cat ran across a keyboard) in a post about online business.
But for real — where are you going to go when the metaphorical volcano in your business blows? What are you going to do when something really crappy happens, like a big client disappearing, a server crashing, or Journey reuniting for a comeback tour?
Do you have contingencies? Do you have enough hairspray?
Sonia has ideas for surviving eruptions in style. I need to implement some of them for myself, actually.
I relate so strongly to this post by Julie Roads that I’m not even going to make a joke about it. I spent two years scared out of my mind, and the problem is you can’t see the forest for the trees. My dad says, “You can’t see out of panic when you’re down inside of it.”
So yeah, no matter what’s going wrong (particularly if it’s in your biz), you could probably use some coping skills. And that’s where this post comes in, so read it.
Okay, maybe one joke.
Q: What’s brown and sticky?
A: A stick.
Now go on and learn about frightened little birds.
About the Author: Johnny B. Truant is one of the creators of “Question the Rules: The nonconformist’s punk rock, DIY, nuts-and-bolts guide to creating the business and life you really want, starting with what you already have” — an awesome new course which will launch this coming Wednesday, April 28th.