My interview on writing killer headlines for web content [VIDEO]

Wordtracker interview with Nick Usborne about web content headlinesRecently Ken McGaffin of Wordtracker interviewed me about the craft and art of writing great headlines for web content.

As always, I spoke for too long, so we had to divide the interview into two separate videos. In addition, these aren’t the most finely produced of our videos. I think I sat way too close to the camera!

That aside, we covered some interesting ground.

Too many web content writers pay scant attention to writing a great headline. This is a problem, because headlines have a huge impact both on how many people actually read your content pages, and on how widely shared those pages are through social media.

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Monday Spark: Giving military wives a voice by teaching them to sing together.

singing for inspirationI’m in the U.K. at the moment, and watched a remarkable program on the television here.

Gareth Malone is a choirmaster. I understand he’s in his forties, but he looks more twenty. Anyway, he is a professional and has worked with some of the leading choirs in the country.

But recently, instead of working at some high-brow opera house, he is driving around the country to military bases. When he gets there, he organises the military wives into choirs and teaches them to sing.

Military wives are the women left behind when their husbands are deployed overseas, principally to Afghanistan. They are isolated and live under a shadow of fear, hoping and praying their husbands come home.

Gareth Malone creates a remarkable bond with these women, and tutors even the most timid of them until they find their voice.

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Is your content created simply to market your site, or to actually inform your readers?

books in libraryAll too often we create content simply for the purpose of marketing our website or blog.

We are driven by the knowledge that the creation of content is a powerful means to attract new visitors.

In other words, we use content as bait.

But when we do this, are we really giving our readers what they really want?

Another way to look at it would be to view your website or blog as a library.

For a moment, imagine your site as a physical library, built with bricks and mortar, and stocked with hardbound volumes.

Now think about what kinds of books you would buy for your library.

In the real world of bricks and mortar you would buy and display books according to what the public wanted to find there. You would cater to their tastes, and have yards of reference books on the shelves that might be rather mundane in their subject matter, but are nevertheless what your readers want to find.

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Monday Spark: In awe of nature.

The feeling of awe is a powerful thing. We can feel it when watching a gymnast performing some incredible feat, or at the birth of a child, or in nature.

That moment of awe has a profound effect on us. It’s a little like a reset button, allowing us to view everything afresh. All the jumbled up worries and thoughts in our minds are swept away.

For myself – perhaps because I don’t have easy access to gymnasts, and have just the right number of children already – I find awe in nature.

This isn’t my video, but I bet if I had been in that canoe, I would have felt a profound sense of awe. Even watching the video, I feel a sense of quiet amazement, and peace.

Take a moment, and enjoy.

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

NOTE: If you want help in moving your business forward, or launching it, check out my coaching service for freelancers.

About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach.

Opportunities for online copywriters in 2012 [VIDEO]

online copywriting opportunityI put this video together for anyone who is thinking about specializing in online copywriting.

I was inspired to make the video by a few people who had approached me and asked whether or not there was still a viable opportunity for online copywriters, or whether the market was already saturated.

That’s a reasonable question – and I think and hope this short video answers it.

As you will see, I actually think the opportunity is bigger than ever, and for 4 specific reasons.

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Monday Spark: Checking items off your To-Do list makes you feel good.

to do listTo give yourself a daily lift in spirits, get into the habit of using to-do lists.

I have an ongoing list of things I need to get done, and the days by which they are due.

When I get up in the morning, I can immediately see my tasks for the day.

As each item is completed, I check a box next to the item.

As the day progresses, more and more items get checked off.

At the end of the day I can look at my list – at all the items with check marks against them – and I feel good.

I feel good because I can see what I have done with my day. I can see I have had a productive day. I can see that I have made progress and am moving forward.

Funny thing – I used to simply delete items from the list as I progressed through each day. But…

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