Moving over to nickusborne.com

by Nick Usborne on June 22, 2011

I’m no longer adding new content to this site. There are plenty of articles here, but as of the end of May 2011, all my new writing can be found at nickusborne.com.

Why should web content be creative and entertaining? Well, that’s an easy question to answer. Because readers like to find stuff online that is creative and entertaining. Why isn’t most web content entertaining? Because too many rules gets in the way. Actually, there are layers and layers of things that get in the way of [...]

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Before I talk about the subject of writing and managing related content, I first need to make one point by way of preparation. Don’t create dead-end pages. I have written about this before. To put it simply, it makes no sense to write a great page of content, and then fail to provide links to [...]

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Don’t give me dress-up new. Give me something really new.

April 5, 2011

Dear Blogger, Don’t get me wrong. I like your stuff. The topic you cover is important to me. That’s why I started reading your blog. And I really, really appreciate what I have learned from you. You have a fresh and useful way of looking at things. I guess you could even say I joined [...]

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You don’t win simply by touching your readers’ emotions. You win by arousing those emotions. With story.

March 30, 2011

If you write or speak for a living, you have probably been told to write or speak to people’s emotions a thousand times. Or more. “Don’t speak to their heads, speak to their hearts.” If you are a sales copywriter, you hear the same advice. “People buy because of what they feel, not what they [...]

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The web content sweet spot – where Keywords, Backlinks and Social Signals intersect.

March 23, 2011

Many, many moons ago it was enough simply to use keywords in your content to help readers and the search engines determine the topic of your page. Then along came Google, which was not satisfied just to determine the topic and relevance of a web page. They also wanted to know how good it was, [...]

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The web writer as a pick-up artist.

March 17, 2011

If you haven’t met this guy in real life, you’ll have seen him in the movies. He’s the guy who is convinced he has the perfect pick-up lines for the ladies. He boasts and brags about how he can go into any bar, zero in on the girl he wants, and dazzle her with his [...]

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Google’s Farmer update makes me think of…well, farming.

March 9, 2011

[Disclaimer: If you don’t like farming analogies, you’ll probably find this article intensely irritating.] I’m a farm boy, born and bred. My father must have thanked his lucky stars that he had four boys. All of us were out on the farm and working by the age of 10. In fact, I was a teenager [...]

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Please don’t tell me all your best content is on your website.

March 2, 2011

I mean, that’s so 2005. Back then, it was just about OK to point at your sitemap and say, “There it is. There’s all of our best content, right there.” But not today. How come? Because your readers and prospects want to find at least some of your content where they are, not where you [...]

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Why dead-end content is a waste of your time and money.

February 23, 2011

Pick ten pages from your website at random, excluding the home page. Scroll down to the end of each page, and take a note of what you see after the last line of the body of the page’s text. Make a note of whether there are one or more links there, giving the reader an [...]

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What have you done to Wow your readers lately?

February 16, 2011

Here’s a story for you. Back in the late nineties I was hired for several months by a start-up. My role was to be their online marketing expert during the start-up phase. They hired me because the boss was a huge fan. He had heard me speak at conferences, read all my articles, and thought [...]

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