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Archives for October 2012

Are You a Lunatic to Think Your Headlines Should Be Tweet-Worthy?

A headline has only one job: to grab the reader’s attention and get her to read the first sentence of your post.

If you succeed at that, and follow with quality content, you may hold your reader’s attention all the way to the end of your post.

OK, maybe the headline has a second job: to get readers to tweet, share, or otherwise spread your post.

Something interesting happened this week to show the power of a headline.

Jon Morrow, Associate Editor of Copyblogger (and at his request being lovingly dubbed “His Royal Awesomeness,”)  published a post on his blog called “How to Triumph in a World of Naysaying Party Poops.”It is a powerful post that quickly got about 30+ comments.

But don’t go looking for it under that title.

When I went back the day after it appeared to read the comments, the title had changed to  “Are You a Lunatic to Think You Can Make a Living from Your Blog?”


Just like that!

I did a double-take, rubbed my eyes and questioned my memory, but Carol Tice from MakeaLivingWriting was the first to call Jon out and question his motives. Only then was I brave enough to chime in.

  • Hey Jon — I’m fascinated by something. When I read this story yesterday, it had a different headline! What nefarious tricks are you up to here? For the record, I liked the Party Poops headline. Did you just do a different one on email/RSS? Could have sworn that one was here yesterday.

    Did you swap it out because you didn’t like how it was performing? Mwahahaha…I think it’s Dr Evil/His Royal Awesomeness at work behind the curtain here…

  • Good catch Carol. The title was different yesterday. I remember liking it too.

    What gives Jon? Are you testing titles? If so, what’s the verdict?


  • Yep, I changed it. I really liked the earlier headline too, but it was doing terrible for sharing. Not enough of a clear benefit, I guess.

    So, I tested out a couple of different headlines on Twitter, and then I changed it to the one that got the most retweets. Then I emailed everyone on my list who didn’t hadn’t read the blog post yet.

    The result:

    Traffic has nearly doubled. :-)


So there you have it from His Royal Awesomeness.

Here’s what I learned:

1. No matter how clever your headlines, don’t get attached them. Click to tweet

2. Test your headlines. Click to tweet

3. Keep the headlines that generate the most tweets (or other shares you’re going after.) Click to tweet.

Call me crazy, but if your goal is to get engaged readers I call this freakin’ genius.

What do you think?



Celebrate Black Poetry Day


Today we celebrate Black Poetry Day in honor of Jupiter Hammon, who is believed to be the first African American to publish poetry in the United States. He was born into slavery in Long Island, New York on October 17, 1711.

His poem “An Evening Thought” was first published on Christmas Day at the age of 49. Hammon is considered one of the founders of African-American literature.

In honor of Hammon’s birth, we celebrate the contributions of all African Americans to the world of poetry. Some of the most notable are Langston Hughes, Phyllis Wheatley, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Maya Angelou.

[Langston Hughes recites his poem “I,Too”, often called “I Am America”]


It’s no surprise that many of the early poems by African Americans spoke of overcoming struggles and hardship, often with encouragement and a look to a brighter future.

One of my favorites is by Langston Hughes, “I Too Am America,” brought back to modern attention in The Great Debaters, starring Denzel Washington. [See the scene from the movie below] I’ve posted a video above where you can hear Langston Hughes himself reciting the poem.

I, Too

by Langston Hughes
written in 1932

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

How will you celebrate this day?

1. Look up and reflect on the meaning of poems written by African Americans. See a list of a few at http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets_african_american.html and at http://www.ehow.com/list_5842906_famous-black-poets-authors.html

2. You don’t have to be an African American to write a poem of encouragement, telling how you overcame something in your life or celebrating freedom. Try your hand at a poem now. Share it in the Comments link above the post.

3. Learn about the Harlem Renaissance, a period after World War I when many Blacks migrated North. During this period,  Black poet and writers openly celebrated their history and contributions and opened the doors for many other Black writers to share and be recognized for their work. Learn about this period at http://www.jcu.edu/harlem/index.htm

An expert, and no book?

A marketing expert stopped by my booth at the California Women’s Conference. I recognized her name and was quite proud to meet her in person. She introduced herself and told me about her unique approach to helping her clients get visibility and move into 7-figure incomes.

I was immediately intrigued and wanted to learn more about her background and approach. Perhaps I would even sign up for her program.

As is my usual practice, when I returned to my office I checked out her website.

Well done.

Next, I dashed over to Amazon to get her book, but I couldn’t find one.

That’s right.

No book.



A marketing expert without a book in her area of expertise?

That diminished her credibility in my mind.

Sure, her work and results could be as amazing as she
described without her having written a book.

Get stated on your book with the e-course,

Rockin’ My Book now.

With the changes in publishing it’s easier than ever
to create a full-length print book or an ebook. That’s why
it’s surprising to find a blogger, coach or entrepreneur who
has not made the time and commitment to write up her
approach, system, best tips, advice or success story.

If this sounds like you, be aware of another sobering fact:
meeting planners, bloggers and radio hosts are less likely
to invite you to interviews and speaking gigs if you don’t
have a published book.

There is good news.

Your book doesn’t have to be a full-length  print version to
earn respect. E-book authors are winning credibility
along with print authors even though ebooks are a lot shorter
and much quicker to create and publish.

Don’t let your credibility be diminished any longer because
you don’t have a book on the market. As a blogger, coach
or entrepreneur you already have content that you share
with your clients and subscribers. Turning what you know
into a print or ebook is the next logical step.

Get stated on your book with the e-course,
Rockin’ My Book now.

More good news.

You don’t have to choose between a print book and an ebook.
Most authors create both.

If you are ready to step up your positioning, credibility and
visibility, let me be your partner in your journey to publishing
your print book or ebook.

Best news of all.

Grab the 4-week e-course and work on it at
your own pace. Get stated on your book with the e-course,
Rockin’ My Book now available now.  In it we will tackle the toughest
part of writing your book: getting started, targeting your reader and
making a workable plan to complete and market your book.

Get stated on your book with the e-course,
Rockin’ My Book now.

I look forward to being your partner to publishing success.


P.S. If your inner critic is telling you that it’s too late to start or finish your book this year, send her to the corner without her dinner. She’s wrong. Join me in Rockin’ My Book and we’ll set her straight together.