26 Secrets to Publishing a List Everybody Wants to Read, Download and Link To

1. Start off by giving yourself an idea quotient. The bigger the better.

2. Don’t think. Just write.

3. Find a really important item on your list and repeat it a few times. At first, people will think you made a mistake; but eventually they’ll get the point.

4. Make your title absurdly LOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

5. Make your title ridiculously generic.

6. Make your title totally hilarious.

7. Make your title completely unarguable (see the title of this list as an example)

8. REMEMBER: The more items you have on your list, the more often you can throw one random item in just for the hell of it. (Kind of like this!)

9. Make your list long, but make your sentences short.

10. Double-space your list if the sentences are long.

11. Single-space your list if the sentences are short.

12. In the title of your list, use unexpected numbers like 31, 87 and 62. It sounds cooler, more credible and more human. (As if all lists magically ended up with 50 items every time.) Bah!

13. Find a really important item on your list and repeat it a few times. At first, people will think you made a mistake; but eventually they’ll get the point.

14. Do a Consecutive Repeated Item with more emphasis on the second example.

15. Do a Consecutive Repeated Item with more emphasis on the second example. SERIOUSLY. I’m not going to say it again. Gosh!

16. Dance with language. Screw grammar, punctuation, “rules of writing” and all of that other 11th grade literary bullshit. It’s just a list, man. It ain’t gonna win a Pulitzer. Let it go.http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif

17. Make yourself – as the writer – disappear. Write conversationally so readers forget that they’re reading.

18. Read lists written by some of the great list makers: Seth Godin, Tom Peters, Jeffrey Gitomer.

19. Don’t force it. No need to get the entire list done in one sitting. Add a few items here, a few items there. Save your unfinished lists in a folder and publish them when they feel ready.

20. Alphabetizing your lists has several advantages. First, it’s easy for readers to pace. Second, it leaves the distribution of list items up to chance, which, often times, comes out better. Thirdly, it makes those anal, OCD folks (like yours truly) quite happy.

21. Shorter sentences win. They get read. They get remembered. That’s it.

22. Links are a good idea, just not too many. A confused mind never buys.

23. Make your list an open loop. Encourage readers to add their thoughts, thereby expanding and enhancing your list. REMEMBER: Just because you post it on your blog, doesn’t mean it’s done. In fact, a good list is never done.

24. Find a really important item on your list and repeat it a few times. At first, people will think you made a mistake; but eventually they’ll get the point.

25. Although the number of items on your list is (usually) irrelevant, numbers like 99, 100 and 101 seem to work really well.

26. Spice it up. If your list item is rather long, use a bold, italicized, underlined or ALL CAPS subheading to make the architecture more digestible. See, your writing needs to B-R-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-A-T-H-E more. Like a Norah Jones vocal melody or a Tom Morello guitar solo.

Got it?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are the characteristics of a killer list?

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If you’d like (yet another) list called “43 Reasons to Organize Your Content with Lists,” you know the drill. Send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I’ll deliver the goodies.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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10 Reasons Why You’re Not Blogging Yet

After speaking last week at the St. Louis Business Expo, a lot of people came up to me afterward with questions about blogging.

Naturally, those questions came with a fair amount of reasons for NOT blogging.

All of which were the work of the notorious Bloggie Man.

So, that inspired me to write this list…

10 Reasons Why You’re NOT Blogging Yet

1. You don’t know how.
That’s cool – you can learn the basics in about 20 minutes. Or you could read Naked Conversations and The Cluetrain Manifesto for a more philosophical approach.

The rest you’ll figure out as you go along. Don’t be stopped by not knowing how, or else you’ve NEVER start.

2. You’re scared of technology.
Oh, get over yourself. There are 50 million blogs already out there and 80,000 new blogs popping up everyday! If your nine year-old daughter can do it, so can you. Don’t be held hostage by the generation gap.

Suck it up. Education is the key. Just ask questions, poke around the blogosphere and give it a try. You’ve got VERY little to lose.

3. You have writer’s block.
Bullshit. There’s no such thing as writer’s blocl. Writing is an extension of thinking. You don’t have writer’s block, you have THINKER’S block.

So, try taking some time to just THINK, every single day. You’ll be amazed at what you come up with.

4. You have no discipline.
According to Naked Conversations, 50% of most blogs are abandoned in the first few months. And why? Because people don’t have the discipline to keep up with them.

So, what’s stopping you? Kids? School? Job? Time?

And are you coming up with a “good story” as to why you can’t blog, or it REALLY a valid reason?

REMEMBER: Leo Tolstoy had 13 kids when he wrote War & Peace. What’s YOUR excuse?

5. You have no patience.
Here’s the reality: nobody is going to read, know about, care about or even comment on your blog for at least 3-6 months. And that’s if you post every single day.

SO: Are you willing to stick it out? Are you willing to (not) be validated for a long time?

Sure, it’s a blow to your ego, but it will also grow your patience, stamina and stick-to-it-ive-ness. And it will be worth it. (Eventually.) At the lowest common denominator, at least you’ll have all those great posts and a LOT of practice.

6. You don’t want put out unready or unfinished material.
That’s understandable. The Perfection Trap is common for a LOT of writers. So, here’s my suggestion: post it unfinished. Let the world be your editor.

Sure, not everyone who comments or contributes will give you GOLD, but you never know. There are some smart folks out there. Especially if you position your post in a way that elicits comments, shared stories and contributions.

Consider having a Call to Action at the end of each entry. (See the bottom of this post for a good example.)

7. You think you have to be really insightful and profound.
Nope. I make a living writing about my observations of the world through the lens of WEARING A DAMN NAMETAG 😉 Not exactly Shakespeare.

REMEMBER: Your everyday life is what people will relate to. You don’t have to say anything big and profound.

8. You don’t get it.
Writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. (Got that?)

9. You are afraid to stick yourself out there.
Fine. Consider these three suggestions.

ONE: Channel your fear into your writing. Creativity is about being uncomfortable.

TWO: If you’re scared that your stuff is too personal, consider blogging anonymously. That will give you a few small victories, which will boost your confidence. (Heck, I blogged anonymously for 6 months before I ever DARED to put my real name on anything!) And now, 5 years later, my blog is one of the Top 100 Business Blogs on the Web. Coincidence?

THREE: It’s ironic, but the more personal your writing is, the more people will identify with it. And by “more people” I mean “higher numbers of people” AND “more identification.”

10. You don’t think anybody will read your stuff.
You’re right. Nobody WILL read your stuff … IF YOU NEVER POST IT. Look, the Internet is a pretty big place. And there’s a market for just about everything. So, just post anyway. You’ll be amazed.

My philosophy is, “Whatever you have to say, there’s probably 1000 people somewhere on the Internet who agree with you.”

– – –

No more excuses. The Bloggie Man shall not prevail!

Start your blog TODAY.

Right now.

Seriously, stop reading this post and GO!!!!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Why aren’t you blogging again?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
If I still haven’t convinced you to start blogging, send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I’ll tell you how I made $150,000 from a single post.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Scared of the Bloggie Man?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on blogging for bucks!

Creativity is about NOTICING

NOTICING … ancillary answers.
Because their unintended, incidental nonchalance might be exactly what you didn’t realize you were looking for.

NOTICING … anomalies.
Because NOT questioning or challenging standard scripts is dangerous.

NOTICING … happy accidents.
Because making mistakes has proven to be a leading cause of creative breakthroughs.

NOTICING … how quickly people understand your idea.
Because if they don’t “get it” right away, they never will.

NOTICING … how people respond to your idea.
Because if everybody loves if, or nobody wants to steal it, or if you continuously get shot down at “Why?” it’s probably not that good of an idea.

NOTICING … internal comments.
Because creativity is about listening to your heart, your gut and your inner voice.

NOTICING … what’s around you.
Because innovation is all around an ideas are just WAITING for you to capture them.

NOTICING … when things don’t work.
Because then your mind can search for solutions.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What do YOU notice in your creativity practice?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a list called “9 Things Every Writer Needs to Do Every Day,” send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I’ll give you the write stuff!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Want to learn more about pumping up your creative prowess?

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Writing is the Basis of All Wealth, Part 3

First, you write out a description of your perfect customer.
THAT will enable your Target Marketing Scanner to be on high alert.
Which will filter out the WRONG customers.
Which will make room to attract the RIGHT customers.
Which will enable you to focus your time and efforts on serving a specific niche.
Which will enable you to charge a higher fee, because people demand specialists.
Which will not only increase your bank account, but also earn you the FREEDOM to work according to your own pace and not have to kill yourself all the time.
Which will give you more free time to spend on non-work stuff.
Which will make you really, really happy.

Writing is the basis of all wealth.

Read part one and part two of this series!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What did YOU write today?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the #1 way to avoid writer’s block, send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I’ll help you unblock yourself!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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Tune in to The Frontline Channel on NametagTV.com!

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Writing is the Basis of All Wealth, Part 2

1. You start by posting a few dozen articles (better yet, a few HUNDRED articles!) on your website, blog or on www.ezinearticles.com.
2. Thousands of people will read and share them.
3. Which will boost your Google rankings.
4. Which will make YOU the easy-to-find, obvious expert on your niche topic.
5. Which will cause media outlets to contact you for interviews (since Google is how they find their experts.)
6. Then, your media appearances can then be leveraged into your marketing materials, i.e., “Featured on 20/20!” or “Quoted in The Wall Street Journal!
7. Which will boost your credibility.
8. Which will support a higher fee.
9. Which will increase your bank account.

Writing is the basis of all wealth.

Read part one and part three of this series!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What did you write today?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the #1 way to overcome writer’s thinker’s block, send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I’ll help you unblock yourself!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Tired of selling? Come to the St. Louis Business Expo and learn how to enable people to buy!

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Writing is the Basis of All Wealth, Part 1

The more you write, the more material you have for your blog.
The more you blog, the more people will link to you.
The more people link to you, the greater your web presence becomes.
The greater your web presence becomes, the larger your WOM asset grows.
The larger your WOM asset grows, the more Google likes you.
The more Google likes you, the better your organic search rankings become.
The better your organic search rankings, the more mindshare you can create.
The more mindshare you create, the more you become That Guy.
The more you become That Guy; the more customers come to YOU pre-qualified.
The more customers that come to you pre-qualified, the lower your average sales cycle.
The lower your average sales cycle, the lower your marketing and client acquisition costs.
The lower your marketing and client acquisition costs, the more profit you can turn.

Writing is the basis of all wealth.

Read part two and part three and of this series!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What did you write today?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the #1 way to overcome writer’s thinker’s block, send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I’ll help you unblock yourself!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

I’m not a consultant. Nor a Coach. However, you CAN rent my brain!

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HELLO, my name is Blog Voted as a “Top 100 Business Blog!”

In late 2007, The Business Ideas and Opportunities Blog published a list of the Top 100 Business Blogs on the Web.

The list was formulated in order of the blogs’ Technorati (T) and Alexa rankings (A).

As you can see, HELLO, my name is Blog! made #39 on the list!

Woo hoo!

Thanks to all the readers for your support, comments and feedback!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag


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Approachability 2.0

CustomInk is the web’s most advanced virtual store for custom decorated merchandise.

Customers are empowered to design and order customized apparel, drink ware and novelties for their businesses, teams, groups and events with greater ease, speed and value than ever before.

BUT WAIT, IT GETS BETTER: they understand Approachability 2.0 better than most Fortune 500 companies.

For example: On their Ink of the Week Blog, each week they award a $100 voucher to the CustomInk customer with the photo showing the most group spirit!

First, customers submit their photo to enter the contest.

Then, blog visitors pick the week’s competition winner by clicking and rating their favorite photos!

Coolest thing ever done by a t-shirt company in the history of t-shirt companies!

See, CustomInk gets it. Their Approachability 2.0 idea WINS because:

1. It’s fun.
2. It’s cool.
3. It participative.
4. It’s emotional.
5. It cultivates fans, not customers.
6. It spreads word of mouth.
7. NOBODY else does this.
8. It builds community.
9. It shows and proves instead of just telling and selling.
10. It’s the best testimonial in the world.
11. It shows the benefit of the benefit of the benefit.

LESSONS LEARNED:

1. Customers need to see PICTURES of other customers using, wearing and enjoying your products.
2. It’s 2007. Get a blog.
3. Approachable always wins.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Why aren’t you blogging yet?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Start a blog TODAY, but don’t be like 50% of all bloggers in the world and abandon your blog after two months. Stick with it! It pays off. Eventually.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag


Are you a friend of The Nametag Network?

Read more blogs!
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Are you building a following?

Artists.
Authors.
Rockstars.
Cult leaders.
Presidential candidates.
American Idol contestants.

What do all these people have in common?

They’re all building a following.

HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: so can you!

That’s the beauty (and ironically, sometimes the horror) of the Web: anyone with an idea can share it with the world and build a following around it. And they can do so quickly, powerfully and through a variety of media.

Unfortunately, the idea of “building a following” may sound too grandiose, too celebrity-ish and too impossible to the average businessperson.

“Who am I to build a following?” you think.
Wrong question.

Instead, ask yourself, “Am I being selfish with my knowledge?”

See, the dictionary defines a following as, “A group of people who admire or support somebody or something over a period of time.”

OK. Couple of key points in that definition:

FIRST: “A group of people.”
That doesn’t mean millions, thousands, or even hundreds. Don’t be intimidated by a false necessity to accumulate hordes of followers.

SECOND: “…admire or support…”
That doesn’t mean people are bowing down to you. Building a following isn’t about ego; it’s about shared values and mutual goals.

THIRD: “…somebody or something…”
That doesn’t mean it’s all about one person. It’s about an idea, a value, a movement, a cause and a vision.

FOURTH: “…over a period of time.”
That doesn’t mean you’re a fad, a trend, a hot topic or the new flavor of the month. You build a following one person at a time.

Actually, wait. That last point was wrong.

I shouldn’t have said, “one person at a time.”

I should have said, “one FAN at a time.”

Because that’s what building a following is about: loyalty.

Not just to you, but to the bigger idea.

So, if you want to get started (or continue) building a following, remember three key ideas:

1.Writing is the Basis of All Wealth
You can’t build a following around an idea if you haven’t first expanded, explored and clarified it on paper. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, penning your thoughts is the single greatest starting point for building a following.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: If everybody did exactly what I said, what would the world look like?

This question will help you build a template for your philosophy.

AND REMEMBER THIS: Guy Kawasaki, an author/entrepreneur with an incredible following said, “It’s impossible to build community around mediocre writing.”

The more you write, the quicker you uncover your unique VOICE.

2. Fanagement
You can’t build a following without fans. The challenge, then, is creating, maintaining and staying in front of them. Here a few suggestions:

*Ask for their email. The crux of permission marketing is to get your fans to opt-in. Be sure you’re regularly asking new people in person AND online. Now, while giving someone your email address is technically “free,” there’s still the concern of getting spammed. So, be certain people understand your intentions at the onset. Respect always wins.

*Consistently deliver a value message. Whether it’s through an ezine, podcast or blog, you MUST deliver value. Remind your fans WHY they follow you. Also, ask for their input, ideas, feedback and comments. REMEMBER: the more involved they are, the more ownership they take. The more ownership they take, the more people they tell. And the more people they tell, the bigger your following grows.

*Gratitude. Because a following is nothing with out followers, make sure you regularly remind them how much you value their loyalty.

3. Be Approachable
Lastly, members (and potential members) of your following MUST have access to you and your ideas. In order to project approachability, remember these ABC’s:

*Access. Make yourself accessible through several media, i.e., email, phone and instant messenger. See, each of your fans maintains a different communication style. So it’s valuable to offer them several contact options. REMEMBER: If someone can’t come up to you, how will they ever get behind you?

*Boundaries. On the flip side, set realistic expectations and personal policies for the accessibility of your time and information. Every “yes” to one thing is a “no” to another.

*Content. Since you’re writing regularly now (right?) you need to make your content accessible for reading, downloading and sharing. This is ESSENTIAL for building a following. Post your ideas on a blog, website, even on public article databases. (NOTE: if you’re concerned about piracy, relax. Just be sure to write in a voice that is SO unique to you, that you become SO identified with; that someone wouldn’t dare steal it. And if he did, people would know it.)

THE BOTTOM LINE: building a following is not an easy task.

It doesn’t happen overnight.
It doesn’t happen without work.
It doesn’t happen without consistency.

However.

If you regularly deliver value through writing…
If you create a fanagement system for your followers…
If you maintain approachability within your own boundaries…

Then you WILL create a group of people who admire or support you and your ideas.

Even if you’re not a cult leader.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you building a following?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your best Fanagement Techniques here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag


Are you a friend of The Nametag Network?

Read more blogs!
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Do people hear FROM you or ABOUT you?

Harry Beckwith, bestselling author of Selling the Invisible, said it best: “People hear FROM bad companies, they hear ABOUT good companies.”

LESSON LEARNED: about, not from.

See, when customers hear FROM you, it’s usually via:

Cold calls.
Direct mail.
Advertising.
Email spam.
Fancy-schmancy, four color brochures.

Which usually means:

1. No value has been given.
2. No credibility has been established.
3. They feel like you’re “selling” to them.

AND THE WORST PART: you probably spent BIG BUCKS (or MUCHO MINUTES) to accomplish those things.

Vomit.

However, when customers hear ABOUT you, it’s usually via:
Articles about you.
Articles quoting you.
Someone else’s blog.
Conversation about you.
Email recommendations.

Which usually means:

1. Value has been given.
2. Positive reputation = credibility.
3. Instead of selling, you’re enabling people to buy.

AND THE BEST PART: you probably spent ZERO BUCKS (and MINIMAL MINUTES) to accomplish those three things.

Woo hoo!

So, if you want to assure customers hear ABOUT you, not FROM you, consider the following four-part exercise:

1. Brainstorm. Take a look at your current marketing plan. Grab a sheet of paper and make a list of every possible tool you’re using to get the word out about your business. (Wanna see MY marketing plan?)

2. Organize. Next, draw a line down the center of another blank piece of paper. On the top of the left column, write “FROM.” On the top of the right column, write “ABOUT.”

3. Place. In the left column, re-write all of marketing tools from your first list that enable customers to hear FROM you. In the right column, re-write all of the marketing tools from your first list that enable customers to hear ABOUT you.

4. Evaluate. If you have more “ABOUTS” than “FROMS,” good job! If you have more “FROMS” than “ABOUTS,” don’t worry! Re-read this article. Then, come up with three new “ABOUT” marketing tools. Make it your goal for the next 6 months to dedicate yourself to them. Create buzz that enables customers to talk about you, not hear from you.

NOTE: there’s nothing wrong with having a few items in your “FROM” column.

Take an ezine, for example. It comes FROM you, yes, but it still delivers value and enables people to buy. (Which is great!)

LESSON LEARNED: don’t try to eliminate your froms; just try to maximize your abouts.

Because people hear FROM bad companies, but they hear ABOUT good companies.

Which one are you?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do you have more FROMS or ABOUTS?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your best “about” example here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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