If you’re like me, you depended heavily on Twitter in 2010—for writing tips, industry updates, breaking news, information on trends and plain old gossip around the virtual water cooler.
But whether you check into Twitter once a week or once every ten minutes, an unnerving fact remains: You weren’t able to digest all of the tweeted tidbits that came your way in 2010.
This post gives you a second chance. The following list provides 2010’s most informative and entertaining links on writing, storytelling, digital marketing, social media strategy and other areas of interest to marketing copywriters.
I hope this look backward helps you sail forward into a happy, healthy and successful New Year…
Best 2010 posts on copywriting
- Where Does Your Copy Fit in the Sales Process? Find out how to identify your customer’s place in the sales process and tailor copy to build trust with this post from @SeamMLyden.
- 10 Writing Rules You Can’t Break…And How to Break Them. Every copywriting rule has exceptions. @WriteToDone explains ten of them.
- David Mamet details The Unit staff writers on the three key elements needed to create dramatic conflict. Via @kirstinbutler.
- My Favorite Sales Letter Landing Page Copywriting Model. Harness simple pleasure/pain principles for more successful sales letter landing pages with this post from Mequoda Daily.
- 7 Golden Rules for Crafting the Body Copy of your Sales Letter. Every word of your sales letter body copy represents the chance to either intensify your prospect’s focus… or to completely lose him.
- Food Adjectives. “Delicious” and “yummy” get old fast. Food writers will appreciate this helpful food vocab list.
- Database of Vintage Ads—great addition to your swipe file, from Seth Godin.
- 11 Point Checklist for Copywriters. All copy formats benefit from these 11 pointers delineated by @SeamMLyden..
- Top pharma blogs. Great bookmark for pharma writers.
- How to Blog Like the British—in 10 Easy Steps. Tips that give your copy authoritative tone, from @GuyKawasaki.
- Six Common Reasons Why Newsletters Fail and six ways to improve them from @RobertBly, via @CopywriterMaven.
- Copywriting 3.0: How to Bounce the Fat Kid off the See-Saw. Get out of your copywriting rut with a little help from @RedheadWriting.
- 100 Hacks to Help You Become a Better Writer. Loads of resources for creative writers, via @UrbanMuseWriter.
- Pharma Fact Infographic. At-a-glance information for pharma/healthcare copywriters, via @GuyKawasaki.
- 12 Proofreading Steps to Accurate Copy. Typo-free copy made easy with these proofing guidelines from @TheWordWell.
- If David Ogilvy were alive today…he would approve of this terrific long copy, 700+ word ad written by UK copywriter @benlocker.
- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Emails’ “From” Line—But Were Afraid To Ask. Put the finishing touch on your email with a great “from” line.
- William Shakespeare’s 5 Best Copywriting Tips. Improve your marcom materials with writing advice from the Bard—via @pubcoach.
- How to Write a Complete Direct Mail Package. From outer envelope to reply form, @DeanRieck walks you through creation of a classic direct mailer.
- What Direct Response Copywriters Can Teach You About Writing Killer Fundraising Content. Learn how to apply proven methods of persuasive writing to your development and other NGO marketing materials.
- Hunter S. Thompson’s application to the Vancouver Sun. This go-to-hell job application will leave you nostalgic for the carefree, substance-fueled days of yore. Via @simondumenco, @joehagansays.
- Serve Your Muse and learn how to cultivate unseen forces of creativity: Advice from @SPressfield.
- Cialdini’s 6 Weapons of Influence Applied to Social Media. Find out how the methods of Robert Cialdini, the master of persuasive psychology, can help your social media voice be heard, repeated and valued.
Best blogging/content marketing posts 2010
- 19 Reasons You Should Blog and Not Just Tweet. If you’re serious about sharing ideas and building authority, you need to commit to more than tweets and status updates. The Future Buzz tells you why.
- There’s No Money in Content Creation—yet it provides enormous value. @ConversationAge explains.
- 5 Ways to Save Time on Content Marketing. Practical tips from the Content Marketing Institute via @Junta42.
- How Justin Bieber Is Killing Your Blog. It’s time to break out of the blogospheric echo chamber. @LisaBarone tells you how. Via @TheGirlPie.
- Big Brands Need to Stop Making Digital Noise and Start Making Useful Content, according to @callumsaunders via @CopestoneTeam, @TheWallUK.
- How to Make Sure Your Corporate Blog Has Readers. Terrific tips from @whatsnext.
- 33 Common Business Blog Mistakes. Good insights from @pushingsocial.
Best advertising posts 2010
- Think You Understand the USP? Here’s Rosser Reeves’ original 3-part formula explained by Bob Bly.
- The Future of the Ad Industry—and your copywriting career will not be about creating ads, according to @AdAge. Via @RGA.
- Digital Immigrants Go Back to Ad School. Advertising creatives take a look at the future—and quake—in this 6-page @FastCompany story. Via @chadschomber.
Best grammar/usage posts 2010
- Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Etymologies for our alienated digital age.
- Copywriting Glossary. Stop scratching your head over “Johnson boxes” and “bangtails.” Jonathan Kranz gives you the vocab.
- “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that”—and 99 more crucial utterances from Wired‘s 100 Quotes every geek should know.
- 400+ Tweeted Tips on Grammar, Usage and Style on a searchable page from the admirable @EditorMark via @TurnerInk. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t bookmark this post.
- 11 Little-Known Grammatical Errors That Will Shock and Horrify You: Whatever you do, promise you won’t make these linguistic faux pas in 2011.
Best storytelling posts 2010
- Your Brain on Stories. Discover how narrative structure activates a number primal neurological paths. A NeuroMarketing post.
- Better User Experience through Storytelling. Use stories to create compelling experiences that build human connections.
- The Lion and the Mouse of Content Creation. The importance of storytelling and simplicity in your marketing content.
- Story Telling: Why It Ramps Up Your Persuasion Power. @SeanDSousa shows you how rhetoric, coercion and storytelling strengthen persuasive copy.
- Intel Hires Sci-Fi writers to Help Develop New Products. The Morrow Project uses science fiction narratives as a jumping off point for a discussion between Intel managers and engineers.
Best productivity/self help posts 2010
- Writers’ Research as Resistance. Do you really need all that research—or are you procrastinating? Another brilliant post from @SPressfield.
- Getting Creative Things Done: How to Fit Hard Things Into a Busy Schedule – via @lindsey_donner.
- The 25-50-25 Rule of Time Management. Want to master a new skill? Check out this post by Bob Bly.
- How to Get Free When You’re Feeling Stuck and Scared. Inspiring post by @writingroads for @copyblogger.
- The Miracle of Making Mistakes. Failure is an essential element of the creative process. @HarvardBiz post via @CatherinVentura.
- Self-Centeredness is Man’s “Default Setting”. David Foster Wallace’s address to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College. Long, but worth it. Via @BetaRish, @moorehn.
Best Twitter/social media strategy posts 2010
- What You Can Learn From The Most Tweeted Blog Posts Ever. Informative, easy-to-read analysis from @Viperchill.
- The 20 Words and Phrases That Will Get You the Most ReTweets. Extremely helpful data breakout from @DanZarrella.
- 7 Steps To Follow If Your Twitter Account is Suspended. It happens—be prepared with these pointers.
- Twitter Time Management: The Art of Unfollowing. A busy marketer tells you how he cuts the Twitter clutter.
- The 10 Stages of Social Media Integration in Business. A looong, but important historical overview of SM’s evolution, from @BrianSolis.
- 30 Tips for Using Social Media in Your Business. Inc.’s social media cheat sheet for the time-strapped small biz owner and entrepreneur.
- Use LinkedIn Effectively. Most helpful LinkedIn tips from @chrisbrogan.
- How I Became a Foursquare Cyberstalker. The dark side of geolocation. A must-read.
Best Web analytics/SEO/digital marketing links 2010
- The Ultimate Conversion Optimization Reading List. Many marketing classics on this list by Brian Eisenberg.
- Don’t Try to Lower Your Bounce Rate. Great post on a counterintuitive choice. Via @CopywriterMaven.
- 8 Brilliant Tips That Boost Conversions. Love the many samples that illustrate this post, via @lexirodrigo.
- SEO Best Practices & Search Engine Marketing: Not the Same Thing. Get the details from Search Engine Watch.
- Six Questions to Expose Fly-by-Night SEO Suppliers. Weed out SEO snake-oil salesmen with these authoritative queries.
- SEO Link Valuations Made Understandable. Finally. All links are NOT created equal: Here’s the lowdown on valuations via @LevelTen_Colin.
- Web Analytics Demystified in this comprehensive post by Avinash Kaushik, the Analytics Evangelist for Google.
Must-watch videos 2010
- 30+ Writer Uses for YouTube and Videos. You’re a writer—so you don’t need video, right? Wrong. Read and learn how writers can—and should—incorporate video platforms.
- How the Old Spice Videos Are Being Made. Brill.
- Girl Effect. The clock is ticking for 12-year old girls in the developing world. This painful, powerful video by Nike will eduacte and inspire you.
- Everything You Ever Needed to Know about Video Blogging, but Were Afraid to Ask. You’ll sleep easier after you bookmark this comprehensive post from @dino_dogan.
- Is Religion a Force for Good in the World? You’ll want to watch Christopher Hitchens—brilliantly articulate as always—and Tony Blair debate the question. Via @TheDailyWhat.
- Messiah at the Mall. Flash Mob surprises food court diners with Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. Hat tip to @BumbleWard.
- Buenos Aires meets South Central in this incredible rap-tango video for—go figure—Volkswagon. Thanks, @SethCochran.
- Why We Have So Few Women Leaders. Powerful TED talk by Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg. Via @TurnerInk.
Best humor posts 2010
- Clients from Hell. A collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from designers. Genius.
- “Can You ‘Wordsmith It’ a Little?” Copywriters’ waking nightmare chronicled in this hilarious animated video by @DrFreelance.
- Working at Home is Both Awesome and Horrible. Howler cartoon from the inimitable @Oatmeal, via @crcpr21.
- Awkward Pregnancy Photos. Thinking of taking revealing pregnancy photos? Think again—or at least check out this post before stripping down.
- Copywriter Goes Off Deep End. On-the-job ennui pushes mild-mannered copy jockey around the bend. I’ve been there. You’ve been there. And so have @TurnerInk and @spotzerstudio, who tweeted this link.
Best website dev/usability posts 2010
- How To Make Your Site Compatible For Cell Phones. Don’t we really need to do this in 2011?
- Decline of the Home Page. Customers increasingly enter your site via pages other than your Home page. Good insights from @GerryMcGovern.
- At-a-Glance HTML Cheat Sheet—all the basics on one page. So useful.
- 10 Website Usability Tips. Loads of helpful findings here. Hat tip to @TurnerInk, @lyndoman, @onreact_com.
- Anatomy of a Perfect Landing Page. This simple, illustrated post proves a picture is worth a thousand words. Thank you @SeanPlatt, @Formstack, @danny_cooper.
- WWTKD? What Would Thomas Keller Do—About Your Services Page? Clever @copylicious fills us in.
Best design links 2010
- How Clean Design Enhances Your Copy. Thirteen basic design concepts every copywriter should know, explained by @DeanRieck.
- Periodic Table of Typefaces. Type fanatics: Enjoy this post thanks to @DesignObserver.
Best freelancing posts 2010
- Dualities of the Freelance Life. Spot-on post from @TomCopy.
- The Freelance Writer’s Guide to LinkedIn. Solid tips via @UrbanMuseWriter, @Southwrite.
- 8 Things Freelance Writers have in Common with Satan. Our favorite curmudgeonly copywriter, Yo Prinzel, sounds off.
Best books/literature/reviews 2010
- Why Can’t we Concentrate? Salon.com reviews Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life.
- The New Yorker‘s Links to Every Salinger Story They Ever Published. A tribute to the late writer via @adbroad.
- 10 Classic Marketing Books You Should Read, chosen by @RobertBly.
- Tired of Tweety Insubstantiality? Bookmark these wonderful Long Reads via @NoelleChun.
- The New Yorker Writers Share Their Favorite Reads of 2010. Via @crbill.
- Generation Why? Zadie Smith reviews The Social Network for The New York Review of Books.
- What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. Nicholas Carr’s book reviewed by Salon.com via @OnLocustStreet @realdelia.
Best art/culture/media posts 2010
- Crowdsourced Johnny Cash Video Scores Grammy Nomination. This beautiful video includes thousands of frames hand-drawn by Cash fans and music lovers. Via @kirstinbutler.
- The Other Artist is Present. Amir Baradaran’s extension of the Marina Abramovic performance piece at MoMA.
- All-Time Best Magazine Articles 1960-Present, compiled by @IndiaKnight.
- The Most Influential Women in Technology. Fast Company’s pick of the year’s smartest, most creative women in tech.
- TIME’s 50 best websites of 2010. Nice list with some old favorites and many great new sites.
Surely you have your own choices for best copywriting links and posts 2010. Please share!
Web photo courtesy of kurtxio; Life is a Laugh photo courtesy of futureshape; Blueprint photo courtesy of eklektikos; Heat Map photo courtesy of amit-agarwal; Venus photo courtesy of wonderferret; Mad Men photo courtesy of SnackTime.