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#ICYMI: Monkey Selfies, Dangerous Jargon, & Facebook’s Attack on Clickbait

Feast your eyes on another installment of In Case You Missed It (#ICYMI), MarketSmiths’ roundup of recent content on copywriting, culture, and anything else we’re dying to share.

► When we tell folks at cocktail parties that we’re copywriters, half of them think we’re in copyright law. This might only add to the confusion, but it’s too awesome too ignore: the US Copyright Office clarified that it doesn't protect animal authors after a monkey’s selfie went viral. The wildlife photographer who let the primate play with his camera asked Wikipedia to remove the selfie—Wikipedia refused.

 We’ve always stood against dull jargon. Seems like more people are joining our ranks in the war against bland. Check out this writer’s piece in The New York Times on getting out of the jargon trap.

► Clickbait is a term for eye-catching yet misleading headlines that link to vapid stories—BuzzFeed is famous for it, Upworthy aims to use it for good, while ClickHole is the Onion’s uproarious send-up of clickbait content.

Believe it or not, Facebook is taking action to filter out the clickbait by measuring how long users stay on the links. Clicks followed by quick closes won’t count for much. Hopefully this fuels more content that’s just as engaging as its headline. 

 Ready to get meta? Check out this clickbait headline for John Oliver’s already-viral video mocking clickbait headlines about John Oliver (“What happens at the 2-minute mark of this video will AMAZE you!”).

Stayed tuned for the next edition of #ICYMI! 

Words We Love: Smart Ass Fans & Timeless Slogans

Welcome to another installment of #WordsWeLove, where we shout out, give props, and rain praise on extraordinary copywriting. 

What a Smart Ass Ad 

Have you seen that viral video of Sir Patrick Stewart (aka Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise) teaching his girlfriend how to do a quadruple-take? (If not, watch it now—it’s pretty adorable.)

That was our exact reaction when we saw this magazine ad for Big Ass Fans. 

Cursing can be a little risky, but these guys pull it off perfectly. Fans aren’t normally that provocative—this is how you make a boring subject matter fun and interesting. 

Immortal Taglines 

We love classic slogans—we’ve even listed our top 10 taglines before. That’s why this stellar infographic by the good folks of Australia’s M2 On Hold caught our eye. Not only are these slogans brilliant examples of copywriting, but the graphic also effortlessly walks you through the evolution of taglines in time. We’re lovin’ it! 

Stay tuned for the next installment of #WordsWeLove!

Blogging 101: How to Create an Editorial Calendar

You’re looking at a blank page. Nah…it’s a blog! But for now, it’s a blank blog. Darn.

Your mind, unlike your empty doc, is swirling. A few parboiled ideas float to the pre-frontal cortex, only to drown in cerebrospinal muck. Your brain’s turning mutinous! What to do?

We at MarketSmiths recommend turning to structure. Structure has a way of making everything less scary by setting out vessels and letting your subconscious fill them. And don't worry, your subconscious won't let you down.

In the case of a business, you might want to design columns or departments, as in a magazine. Examples of “departments” for a business blog include:

  1. Expert Advice: Here’s your chance to answer client objections, or address principles or myths in your industry.
  2. Industry Commentary: Here’s where your thought leadership can shine. Give folks a glimpse of your counterintuitive wisdom, a helpful methodology that’s yours alone, something else fresh and thought-provoking. Then, get it out on your social media, and watch the tweets proliferate.
  3. Team Showcase: Write up regular employee features, with quotes, favorite projects, personal commentary, and more.
  4. Tips and Tricks: Present quick and easy tips for the DIYer in your field. 
  5. Case Studies: Wrap these into current events to make them relevant and searchable.
  6. Current Trends: Commentary on current trends in your industry, or notable projects executed by the competition (both criticism and praise).
  7. Company Announcements: What better way to announce a new service or product line than in your company blog?

Before you commit to a category, think of a few examples to ensure it’s a viable concept. They’ll prove useful when it comes time to launch your blog.

Then, build a meaty list. Find connections to current events wherever possible—linking to trending articles will get your blog found faster and shared more.

Creating an editorial calendar takes little actual writing, but all of your creative juices. It’s worth the effort: the final product will provide direction, inspiration, and clarity when blogger’s block looms. Trust us—it will be a welcome reservoir the next time you’re staring at that blank page.