Mitch’s Rules, Perfect Testimonials, Dream Control, & More – Roger’s Picks

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Another week, another batch of required reading from around the web. There’s one new feature this week – after “My Stuff,” I’ve added one “Weird or Wonderful” link just for fun. If you found a compelling piece of content this week, add a link to it in a comment!

I’m in constant awe of Mitch Joel (@mitchjoel) – he publishes a huge amount of superb quality writing even as he maintains a busy speaking schedule and, in his apparently ample spare time, runs a digital agency.


So, when Mitch shares his writing secrets, it’s time for all of us to pay attention. Read Mitch’s Top 15 Rules For Business Writers, then print it out and tape it to your wall. These are rules for authors, bloggers, content creators, and every other kind of writer to live by!


Here at Neuromarketing, we take the concept of brain-based marketing as a given most of the time. The rest of the world doesn’t always do that, as shown by The Brain Bank (@brainbankmanc) asking: Neuromarketing: a whole lot of fluff? Although the article is skeptical, it covers a lot of ground and is worth a read.


The uber-popular Copyblogger site stunned bloggers everywhere with the news that they are no longer allowing comments on their posts. This was a huge surprise – while many websites are struggling fiercely to build communities, Copyblogger actually had achieved the elusive goal of vigorous participation from readers. Here, Sonia Simone (@soniasimone) explains their thought process: Why We’re Removing Comments on Copyblogger. For a different perspective on Copyblogger’s move, Mark Schaefer (@markwschaefer) offers The economics behind Copyblogger’s decision to end blog comments. What do YOU think about Copyblogger’s move? Brilliant or bone-headed? Don’t miss out – leave a comment here while they are still open!


Who’s the decider? Even avid readers of pop neuroscience may be hard pressed to locate the lateral habenula. This little-known structure may be an important part of human decision-making. Dr. Jeremy Dean (@PsyBlog) covers the latest research findings: Mysterious Brain Region That is Vital to How You Decide.


I greatly prefer data-based recommendations for best practices as opposed to guru advice, and this new Twitter study used extensive analysis to determine optimal tweet strategy. In Twitter Study: Which Tweets Get the Most Engagement?, Jessica Lee (@BzzContent) shares what massive data crunching disclosed about retweets.


Spotting “exit intent” is the latest rage in conversion optimization – instead of hitting a visitor with an immediate popup, or a popup timed for a few seconds later, conversion may be maximized if you wait until the visitor decides to leave. Larry Kim (@larrykim) does a deep-dive tool analysis in, Can Bounce Exchange Reduce Site Bounce Rate? A Tool Review.


The creators of the Buffer app know a lot about how content gets shared, but they also create some of their own awesome content. Belle Beth Cooper (@BelleBCooper) describes the process they use in How We Research: A Look Inside the Buffer Blog Process. This is a great guide for bloggers and content writers.


Why does some content go viral when apparently similar content doesn’t? In The Science and Psychology Behind Viral Articles in Your Social Feeds, Ernest Barbaric (@ebarbaric) looks at the brain and behavior side of the equation. It’s not a magic formula, but it may help you boost the shareability of your content.


Testimonials are great sales tools, and just about everyone uses them. The problem, says Derek Halpern (@derekhalpern), is that many of them may do more harm than good. Check Derek’s The Perfect Testimonial (use this to boost your sales conversions today) to turn every endorsement into a plus.


We all do it. We find a cool service or software tool that has a free trial, and sign up in a burst of enthusiasm. Then, we forget about it, or get stuck once and abandon it. Steven Macdonald (@StevenMacd0nald) tells you how to 8 Ways to Convert Free Trial Users Into Customers Through Email Marketing. Good tips that not only help conversion but also increase customer satisfaction.


Here’s another independent view of neuromarketing. Gabe Samuels is a casual observer of the field who attended the NMSBA World Forum in New York last week, and he summarizes his conclusions in Neuromarketing: Problems And Possibilities.


My Stuff

I love small changes that can make a big difference in persuasion, and I describe one in Can One Word Turn Nonsense into Powerful Persuasion? Find out what the magic word is that makes even a meaningless phrase persuasive!


We think of reputation management as a business thing, but it’s important for individuals, too. In 30 Reasons To Put Your Job Search On Hold For A Month at Forbes, I review Repped by Andy Beal (@andybeal. Andy’s book is a highly accessible, action-oriented guide to tuning up your online reputation.


Liking is one of the six principles of persuasion that Robert Cialdini shared at the recent Pubcon New Orleans. If liking works for people, can it also work for companies? In Can a Big-Box Supermarket Create ‘Liking’? I describe how Texas supermarket chain H-E-B uses shared attributes and social identity to build loyalty and dominate markets.


Weird or Wonderful

Is controlling your dreams possible? One occasionally sees articles suggesting techniques for doing that, but they usually seem a bit sketchy and lacking scientific backup. Professor Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire has published a study that demonstrated dream control, albeit in a limited way. In Science Daily (@ScienceDaily), Mass participation experiment reveals how to create the perfect dream shows how external sounds can influence the direction and settings of dreams. And, to add a little weirdness, there’s evidence of a “full moon effect” that prompts more bizarre dreams.

Remember, comments are still open here – if you found an article you’d like to share, add a link in a comment!

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