Sonia Simone has penned a wonderful piece at Copyblogger that might well be styled "The Duke Ellington Guide to a Blawg Review that Swings". Here's a few introductory bars, if you want to hum along.
Don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing . . .David Harlow's Blawg Review #88, based on the number of keys on a piano, certainly did.
Whenever you study a creative form like copywriting, you spend a lot of time on technique. You think hard about headlines and metaphors and what specific details you’ll use. You worry about positioning and persuasive structure. You’re trying to keep all the rules and guidelines in your head.
But if you want your content to keep bringing them back, it’s gotta swing.
Duke Ellington was something rare–hugely respected as a master of his art, and insanely popular with the public. His art was creating music people wanted to listen to. His work was technically impressive, but it also got people onto the dance floor.
Ellington once said “jazz is music; swing is business.” He knew the difference. But his technique and his confidence let him marry the two with incredible results.
Technique is wonderful. It helps us make better connections with our readers, and to persuade those readers to take action. But in order to do that, the whole thing has to hang together. It has carry readers along, so the techniques aren’t obvious.
It has to swing.