“Twenty years ago, just before
Kurt Cobain blew off his head with a shotgun, it was cool for Kate Moss to haunt the city from the sides of buses with a visage like an empty store and for Wurtzel to confess in print that she entertained fantasies of winding up, like Plath or Sexton, a massive talent who died too soon, ‘young and sad, a corpse with her head in the oven.’”
“Imagine a fifty-something man in
a blue long-sleeve shirt, the cuffs unbuttoned, his knuckles thick and coarse. He’s on the side of the road, quibbling over a stack of used cinder blocks with a merchant.” ! from 10 Productivity Tips from a Blue-Collar Genius
This starts by asking: !
What is the dominant mood of your reader or customer? What problem is he or she trying to solve? Is it fear over losing a job? A spouse? A scholarship? Pride of donating to a good cause? Joy for finally getting muscular definition in his calves?
How often are these little
tragedies repeated in your life? ! You write something clever, but everyone ignores it. You hear about a new opportunity, but don’t pursue it because you don’t have the skills or confidence to attempt it. You get overlooked by everybody – including your boss – because the guy in the next cubicle seems to know everything about SEO, email marketing, or copywriting. You hear about all the new clients your peers are picking up … but none are showing up at your door.
So, you need people to
see hope in your sentences: ! What promises are you making to the reader in this sentence? What advantages will the reader gain? What pain will people avoid if they obey you?
In the opening to The
Dirty Little Secret to Seducing Readers, I wrote … ! “I’m guessing you want to write copy that sells. You want to write copy so irresistible it makes your readers scramble down the page — begging to do whatever it is you want when they’re done reading — whether it’s to make a purchase, send a donation, or join your newsletter.”
The promise is that you
can learn how to write in such a way people can’t resist your words. ! ! And that’s compelling for the right people.
Exercise #2: Concentrate on your
opening and closing paragraphs ! It’s arduous to consciously think about each and every sentence you write in a 500-word article. ! Concentrate your powers on the beginning and the ending.