WRITING IN SIMPLE ENGLISH
How do I write content that will be so valuable that people will actually read it, share it, and follow my writing? Should I hire a professional ghost writer to write for me since I am not a really good writer? The answer is NO! You can read my post here about hiring someone for a job.
The strategy that I use for writing content has evolved quite a bit over the years. Today, I will share the steps that I use to write my own content that you are reading right now. You can follow these steps to write great blog posts, great sales copy, and great newsletters.
Tom performs at a well-known musical called Phantom of the Opera on Broadway every Friday. Michael also performs Phantom of the Opera, but he does it at random times and at random bars. If you were to pick a musical to see, would you choose to see Tom or Michael?
A platform is the center stage where you can get noticed by the masses. When you start a blog you are creating a platform, when you try to rank your blog on Google and get Google to send you traffic then you are using Google’s platform. Every business should strive to become a platform by using other platforms to get noticed and build a following for their own platform.
If your goal is to rely on other platforms, then you are doomed to fail in the very beginning. If you work hard in building your own platform, then you will eventually build one. If you start your writing by trying to use other platforms without even trying to develop your own, then the second you stop using other platforms you will fail.
Charles has a website selling pet supplies, and for the past three years he has been primarily focusing on optimizing his content for Google instead of optimizing it for his customers. He has seen his business grow year after year, but one day Google released a new algorithm and Charles lost all of his rankings. Charles lost 80% of traffic overnight. Charles should have focused his attention to building a platform, and if he did then he wouldn’t be considering closing his business today.
So the question is if you were Tom performing Phantom of the Opera, or you were Google publishing content on the first page, or you were a new business owner starting a new blog, would you create anything less than spectacular? Would you really publish something mediocre or something written by a ghost writer who is not an expert in your niche and doesn’t have your writing style?
If you are writing a sales copy for your website, valuable content for your blog, or a newsletter for your readers, you need to make sure you understand that your ASS is on the line. If you start publishing garbage, you risk destroying any chance of ever building a platform.
It only takes one bad headline to destroy interest, it only takes one bad paragraph to lose potential followers, and it only takes one bad article to fail in making a good first impression. It takes effort to make a piece of content that would be worth sharing.
Twelve words that make up 78 characters will decide if someone using GMAIL will open your email or not. Twelve words will decide if you will click and read the latest news headline at CNN or pay attention to a billboard on the highway. The headline is the most powerful piece of content that you need to create, and we usually just write it down in one minute as if we’re Spielberg with decades of experience.
The headlines you choose for your blog or website titles are even more complicated because you need to make them catchy and SEO friendly. If you are to tap Google’s platform, then you need to make sure you include all the keywords that are searched in Google are included in your headline. It gets pretty tricky.
The most successful website that I can think of that does not write any content except for 100 AWESOME headlines every day is Drudgereport.com. Matt Drudge has built the biggest one man platform in the world that has reached one billion page views last December. Drudge Report doesn’t publish one piece of news content but it gets the same web traffic as Fox News, USA Today, or Wall Street Journal just by using better headlines and linking to the sources.
Here are the steps I use to create my headlines:
1) Subscribe to other marketers in your niche and save the headlines that caught your attention
2) Pay attention to catchy headlines from Google news
3) Review the Magnetic Headlines Guide / Headline Generator 1 / Headline Generator 2
4) Research keywords using Google Keyword Tool and gather all relevant words that may be used to find your content. Then try to fit those words into your catchy headline.
a) Here are a few guides that will help you
i) How to research keywords
ii) How to build an SEO anchor text
iii) YouTube Videos
b) JUST REMEMBER THAT YOU MUST USE AT LEAST THREE KEYWORDS IN YOUR TITLE THAT WERE RECOMMENDED TO YOU BY GOOGLE KEYWORD TOOL
Tommy goes on a blind date and meets Michelle. Michelle was beautiful, and they got along great. Michelle invited Tommy to go out on a second date. Tommy was so excited that he bought an engagement ring, wrote up a long prenup agreement and invited his whole family to the second date with Michelle. You can only imagine the look on Michelle’s face right before she started laughing and running away at the same time.
If you came up with a great headline, that doesn’t mean you can load your email with a bunch of boring, factual information that no one will care to read. You need to realize that you are the only one who cares about your content as much as you do, other people don’t really care much. So when you write that beautiful masterpiece of yours that you want to share with the world, it is not something the world wants to share with others.
How do you make content that others will read, share and follow? To start, the content needs to be so valuable that it actually changed something about you. It needs to be so good that you keep going back to read it yourself. It needs to be so magical that you constantly refer people to it that need it. It needs to be so entertaining that if you were to read it once every month then you would still find it enjoyable to read.
The content needs to be a classic and withstand the test of time. The content should be published on the right platform, to the right audience. Can you imagine Phantom of the Opera performing to a bunch of young drunk adults at a hip pop club? It has to be simple enough for a six year old to understand and most importantly it has to be entertaining.
GUIDE TO WRITE YOUR PITCHDECK
- You should spend a minimum of 30 minutes choosing your headline
- You should spend at least one hour on your first paragraph to make sure the reader will be engaged (AND NO, DO NOT INTRODUCE YOURSELF IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH!)
- Using font size 12, you are not allowed to exceed 1500 words per post and you should aim for 1000 words
- Your not allowed to use words that a six year old will not understand
- Your paragraphs must be understood by six a year old
- Use metaphors to explain complex scenarios and shorten your sentences
- TELL STORIES. NOT FACTS! Even if you have to make them up
- USE EMOTION at least once in every paragraph
- DO NOT USE AMATEUR IMAGES! Buy professional ones on Shutterstock
Here are the steps that you should take for proofreading
1) Write the Rough Draft which includes everything from Stories to Facts
2) Re-read it, and try remove anything redundant or negative
3) Run it through Microsoft Word Spell Check
4) Run it through Grammarly Spell Check
5) Run it through Natural Soft Female Voice
6) Run it through Microsoft Word Spell Check
7) Run it through Grammarly Spell Check
8) Run it through Natural Soft Male Voice (re-run 5 times)
9) Try to simplify anything that can be broken down (using stories or metaphors)
10) Run it through Natural Soft Male British Voice
11) Run it through Word Spell Check
12) Run it through Grammerly Spell Check
- Read the book "One Sentence Persuasion" by Blair Warren to learn how to write short persuasive paragraphs
- Read or Listen to the book called "The Impact Equation" on Amazon or Audible to learn about how to build your own content platform
- Use Mailchimp for your email marketing
- Use Wistia for your videos inside your emails (You can use Youtube also but not for email marketing)
- Use Grammarly for professional spell check
- Use Evernote to manage posts (It's like dropbox for Notes) or use Dropbox to save your documents
- Get a paid account so you dont have a mailchimp logo on your emails
- Use their responsive template so it looks good on Desktop and Mobile
- Less is more
- Use a simple header image
- Use a one image on top of your email
- Make your text color black
- Font size should be chosen based on your readers.
- Take your best readers age and divide it by two, that will be the font size. If you are targeting someone who is 40, than you should use a font size of 20. Do not use anything less than font size 12.
- Use professional images from Shutterstock
- Don't make it very commercial looking
- I suggest putting all the content in one email and not redirect to a blog
- I suggest putting your non-intrusive promotions on the bottom of every email
- Here is the flow of your content, it should be posted to Mailchimp and synced in this order throughout the rest of the channels Blog > Facebook > Twitter > Linkedin > Youtube > Pinterest