Writing Words Selling

All writing is selling something – a product, an idea, a fiction.

 

Successful writing must

  • Engage your reader,
  • Be remembered,
  • Instill desire, want or need.

Your strongest tools is the ‘rule of three’.

Why?

Because it works!

Writers don’t choose three by chance, they use it because it’s what their readers want.

People crave patterns, routine and comfort, they like to know what’s going on.

We also like things as simple as possible too.

And three, is the smallest, simplest surest number that produces what we crave – pattern routine and comfort.

 

So stick with the rule of three unless there’s a good reason not to.

We’re conditioned to it from the earliest age.

  • Three Little Pigs
  • Three Wise Men
  • The Good The Bad and The Ugly.

We learn and hold things in our memory when they’re based on three.

The United States Marines believe in the Rule of Three.

They like to get things done while keeping soldiers alive.

They reportedly experimented with a ‘rule of four’ and it failed.

Effectiveness, acceptance and knowledge retention gone.

 

Two ways with ‘the rule of three’

Henditris and Tricolon

Henditris, a figure of speech, when three words used together to express a central idea.

  • Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll – the central idea the life of  rock star.
  • Location, Location, Location – the only thing that matters about a property.
  • Love all, Trust few, Do wrong to none. – Shakespeare’s guide to life in “All’s well that ends well”

Tricolon is the use of three phrases or words that come together, without interruption.

  • Veni, Vidi, Vici – (I came, I saw, I conquered) Julius Caesar
  • I require three things in a man: he must be handsomeruthless and stupid. – Dorothy Parker
  • If you describe things as better than they are, you’re considered a romantic; if you describe things as worse than they are, you’ll be called a realist; and if you describe things exactly as they are, you’ll be thought of as a satirist. – The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp

Both forms will make your writing stronger and more effective

So, please, no more plain, simple, direct writing.

Let’s make it enjoyable, powerful and memorable.

And let’s recognise three as a magic number.

And if you’re not writing to

  • Engage your reader,
  • Make them remember
  • Make them respond

WTF are you writing for?

Simple words, short sentences, no sale

The Right Word

I’ve been a writer for longer than most of you have been breathing in and out. Back when you were still sucking your dummy, I was probably sucking my pen, wondering if I’d chosen the right word. Years have passed, my pen sucking has morphed into screen gazing, but I continue to suffer ‘creative confidence failure’. My belief that I’ve written a world class piece evaporates the moment I click ‘send’.  Why, oh why, have I sent this wonderful person, who’s paying me generously, this illiterate rubbish?

This ‘self worth fatigue’ is the reason I read everything I can find about writing technique. Because I always strive to be a better writer. I want to learn. I want to know. I love to make words sing in tune.

Instruction or Sale

Recently though, I’ve been reading lots of pieces suggesting you keep your writing simple, with easy words and short sentences. Good advice? If it’s simple instruction, like how to make a cup of tea, yes, it’s but bad advice if you want to sell your kettle.

You know a sale is rarely made on the first presentation, it often takes several meetings. Which is why your written sales message needs a hook, to keep your potential buyer’s mind drifting back to it, because every time it pops into their mind it works like another pitch.

What’s Your Message

Fill your sales writing with memorable phrases, original metaphors and quirky elegance and it’ll keep your message in your reader’s mind. Keep them thinking and there’s more chance of making the sale and, despite anything you may be thinking, all writing is trying to sell – an idea, a product, a feeling, a desire, a mood.

The benefit is, in a few days, maybe weeks, your reader will be trying to re-find your post or web page – a Google search for that memorable phrase, that original metaphor could deliver a top ten result.

So, next time you’ve got something to write, instead of working at keeping it simple, work at keeping it in your buyer’s thoughts, or maybe, hire me to do it for you.

Quit Your Google-dependency

Google’ is part of our language.

Unfortunately, Google,is also a prefix for many others – Google-stress, Google-anxiety, and worst of all Google-dependency?

Deep in the night, you hear a whisper in a dream, “Oh bugger, they’ve done it again!”

Like the cycle of the moon Google pulls an update stunt and your world falls to pieces as your page rank fades, like last year’s X factor winner, into nowhereness.

This ‘jumping at shadows’ attitude, to Google’s algorithm tweaks, however marginal, comes down to one fact – Google-dependency! We depend on being found search results for our very existence.

So, why do we tremble before Google? Are they just a bunch of bad people trying to destroy your business, mine and every other business, purely out of spite, malice and vicious illwill?

And do we really need to re-work our websites for every new face Google pulls.

One Prime Task

Google, and other search engines, have one prime task – to deliver relevant and fresh information in response to a search query. And Google does this really well, and to be truthful I think it gets better every year.

We all use Google right now, but if a better search engine appeared tomorrow Google would go the same way as the search engines we used BG, Before Google. (I would list some of them here, but, honestly, I’ve forgotten them all.)

Just as we quake before Google, in truth, Google quakes before every new upstart that threatens their dominance . . . Why else would they buy up every competitor that makes some noise?

Love the 800lb Gorilla

Learn to love Google, to adore the giant silver back gorilla it has become, and, to paraphrase Voltaire, believe, “Everything is for the best in the best of all possible Search Engine worlds.”

Four Rules

Here’s my four rules to help you quit your Google-dependency.

1. High Rank is not your birthright.

Google, Bing and all the others, only rank your site if they think it’ll answer the question that someone has searched for. And just because they put your web page in front of someone yesterday, doesn’t mean they’ll do it again tomorrow.

You may have heard this before, ‘Content is King’, Google knows it, and tries to deliver it to its users.

Sometimes it doesn’t, but generally down to a bad search string. Build each of your pages so they focus on one facet of your niche website.

Remember Google owes you nothing, if you don’t make the first couple of pages, it’s because, in Google’s eyes, you don’t merit it.

2. Google make their Rules

They don’t have to tell you how and why, though actually they’re mostly pretty helpful.

They ‘sort of’ publish their idea of best practice, so if you choose not to work along with their theories of search, don’t complain if they don’t ‘find’ your website.

Don’t spend hours trying to decipher apparently ‘coded’ messages or search for secrets hidden between the lines – they aren’t there.

3. Ignore Google

Work on the content of your pages, make them interesting and relevant to the people you want them to be found by.

Find other ways of getting your message out there – Social Media etc.

And do you remember, that girl/guy at school that you wanted so desperately, yes the one that looked through you as if you were invisible, if you’d had the courage to ignore them too, they may have found you so much more interesting

Amazingly, if you do all this Google may suddenly fall in love with you, but equally, like your school crush, it may not. Get on with your life and your business without them.

4. Pitch for Google anyway

Well, you may as well, just don’t give your life to it.

A bit of SEO tweaking of your site won’t do any harm, as long as you put your audience first – make each of your web pages focus on one facet of your niche website. Your clients, customers, potential or current, are far more important than robot spiders.

Make your website simple, direct and intuitive to explore.

Make your content interesting, entertaining and useful – and if that’s a problem, let me produce your web copy.