Article Starter: Why The Ending Matters Most Of All

Article Starter: Why The Ending Matters Most Of All

You’ve probably never heard of Grant Elliot.

But on the night of March 24, 2015, over 1 billion viewers paid close attention as he hit the winning shot in the semi final of the World Cricket Tournament.

But what of the players that came before him? What about their contributions? Doesn’t every player and contribution matter?

It does matter, but what really matters is the “winning shot”.

When writing the “First 50 Words” in your article, the winning shot is the very last thing you say. It’s the one thing that your reader is going to remember as they sink their teeth into the rest of the article. So does the ending really matter that much?

Let’s take four examples, with almost identical text—then change just the ending.

And you’ll see for yourself how the story takes a completely different turn.

Let’s say we want to write the article on five completely different angles:

- persistence
- stuck
- underdog
- potential
- missed opportunity

Note how the start is exactly the same, but how the ending changes it all!

========
“First 50 Words” for the term: Persistence

Four years and three months.

When I look at the curry leaf tree outside my window, I can’t believe I’m seeing over two hundred leaves. Because for four years and two months, all it had was a couple of sparsely populated stalks.

In fact, we were so sick of the stupid plant that we were ready to throw it away.

But the curry leaf plant was teaching us a lesson.
A lesson of persistence. And untapped potential.

The same applies to your blog that seems to get very little, if any amount of traffic.

========

“First 50 Words” for the term: Stuck

Four years and three months.

When I look at the curry leaf tree outside my window, I can’t believe I’m seeing over two hundred leaves. Because for four years and two months, all it had was a couple of sparsely populated stalks.

In fact, we were so sick of the stupid plant that we were ready to throw it away.

But the curry leaf plant wasn’t stuck.

We were.

We didn’t realise that we were trying to grow it in the wrong soil for the past four years or so. The moment we changed the soil and the position, the plant went nuts.

Your blog too can go nuts, with the right change of soil and position.

So what causes blogs to get stuck?

========

“First 50 Words” for the term: Underdog

Four years and three months.

When I look at the curry leaf tree outside my window, I can’t believe I’m seeing over two hundred leaves. Because for four years and two months, all it had was a couple of sparsely populated stalks.

In fact, we were so sick of the stupid plant that we were ready to throw it away.

But the curry leaf plant wasn’t stuck.

It was just playing underdog.

While all the other plants grew and shrivelled in the changing season, the curry leaf plant took its time.

Time is a critical component when you’re trying to get clients to visit your blog. You’ll feel like the underdog forever, and then one day—boof—it all happens.

So what’s the journey from underdog to boof?

========

“First 50 Words” for the term: Potential

Four years and three months.

When I look at the curry leaf tree outside my window, I can’t believe I’m seeing over two hundred leaves. Because for four years and two months, all it had was a couple of sparsely populated stalks.

In fact, we were so sick of the stupid plant that we were ready to throw it away.

So often, we throw away things at the edge of their potential, don’t we?

And sure it’s easy to say something fulfilled its potential when all is fine. But how can you tell in advance? How can you tell that, for instance that a seemingly puny blog will attract tens of thousands of readers a day

========

“First 50 Words” for the term: Missed opportunity

Four years and three months.

When I look at the curry leaf tree outside my window, I can’t believe I’m seeing over two hundred leaves. Because for four years and two months, all it had was a couple of sparsely populated stalks.

In fact, we were so sick of the stupid plant that we were ready to throw it away.

And yet, if we’d thrown it away, we’d have missed out on an opportunity to have one the most fragrant plants in our garden. Pretty much like we miss out on the opportunity with our blogs. We get too impatient too quickly and lose out on the big opportunities.

So what are the big opportunities anyway? And how do we avoid making the mistake of moving too quickly?

========

So there you go, five different angles:

- persistence
- stuck
- underdog
- potential
- missed opportunity

One story and different endings.

It’s the ending that really matters

It’s the winning shot. The “Grant Elliott” of your articles.


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Why Rewriting Is A Mistake

Why Rewriting Is A Mistake

There is an ancient saying that goes like this…

You can’t step into the same river twice.
That’s because the river has changed.
And you’ve changed.

And similarly when you try to re-write an article, you’re no longer the person you were.

Doesn’t that sound bizarre?

If you know me even slightly well, you’ve probably heard of my “article graveyard”. Yup, that’s where a lot of my articles go to die. At first, I was pretty hopeless at writing articles, labouring over each one for a day, sometimes two. And if I didn’t manage to finish the article, I figured it would end up in the article writing graveyard.

But why not bring all those great ideas up from the “dead”?

That’s because in every single situation you’ll find it takes a lot more time to re-write or re-fashion an article, than to write a fresh one. The temptation is very strong, of course. I mean there you are, with an article that’s almost four-fifths done.

What could go wrong?

You’ve changed, that’s what’s wrong

The article—even if written a few days ago—was written by an earlier version of you. You were all fired up, and your mindset was completely different. If you’d finished off that article, you’d have been fine. But today, you’re a completely different person stepping into a new river. And if you try to get that old feeling back, you’re more than likely to fail.

So why is failure so rampant in re-writes?

You know this feeling well, don’t you? Let’s say you started on a project. Then you were called away for some reason. Later you decide to go back to where you left off. And it takes ages just to figure out what you’d done, let alone restart the process.

When writing, you’d have to read the article once or twice, just to get back to that original mood.

Of course, that mood has vanished into the great yonder

And what you’re left with is are parts of your article, that you somehow have to reassemble.

And some of us succeed.

We battle our way through the article, and we somehow manage to rewrite it. But get an experienced eye to audit the article, and as good as it looks, you can see the patchwork. That patchwork is the break in the mood—that you simply can’t re-capture.

So are we to let “sleeping articles” lie?

Not necessarily. If you’ve had a good idea and you feel like tackling the topic again, here’s what you should do. Outline the article anew—with renewed vigour (and mood). Then once you’re ready to go, you may find you’re still keen to see what you covered the last time around.

Sometimes you may find you had a great opening. Or maybe you had some very important points that you’ve forgotten since. Well, go ahead, add them to your outline.

While rewriting an article is a pain, reworking an outline isn’t quite as painful

You may still struggle a bit, but an outline is still like a blue-print. You can work it around without too much of a hassle. But if you try to go right back into the original article, you’ll run into a chunk of unwanted trouble.

You’ll be desperately trying to capture something that has passed.

The river has changed.
You’ve changed.
It’s time to move on.


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3 Guaranteed Ways To Get Writer’s Block

3 Guaranteed Ways To Get Writer's Block

 

Three factors cause writer’s block.

Underwork.
Overwork.
Lack of systematic planning.

But let’s talk about systematic planning, first

Let’s talk about boiling an egg, shall we? What would you do first? Just turn on the flame and then scramble to get the vessel, water and egg? Wouldn’t the flame be the very last thing you turn on when doing something as simple as boiling an egg? Yet, there we go into writer-land, sitting at our computer, and expecting the ingredients to show up from thin air!

And that’s where the system goes out of the window.
So what would a real system look like?

A real system would involve at least three steps.

Step 1: Generate ONE topic.
Step 2: Generate ONE sub-topic
Step 3: Get to ONE sub-sub-topic

Let’s start with Step 1 and generate ONE topic

When you sit down, you first need to have a topic. Most people confuse a topic with a headline. And a topic isn’t a headline at all. It’s a topic. e.g. Japan is a topic. It’s the broad, big picture kind of thingy that you can’t do anything with at all. The purpose of the topic is simply to give you direction—so you can head over to Step 2—the sub-topic, which is where at least part of the action begins.

So why does the sub-topic have so much relevance?

That’s easy to understand, isn’t it? The topic like “Japan” is too hard to handle. So you chop it down to some thing more manageable—like “the bullet train”. Now you have a much better point of focus. Your mind is off the geishas, tonkatsu and green tea ice-cream. Instead you’re focused on just the sub-topic of the “bullet train”.

And sometimes, that’s as far as you need to go—from topic to sub-topic.
Obviously this isn’t one of those happy days, so we delve deeper into Step 3 and sub-sub-topics.

The sub-sub-topic usually nails the deal

Your brain is focused on the “bullet train” and now you can write a pretty detailed account of the bullet train. Maybe you could take us on a journey that includes the history, the technology and the challenges encountered.

And as you’re writing, something weird happens

You suddenly find that the article is getting very bloated. You started to write about two-three paragraphs about the “challenges encountered”, but suddenly you seem to have dozens of points on “challenges”.

Well, don’t panic. We’re still on track (pardon the pun). You continue to put what you can in a couple of paragraphs and silently rejoice. You’ve now created not one, but two articles on the “bullet train”.

Aha, but no article has been written, right?

Not yet. You’ve spent all this time buzzing steadily ahead from topic to sub-topic. And then delving down to sub-sub-topics. And now you know exactly what you’re going to write about. You’ve let your thoughts simmer and not a word of the article has been written. Yet, putting together these elements is akin to get the egg, the water and vessel together. At this point, a simple outline will get the cooking process underway—and you can write.

So yes, systematic planning helps keep writer’s block away. But what about the other two issues? How do under work and over work play their part?

Underwork is when you decide to do nothing

Any skill requires you to get to a level of fluency. And to get to fluency, you have to write every day—at least for a while. But often we write a bit, then take a break. That day long break stretches to a week, maybe two weeks, and then hell freezes over. It takes an enormous amount of persistence to get moving. Yup, writer’s block has smacked you right in the face!

But overwork will do about the same

Most of us have forgotten how to take time off. So we keep working endlessly. And all this crazy work, work, work soon depletes our energy. Energy is a strange thing because you can have time but no energy. With no energy we slip right into resistance, procrastination and yup, hell freezes over a second time.

Luckily there is a way out of the trap

No matter how much of a soup you’re in, all you really have to do is go through the three-step process. Start simple. Just a topic. Add your sub-topic. Then, the sub-sub-topic. Now your brain is churning steadily ahead.

Writer’s Block has been defeated.

For today, at least.


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Why We Struggle To Write a Book: 3 Structural Reasons

Why We Struggle To Write a Book: 3 Structural Reasons

When you sit down to write a book, you wonder why the sound of hitting your head is so very loud.

The more you sit down, the harder it seems.
And yet, there’s a reason—three actually.

And the three are—tah dah!

1) Structure
2) Design
3) Content

Stage 1: Structure is where you design the “design”

Most of us have, at some point, played with Lego. When you attack a kid’s Lego set, you don’t need a plan. Bricks go over bricks, red over blue, green under yellow—and you get applause at the end of the day. Which is fair enough. You’re a kid playing and play should be free-wheeling.

But the moment you get to serious house-building and you pull out your Lego resumé, you’ve got trouble on your hands. And that’s because you need a blue print of sorts. You need a construction plan. Just sitting down and attacking the timber ain’t going to get that house up in a hurry.

Which is approximately how you write a book as well

Most of us have read books—sure, but haven’t been privy to the writing process. And the first part of the process is planning.

You need a framework to hang your information on. And the framework makes things accessible, and idiot-proof. The biggest reason we have DIY (do-it-yourself) disasters, is because someone with a hammer and blowtorch decides to write a book.

Invariably you get a book, but the core of it is shoddy. The material is extremely hard to consume.

But we’re not even jumping over to the reader

Like DIY without a blueprint, it’s just plain hard work.

The reason why so many tasks take so much time is because a plan makes the step-by-step process easier. You know where you’re going right—and more importantly where you’re going off on a tangent. And when we take this tangential trip, we end up spending a lot of time.

Time that could have saved, with a plan; a structure in place.

When you look back at the Renaissance, for instance, you see an incredible volume of creativity

Why were so many people creative at one point in time? The answer lay in the structure of apprenticeship.

The teacher had a plan, the apprentice followed the plan. And then once they were fluent, they went on to create their own marvellous pieces of art. Writing too, is a piece of art. And sure you can throw anything together and hope it sticks. But it’s better to have structure.

However, structure itself won’t work—and this takes us to design.

Stage 2: What’s design?

Design is indeed what it looks like, but it’s more about how it’s consumed. So when you read a book like The Brain Audit, for example, you find yourself sliding through it.

Now on the face of it, it’s a marketing book with some analogy about seven red bags on a conveyor belt. Doesn’t sound too racy, does it? And yet, the moment you start, it’s a slippery slide.

Chapter after chapter gets your attention…

You hardly feel like you’re reading a marketing book. You somehow feel motivated to keep going. And this is because of the design.

It’s designed to look good—yes it is—but it’s also designed to get you slip-sliding.

Do you notice the white spaces? The sub-head design? The cartoons, the summaries, the captions, the stories and analogies—they’re all designed to do a specific thing at a specific time.

Just like when you’re building a house, you get different elements working sequentially, but also all at once

You get the piles put in, then the house structure. Suddenly there’s an army of plumbers, electricians, carpet layers etc. They’re the ones that give your house the ability to function as a living space. They’re the designers.

Sure you can get an interior designer to come in and give your place a swishy look, but that’s only later. The core is all the bits that go together to make the house. And it’s remarkably similar to a book. Without the elements in at the right point—and sometimes all together, it’s hard to get going. And head banging follows.

Which of course brings us to the third part—content

Remarkably the easiest part is content. Because for the most part, we know what to say. You know this to be true, because once your house is built, you kinda know how to fill it up with stuff. Yes, there’s always the chance of clutter, but if you followed the first part—structure, you should be good.

The reason why we struggle, is because we put the entire truckload of information on paper. Clients take one look at it, perhaps a second look and then never finish. And that’s bad for them, but mainly bad for you. Because now you have to go out and find new clients instead of clients coming back over and over again.

But that still leaves the question: What do you put in the content?

The very core of content is not that hard. You have to approach it like a five year old approaches a skunk. They’re not afraid of the skunk. And they have questions. So what does the five year old ask?

-What is that?
-Where did it come from?
-Why are you so scared of it?
-Why are they so smelly?
-But can’t we have one as a pet if it’s not smelly?

These are the kind of questions you ask. It never leaves us, this core curiosity.

If you’re writing a book on pricing, and you are covering “how packaging affects pricing”, you have similar questions.

- What is packaging?
- Why does it matter?
- How do you use packaging to increase prices?
- What are the mistakes you can make with packaging?
- But what if you don’t want to package?

These are the core questions you have to answer. And remarkably, you could write the content without too much trouble, if you just had a friend or customer ask the questions. But where you struggle the most is in the structure and the design. And that’s what you need to work on.

Amateur writers sit down to write.

Professionals first sit down to plan.

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Why Gravity Wins And How To Break Free Of It

Gravity Wins

Gravity.
It’s working against me.
Gravity.
It’s trying to bring me down.

Twice as much ain’t twice as good.
And can’t sustain like one half could.
It’s wanting more than brings you to your knees.

Exactly.
Gravity is a pain.
It also happens to be a boon.

If you let it, it will take over your life. You’ll never change, never take off, never see the clouds from above. And so, fighting gravity is a part of what we need to be. When we learn something new; when we do a course that puts us even more demands on us; when we take on a new challenge, it’s all about the war on gravity.

I went through this exercise myself about a month ago

My life is very, very good right now, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t secure it in a different way. And so we decided to make some big changes, including upgrading the software of our websites, next we work on the design and then we work on the direction.

All of this is like fighting gravity. It’s a ton of work on top of the work you’re already doing. As if that were not enough, I’ve signed up in a course to learn more about photography. And another one to learn about InDesign and the possibilities. All of it sucking up time, money and resources.

The world is split up into two kinds of people

The excuse makers and the non-excuse makers. A client of mine has a brain issue. She has this growth in her brain and in a while, not very far in the future, it will affect her life in ways she can’t imagine.

Even now, it’s affecting her. She finds herself making crazy comments that embarrass her, and everyone in the room. She finds herself doing things that are weird. So there’s a gravity pushing against her at high speed.

So what does she do? She learns cartooning. She takes on a blogging course and learns to blog. She’s not an excuse-maker. She’s not part of the whiny, “I’m sick, I’m busy, I’m tired” brigade.

We’re all tired, we’re all busy

But the non-excuse makers realise that gravity is a great competitor. And if you and I make excuses, gravity wins. You stay rooted in one spot. This is why people achieve little or nothing. You can’t be anything but relentless against gravity. But just piling on the work isn’t going to help either.

It’s about a sort of forward-management of learning, improving, changing your situation for the better. As the song says: Twice as much ain’t twice as good. And yes it’s not twice as good, if it’s a permanent feature in your life. If you’re always overworked, you’re doing something wrong.

If you always have to whine and complain, you’re doing something seriously wrong.

So how do you get twice to one half?

That’s the irony of gravity, isn’t it? If you fight long and hard against it, you can pull away high enough. So when you’re learning a skill, it’s pure madness. You struggle like crazy. So when I first started to write articles, it was sheer torture. Two whole days of torture.

And at the end of those two miserable days, I couldn’t even tell if I would have an article that was solid; an article that would empower my audience. All I felt was drained and frustrated. And now, just this morning, I’ve written two articles. And I wrote one yesterday and the day before. I also wrote a 40-page book last week complete with illustrations and graphics.

You can tell, can’t you? I’ve pulled away from the forces of gravity

I’m in the one-half zone. Maybe even in the one-sixteenth zone. Instead of battling it out against article writing for 16 hours, I can do better than before in less than an hour. And this is gravity in a nutshell.

Gravity doesn’t care. It continues to pin you and me to the ground. We can whine. We can complain. We’re sick, we’re tired, we’re busy.

And whining is the symptom that you’re losing the battle against gravity

Whining is a sure-fire way to know that you’re on the wrong side of the fence. And the problem with whining is that it’s become such a habit that you use it as a crutch, to get sympathy. To tell yourself you’re okay. To let others feel sorry for you.

And people don’t feel that sorry if you’re a perpetual whiner. They understand how gravity works, and they understand they’ve got to win their own battle against gravity. If you stop the whining and get on with the battle, they’ll help you too.

Are you a whiner?
Or a gravity-fighter?

Gravity, it’s working against me.
Gravity, it’s trying to bring me down.

Gravity, stay the hell away from me
Gravity has taken better men than me (how can that be?)

——-

Gravity
Writer(s): John Mayer, John Clayton Mayer
Copyright: Sony/ATV Tunes LLC, Specific Harm Music, Goodium Music, Reach Music Publishing-digital O.B.O. Goodium Music

——


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The Blech System of Pattern Recognition

The Blech System : Headline Writing

 

Did you eat something today?
Drank some sort of drink?
Well, there’s a good chance you’ve been exposed to the multi-billion dollar flavour industry. Almost all the products we eat or drink have these flavours and companies spend massive amounts of money researching to make sure the get the right flavour for their product. And yet, in the early 1990s, a well-known flavour company did something really weird.

They’d conduct tons of very expensive market research and then ignore that research
Instead they’d go to one of their employees and ask her to taste the flavour and they’d wait for the “blech” response. If this employee said ‘blech’ and contorted her face in disgust, the company would do something even more weird. They’d treat that particular flavour as the winner. And invariably, the flavour would do amazingly well in the marketplace.

But what was causing that employee to say “blech?”
No one really knew—not even the employee. She could kinda describe what she felt, but if you asked her to write it down so that anyone else could get the same “blech” response, she wouldn’t be able to explain it to you.

But the results were outstanding nonetheless.

This is the “blech” factor at work with most talented people
They cannot tell you why they think something is wrong. But they can spot an error a mile away. In the case study above, the employee was doing the opposite. She was identifying what she thought was an error, which of course the public loved.

It doesn’t matter which way you slice and dice the result, the fact remains: the talent for identifying the winner remained in place. But the problem is that the person still can’t explain the steps involved.

And this is why talent becomes so very mysterious
Vic Braden is a tennis coach of great repute. He has the same problem. He can spot a double fault before the player hits the ball. Professional tennis players are able to go through entire games without making more than two or three double faults. And yet, like magic, Vic can tell—long before the ball has been hit.

There’s something about the way the players hold themselves or does just before, that causes Vic to call the double fault.

And there’s a reason why they can’t explain this pattern recognition
For this we have to go down the road with two sets of parents. The sun is rising. And one parent turns to their child and says: “Look at the sunrise. It’s so beautiful.” And the child learns the word “sunrise” and “beautiful”.

The second parent walks with their child and says: “Look at the sunrise. Look how blue the sky is right at the top. Look how it then moves to a mix of yellow-ochre and blue. And then finally look how much yellow ochre there is on the horizon. And notice that orange glow just as the sun comes up, maybe even a little pink.

And yes, isn’t that a beautiful sunrise?

Now what’s happened in the brain of these two kids?
Something quite interesting actually. Both are seeing the same sunrise. But one is being exposed to a completely different set of facts that goes way beyond the terms “beautiful” and “sunrise”.

They may not even understand what “blue” and “yellow ochre” is, but they will register it.

As you have registered it in your brain right now.

When you step out to look at the sky, you will never see “blue skies” again. You will see shades in the sky that you’ve never seen though you’ve been looking at skies for decades.

The problem is that the moment of recognition is brief and often unimportant
If you asked the parent: When did you teach  your child to recognise the shades in the sky? they will often have no recollection. The child themselves, will have no recollection of the event.

And yet the brain is at work. It’s seeing the pattern and recognising it. Sometimes the pattern is pointed out by someone else, as I’m doing here. Sometimes the pattern is just detected in your brain, without any conscious effort.

Over time, the pattern builds up and there comes a moment when “blech” becomes the norm. When you can see the “blech” factor unfolding before your very eyes.

But this does bring up an important question: Why is the “blech factor” so important?
It’s important because the definition of talent (yes, my definition) is a “reduction of errors”. The fewer errors you make, the more talented you are. So for instance, if you were writing headlines and I showed you, and worked you through a series of ways to write headlines, you’d have to go through three separate stages.

Stage 1: How to detect a blech headline.
Stage 2: How to fix it.
Stage 3: How to get a great headline.

And because headline writing consists of simple elements that you add or subtract, it’s easy to know when a headline is blech
And how to fix it. When you fix it, you get a great headline. There’s no great magic to it. But without the blech factor it’s hard to tell. Because beauty or greatness is abstract. But when that child grows up a bit and looks at an oil painting that has a perfectly blue sky from top to bottom, they’ll know something is wrong.

They may not be able to tell you that the shades are missing, but they’ll voice their “blech”—and you’ll think of them as extremely talented, even though the can’t explain why they are able to spot the good from the crappy.

That employee was able to detect the blech factor
Even though the market research (yes, the very, very expensive market research) was pointing in one direction, she would be able to spot a winner by the one flavour that made her feel all “blech”. And it made her company millions of dollars in contracts.

But it’s all a mystery, because it can’t be bottled. That code may not decrypted easily. And yet, there is a code, if you’re truly interested in learning a skill.

When you find the right teacher and have a system of training in place, this code is easy to crack
You have to learn the code. And practice it. Then it becomes second nature.
You know the good stuff. And you know the blech. And you can fix it.

And people call you “amazingly talented”.
And you smile and say “thank you”.


About The Brain Audit
There are two very specific extra “weapons” that The Brain Audit gave me. Weapons that I never got from the many copy writing courses out there (and if you’re like me, you’ve got them all, too).

The Brain Audit

The Brain Audit not only explains HOW it works, but also WHY it works. This is master-level applied psychology, necessary for any self-respecting marketer.

Gabor Wolf
Marketing Consultant— Budapest, Hungary 
Judge for yourselfThe Brain Audit Kit is a complete system that enables you to understand what’s going on inside the brain of your customer.
(P.S. The Brain Audit has received over 800 testimonials)


Top Selling Products Under $50


1) Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds
2) Client Attractors: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
3) Outlining: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines
4) Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
5) Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
6) Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done
7) Critical Website Components: How to write compelling content for your key web pages


1) Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
2) New! Be Kind, Be Helpful or Begone: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website



The Article Writing Course 2015: Why Bother Reading This Prospectus?


How do you benchmark a course?
Do you benchmark it based on one superstar?
Or do you benchmark it based on the fact that everyone gets to the other side successfully?

When you read the prospectus, you’ll find out for yourself.
You don’t have to read 70+ pages of testimonials to find out that from the year 2006, clients have gone from utter struggle and frustration, to becoming stunning writers.

Part of the stunning results comes from the sheer determination
Part of it comes from the structure of the course–and the philosophy of “tiny increments” instead of an information overload. And the fact that I’m there every day, several times a day, critiquing, working with you–making tiny adjustments.

So read the Article Writing Course prospectus, because it shows you how the Psychotactics “tiny increments” system gets results for everyone–not just one superstar.

How do you benchmark a course?
Let the detailed experiences of the alumni tell you the story.
Have a look at the prospectus and judge for yourself.
http://tinyurl.com/prospectus2015

Warm regards,
s-
P.S. We don’t accept more than 25 on the course. It’s intense. It’s tough.
We open registration on Saturday 8th Nov, at 3 pm Eastern (US).
The course fills up incredibly quickly (often in matter of hours).

Make sure you put at least a couple of alarms so you don’t miss out.
Here is the sales page with all the details about the course.
http://www.psychotactics.com/article-writing-course-how-to-write-articles/


Why We Struggle To Write Articles: The Myth Of Unique Content

Struggle Writing Articles

Have you heard the song “New York, New York”?

It’s a song made popular by Elvis Presley, right?

Of course not. You probably heard the Frank Sinatra version of it. But what if Elvis sang the same song? Or maybe Lady Gaga? Would the audience avoid listening to the song, just because it has the very same lyrics?

That’s not the case at all. In fact, every hit (or even some obscure songs) are covered by other artists and are extremely well-received. In effect there’s nothing unique about the lyrics at all, just the way it’s presented.

Which gets interesting when you’re writing an article about dog food

As you scroll through seventeen million seven hundred and twenty one articles on dog food, you may not feel inspired to put one more article into the mix. And you’d be wrong. Because when you write an article, it’s a lot like an artist singing a song. What matters isn’t the content, but how that content is presented.

This, of course, doesn’t give you the license to copy everything in sight

But it should give you the confidence that your audience is keen to listen to your own voice. The way you string your words, your own quirky sense (or lack of) humour. All these little things that make the article different, is what the audience is desperate to hear.

In many cases, you’ll be writing about something that’s not so very unique. In other cases, your content may well be unique. And there will be times when you feel your work is unique, only to find that it’s been covered before.

And yet, there it is

No cartoonist sets out to copy another cartoonist when doing a political cartoon. An article can get buried somewhere in a newspaper, but a cartoon—and especially a political cartoon stands out like crazy. And so you strive to be very original.

And yet, there it is

Your idea has been replicated by someone else. That cartoonist didn’t set out to copy you and you didn’t set out to copy the other, but you still ended up with something remarkably similar. But what’s interesting is that both your audiences loved your work. And even if the work happened to be printed side by side in the very same newspaper, they would still love it.

In fact the song “New York, New York” (correctly known as “Theme from New York, New York” has been covered by dozens of artists, including Sammy Davis Junior, José_José, Lee Towers, Jeff Bridges, Queen, The Three Tenors, Beyoncé, Michael Bublé—and even by Alex the Lion in the cartoon feature film “Madagascar”.

You’re getting the point, aren’t you?

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it that counts.

Now go and write that article, because you do have something to say. And your audience wants to hear it.


Next Step: Links you should visit

1) Are you interested in taking your online business to the next level? Then you must have a look at 5000bc.

2)  Do you feel like banging your head against the wall when writing content for the important pages on your website?
Introducing: How to write compelling content for your key web pages. 


Top Selling Products Under $50

Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds

Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines

Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done

New! Critical Website Components: How to write compelling content for your key web pages
Free! Excerpt of The Brain Audit: Why Clients Buy And Why They Don’t 



Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room-without turning anyone off?

Online Membership Website: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website


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Writing Salesletters or Articles? How to Ditch The “Tired” Analogy

Writing Salesletters or Articles? How to Ditch The "Tired" Analogy

I remember how I always groaned when my father started to tell his story of “how he drew a kingfisher”, when he was just a boy in school.

I loved the story, but I’d heard it so many times, that the thought of escape always crossed my mind when he’d start up that story. The reader experiences a similar “groan moment” the minute you start up on an analogy that they’ve heard before.

Analogies like how you learn to ride a bicycle, drive a car—these are tired analogies

These analogies are boring for the reader, no matter if you use it in a sales letter or in your article. So how you decide when to ditch the analogy? Or better still, how do you improve it so it’s not so “tired” after all?

Let’s take an example

In the book, The Brain Audit, there’s an analogy of standing near the airport carousel waiting for your bags to be unloaded from the flight. So what’s interesting about that situation? Well, for one it’s not something that you hear about a lot. It doesn’t have that ring of “when you learned to ride a bicycle”. And so, by merely changing the example, your analogy becomes slightly more interesting.

But what if we wanted to make it even more interesting?

This is where the power of the personal story comes in. Imagine yourself waiting for the bag. What happens? What happens next? What ups and downs do you go through just waiting for those silly ol’ bags? In The Brain Audit, the bags aren’t just bags—they’re “red” bags.

And there aren’t just “red” bags, but there are “seven red bags”. And the story rolls out where one of the bags goes missing. As you can tell, this isn’t just some tired analogy, but something that’s slightly riveting. You want to know what happens next. You want to know how all of this then reconnects to the story.

So the key to writing better analogies is to write a personal story first

Put yourself at the airport. What did you do? What happened next? And next? And yes, I know I said this already in the last paragraph, but can we have some ups and downs as well as you’re relating the analogy? In fact, the moment you dip into a personal story, even a tired story of riding a bicycle comes to life.

About the best way to sidestep a boring analogy is to use a personal story. In fact, let’s take an example of a personal story.

Only an idiot would learn to cycle like me.

Most people find the safest, flattest area to learn how to cycle. Not me. I decided to learn on slopes filled with red mud. Everytime I fell—and I fell a lot—the mud would graze me badly. And of course, learning on a slope means you’re tempting gravity all the time.

Yet, long after the wounds have healed, the learning of how to ride the bike has stayed with me.

But what if you don’t want to tell personal stories?

Well, turn the personal story into a “YOU” analogy instead. Tell the personal story but without using “I”. So the story would work like this:

Why would anyone be insane enough to find the most difficult cycling course?

Most people find the safest, flattest area to learn how to cycle. But imagine you decided to learn on slopes filled with red mud. Everytime you fell—and you do fall a lot—the mud would graze you badly. And of course, learning on a slope means you’re tempting gravity all the time.

Yet, long after the wounds have healed, the learning of how to ride the bike has stayed with you.

Notice how the analogy isn’t tired, isn’t personal and still seems like an amazing analogy?

If you’re ever reaching for a tired analogy, the first recourse would be to simply find something that’s unusual—like the “seven red bags” story. However, an even better strategy is to write a personal story because personal stories have this inbuilt oomph factor. Should you feel shy about revealing the personal story to your audience, all you have to do is simply tweak it a bit. Put in the “you” into the story and you have a great analogy.

Analogies can be used not just in articles, but also in books, presentations and sales letters

Some of the best writers and marketers know the power of the story and analogy. And they use it very effectively to drive home several points throughout their marketing or editorial material. And they mix it up a lot with analogies and stories, while the amateurs simply write yucky, boring stuff.

Tired analogies are for lazy writers.

Be not sloppy. Be not boring.

Put in the power of story in your analogy and let the “groan” go away, today!


“My biggest hesitation in joining 5000bc was trusting it’d really be a safe place to make mistakes, while still getting support. “

5000bc Membership

Your Be helpful, Be kind, or Begone messaging really helped with. I found that my membership has already paid for itself 4-5x over already.

What blows my mind is Sean’s interaction and support. 
He took me through finding the uniqueness of a new venture. He could have easily charged me $625 (his hourly consulting fee). But he didn’t, he just gave guidance and allowed others to learn from my experience.

The one thing I like most is no-BS feedback from people. The people really want to help you succeed and they receive your feedback with gratitude. It’s really beautiful.

3 other benefits would be
1. Vanishing reports
2. Audio interviews
3. Seeing the “behind the scenes” of Sean’s products and sales pages

I would definitely recommend 5000bc. Why?
Because it’s perfect support for any question you can have about marketing you are working on implementing.

John Reisinger
Tacoma, WA, USA

Judge for yourself and get on the waiting list.


Top Selling Products Under $50


Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds

Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
 Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines

Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done

Critical Website ComponentsHow to write compelling content for your key web pages

The Brain Audit has been around for many years and has over 800 testimonials. It is  a complete system that enables you to understand what’s going on inside the brain of your customer.
Not read about The Brain Audit as yet? Find out more here.


1) Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
2) Online Membership Website: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website


 


How To Avoid Dragging Out A Well Known Story (And Boring The Reader)

How To Avoid Dragging Out A Well Known Story (And Boring The Reader)

You know that story your mum used to tell? Every time she’d start recounting it, you’d groan. You had heard that story ten squillion times before and your mum just ignored you and told it anyway.

You may forgive mum, after all she’s just dear ol’ mum, but your readers won’t always be as kind. If you bore them, they’ll just move on.

So how do we bore readers with our story?

We do this by unfolding a sequence or story that’s extremely familiar. It’s so familiar that as the reader is about 30-40 words into the sequence, they already know what you’re going to say for the next 100-200 words or so.

Let’s take an example or two

Let’s say you’re writing about Goldilocks and the three bars.

Now, the sequence is unknown. (Yes, that was bars, not bears). But if you talk about Goldilocks and three bears and drag out the sequence, it gets tedious, because I already know what you’re saying.

So you shorten it like this…

We know about Goldilocks, don’t we? And those three bears? And how she broke in sat on their chairs, ate their porridge and then slept in their beds?

And then you go on to the rest of the article

When you tighten that sequence, you respect the intelligence of the reader, but still bring in the story to jog their memory. And of course the story is integral to your article, so you can’t leave it out. So your job is to keep the sequence tight and taut.

Let’s take another example: a story about retirement

The downslide of retirement is quite a familiar territory. It goes like this: The person retires: They’re excited; Then they get bored.

That retirement sequence was literally three lines. And you can get to the point awfully quickly if the story or sequence is known. But you don’t always have to be so curt. You do have a little more leeway than three lines.

Your opening could be: Retirement is a sickeningly familiar story, isn’t it? Everyone works like crazy, longs for retirement and then it happens. We get bored and disillusioned. But what do you do once this disillusionment sets in?

And then you go to the rest of your article

Which of course makes the reader very happy. But more importantly it saves you about half an hour of slaving over an opening that is going to put the reader off, instead of helping them move through the rest of the article.

Keep the sequence tight

Keep it taut.

And yes, smile when mum starts up her story yet again.


“I have a business and attracting new customers require a continuous effort. I am always searching for ways to take my business to the next level.”

 Story Telling Series: Psychotactics

The Story Telling Mini Series gave me the road map for my web-site.
Demet Kitis, Canada
Judge for yourself: Story Telling Mini Series


NEW! The Brain Audit: Why Clients Buy And Why They Don’t (Available in Different Formats)


Top Selling Products Under $50


1) Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
2) Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds

3) Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
4) Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines

5) Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
6) Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
7) Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done

8) Critical Website ComponentsHow to write compelling content for your key web pages


1) Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
2) Online Membership Website: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website


 

 


How To Audit Your Benefits and Features For Singleminded Impact

How To Audit Your Benefits and Features For Singleminded Impact

In 333BC, Darius, the ruler of Persia was sure of his victory on the battlefield.

After all, his soldiers outnumbered Alexander the Great’s army by 2:1. And yet, Alexander used an unusual ploy. Instead of the usual strategy of both armies battling it out, he decided to just go after Darius. That single-minded command caused Darius to be outflanked and forced to flee.

That single-mindedness is something that every copywriter needs to focus on, when writing benefits and features. And the reason why you need to focus is because it’s very easy to go off track when writing a three-four lines on a specific feature/benefit.

Let’s take an example from the sales page of this book called “Client Attractors”

One the sales page we see features/benefits that read like this…

1) Big Brand Mistakes

Big brands make the same mistakes that small businesses do. In their hurry to create a sales page, they leave out critical information in their features and benefits. Learn how to avoid the mistakes—especially if you’re a small business owner.

2) Powerful Graphics

Many writers pooh-pooh graphics, but did you know that some of the biggest and most successful brands online use graphics to consistently drive home benefits and features. But how do you use these graphics correctly?

3) Benefits With A Secret Weapon

It’s clear as day once you know the secret, but some benefits are far more potent than others. The secret lies in how you insert a ‘problem’. The ‘problem’ creates drama and makes a run-of-the-mill benefit stand out. Once you know how to use the ‘problem’ in benefits, you’ll want to use it all the time.

So what three points did you get from those benefits/bullets?

The first one was specifically “big brand mistakes”. The second was just about “graphics and how to use them” and the third was the “unleashing the secret power of the problem”. In short, the benefits/features started out with one point and drove home that one point, without getting distracted.

But even so, it’s easy to get distracted when writing a few lines of the benefits/features

So yes, this isn’t a battle of “Alexander vs. Darius”. It’s just a sales page that takes a lot of effort and concentration. It’s possible you could have slipped up and gone off on a tangent. So go back to your benefits and features. And examine them one by one listing the one point you wanted to make for each benefit/feature.

Does each of your benefits and features drive home a single point?

It should, because it’s only when you singularly focused on driving home the point, will you get and keep the attention of the reader.

The copywriting battle isn’t as easy one. But even when faced with incredibly uneven odds, you can still make every word on your page count.

Use single-mindedness as a strategy.

It worked for Alexander. It should jolly well work for you.


How do you get meaningful testimonials, without needing to bribe anyone for it?

 Testimonial Secrets Bonus Video

Utilizing the easy to understand, easy to implement information in this book should bring in far greater revenue. And even better, it solves a problem for me of how to get real, meaningful testimonials, doing it legitimately-and without making anything up, or needing to “bribe anyone”.

The best thing of all: I’ve learned how to get these testimonials long before anyone has bought the product!

Allen Weber
Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Judge for yourself: Testimonial Secrets



“The Brain Audit is not some ‘how to’ book– it’s a way of thinkin
g.”

What The Brain Audit provides that was missing in all of the ‘mainstream’ teaching and training is the piece critical to all sales: how the brain perceives and processes information.

Susan Trinter, Corporate Dev. Programs
Washington D.C., USA
NOW available in Different Formats ! The Brain Audit: Why Clients Buy And Why They Don’t.

 


Top Selling Products Under $50


1) Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
2) Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds

3) Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
4) Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines

5) Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
6) Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
7) Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done

8) Critical Website Components: How to write compelling content for your key web pages


1) Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
2) Online Membership Sites: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website


 

 


Why We End Up With Skimpy Articles (When Trying To Avoid Article Bloat)

Why We End Up With Skimpy Articles (When Trying To Avoid Article Bloat)

If you’ve watched an artist at work, you’ll notice a moment when the artist twitches. The twitch comes from a dilemma: Should you add a few touches to the painting? Or leave well enough alone? And most people don’t leave well enough alone and ruin their work. Of course, once you’ve mucked up a few paintings, you tend to learn from your mistake.

And then you do the opposite. You tend to stop before the painting is completed. And this leaves the painting a bit unfinished.

Which is a lot like an unfinished article writing

In the desire to stop your article from bloating you often tend to cut it down a bit. Then a little more. And then suddenly your article is running on fumes. There’s not enough to keep the reader engaged, because all you’re really doing is jumping from point to point.

So let’s take an example of point to point, shall we?

Let’s say the article is about restoring your health, and the three points are about:

- Purging

- Tonification

- Regulation

And the moment you look at those three points, there’s a wave of dread that fills your brain

You know those aren’t just three points. You know that they’re really three whole articles. Maybe even more. You could easily write and write, and yes, write on those topics. But now you have to somehow fit those three points into this article you’re writing and so you reach for the trimmer to cut down the content to size.

Which of course makes the content far too skimpy

So the meaty part of your article would look like this:

Step 1: The importance of purging

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah.

Step 2: Why tonification really matters

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah.

Step 3: And that’s where regulation comes into play

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah.

Often, a paragraph may do the job of driving a point across

Sometimes it might not quite get the detail you’re expecting to put across. In which case, your reader feels a little cheated. It looks like you’re not really giving them enough substance and just skipping from one point to the other.

So you solve this problem by adding just ONE more paragraph

Yes, just add one more paragraph and get in as much as you can in that extra paragraph. That will enable you get enough detail so the reader is happy, but it will also make you happy. And now you know, there’s no bloat.

Visually, the article will look like this:

Step 1: The importance of purging

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah.

Step 2: Why tonification really matters

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah.

Step 3: And that’s where regulation comes into play

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blahdee blah, blahdoo, blah, blah, blah.

Now your article isn’t too bloated

Or too skimpy either.

You’ll get that artist’s twitch sooner or later

You won’t know whether to add more to your article or not. At times like this reach for the extra paragraph and then it’s time to leave well enough alone.

And your masterpiece is ready to go.


How do you get meaningful testimonials, without needing to bribe anyone for it?

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1) Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
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3) Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
4) Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines

5) Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
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7) Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done


1) Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
2) Online Membership Sites: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website