Category Archives: How to and Tips

Quick and Simple…Bare Essence Copy Writing

Bare Essence Copywritng from Robert Plank
So there’s lots of ways to write your sales letter, to write copy, but who the heck wants to spend a few weeks writing sales copy? Who the heck wants to spend a week or a few days or even a full day writing a sales letter? You should just be able to sit down and crank it out in one sitting; crank it out in an hour or two and be done with it. Speed copy.
First let’s figure out how I normally write copy and when I use which technique. And then we’re going to talk about this new Bare Essence Copywriting technique, which is a lot simpler, where all you have to do is answer a few questions and the copy will just flow out of you.

So, when do I write each different kind of copy?  I’ve noticed that I have to do either the fast or the really, really, really fast method depending on which mood I’m in because I can’t always write it the same way because I’ll get bored.

So if I know a lot about what I want to say and I have a big swipe file built up, then I’m going to use the two-hour formula, which is the fast food copywriting formula.

So this is where I start with my table of contents, and I turn my table of contents into a sales letter.  So I take the table of contents, turn them into features, then into benefits, and I expand those into bullet points; and then I add the headlines, the sub-headlines, the storytelling, the guarantee, all that good stuff.

And when I’m just really, totally stuck, I will use my five-minute formula called “Five Minute Copywriting,” where I’ll take a bunch of plug and play stuff, like fill in the blank stuff.  So I have a stack of headlines where it’ll say, “Something, something.  Blank something in the blank.”  You stick in what your thing is selling, what your thing is about.

And so that is really fast, but that’s also really cookie cutter, really low quality.  So I try to only use the five-minute formula if I’m really stuck and I have almost no creativity.  So if I’m in a less creative mood, I follow more of a template.  And there’s nothing wrong with that because if you’re just too creative, then your process isn’t as repeatable and your process is like, “Well, when I’m in exactly the right mood, and I sit down at my computer at exactly the right time and who knows how long it’s gonna take.”  Who wants that?

So if you’ve got writer’s block, it means you have too much creativity and you need a system.  You need to dumb it down and turn it into step-by-step instructions, so that there’s no question about what you need to do next.

So my fast food copywriting — writing a sales letter in  two-hour method — is where you take the pieces of your book or in your video series or whatever, and you cut them up into pieces.  So if it’s a book, you take the table of contents.  If it’s a video series, you take each video and you turn those into features.

So if you had your chapter one of “How to Install a WordPress Blog,” and so video one would say, “How to Install a WordPress Blog” and that turned into a feature would be “How to Install a WordPress Blog and Get the Database Set Up and Get the Correct Theme Set Up.”  And so on.

But that’s not very exciting.  There’s no “what’s in it for me.”  So you take that statement about how to get the blog set up, how to get the database and the theme, and you say, “Well okay, here’s how to set up the WordPress blog, database, and theme.  So what?”  And then as a response for that you say, “Here are some simple step-by-step instructions to get your WordPress blog installed in seven minutes with almost no work.”

And then you ask again, so what?  And your answer to that is “Here is how to set up a WordPress blog in seven minutes or less, get exactly the theme you want, and start making new blog posts in less time than it takes to take a shower.”

See how that worked?  I couldn’t have come up with such a good bullet point — well it’s not great but I couldn’t have come up with a decent benefit just out of the gate.  I had to think about first, “What is this about?”  Then another thing about “What does that mean?” which means that is a feature.  Then I had to ask twice “so what?” to get it turned into a proper benefit.

So then let’s say the second chapter was about what plug-ins to use and so on.  I do the exact same thing and try to figure out how to install plug-ins.  What does it actually mean?  So what?  And then I turn that into more of a “what does it mean for you?”  Ask “so what,” again.  Turn it into “What does it really mean for you?” and “What can you do with it?  Because I think when the first time you ask “So what?” the only thing that is on your mind is “What does it mean for you?”  But then when you ask, “So what?” again, you’ve already answered, “What does it mean for you?”  And now it’s “Now where can you go with that now that you know what it means for you?”

So you’ve got your list of benefits, and then you expand those benefits.  So if you notice that your benefits are really detailed and you can make sub-benefits, the more the better.  So for that first chapter we were talking about getting a theme set up and getting the database set up so your sub-benefits can be, like, you don’t have to worry about setting up a database ever again.  Just follow these three steps.

And then another sub-benefit could be have your friends and your competition scratching their heads and wondering how you ended up with a WordPress theme so great, and the last few, who your WordPress theme designer was that you paid thousands of dollars, but they don’t know you got a WordPress template for free.

Then you come up with a headline.  So you come up with something attention-grabbing that gets people to want to know more about WordPress plug-ins and so on.  So you do all that stuff.  So you got your headline, you got your benefits; and if you got a lot of benefits and you have a lot to say, you break it up with sub-headlines.  And at the end you say, “So here’s everything you get.  You get this report that teaches all the stuff about WordPress blogs.  You get these videos that teach all this stuff about WordPress blogs.  So what I want you to do now is click on this order button and purchase this course, and you’ll be taken to the next page to enter your information.  And within less than a minute you will have instant access to these five hours of videos and these 11 scripts, which you can plug into your blog right now, and you will be on your way to installing WordPress in less than seven minutes.”

And that’s basically the formula.  It’s a lot more detailed than that; and I include strategies  to overcome writer’s block, how to come up with a headline, how to come up with a story, how to avoid common copy mistakes, and so on.  And as far as the time I put into that, I set a timer for one hour; so I spend one hour of listening to benefits, making summary and the call to action, and then one hour on the headline and the sub-headlines, because those are going to be the most important parts, and those are going to be the things that grab the most attention.

So that’s when I’m in like a somewhat creative mood, not super creative, but it will get the job done.

If I’m really, really stuck, that’s when I go to my Five Minute Copywriting; and yes, sometimes I just use one, and sometimes I use both.  It just depends.  So if I’m really, really stuck, then I do this Five Minute Copywriting.

So Five Minute Copywriting means you can come up with a really basic — about a one-page sales letter — in five minutes.  And if you don’t like it, then you can spend another five minutes going through each step again and improving those steps.  And if you don’t like it again, you can spend another five minutes going through it again.  But usually I find that after about two passes, I’m happy with it.  So it ends up being about 15 minutes of work total, but the thing that makes it five minute is, after five minutes it’s decent enough.  After five minutes you can send traffic to it and you can send your lists to it.

And sometimes I use Five Minute Copywriting to improve existing sales letters.  So maybe I’ll have a sales letter that I already built in two hours using Fast Food Copywriting, but I wasn’t super happy with it.  And I think a few things can be changed, but I’m not sure exactly what to change so I just use the Five Minute Copywriting formula to go through and bump up the sales letter to the next level.

So what you do with Five Minute Copywriting is first you do a little bit of research.  So this is like the pre-copywriting.  You figure out what headline you want.  To do this I search “digg.com” and “blog” plus my keywords, and usually you can find some titles that use your niche keyword that got a lot of traffic; and usually they’re funny or they’re clever or just weird enough that will grab attention.  Figure out a good headline or a good story, and then you match it to these copywriting templates.

So I’ve got a big list of plug and play stories, headlines, and bullets; and they each have different categories.  So figure out what kind of story you want and it’ll give you a setting and a starting point for the story you want to tell.

For the headline you have — there’s I think 10 or 15 categories of headlines that I have — and you pick what kind you want.  Do you want the controversy?  Do you want a question?  Do you want a challenge?   Do you want a shock and awe?  And then it’ll give you a headline, but it’ll leave one word out and that one word you could plug in as your product name or your niche or whatever.  And then if you really don’t like the headline, you can rewrite it, but it gives you somewhere to start.

Same way with bullet points.  You decide what kind of bullet points you want, what category, and you can fill in stuff.  And then with offers you can decide if you want a really aggressive offer or more of an implied offer.  And then a guarantee.  Do you want to stress the length of the guarantee or how easy the guarantee is?  Do you want a simple or a detailed guarantee?

And then I share a lot of time management and productivity tactics that I use to really psyche myself up and get ready to produce a sales letter in five minutes, because it’s really important that you don’t stop writing and you don’t stop thinking because otherwise five minutes isn’t a lot of time.  And I have it mapped out so you spend one minute doing this one thing, one minute doing the next thing.  So if you spend 30, 45 seconds waiting around each time, that’s most of your time sucked up, so you don’t want that.  So you need these very special tactics to get you psyched up.

But basically it’s some fill in the blank copywriting, where I’ve taken some popular headlines, and I’ve just removed the part that makes them unique.  And then you just stick it right back in, and then you can reuse the headline, so it’s sort of a swipe file in that way.

So that was the Fast Food and the Five Minute Copywriting.  Now let’s get into what is Bare Essence Copywriting

So this is where you don’t know where to start, but you don’t want something as dumb as fill in the blank headlines.  So instead we’re going to answer a series of questions related to your copy as if you are being interviewed.

So this technique works if you’re the person who made the product that the copy is about, and it means that you’re knowledgeable.  You know what your customers want.  So this is more like customer-oriented, emotion-oriented copywriting style.

And if you think about it, any good copywriter is going to ask you a few questions.  They’re going to interview you anyway and then rewrite what you said.  So you’re already doing 80 percent of the work.  So why not write a first draft average version of your sales letter in an hour or so?  And then you can apply these little tweaks over time, so later on if you decide you wanted a better headline or maybe rewrite this or that bullet point, you can, but the basics are there.

So what are these questions we are going to answer?  There are these eight questions, and the procedure is we are going to write them out as questions and then answer them.  And I’ll get to that in a minute.  But the eight questions are:

What do you want the reader to do?

What does the reader want and desire?

What is the payoff?

What will they get once they order from you and how will it benefit them?

What are their top objections and how would you defuse them?

What is the guarantee and what bonuses do you provide to make the guarantee not even relevant?

What step should be taken to order?

What have other people said about the product?

Okay, so here are the eight questions, and so you’re going to start by retyping question one into a Word document.  It’s very important that you retype because this gets the questions embedded in your brain, and it’s very important that you keep it as a question.

I don’t want you to just look at the question and answer in the Word document.  I don’t want you to retype the question as a statement or as a sub-header.  You need to retype that as a question and then type your answer right underneath it because you can also remove questions later.

So retyping is very important, and it’s so important I made it a capital “I” as Important.  And you are going to want to answer it as if someone asked it.  That is the whole reason we have it as a question.  Because when you read questions and answer them, it feels like somebody asked them because you are so used to answering questions on the phone.  You’re so used to seeing questions in e-mail, and then you retype an e-mail as a reply.  So answer it as if someone asked.

So when I answer all these eight questions, if I have a lot to say, I end up with usually two to five pages of copy, which is average copy; and then I can quickly edit it later for better headlines or bullets.  So either I do that by hand or I use the fast food copywriting or the Five Minute Copywriting techniques or my swipe file to put in better headlines and bullets.

And I’m the kind of person where my swipe file contains different lines of text, so every line of text is a different idea, and I hardly ever have more than 50 items in my swipe file.  I regularly delete stuff I haven’t used in my swipe file a lot, and about a month ago last summer, I wrote a sales letter.  I exhausted my swipe file so my swipe file is completely blank.  I have nothing in there so I’ll probably have to use maybe Five Minute Copywriting to do the editing.

So now that we’ve got the process, let’s go back over the questions one at a time so there’s no confusion about it.

So question one:  What do you want me, as the reader to do?  For example, I want you to pay me to buy a $20 e-book.

What do I as the reader want and desire?

Question three:  What will I get once I order from you and how will it benefit me?  So these are going to be your benefits, and you are going to want to list as many of these as you can because the majority will suck.

Question four:  What would my top objections as the reader be, and how would you defuse them for me?  How would you get them out of the way by revealing that your objections don’t really matter and aren’t as big of a deal as you think?

Question five:  What is your guarantee and what bonuses do you provide to make this offer a no-brainer?

And question six:  What steps do I take to order?

Question seven:  Why should I order right now instead of later?  What’s the scarcity in play?

And question eight:  What have other people said about this product?  What are the testimonials?

So if you’re trying to answer these and you’re still blocked, whip out a countdown timer.  Give yourself ten minutes to answer “what do you want me, the reader, to do?”  And as you see these numbers tick down, you’ll kind of freak out and you will be like, “All right.  I really got to answer this in ten minutes.”  At least that’s how my brain works.

So let’s go back here and let’s look at these eight questions before I let you try to answer them on your own.

So first you are going to say question one:  What do you want me as the reader to do?  So retype that down in a Word document, give yourself ten minutes, put up the countdown timer, and answer that as quickly as you can.  And don’t even think about any of the questions right now.  Just focus on answering that question.

Once that’s done, type out “What do I as the reader want and desire?”  And then put — start the countdown timer for ten minutes and nothing else, but answer that.

Question three:  What will I get once I order from you and how will it benefit me?  So what are the benefits?

Question four:  What are the top objections that the reader, me, has, and how would you defuse them for me?  What’s your guarantee?  What bonuses do you provide?

Question six:  What steps do I take to order?

Question seven:  Why order now and not later?

And question eight:  What have other people said about this product?  For me as far as testimonials, I am not big on testimonials coming out of the gate.  I’m more big on social proof.  I’m more big on what other stuff do you have in this niche?  What are your credentials?  What kind of statistics about this can you provide?  There are lots of other forms of proof that you can provide other than testimonials.

But after your product is out there and gets a bunch of sales and you have testimonials, you can almost sell without anything else.

So that’s the gist of the Bare Essence Copywriting technique where you write a sale letters by answering a few questions.  You just answer those eight questions in a Word document.  If you’re still stuck, put up a countdown timer.

If you’re still stuck again, let me give you a quick technique. You open up your instant messaging client like AIM or something.  Then if you could open up two instant messaging clients that talk to each other, that’s perfect.

So you might be able to open up Google Talk and Gmail and then talk, and have the Google Talk communicate with a separate account in your Gmail or whatever.  Just figure out a way to send instant messages to yourself.  So this is if you’re really stuck.

So in window number one you type in the questions.  So window number one you type “What do you want me, the reader, to do?”  And in your other window where you answer you type in “Well, as a reader you should blah, blah, blah,” and just that it’s a lot easier to answer your instant messages because it’s a lot less intimidating.  You have tiny blocks of text.  Anybody can talk in an instant messaging client all day versus trying to type out a big, long Word document.

So and then you keep your chat log and copy and paste in your Word document through a little bit of editing, and you have your sales letter.

So that’s how you write a sales letter by answering a few questions.  And that’s the technique I’ve used in addition to fast food copywriting and in addition to Five Minute Copywriting.  So I’ve used the Bare Essence Copywriting just to get the copy on there, and then I used one of those other two techniques to perform the editing.

Comment below and let me know if you are able to write a sales letter using those eight questions.

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Mastering the Art of Storytelling – 3 Day Story Challenge

Here’s 3 different exercises you can do to really get down to mastering story telling.

Day 1:  Write 8-10 line stories for each of the 3 plots listed below. Write fictional stories.  Just make them up just so you can get the idea of the flow, how the dots connect.  So use this as an outline and limit yourself to only 8 or 10 lines to go through each of these parts.  Same thing with here and same thing with here.  Just like I did right off the top of my head with you on this video.  Just sit down and write them down.  You can type them out; write them down.  It doesn’t matter.  Write 8-10 line stories for each of the 3 plots above.  That’s Day 1.

Plots:

  1. The journey plot:

Here’s where I started; here’s where I hit rock bottom; here’s where I rebounded and found the solution; here’s why I’m sharing it with you.  That’s it.  That’s that story in four sentences.

  1. Us vs. them

Someone or some ones, a group of people, have been keeping something from you that could enhance your life.  For some reason they’ve been hoarding information from you, whatever that reason may be.  Maybe there’s a conspiracy; maybe they just don’t want you to know about it because then it would affect them in some way; or maybe they just plain like to control other people.  Who knows?  But for some reason, someone or some ones have been keeping something from you that could enhance your life.  Here’s how I discovered this.  Because here’s how I got inside the insider’s circle.  Here’s what it actually is, or at least hint at it.  Here’s why they don’t want you to know about it, and here’s why I’m sharing it with you.  Simple, simple stuff.

  1. The Happy Accident

The final story here is the happy accident.  This is great because it’s great for selling purposes because people think the gurus are something special that they’re not.  But if an average, everyday Joe discovers by a fluke that it can work, then you think, “Well, if he can do it by accident – he’s just an everyday Joe – then I’m sure I can do it.”  So that’s the great power of this story.  “By accident I stumbled across the magic solution.  I thought it was a fluke, so here’s how I tested it.”  That handles our objection, by the way.  “Turns out it wasn’t a fluke.  Once I discovered it by accident, it was easy to improve upon it.  Here’s why I’m sharing it with you.”

Day 2 is take your favorite movie and reverse storyboard it.  This is very simply where you start at your end and work your way to the beginning.  So pick your favorite movie and then write the last scene.  This is where the characters ended up; this is what happened in the end; and then this is where they’re at now.  And then take the scene before that that led up to that final scene and then write that out.  And then take the scene before that and write that out.

It’s really amazing when you do this backwards.  Then you’re going to see, “Oh, this is how this set up this next movement.  This is how this set up this next movement.  Oh, this is how this set up…”  So you’re seeing the end before you see the beginning, which really helps you see the structure.  And so you’re being able to see these techniques firsthand.  So this is very powerful to take a plot and break it down and go through it in reverse.  So this is where they ended up; this is how they got to there; this is what led them to get from there to there; and this is where they started.

“Ohhhh, by looking at it from a whole new light by backwards, now I’m starting to see the dots.”  I kind of got this idea because I think it’s Leonardo da Vinci, in order for him to get an objective view of his paintings, what he would do is flip them upside down and put them up into a mirror.  So that way he looked at them from a completely new angle, and he was able to see things in a different way.  That’s what this is.  You’re running it backwards; so then all of a sudden you’re seeing all these connections in the story and these underlying techniques that you never saw before.

Finally, the last technique you want to learn to use to plot effectively is that take your favorite novel and attribute one phrase or even one word to each page.  So what you want to do is quickly scan through that page and see what’s the main action that’s going on on this page.  Then write that down in a 3-word phrase or even a 1-word phrase if you can get away with that.  And do that for each page.  And then you’ll say, “OK, this is the main action on this page.  This is the main action on this page.  This is the main action on this page,” and so on and so forth.  And you’ll see action in motion, and that’s a big part of the story is that action.  You’re keeping the action going; keeping the plot moving along.  And so these are the 3 techniques you’re going to want to use.  Use these for your marketing purposes. Tell a story for stories show instead of tell. Just do these 3 and then start writing stories in your copy, and before you know it you’ll be as good as anybody needs to be for telling stories to sell stuff.

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Mastering the Art of Storytelling in Just 7 Days

So many may say, “I can’t tell a story,” or if they do try to tell a story; they get all fancy and technical and weird with it, and so the story doesn’t really end up fulfilling its purpose.  The purpose of telling a story in this first article is to sell something.

Actually it’s super easy to sell with stories because if you study all these sales letters, you’ll find that 80 percent of them use three different types of story.  And so you really only have to learn three kinds to be good enough to sell with stories.  And a lot of people make it hard and weird, and you can just be down-to-earth like you’re talking to somebody over the table and just follow the simple plot lines that I’m going to show you, and you should be able to master the art of story telling in 7 days or less, especially with the three exercises I’m going to show you in future articles.

Really quickly…why?  Why should you learn how to master the art of story telling in 7 days or less?  Well, simply put, stories are what engage people.  What do people prefer?  Do they prefer to read a non-fiction book, or do they prefer to watch prime-time television?  And I think the answer is quite obvious.  Most people, 10 to 1 easily, probably 100 to 1, would prefer to watch a good show on television than to read a non-fiction book.  In fact, I think the average person reads three books or less a year, which is kind of sad since we’re in the information age.  It’s just a huge explosion of it.

So 10 million people tune in to watch the new episode of Lost, so people are conditioned to get information through stories.  So that makes it a perfect medium to disseminate information to them.  Because see, stories you can use to demonstrate things.  So you can tell a story to demonstrate the power of your product, and you can use it to heighten the believability of your claims through proof.  You can use that to really get their emotions pumping, so they feel they absolutely need this now or some part of their life is never going to be complete.  So you can use stories as a medium of information, and we all know that you need to give people information before they can purchase your stuff.  So this is a great way to do that.  You show them instead of tell them, which will be the next article found at: http://writerssecrets.com/use-stories-they-show-instead-of-tell-read-on/

The Ultimate Fund Raising Guide for Non-profit Organizations

For that unpopular subject: fundraising, Dr. Lant guide for doing it successfully –

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Help your nonprofit organization survive. Thousands use this book to increase their share of those much needed funds, to raise the capital, project and operating funds they need at a time when the competition for such funds has never been more intense.
The author Dr. Jeffrey Lant has worked in the capacity as development counsel to a wide range of organizations around the nation and as a trainer in fund raising and organizational development techniques to hundreds more, he has worked with the executive directors, trustees and staff of nonprofit organizations to make sure they know exactly what they need to know to make their fund raising activities successful. Having done this for many years, he has a very clear sense of what it takes to raise money — and the things nonprofit personnel often find it so difficult to do.
DEVELOPMENT TODAY aims to deal with both areas by providing you with the exact technical information you need to raise the funds you must have and by giving you techniques to overcome your own reluctance (and that of the people you’ll be working with) towards raising money.
I know you probably hate fund raising, that you approach the subject with distaste, anxiety and an acute desire to get it over with as quickly as possible. I know the people you’ll be working with probably feel the same way. No wonder!
Fund raising is a time-consuming, slow-moving, intrusive, and often frustrating process. It’s also a crucial activity in the kind of country we have where approximately one million organizations rely in some measure on voluntary support — the kind of support DEVELOPMENT TODAY will help you get.
Until now nonprofit personnel — be they trustees, executive directors or staff — have had very little assistance with the task of raising funds expeditiously and inexpensively, of getting the kind of help they need to get on with a job they so often dislike. This is not to say that there is limited fund raising literature. Quite the contrary. But all too often this literature is maddeningly theoretical, or, even worse, it stops just at the moment you need very practical guidance.
DEVELOPMENT TODAY is Dr. Lant’s attempt to correct matters.

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Writing A Book Series In 3 Fast and Easy Steps

My friend and mentor, Kristen Joy (The Book Ninja), helped me so much to get my new book series out
“Bring Out The Potential Of Our Children”

I was totally over joyed when she told me I can pass on her simple easy to follow process.

She gave me this FREE Guide “Writing A Book Series In 3 Fast and Easy Steps”
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If you are like me and tend to procrastinate or lose focus
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7 Ways To Get Past Writer’s Block

Oh me, oh my! My writer’s well has sure run dry. Now what? Suggestions for outsmarting writer’s block.

by  Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. Sooner or later EVERY writer will face the ordeal of the blank page and come up with — nothing! At such a moment, you may well fall victim to malaise, running the spectrum from anxious to suicidal. The longer the seizure lasts, the worst these reactions will be, until one completely miserable day you reckon you can never write another word again… and this can bring on not only sadness but a kind of death from which, like the real thing, there is no escape.

To help you through this situation when it inevitably occurs, I am going to pack this article with one practical suggestion after another. You may not need them now; may not need them for a decade. But keep this article readily at hand for when you do.

First suggestion. Use a special song to raise your mood and get you moving.

Have a song easily available that makes you want to surge. I have a list of favorites, all selected for their proven ability to lift my spirits and put me in the mood to give something to humanity, something like the project I’m currently writing. “Maniac” from the 2001 film “Flashdance” featuring Michael Sembello always works. I indulge myself, acting kid crazy as everything conduces to get you…. your brain…. and your prose flowing again. You’ll find this song in any search engine… turn it on, let yourself go, until you feel the unstoppable energy that this kind of insistent music delivers.

Second suggestion. The minute you get nervous, frustrated, flustered, hot under the collar, STOP and STOP at once.

The worst thing you can do is force yourself to write. Not only will the quality of what you’re writing be tainted, but you’ll hurt yourself and begin to think the writing game is not worth the candle, the worst possible conclusion.

This particular advice can be very difficult to follow. After all, you’ve been productive before and aim to be productive again just as soon as possible. Surely, if you force yourself to write you can push the blockage to one side and flow, right? Instead, sit down at your writing desk, write as much as you can that flows naturally. Stop when the flow ceases…

… even if you’ve only managed to write a single word. Pushing yourself during a block never works positively and can easily affect your self-esteem and self-confidence when the push doesn’t work.

Third Suggestion. Keep your regular writing hours, even if you cannot write your name on the page just now.

Good habits are the key to good, constant, always flowing writing. Thus, it is important during draught days to do the precise things you did during the fat days. What you produce may not be substantial — yet. But even if you find yourself in the position of Oscar Wilde (“in the morning I put in a comma; in the afternoon I took it out again.”) that won’t matter. Why? Because the most productive writers are like Pavlov’s dogs… trained to write whilst in your sanctified writer’s place.

Fourth Suggestion. Still stalled? Do this!

First of all, notice I use the word “stalled” to describe your current unproductive situation. It is a word that implies you were moving and the problem being solved you will regain your accustomed outcome… and peace of mind.

Thus, when stalled do this… Take a walk around the park (if you’re lucky enough like me to have one right out the front door, so much the better). Find yourself a shaded bench where the view is congenial. Take out the pad and paper every writer must always carry; select an object and — describe it, fully, completely, without leaving anything out of your description… writing not only factually but with as much lyric beauty as you can draw from the “dry” well at the moment.

The simple task of describing the flower bed at your feet starts the productive juices flowing… even if you’re able, just now, to write only a single word (tree) with just one adjective (green). The thousand mile journey starts with the single step; yours starts with a single word… and any word will do.

Fifth Suggestion. Copy a page of another’s prose… to get you moving.

Nothing happening so far to get your stalled skills working productively again? No worries! Take a passage from a favorite book or article, open a file and enter this text. As you do, engaging brain and nimble fingers, you’re performing a function all prose writers regularly do, in my case almost daily, that is entering reference material.

When you’ve finished so entering a block of text, go on and comment on what you’ve entered. What was good about the passage entered, what was bad, what inspired, what underwhelmed? In just a minute or two, you’re writing… perhaps not yet up to your usual level. But what of that? Your creative faculties are working; your imagination is working, your fingers are working… and soon the flow of new ideas, new insights, new observations and new perceptions will be working, perhaps even better than before.

Sixth Suggestion. Read from your own prose.

Far too many writers fail to read their prose aloud. This is bad for several reasons, including to make sure all sentences are balanced, harmonious, with every word the right word. Merely reading your prose cannot deliver the optimum result; reading aloud can.

Thus, pick up the first page of anything you’ve written, not necessarily lately either. When you’ve finished reciting this page, sit down at your computer and write a second page to accompany what you’ve already written and read. Again, by positively positioning yourself and doing your usual tasks, you ease back into your stride and the production and presentation of the right words in the right order.

And if none of this works?

Seventh Suggestion. Close, relax, start again tomorrow.

With the best will in the world and the diligent adherence to these recommendations, your block may not end in a day, a week or even a month. Thus must you continue to implement these suggestions even when they may not be immediately helpful.

Therefore, begin each writing day as you always have, at your usual time, and with your usual matutinal rites. Do not skip a single one. Similarly eat at the usual times; run your usual errands in the usual way. And above all, close your shop at the usual time with the usual activities, such as preparing reference materials for next day usage. Never stay up late forcing yourself every step of the way; that may well have been a contributing factor to the blockage in the first place.

Guaranteed results.

Follow these steps, and I guarantee your days of obstacles, impediments, blocks and absolutely no progress will be history soon enough. Moreover, because you have experienced what is often a terrifying situation, you are better prepared to see it coming and take immediate action to overcome it. Once you do, dance the “Maniac” gyrations for yourself. They’ll put you in just the right frame of mind to produce that Niagara of high energy language, the kind your readers are thrilled you never stop writing and always produce so predictably and so well.

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Lant is known worldwide. He started in the media business when he was 5 years old, a Kindergartner in Downers Grove, Illinois, publishing his first newspaper article. Since then Dr. Lant has earned four university degrees, including the PhD from Harvard. He has taught at over 40 colleges and universities and is quite possibly the first to offer satellite courses. He has written over 60 books, thousands of articles and been a welcome guest on hundreds of radio and television programs. He has founded several successful corporations and businesses including his latest at …writerssecrets.com

 

His memoirs “A Connoisseur’s Journey” has garnered nine literary prizes that ensure its classic status. Its subtitle is “Being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck, and joy.” A good read by this man of so many letters. Such a man can offer you thousands of insights into the business of becoming a success. Connect with Dr. Lant at www.drjeffreylant.com

Of Fairy Tales. Create Your Own…

We all probably have our favorite fairy tales, a bit of a fantasy with amazing characters, and of course the wicked villain.

They may include elements of magic, include a journey, perhaps a journey of self discovery. There will be good deeds and the wicked deeds, perhaps a prophecy or  revolution and usually a moral at the end of the story.

We love them. We loved them as a child and share them with our children. Well how about writing your own?

Lets get started…

First we need to start developing our tale. What characters will be in your story?

Where does the story take place? Let your imagination take over and build it up so you can take your readers there and make it real for them.

Start the momentum and figure out what sort of scenario will come about.

Write out your plot with a beginning, middle and end. You want it strong in the beginning. Strong in the middle and strong at the end.

Have a strong beginning that will draw your readers in. Again look to your favorite fairy tales for examples.

Let the action begin. Remember fairy tales are are usually fairly short.

Let your creation flow not worrying about the editing part until you’ve got your story down. Make as many drafts as you need until your fairy tale is complete with correct  spelling and all.

Turn it into a readable format, create a cover and share it with your friends, family or even get it published.

I’d love to hear your Fairy Tale ideas! Just post them in the comment box below.

6 Reasons Why You Are Not Making Any Money With Your Info Products…

1. not knowing the market. Too many info-products are egotistical productions. If you want to make money from such a product, you must direct it squarely at a large and growing market that has a pain you can take away … or an aspiration you can help them achieve.

2. not delivering useful information. Most how-to books and products are useless .. . they don’t provide the exact details people need to achieve the promise of the product’s title. But why should anyone pay good money for a product that doesn’t deliver what they want?
3. not producing client-centered marketing materials. If you want to motivate an individual to buy a product, you’ve got to tell him just what he’s getting, all the advantages, benefits you have for him. But most info-producers talk about their products… not about client advantages. As a result, most of the marketing communications produced by info-entrepreneurs end up where they belong … in the trash.
4. not hammering home these benefits in an organized, efficient, relentless way. If you want to make money in the information business, you cannot be vague or obscure about the advantages you’ve got for your targeted market . . . you must be direct, pointed, persistent.
5. not updating products, selling them for years. Most information publishers take a product out of circulation after a year, two at the most. Smart ones pinpoint a market in need, produce a valuable problem-solving product, and resolve to sell their product so long as this market has this problem. Updating is therefore inevitable.
6. not creating a line of problem-solving information products. Information entrepreneurs who become rich do so because they don’t put all their eggs in one basket … or one product. They diversify, not only updating all products but regularly adding new products . . . both those they create themselves and those they get others to create.
To solve these, and a host of related problems, Pick up your copy of:
Picture
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Launch yourself on the way to becoming America’s next millionaire information producer.
Shop at Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s Store to find this book plus many more money making resources.

Write to be read. What you need to know and do to turn every word you write into the word that gets results.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Allow me to  introduce myself. I am a writing machine. My first article
was published when I was 5 years old, 64 years ago; I’ve been a writing
machine ever since. I’ve made a fortune knowing how to manipulate the
incredible English language.

Sadly, I am in the minority. Having taught writing courses at many
institutions of higher learning, including Harvard, I long ago came to the conclusion
that most people would rather get a root canal than struggle with the dicey business
of writing so people will read, understand and respond to what they write. Needless
to say this costs them big bucks, since if you cannot use your own language, the
lingua franca of the world,as the essential tool it is for business and life success, you
lose much of the value of that language. And that is a crying shame.

I want to help you out, and I’ve therefore created the list below of key points
which when mastered dramatically improve the way you write and the results you
get.

1) Just because you’re a native English speaker doesn’t mean you know anything
about writing our complicated, sophisticated, absolutely splendid language.
Speaking and writing are two separate, though related, things, and must be seen
as such.

Start from the proposition that you are, shall we say, “challenged” by writing in
English. There are many reasons why this could occur: you weren’t properly taught.
Although teachers unions may strongly disagree, the fact is most teachers are not
trained to write words that get results. Thus, they are unable to teach their students,
who thereby start off their life-long relationship with writing the right words on the
wrong foot. What’s more, most never manage to overcome this poor start; instead
of trying to overcome the problem, they find ways to minimize or even avoid writing
altogether. That is surely what throwing the baby out with the bath water means.

2) Admit you have a problem that’s not going to get better on its own.

As a business writer for my entire (now long in the tooth) adult life, one of the saddest
things I see is respected business leaders not only unable to write the Queen’s
English proficiently but proud of themselves because they mangle it in both its spoken
and written manifestations. Yes, proud of themselves… each embarrassing misusage
and mistake proving their warped satisfaction that they are therefore “people of the
people”, thereby immune from proper usage. Just to state this proposition is to prove
what a zany idea that is… yet it is common.

3) Force yourself to write more and better.

Like so many things in life, the more you write, the better you’ll get. Most business
people are poor writers because, being VIPs, they delegate such “minor” tasks to
others. What seems at first glance to be something rational and efficient, upon
second glance proves to be nothing more than a means to slough off something you
strongly dislike. Now hear this: even if you are the Chief Poobah of the world, indeed because
you are that self-same Poobah, you need the ability to write the right words to get the
results you must have to expand your clientele and business  altogether.

This means no longer delegating all writing projects which ordinarily accrue to people
of your dignity and position, but accepting at least some of them, not least to give
yourself necessary practice… with the clear understanding that practice does most
assuredly make perfect.

4) Less is always more.

Brevity, it is said on the highest authority, is the soul of wit. It’s also the key to ensuring
that what you write will be carefully read and easily understood.

Poor writers are prolix writers; they write too much, edit too little, and manage to
kill any fruitful results that might come by burying the objective in verbosity thereby
suffocating the writing and ensuring its failure.

When you sit down to write any document whatsoever, your objective, 100% of the
time, is to

state what you aim to achieve

Then, succinctly, marshal your arguments, with the preeminent and clear focus
on what the recipient gets from you by taking the promptest possible action.

This means that if you want results, your invariable focus must be on the “you”
you are writing to; getting this person’s attention, interest, then action is what all
good business writing is about… such writing may never win the Nobel Prize for
Literature… but who cares? It can make you rich.

5) Use numbers to structure what you write.

Good writers, particularly good writers in a hurry (are there any others?) use numbers to
ensure readership and clarity. Thus,

“I have three reasons for contacting you today….”

“There are 6 major reasons why you must respond today….”

“Here are the 5 reasons you’ll want to take advantage of this offer now….”

Get the picture? Numbering provides structure, and it makes both writing and reading
of what you write easier.  Remember, you do not need to win prizes for your prose;
it need only be good enough to get the results you desire.

6) Always write for the “you” receiving your writing.

Good writers, and by that I mean fast, efficient, easy to read writers, know a secret
which, until now, has been unknown by you: that English prose sings when you
make it “you” centered, the you in question being the person you are addressing your
words to.

All people are egotistically and I-centered. Don’t fight City Hall on this one; take advantage
of this fact, to your substantial advantage. The words you write should always be about,
for, directed at and done (whether explicitly or not) for “you”, the person you must never
forget you are writing for.

7) Read your words aloud… and save your breath!

Want to know whether what you’ve written will achieve your purpose? Read it aloud
to yourself. If you find yourself meandering through dense thickets of words and
punishing verbosity, difficult “show off” words and elusive meaning and directions,
you need re-write (as every Hollywood director knows).

Sentences should never be longer than you can comfortably read in a single
breath, no fudging either.

Key points should be made, emphasized, stressed… but always in short sentences.

Your writing should have a cadence which reading aloud will demonstrate. The best
writing is writing that moves you briskly through the subject at hand, without a single
superfluous word.

Start today.

As you implement these steps and begin to see tangible results which will only
improve, you will be glad, even blissful, that the bugaboo of being a poor writer
is now gone… never to return.

What will fill its place is one result after another achieved by deft use of the written word
you feared at the beginning of this article… and now rejoice as one of the absolutely
essential tools for enhanced business success. And that’s a fact you can write home
about!

Get a FREE Copy of “Create An E-Book Today. Publish It On Amazon.com. Profit From It for the Rest Of Your Life!” by Dr.Jeffrey Lant Get Your FREE Copy CLICK HERE

Ahh! Stop! 10 Copy Writing Errors That Are Blocking You From Making Sales

Write the only kind of copy that matters:

Copy that Sells your product or service.

10 Egregious mistakes to remove from your marketing documents.

  1.  Your Copy Focuses On Yourself, Not The Prospect. – talking about the seller and what your  offering. Every worthy thought about the seller, by the seller, for the advantage of the seller—is irrelevant. Success in selling more of your products and services is in direct correlation to the extent that the prospect feels you exist for him, that you can help him, that you care for nothing so much as for him.
  2. You Think Your Prospects Are As Interested In What You’re Selling As You Are. – Your prospects are not interested in your products or services. They are interested only in themselves, in their (all too often) petty aspirations, flawed desires, crack-brained anxieties and foolish fears. Thus it is to these — not the manifest wonders of your product or service — that you must appeal. No one will ever be as interested in what you are selling as you are, particularly if you are the inventor of said wonder. Expect no one to be as interested as you are.
  3. You’re Trying To Be Clever. – thinking you’ve produced the most clever piece of marketing ever conceived. Why? Because it’s different. Because it gets the attention of the reader. Because that reader laughs. Because that reader doesn’t simply pass by oblivious to the important creative statement at his fingertips. But does this marketing work? Do people take action — buy something — as a result of seeing it?If it is that rather than the creation of believable, client-centered benefits for his products and services, the “clever” creator of such marketing materials relies on his deep pockets to create familiarity. Such a person bets that familiarity is more important than real prospect benefits and an immediate incentive for action.Now hear this: the aim of your marketing materials is not to be clever. Is not to dazzle your prospects. Is not to convince them that you are the brightest little boy or girl on the block. Even if you are. All that — for marketing purposes — is irrelevant.Now hear this: the aim of your marketing materials is not to be clever. Is not to dazzle your prospects. Is not to convince them that you are the brightest little boy or girl on the block. Even if you are. All that — for marketing purposes — is irrelevant. The only purpose for marketing. The only purpose for your marketing materials. The only point at all of any kind of marketing — is SELLING YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE. Nothing else matters.
  4. You’re Trying To Educate Your Prospects.- trying to educate them so they understand their need for you. Marketers are not in the education business.They are in the selling business.Your objective in marketing is not to find a market and educate it to an understanding of what you can do for it. But to identify a market with screaming wants and needs — and the means to pay for satisfying them.What should you do to educate a market? “Don’t bother.”Educating has nothing to do with marketing. Be interested in meeting the wants and needs of your market and selling to your prospects.
  5. You Don’t Have A Major Client-Centered Message That You Hammer Home Again And Again. – if you think creativity and originality are infinitely more important than hard-hitting persuasiveness, think again. More it’s making the same point over and over and over again — from every conceivable angle — in a determined attempt to move your reader to do something. – a certain quite specific something that we inspire and command.By taking a besieged prospect, overwhelmed by other marketing messages, fearful of taking action, uninterested in taking action now and move them to take action NOW means:
    • hitting the prospect’s self-interest;
    • piling prospect benefit on prospect benefit to create a rich layer cake of desirabilities;
    • fostering a sense of urgency — of acute need — to take action NOW;
    • getting the prospect to feel not only what he’ll get by taking action but what he’ll lose by failing to do so.

    Leaving them with no choice but to act NOW. Or face unbearable regret and gnawing discontent that he failed to do so.

  6. You’re Trying To Be “Professional”. – feeling Professional Behavior as a means of getting ahead.What matters in marketing is relentlessly focusing on your prospect—in each and every way. Your own professional image should always be secondary to your ability to convince your prospect that you place his welfare first; that you can deliver benefit after benefit he’ll find meaningful and that persuade him to buy what you’re selling.Thus, nothing matters that is not directly related to your prospect. There can be no justification for writing marketing documents — however “professional” they appear to you, seemingly cogent in their dull pomposity — that fail to excite the prospect with what you can do for him and fail to tell him what he should do NOW to get the benefit you can deliver.
  7. You Haven’t Frightened Your Prospect. – In the marketing business, we have known for a good long while that fear is among our most potent prospect motivators. Particularly fear of loss.The fear you use must be:
    • specific
    • immediate
    • palpable
    • grounded in reality
    • sustained by credible specialists, and
    • reinforced, time and again.

    You must use every dark fear of every prospect as a lever to get that person to take action and connect with you—so that you can remove the cause for the fear and make that person’s life better.

  8. You Drone On About Product And Service Features, When All The Prospect Wants To Know About Is The Benefits He Gets By Using It.- Let’s start with definitions. A feature is a characteristic of a thing. Size, color, weight, speed, availability, special conditions of use — all these are features.And is why the consummate marketer is far more interested in prospect benefits —that is advantages or helpful results—than in product or service features. For it is benefits that sell, not features.LEAD WITH BENEFITS. FOLLOW WITH FEATURES.
  9. You Write in Jargon That Makes It Difficult For Your Prospect To Understand You. -Jargon means language understood by a select group. As such, by definition, jargon cannot be understood by everyone. Therefore, to write jargon is  foolish and self-defeating.If you want to write cash copy, copy that will sell your products and services, your objective should be to write the cleanest, clearest, crispest copy possible. Nothing — not even jargon that seems common in an industry — must stand between you and your prospects. Nothing.
  10. Your Copy Is Deadly Dull. – the best marketing copy should read like the most compelling of feature stories. Only with this difference. In such a story, you know you are reading about someone else. If you want to be in that story, you have to project yourself into it. But in marketing copy, you don’t have to project — it’s already about you. The best marketing copy is an exciting dialogue (even if it takes place on a single piece of paper) between two people — and only two people — you, the seller, and the single prospect/buyer who is reading what you have to say about him, his problem, and how you will solve it.

Find close to a dozen more of these erroneous copy-writing mistakes that are costing you dearly in

“CASH COPY: HowTo Offer Your Products And Services So Your Prospects Buy Them … NOW!” by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Packed with over 500 pages of all that you will need to Master Copy-writing.

Get Cash Copy NOW at: http://go.writerssecrets.com/cash-copy-plus