Tag Archives: content writing

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

Do you know how to produce content that gets people worldwide to respond — FAST? Read this and you will! The Master reveals his secrets!

fairy_godmotherAuthor’s program note. I’m going to do something quite different in this article;  something unique, unprecedented, unheard of until now. I’m going to share — for  the first time ever — my trade secrets about how I produce the best and most  responsive content anywhere; the content that gets people like you to stop in your  tracks, whatever you’re doing, no matter how important, read what you’ve written…  and respond to it.

Once you learn how to do it, you’ll use this invaluable skill over and over again…  becoming more and more proficient each time, until you become a master too,  a brand name, a recognized authority, someone people want to know about, pay  attention to; quite simply the consummate master of your craft, constant deference,  increasing rewards, recognition and admiration your part, and rightly so. Of course,  we’ll need a little magic to make this happen; such magic is useful at any time. Now  repeat after me…

” Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo/  Put ’em together and what have you got/ bibbidi-bobbidi-boo”.

These are of course the words of my colleague Fairy Godmother, from the 1950  Disney production. She was, you’ll recall, the kind-hearted, sympathetic darling  who, in record time, organized everything necessary to rush a radiant Cinderella to  the ball… and her prince.

You’ll find the song in any search engine. Play it to yourself two or three times…  sing it out loud. But don’t share it with anyone just yet.  After all, they may be a  certified scoffer, gruff, dismissive, unhelpful… and that will never do. Bibbidi-bobbidi-  boo. “It’ll do magic believe it or not.” Believe… it’s the first and crucial step to achieve.

Pick your subject.

Creating content that gets maximum response starts with your subject, what you’re  writing about. Here are some suggestions: It should be timely, of interest and importance  to the kinds of people you want to respond (future customers!), and most of all be a  subject you either know something about already or one you are prepared to research,  to add depth, resonance and layers of meaning.

The last article I wrote just yesterday (one of over 1000 I’ve penned in the last three years  or so; all available at writerssecrets.com/vault) was on… marigolds. Does this seem to you  to be an unlikely topic to knock out of the park? Dubious? Then think again! There are  millions of people worldwide who grow marigolds, use health and beauty products derived  from marigolds, and honor them in their obsequies and solemn rites of passage into eternity, particularly along the great river Ganges,1569 miles long, its muddy waters flecked by the  bright brilliance of golden marigolds, beloved of the Virgin, the gift of countless pilgrims along  the way.

Outline your content.

To write superior content, content that motivates response, you must create a superior  outline. Here’s how to do that. Brainstorm just what you want in your content; then do  a preliminary outline. Don’t worry too much now about whether the points you want to  make are in the right order. Worry instead that you have written them down. Never, ever  trust to imperfect memory.   .  Once you have all the points you wish to include, arrange them in the right order,  the order that builds your case. To see what I mean, go to writerssecrets.com/vault  and peruse several articles there. As you do, think on this. This teeming site,  content capital of the world, now gets over 1,000,000 hits a month and should be a  “must” destination for anyone who understands the importance of content and wishes  to master its every nuance, profiting accordingly. That would be you, right? Bibbidi-  Bobbidi-Boo.

The joy and necessity of careful research.

I am a trained researcher with a Ph.D. from Harvard University. It took me seven  meticulous and arduous years to achieve. I had to identify, travel to, work in and rely  upon the arcane resources of dozens of private and public document depositories  in several countries. My life was a demanding and insistent process composed of  passports, tickets, incomprehensible pre-Euro currencies, strange accommodations  with lumpy mattresses (and too often voracious bedbugs). As for food… I can even  now remember, and luridly recite if you like… the various collywobbles to which I gave  way en route to being elevated into the peerage of learning.

That was then; this is now.

These days my continuous researches are vast, detailed, up-to-date, best of all the  work of minutes, with nary a plane to (wait for) and catch… or odoriferous train, the  malfunctioning toilet making its noisome problem known to all and always over  shadowed by one frightening question, “Have you seen my typewriter and my notes!”  “I thought you had them when we changed trains.”

In our wired age research is easy, universal, distinguished by its celerity, thoroughness…  and a researcher who now never looks like he slept in his clothes in the Iruna station,  assaulted by fantastic mosquitoes and suspicious border guards, the jack booted minions  of Generalissimo Franco, a man whose sole idea about intellectual endeavors of every  kind (and the research on which they were based) was to crush, curb and curtail them.

The Internet has changed all that forever… and I, for one, am profoundly glad.

Now it’s time to write.

My mother, bless her soul,  had a million pet sayings, each one a little gem of pithy  insight. As for writing, she’d say, for she was a scribbler, too, “Having written is better.”  What she meant, of course, was that the business of writing was often hard, frustrating,  exasperating, not infrequently infuriating, and always something demanding full heart,  soul and brain. In short, writing is never a piece of cake you can do half asleep and  hung over from the night before.

Such writers, who take the demons of people like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jack Kerouak  as their inspiration and models, talk a good game about writing… but are more notable for  their volubility on the subject than their productive output. You need another point of view,  more practical, utilitarian, productive not to mention profitable.

Write every day, every single day… without fail or “reason” why you didn’t.

People who understand the power and potency of content are people who do the  necessary every single day to create it. That would be — me… and is why in the  past three years I have, remember, written and published over 1,000 articles, available  for you and the world to see and use at writerssecrets.com/vault. How did these articles  get written? Easy.

Yes, I wrote on days when it was blistering hot. I wrote on days when my nimble fingers  froze, sticking to my computer’s chilly keys. I wrote on days of national triumph…  and on the many days of national confusion.  In short, I wrote, no excuses, no special  pleadings, no reasons why I couldn’t, shouldn’t and mustn’t.

In short, I wrote on Mondays, Tuesdays,  Wednesdays… on all the days. Thus with  near military efficiency as I wrote words, so I wrote the superior content that got  better and better still, the more I wrote… silky, smooth, sleek, the champaign of  money-making language.

Will you do as much? You certainly won’t with the poor habits you now evince  in the high and important business of creating content that sells… for what you  produce is directly related to the habits you have and yours are nothing to write  home about.

“What me worry?”

Years ago “Mad Magazine” featured on its cover a lout named Alfred E. Newman.  Everything about him was obnoxious, irritating, an affront to good parents everywhere  and their goody goody rug rats. To these good people Alfred  E. posed the question  of the centuries, “What me worry?” It was impertinent, insolent, and wildly popular  with other louts. (It also made the copy writer who coined this golden phrase a  millionaire many times over.)

However YOU are not a lout… and you do worry and rightly so. Fortunately  you have not only a useful friend in me but you have a direct line now to Fairy  Godmother, who’s no mean shakes in the content department, just ask those  mice transformed into the most magnificent of coach horses. She has magic  for you and to spare.  I think I see her pointing her magic wand at…… you…  Oh, yes, she is.  Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!

About the Author

Now with near seven decades of a successful writing career, Dr. Lant is, he likes to say, in the prime of his prime. Thus does the “scribbling” life he commenced at age
5 continue. Sixty books. Thousands of articles. Untold radio and television programs;
worldwide recognition and enthusiasm, all of which culminated in the publication of
his autobiography, “A Connoisseur’s Journey, being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck and joy”. It was a book that screamed “classic!”, and he has
delighted in the several awards that followed.

To get your copy go to the store at www.drjeffreylant.com.