I’ve been reading a lot recently.
Reading for pleasure. Reading for learning. Reading for inspiration.
This has uncovered some nuggets of gold that I’d like to share with you.
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind” Rudyard Kipling
Do you agree with Rudyard Kipling?
Or do you think that’s an exaggeration?
I thought his words were an exaggeration until…
Roy H. Williams made me see that Rudyard Kipling was right. This is what convinced me.
Words start wars and end them. Words create love and choke it. Words bring us to laughter and joy and tears.
Words cause men and women to risk their lives and their fortunes.
What words are you using the shine a spotlight on your product or service?
Do your words give your reader a front row seat to a better life? Do your words inspire the reader to change their life?
Or do your words leave the reader wanting more?
You see weak words cause grand ideas to appear dull. So they fade into the darkness of oblivion.
But powerful words make us see a better life that is ours for the taking. Powerful words inspire us to change our lives.
So how can you choose the right words to present your product or service in the best possible light?
Here are 3 writing tips to give your copy energy and excitement. And make it easy to read.
2. Power Words
3. Active Language
Let’s look at each of these in turn.
Add Energy To Your Writing Tip #1 — Verbs
There’s a simple writing mantra to add energy to your copy.
Get to the verb fast.
The verb tells the reader what is happening in the sentence. So verbs add energy. When you get to the verb fast it makes your copy more interesting and easier to read.
When you get to the verb fast. It’s easier to write short sentences. Which make your copy easier to read.
When you copy is easy to read you pull the reader through to the sale. You don’t want any bumps in the road. So short sentences smooth the ride for your reader.
When you get to the verb fast you make your writing more interesting.
Your job is to give the reader a front row seat to a better life. You make it easier for the reader to see what they must do to create a better life when you get to the verb fast.
The next question to ask yourself is are you using the best verb.
When you use better verbs, you give your copy a double shot of espresso.
Here’s a simple example.
The man walked down the street to buy a bandage.
This simple sentence gets to the verb fast. It’s the third word in the sentence. But the sentence is boring. There is no story. There is no urgency.
Can we create a story in this sentence only by changing the verb? Let’s take a look…
The man strolled down the street to buy a bandage.
The man meandered down the street to buy a bandage.
The man raced down the street to buy a bandage.
The man rushed down the street to buy a bandage.
Which sentence starts the story?
If a man walks down the street to buy a bandage, do we care?
If a man rushes down the street to buy a bandage then we assume that someone is injured. That starts a story. Changing ONE word starts a story and makes us want to learn more. It makes us want to know what happened. Changing the verb pulls us into the copy.
Here’s another example…
The BMW bumped into the Taxi in rush hour traffic.
The BMW smashed into the Taxi in rush hour traffic.
The BMW brushed the Taxi in rush hour traffic.
Which sentence hints at a terrible accident?
Again by changing the verb we start a story. The verb smashed makes us want to know more.
The verbs bumped and brushed implies that nothing much happened. It’s not something worth writing about. And it’s not something worth reading about.
So if you want to pull your reader into your copy, you’ve got to use the right verb.
This quote by Mark Twain best illustrates the importance of choosing the right verb.
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug”
So take the time to choose the right verb to pull the reader into your story.
Add Energy To Your Writing Tip #2 — Power Words
Power Words are like accidents on the motorway… we all slow down to take a closer look.
No matter what business you are in… no matter what product you sell… no matter how you sell it… we are all in the business of selling results!
The reason why your customer buys your product is that they can get the result they want, for a price they are happy to pay.
Do you show your customer what your product or service will do for them? With the entertainment mastery of a Hollywood movie?
Do you show your customer what your product or service will do for them at all? Or do you only describe what your product is… and leave it to your customer to make the connection between what it is, and what it does.
You see, I’m not an engineer, so when I’m looking to buy a new car the Torque and Brake Horsepower don’t mean anything to me. All I want to know is how fast it goes. If you show me the 0–60 speed and the 40–100 speed, then it’s easy to see how fast it goes, in different situations.
0–60 speed is the minimum way of telling your customer, what fast looks like. You are not showing them what it feels like to drive your car down an empty country lane on a sunny, Sunday afternoon.
If you’re selling a service, then you do not have the luxury of a shared reference point like 0–60 speed. This means that to make more sales you must lead your customer by the hand on a journey of discovery. A journey that takes them from ignorance to understanding. A journey that takes them from fear to trust. A journey that takes them from maybe to I want that.
To lead your customer in this way. To make more sales. You need to tell stories.
Remember, your customer is reading your story in a busy and distracted world. So, to grab and hold their attention you need to use Power Words.
Power Words are words that carry an emotional punch. In the same way as Raced and Meandered create a different picture in the readers’ mind. Power Words jump off the page and pull your reader into your story.
Here’s the headline from one of my blog posts to illustrate the point.
From 10% English Exam Humiliation to £120,000 Sales Letter
This headline starts a thrilling tale because of a Power Word.
What’s the Power Word? What connects with the reader emotionally?
We’ve all felt humiliated and hated the experience. Most of us never want to talk about the humiliating event. The fact that someone is willing to share the terrible event that made them feel humiliated. Pulls us into the message. We want to know what happened. We want to know what the event inspired them to do.
This is the accident on the motorway… and we’ve slowed down to take a look.
Power words aren’t verbs. They are words that carry an emotional punch.
Power Words are like salt. If you sprinkle them through your copy they add flavour and delight. If you use them too much then you will spoil your message.
After all, an emotional word pulls us into the story. We want to know what happens. We don’t want to be slapped in the face every other sentence.
Once you’ve pulled the reader into your story. You need to get to the verb fast and use active language. That’s how you will hold the reader’s attention. That’s how you will make your story easy to read. That’s how you will remove the bumps in the road and carry your reader to the sale with breathless excitement.
Here are some Power Words to add spice to your writing.
Ad Energy To Your Writing Tip #3 — Active Language
Active language is easy to read. Active language is easy to understand. Active language will hold the readers’ attention to the end of your message.
But… what’s the difference between active and passive language?
The ‘dictionary definition’ of active language is that the subject does the action. Here’s an example.
John kicked the ball.
Here’s the same sentence in passive language.
The ball was kicked by John.
Passive sentences force the reader to work harder. Passive sentences are hurdles that make non-committed readers stop reading.
The fastest way to remove passive writing from your messages is to use Hemingway Editor.
This is the tool that I’m using to write this blog. You can use it for free online. And there is a paid version that you can use offline.
Hemingway Editor also highlights sentences that are difficult and hard to read.
You can see at a glance what needs to be re-written because ‘problem’ sentences are colour coded. Passive sentences are highlighted in green. Difficult sentences are highlighted orange.
You can turn off the alerts when you are writing. This makes it easier to get your ideas down on paper. Then you can edit your work with the colours. You can jump to the problem areas and then re-read the entire document once you have removed the warnings.
Before I started using Hemingway Editor the ‘reading grade’ of my copy was 7 or higher. Writing at a 7 grade is reasonably easy to read. This is the writing level of Harry Potter.
There were times when the reading level was a 10 and I couldn’t simplify my copy. I tried and failed with editing because I couldn’t see what I needed to change.
Now that I’m using Hemingway Editor the reading Grade of my copy is 3 or 4. This makes it very easy to read. This removes the bumps in the road from the headline to the sale.
How do you write in simple language?
You use active language. You get to the verb fast. You write in short sentences.
If you do these things then your sales page will make more sales. If you do these things then you will get better click through rates from your emails.
In short, simple language will make you more money.
Now It’s Your Turn
You now know the importance of making your copy easy to read. You know the difference that it will make to your business if you make some small changes to your copy.
Knowing and doing are 2 very different things. And knowledge only changes your life when you use it.
Take the first step right now. Start writing in Hemingway Editor. It’s free if you write on their website and you can buy the app for $20 so it’s not a big investment.
This is the fastest way to simplify your writing and remove the passive sentences from your copy.
If you’ve found this useful then please leave a comment below.
If this can help someone you know then please share it with them.
Until next time…
P.S. When bankruptcy stole my first business. I made a commitment to myself to discover a repeatable system to turn strangers into customers on demand. A journey that ended when I made £30,105 in 9 days… without making a single sales call.
It’s a system that I’ve used in many industries. To sell products and services ranging in price from £5 to £12,000.
A system that I’ve used repeatedly in campaigns that have dwarfed that initial success.
I’d like to show you how to use my simple 3 step system in your business so you can turn strangers into customers on demand. And build your dream business. A business that gives you the income and lifestyle you want.
Unfortunately, I can’t show you how to use my simple 3-step system here. The post would run too long.
That’s why I’ve written the book Consistent Profits Pyramid. The book shows you how to use my simple 3-step system in your business. So you can turn strangers into customers… on demand.
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About The Author
I’m a copywriter and marketing expert that turns expertise into cash.
For the last 5 years, I’ve helped business owners to sell products and services in many industries. The products and services have ranged in price from £5 to £12,000.
My most successful campaign made £672,989 in 9 days.
I took that result and transformed it into a simple repeatable system. A system that I teach to ambitious entrepreneurs that want to make money on demand without a sales team.