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How to Write Good and Sell Stuff 2

Second Lesson. Keep It Simple Stoopid

When I was in direct sales (a looong time ago), I’d go to sales conferences and training events. Often the presenter would invoke the KISS principle – Keep It Simple Stupid. Don’t complicate things.

If there’s a simpler alternative, use it. The same thing applies to your copywriting activities, but more so.

In the internet age, people are more overloaded and time-poor than ever. So, keep it simple. But more than this, give it impact too. So, replace complicated, impersonal words with shorter emotional words.

Use simple language and avoid the temptation to show off by using high falutin’ words that aren’t as good as a simpler, shorter word.

Here is an example of a long copy blog post written in simple language. Even though it’s a long post, because I employed a simple writing style, most people will not find it a daunting read. Take a look:

1). Use Everyday Language

Unless you’re targetting intellectuals and academics, it’s better to speak to the proverbial ‘man in the street.’ Use everyday language and do not talk down to people – nothing turns them off faster than pomposity and cant (‘hypocritical and sanctimonious talk’)

What about slang words? Used properly they can work well. Let’s face it, most people use slang every day of the week when talking to friends and colleagues. I regularly use these types of words when I write. Words such as Golly, Crikey (Aussie word), Holy Cow, Kapow, Heck, and Crap – are amongst my favs.

That said if your peeps are likely to recoil from the use of slang words, don’t do it. As always, write for your audience, whilst keeping in mind that it’s ok to nudge them a bit too.

2). Break Up the Text

Not only is it wise to use simple language it’s also vital to give the text visual appeal. If your Content doesn’t have eye appeal, it doesn’t matter how good your content is: it won’t get read.

With that thought in mind, here are some practical tips:

  • Use Subheadings, Indents, and Bullet Points.  A good example is right here – you’re reading it!
  • Keep Paragraphs and Sentences Short.  No one wants to see a wall of text – that’s why it’s essential to break it up.
  • Remove Words That Are Complicated, Cold, Impersonal, and Pretentious.  This point continues from before. Keep in mind that you can replace some ‘cold’ words with a warmer word. For instance, the word ‘want’ is often a better word to use than ‘desire.’ Some may disagree, but to me, the former has more impact than the latter.
  • Remove Words That Don’t Add Value to the Content.  Spraying words that don’t contribute to your topic is a waste of time for both you and the reader.

3). Potent Words To Use #1

To get you started, here is a small selection of words that often resonate with readers:

  • Feel
  • Want
  • Free
  • Why
  • New
  • How to
  • Profit
  • Money
  • Because 
  • Secret
  • Tell Us  

I’ll include more high impact words in the next lesson.

Your Homework.  Pick one or two of these words and see if you can weave them into (say) a Facebook post. Then submit it to my Facebook group for a free critique (there’s that ‘free’ word again): Tribe Builder Community.

Lesson 3 is called Small is Bootiful. What’s it about? Well, it’s probably not what you think. Curious? Plugin tomorrow, eh?

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