I can’t write.
No seriously, I really can’t write.
It’s funny, ain’t it?
The moment you ask someone to sit their ass down on a table and “write” something they freeze as they stare at the blank screen wondering “where do I start”. And in all honest truth, I can kinda get where they’re coming from. You see…
Last night my kid brother Francis asked me to help him write his application letter for a temporary job in town. I told the lil’ fucker to sell himself and do what John Carlton instructed in the Kickass course ( lent it to him for a bit ).
Unfortunately he didn’t have the idea of “putting his thoughts onto paper” down pat.
And as a result he was stuck on the first paragraph wondering how the fuck he was gonna try “selling” himself. And it’s this same problem which plagues hundreds of copywriters when they want to write. Now:
There are two core philosophies I personally live by when it comes to writing copy:
1- Be conversational
As in, imagine you’re speaking to the customer on a table and write what you say. Why?
Because if you try writing your shit is definitely… without a doubt… and I bet my left nut on this fact… going to come out sounding as if you have a stick up your ass. Why?
Because “writing” isn’t communicating.
It’s a self gratifying ritual of slow masturbation onto a page as you try showing off how huge your vocabulary is.
Unfortunately if you asked most people to write… and then asked them to speak… there wouldn’t be a match in their wording. I’d go so far as to say their speech would be clearer than their writing.
However, if you speak as you write… putting your words straight from your mouth, unhinged onto the page… you’ll no longer be “writing”. You’ll instead, be COMMUNICATING. And THAT’S what you’re trying to do.
People love to communicate.
Any moron can understand what you have to say if you write as if you’re speaking to him. And with good reason.
Writing like you talk automatically makes your copy incredibly easy to understand because all the bullshit, and the fat has been trimmed. Now, on to the second philosophy:
2-Being professional, and being conversational are not mutually exclusive
As in… it’s perfectly possible ( and preferable ) to be conversational while still being professional.
You see, I sat down with my brother… took his laptop and I wrote his application letter for him as he watched. The whole thing in is a professional, yet conversational tone. Want to know how I pulled that shit off?
I spoke as if I was a job interview, in a professional setting, suit and all… and transcribed that onto the letter as I spoke. End result?
An application letter which maintained a professional, respectful tone… while being readable and easy to understand done in five minutes.
I shit you not when I say you can be both professional and conversational.
The person reading your copy ( assuming you’re using a more professional tone ) should feel as if they’re having a friendly conversational with you in a formal setting…. without all the typical “ stick in ass “ bullshit you’d expect from a lawyer.
If you can pull that off… you’ll be writing copy which not only adapts to any market, but will also be incredibly easy to for any moron to understand.
And this is the key.
You want to communicate your ideas in your copy in a way which the average person can understand.
Most writing is not that easy for people to read simply because the writer wasn’t trying to communicate… the writer was “writing”. And writing is not equal to communication. Writing is words on piece of paper.
And nobody like reading a bland string of words.
Words don’t make people “feel”.
But enough of my late night madness.
I’m running on two cups of strong coffee and I don’t know what will kill me first. The caffeine, or the lack of sleep.
Either way, I would have died proud.
Have a good night. And let me know your thoughts in the comments below.