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Use This Super “S” Strategy So Your Copy Won’t Suck

Lincoln at Gettysburg

“Don’t gimme none o’ that jibba-jabba!” –Mr. T

Lincoln at GettysburgWriting that is effective, that drives the readers’ emotions and propels them to action, needs to be

Simple, Smart, and have Soul.

In other words, great copy needs the super “S” strategy.

Simple Copy.

“I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words, and brief sentences. That is the way to write English. It is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in.” —Mark Twain

As Mark Twain so nicely illustrates with his words, your words need to be easily understood by anyone reading them. Forget jargon or industry-specific words. Take a look at this example of complicated overly jargonish writing taken from an actual website:

“In other words, Leader Coaching’s services meet the expectations of business leaders who recognize the value of purposeful investments in human capital—often beginning with themselves—as a means of preparing and aligning people and systems in pursuit of growth.”

Kind of makes you want to poke your eyes out with a fork, doesn’t it? And more importantly, someone who might be interested in hiring “leader coaching” services probably has no idea what this company is even offering.

Smart Copy.

“It is not enough to write so that you can be understood; you must write so clearly that you cannot be misunderstood.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spend time focusing on finding the right words—smart words that will engage the reader’s emotion. People reading a blog or website are looking for something. Think of readers as people who are in a specific place on the pain-pleasure continuum. They are looking to fill a need that will reduce their pain or increase their pleasure. The words you use will either help them find their way- or not.

Copy with Soul.

“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” – President Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

Everyone has access to the same words. But how you put words together comes from your soul.

You can have a new nation that started 87 years ago so people could be free, or, you have a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Whether you’re writing a blog, a direct mail piece, or a novel, how you put your words together, your unique writing style, needs to be an important part.

Or it’s just words.

Quotes for this article came from
Seven Score and Seven Years Ago: Writing Lessons We Can Learn From Lincoln’s Masterpiece
Why Do People Write Like that and How You Can Avoid Doing the Same

About the author: Karen, zencopy creator, is a top 10 bestselling amazon author, creativity coach, and an online content specialist with a masters in psychology and passion for learning and teaching new topics.

5 comments… add one

  • I learned something new… or better yet, something I already knew – knocked me right smack between the eyeballs. Brevity is good, it can have soul and be compelling.

    I’ve just released myself, by accepting that I don’t have to write long, long posts, see what I mean… I need to know when to stop.
    Sweet Liberation!

    Thanks for your informative post,


  • Great advice Karen! Definitely short words – short sentences. I like short posts too. I read so many blogs each day that when I see a really long post it overwhelms me.

  • I’m going to start coming to your website before I write my posts. I always pick up good ideas here, whether they’re basics I’m forgetting to put into practice or brand new ways of looking at things.