Everywhere you turn as a citizen, a person – and yes – as a writer, there are rules to keep you on track, productive, and ever-so-politely, in line.
But maybe, just maybe, you are more of a leader than a follower. If you are a blogger, you’re putting it out there – putting it on the line. And that takes guts. Leader-stuff guts.
So, here we go – copywriting tips that go against conventional wisdom – but that just might fit your style as a leader (or leader-in-training), drive, and personal panache.
14 Sacrilegious Copywriting Tips
1. Read it Out Loud? Yeah, Right.
Few people actually do this – you know once you’re written something, the reading it out loud. So, take the pressure of that away. Since you’re not going to do it anyway, why feel bad about it? You have enough on your plate already.
2. Ignore Even Steven
“They” say bullet points that are about the same length look good to the eyes, and therefore look good to the reader. But sometimes, you need more words and sometimes you need fewer. Use what you need, when you need it, and stop worrying about keeping things even.
3. Don’t Write what you Know, Write What You’d Like to Know
Many people tell you to write about what you already know. But, if you write about something you’d like to know about, your own curiosity about the topic will come through in your writing. You do the research, you can write about it. And if you’re trying to help non-experts learn about it, you have a better chance of communicating well because you’re not so far ahead you’ve forgotten what it’s like not to know.
4. Be an Extreme Writing Machine
If you try to write to everyone, you’ll fail everyone. But if you take a stance, and write to a specific segment of people, they will get what they need. and your writing will be more powerful.
5. Try it, Test it, Best it
Do not be afraid to experiment with your writing. Break the rules, ignore the tips, and see how your readers respond. Then, make it even better by using their responses to go even further in your rule breaking.
6. Keyword Smeword
Sure, conventional wisdom tells you to make sure you get some important keywords in your title and elsewhere. But, if you can’t, don’t want to, or just aren’t in the mood, then don’t. Staying true to the you in your writing for that moment will create the most powerful writing.
7. Make sure Someone Hates You
When was the last time you got some good old fashioned hate mail for a blog post? Not lately…it’s possible you’re running too middle-of-the-road with your copy.
8. Be Stupid
If you sound too smart, people might be a little afraid of you. It’s okay that you have a PhD in physics, but your writing doesn’t always need to reflect that.
9. Don’t Want Money
It’s perfectly okay to write just for the pleasure of writing, with no money goal attached to it – even when everyone else is writing about how to make money online.
10. Don’t Write Every Day
Most top writers and bloggers tell you that it’s important to write, write, write, every day. But what if that doesn’t suit you? We all shine differently. You may work best if you write for 26 hours straight and then not again for 4 days. Follow your bliss.
11. Forget what the Experts say about Headline Length
Optimum headlines should be short? Maybe even average 8 words…really? Well, that might work sometimes. But the real factor is that you need headlines that work for what you’re trying to do – and that be 2 words and 17 words.
12. Don’t worry about How You Start Your Sentences
And if you want to start your sentences with “and,” do so. It’s as simple as that.
13. Forget about being Funny
Humor sells. We get it. But the only thing worse than no humor, is attempted humor that fails because that’s just embarrassing. So if humor is not your thing, don’t force it.
14. Go Ahead -Use Run On Sentences
A run on sentence is defined by the Scribendi.com Glossary as “Two or more sentences in a paragraph without appropriate punctuation or connecting words.” Every time you write in MSWord it’ll try and correct you if you “run on” at all. Forget about it. If you feel like running on with your sentences, do so.
If you think using run on sentences makes you a bad writer, think again. As a example, a Polish writer Jerzy Andrzejewski (1909-1983) wrote a novel, “Gates of Paradise,” which is about 40,000 words, and only a couple of sentences long. He was considered to be a frontrunner for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Couldn’t be that bad, right? (I know, online writing is not novel writing but hey, don’t you just want to shake things up?)
Certainly, as a writer, it’s important to know what you “should” do, before you can know get away with not doing. As you progress as a writer and blogger, keep in mind that just because you’re learned a writing rule, does not mean you have to follow it. In fact, as a leader, always following is not an option, because leaders are innovative.
Do tell, what writing rules do you like to ignore?
Looking for more ways to get rid of your sheep skin? Get my free creativity eBook – From Ordinary to Extraordinary