Let’s get one thing straight…
This cheat sheet is not about “how to blatantly copy what your competitors are doing to get lots of traffic and leads”.
… that’s not cool.
This is about how to make your writing (and writing ability) a bit more … Awesome!
But before I get into all of that, I need to make two very important points.
1. Planning is Crucial
I can almost guarantee that you can cut the time it takes you to write a post in half if you take the time to plan it out first.
This post took me about an hour of planning before the words went on paper (or screen… you know what I mean).
Some posts take me longer to plan, others not as long, but there is always a planning stage. I don’t skip it.. I’ve done it the other way and I know it doesn’t work as well.
I don’t know about you, but I hate staring at my blank computer screen not knowing what to write first.
2. The Real Work is Figuring Out How to Say It
Planning is easy. Actually it’s kind of fun for me. I don’t see it as a chore. I guess it’s because planning allows my mind to run free.
… it allows me to think of new ideas to see which one sticks.
… allows me pour all of it on paper and try to put the pieces together in a way that it’ll make sense to you.
Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t think I’m alone on this one. Let me know in the comments if you find this process to be as much fun as I do. =)
But back to my point. The real work is figuring out HOW you’re going to say what’s in your head. What words are you going to use. How will it start? How will it end? – and all these are extremely important questions because:
- words is all you have
- boring, mundane writing does exist – and it doesn’t work.
- useful, entertaining, and inspirational writing is more effective
- your content will make or break your online business.
The ‘HOW’ is the hard part. This is where “Writer’s Block” runs wild. This is where people get stuck … and that’s where the Epic Writer’s Cheat Sheet comes in.
Of course, this isn’t the whole enchilada, but I’m hoping this cheat sheet will comes in handy when you’re trying to figure out what to do and what not to do in your writing.
Here it is:
The Epic Writer’s Cheat Sheet
Cheat #1: Talk to ONE Person
Change anything in your writing that suggests you’re talking to a group of people. Do this in your blog posts, landing pages and especially your sales pages.
Cheat #2: Write Great Headlines
Read my post on 11 Brilliant Headlines you can steal from best selling magazines. Steal some of those headlines and use them on your own blog. … go ahead, it’s OK.
Cheat #3: Start Strong
I spend quite a bit of time on the opening sentence for all my articles. The idea is making your first sentence so compelling that they have no choice but to read the second.
Use these openers … just make sure they make sense with the rest of the article.
- “Let’s get one thing straight”
- “I know you’re smart, so…”
- “If you’re like me then…”
- “I got bad news.”
Cheat #4: Inject Personality
Try adding seemingly unrelated remarks to your content to show that you’re actually human … like a real person … with feelings and stuff, ya know?
Or not.. you can be a robot if you want. I just won’t be reading your blog =)
Cheat #5: Embrace Brevity
If your reader has to pull out a thesaurus to figure out what you’re trying to say, then change that sentence so they don’t have to. Use simple words. Use short sentences.
Why complicate things when you can simplify them?
Cheat #6: Don’t Ask for Permission
Epic writers don’t ask for permission, they write with authority. They don’t apologize for having an opinion and taking a stand. So remove any of the following from your content:
“In my opinion”
“In my honest opinion” (IMHO)
“… you might think differently but…”
“… you may not agree but …”
… and here’s a cool graphical representation of my Epic Writer’s Cheat Sheet. Save it. Print it out. Do whatever you want with it. It’s yours to keep.
Yea… you’re welcome. =)
Three Down .. 2 More To Go
This is part 3 of the Epic Writing Series.
Want to read the other parts of the series? Here they are:A Cheat Sheet for Becoming an Epic Writer ... Without Cheating by Hector Cuevas