Have you ever skimmed through part of a novel to get to the good stuff? Maybe you've rushed through a piece of instructions because the information it is giving you doesn’t feel important.
Reading can feel like such work sometimes, and it’s hard to stay interested in something that doesn’t feel relevant.
Similarly, it can be difficult for writers to maintain their reader’s interests. Sometimes it’s just hard to know what is going to appeal to somebody.
While (almost) nobody can get it perfect, here at Just One Dime we strive to get as close as we can. Our copywriters comb over every sentence, every word (no matter how minute) to ensure that we appeal to our readers and that we don’t create dry, skim-worthy content.
I want to excite you reader, not bore you to tears.
To achieve this, our writers have created a simple, yet extremely useful guide that we abide by to create good material. Here are some tips and tricks from that guide that we think are the most useful.
1. Don’t hitch your ride to the acronym wagon.
If you are accustomed to using acronyms frequently in your writing, than it’s time to get off the acronym wagon. Acronyms are convenient for referencing entities like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in legal documents.
After all, that stuff is boring enough and most people who read it are less concerned about readability as much as they just need to get through it. If you actually want your material to be read and enjoyed (and you do), you need to make sure you reference the actual entity itself.
For example: Just One Dime will connect you to a coach and help you grow your Amazon business today!
Reads much easier than: JOD will connect you to a coach and help you grow your Amazon business today! JOD is a useful acronym if we absolutely had to shorten the name Just One Dime for a quick reference (such as an email subject, or in a contract). It just looks and reads awkward in every other context.
2. Don’t bury your readers in being verbs.
Now this can be tricky. "Being" verbs are words that convey a state-of-being. The popular ones include: ● am ● are ● is ● was ● were ● will be ● Being (naturally) ● Been
While some of these are unavoidable or appropriate in a given context some of the time, usually it’s better to utilize more passive words.
For example: Jerry was working hard to get his Amazon store up and running
works as a stand-alone statement, but alternatively if we state it like this: Jerry worked hard to get his Amazon store up and running. It’s shorter, it’s to the point, and it just plain looks better on the eyes.
Stick with a passive voice when you write, it will do wonders.
3. Don’t use too many words when you write.
Also known as being overly descriptive, or too wordy. This is a habit that is hard to break, and a crime that I admittedly commit all of the time.
Sometimes we need a lot of words to communicate an abstract concept. That’s why textbooks are often so dry in their content.
For the most part though, when communicating our thoughts, feelings, or basic ideas, it’s best to keep our sentences short and to the point. Creating text that is too wordy makes it too much of a strain to read.
Here is an example you might see everyday:
It is courteous to not speak, or text, or otherwise distract the other viewers for the duration of the film.
Reads horrible and unnecessarily descriptive. Here is a better version:
Please be courteous to others. Do not text, speak, or distract others during the movie.
It’s short, simple, and to the point.
Courtesy is established in the beginning statement. The next statement tells us exactly how to do that.
There is no confusion or ambiguity because the statement is less descriptive.I do not need to repeat myself unnecessarily. I don’t need to be more specific than what is required. Notice too by the way, that we broke up the sentence up into two statements.
Sometimes it’s clearer to break one statement into two, rather than to force the meaning in one.
4.Don’t use boring descriptors when you write.
Similar to the point above, the main difference is the excitement of the content versus how wordy the text is.This may take a bit more intuition than what you might be used to.
Here is an example of a text that works, but isn’t very effective:
Just One Dime is a provider of online courses, coaching, and guided training to get your Amazon business online and working successfully.
Yeah that works, but this is way cooler.
Just One Dime provides you with the proper keys to unlocking the door of your unlimited e-commerce potential!
These sentences seem very different on the surface, but read closely. The top version gives you everything plainly.
There is no excitement be found, no puh-zazz, just boring ‘what you get is what you get.”The second statement is a bit more creative, it implies everything the first statement is saying but it doesn’t reveal it’s hand. It’s enticing, attractive, and causes you to consider the impossible.
Buh - buh - buh - Bonus Round: 4 Building blocks of writing a beastly blog!
Oh so massive magical methods aren’t enough for ya huh? You want to put these principles into practice writing a blog? Writing a blog on a whole can be another animal in itself, but the value it could bring to you or your brand is massive. For that reason, It is critical to know how to write a good blog.
Here are some extra tips to get your blog into ship shape:
1. Do jump in head first into headlines.
Headlines are the first thing your reader will see, so it’s crucial you have something that grabs their attention. Many experts (blogsperts?) say that it’s best to spend 20% of your creative time thinking about the headline alone! So what kind of headline do you want to write? It has to be attention grabbing, but also convey what your blog is about.
People respond to statements that tell them they found what they are looking for.
Lists for instance, are super effective in getting people interested in your blog. As a writer, it also gives you an extremely approachable template to compose your blog within. Lists provide a logical structure in which to organize your thoughts into.
Opinion based blogs should make a radical statement that reflects the writer’s opinion. Bias is your friend here, make the world know that your thoughts are important and worth paying attention to.
Bananas are the most superior form of fruit on the entire planet!
What? That’s crazy. I immediately want to know why you think that.
Some headlines that are less effective:
● The principles of finance explained
● Soren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling Summarized
● Pancakes are more effective as a breakfast food than waffles.
● Popular shows currently on Netflix.
It’s not that these headlines don’t have the right content. It’s because you can’t get past how boring the headline is to figure out if it’s worth reading in the first place.
Here are better versions of the above statements:
● Critical financial principles you have to know to succeed!
● Love and Death, Fear and Trembling: Kierkegaard Explained.
● 18 Reasons why pockets beat pans: the age old conflict of pancake vs waffles finally comes to an end.
● 10 Netflix shows that will make you cancel all of your plans for a month.
It’s okay if the headline is a little long. The important thing is that the reader’s attention is captured.
2. Do break free of the past infinitive.
Like the being verbs above, past infinitives can be a bit tricky. A past infinitive is simply referring to something that happened in a past tense. For example, in a first person detective novel you might read: I reached for the gun and pointed toward the masked man. “Drop the chocolate syrup or the next thing you’ll eat is lead.”
While that might work for a story, in a blog we have to take a different approach: I reach for the gun and point it toward the man in the mask. “Will you please drop the chocolate syrup sir, or else you will eat lead before the night is through.”
Alright so you might not actually read that in a blog, but notice that it is current and active. It’s something that is happening now, in the present, versus something that happened in the past. It’s all about phrasing. I “reach” instead of “reached.” “Point” instead of "pointed.” This way of framing your statements intuitively make the content more interesting.
I have the most super effective way of solving all of your problems.
Is much more relevant than:
I had the most super effective way of solving all of your problems.
Well geez, thanks for letting me know.
3. Do use all of your best words.
There is a saying: “save the best for last.” For blog writing you want to use the best now, all of the time. Sometimes creativity can forgive a lot of problems in your writing. Think of your favorite sounding word. One of mine is Ostentatious. It just sounds cool. It doesn’t even sound like a word, it sounds like some very old timey middle name: Johnathan Ostentatious Xavier.
It’s a verb of being to describe a “show off”, which is exactly what you want to do when you think about using this word.
Here is an example where you might get away with it:
Amazon seller Bobby McGee joined us in China to reveal how he ostentatiously got manufacturers to line up behind his virtual door to build his product.
It should be used infrequently, but it should still be used if you can find a way to use it that doesn’t feel awkward.
Another way to think about your best wording, is to remember that a blog is personal by nature. If you really want to keep your readers attention, relate everything to yourself as much as possible. For example, when I told you I liked the word ostentatious, that revealed to you something about myself. That immediately establishes a personal connection between us, which is why a blog is such a powerful tool to communicate in the first place.
Otherwise I could just say,
The word ostentatious is an interesting word.
But that’s very textbook sounding, and frankly, just not that interesting.
The last thing I will say about this point: use the proper term for things. Don’t call it
“Amazon Warehouse”. Use “Amazon Fulfillment Center” instead. It reads better and it is the proper term for what that essential part of Amazon’s processing. To call it a warehouse not only generalizes it’s significance, it’s just not calling the thing by what it is.
4. Finally, do use tools online.
There are so many helpful tools online, and they should be used frequently. Need a word processor? There are literally dozens. From Google Docs to Microsoft Word and everything else in between. Most of them you can now use in your browser. You should have no trouble finding a platform. What about spell check tools? Perhaps you have seen the Grammerly commercials. What about content value? One of the most useful means of measuring how readable your blog is to check out the WebFx readability tool.
However you proceed, just know that the internet is a big place of limitless tools that can give you what you need to write an awesome blog.
Well that’s it folks. These aren’t the only methods out there, but utilizing these will certainly go a long way in helping you write awesome content for your Amazon store, your ads, or even a blog. You’ve got a lot to say, so don’t hesitate to go out there, say it, and boost your sales while saying it.
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Married a pearl. Fathered 4 miracles. Fired his boss. Turned a single dime into $104,857. Today, a self-made millionaire, Seth and his team of 8 badass coaches teach entrepreneurs how to build passive income on Amazon.
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