The First Step in Building Your Own Personal “Writer’s Life”

Christina Gillick

Hi, my name is Christina Gillick.

Around AWAI we often say you should follow a plan or a roadmap to success.

But, when first sitting down to put your own plan together, it can feel like staring into a box of 1,000 puzzle pieces.

By viewing the box top, you know what the finished product should look like. But where do you start?

I’ll answer that question today.

Then, throughout this week, I’ll help you understand how the pieces of the writer’s life all fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

You’ll find as you put the important pieces in place, the picture starts to emerge, and everything becomes clearer and easier.

Let’s start with the corner pieces of your puzzle …

Think of these as the basics of persuasive writing. Finding them and putting them in place is a simple, but necessary, step to building your puzzle.

Here are four basics I review every time I write:

1. The Power of One.

This principle – as explained by Mark Ford under his former pen name Michael Masterson – says to always stick to one idea, one emotion, one story, and one action for your reader to take.

Even if this is the only basic tip you use, it will increase the quality of everything you write.

2. Write like you talk.

Next, Paul Hollingshead explains in the AWAI Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, forget everything you learned in school about writing.

When writing persuasively, it’s best to write like you talk.

To do this, picture the reader sitting with you. You’re trying to convince him or her to take an action.

What would you say?

3. Emotions sell.

Gary Bencivenga – arguably the world’s greatest living copywriter – teaches us that emotions sell.

Your reader is more compelled to read your copy and take action when you appeal to his emotions – whether it’s fear, greed, or something else. (You’ll also want to include reasoning, facts, and proof – but that piece will come later.)

4. Benefits over features!

This concept, explained in detail in AWAI’s Accelerated Program, says that features are the facts or material details of a product, such as the size, shape, or color. For example, “This car gets 50 miles per gallon.”

Focusing on the benefits is more powerful, because they reveal how the product’s features will change the reader’s life. For instance, “You’ll spend less on gas, saving money for other things.”

You can read more here about the simplest way to change features into benefits.

While the four basics above are easy to understand, they take time and practice to master.

In fact, I review these basics at least weekly to keep my writing as persuasive as possible.

Today’s action item is to print out or write down the four basics above.

Tack or tape it up on the wall close to your writing area.

But don’t stop there – review the list of basics each time you practice your writing. (For more information on these basics, see this article.)

If you have any questions, hop over here and post it in the comments.

Then be sure to join me tomorrow for the piece of your writer’s life puzzle that creates the framework for your business.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: October 20, 2014

4 Responses to “The First Step in Building Your Own Personal “Writer’s Life””

  1. Wonderful article. Of course, I knew that stuff! So, why haven't I been using the steps consistently?

    Who knows. I will now. I Printed them out and put them on my wall.

    Thank you!

    Guest (Barb J)

  2. Clearly written and helpful. It makes the idea of copy writing doable.

    Guest (Sharon)

  3. Hi Christina,

    Your article touched on my personal challenges in a way that was both helpful, immense, and timely as well.

    The puzzle analogy was a key piece of its impact on me. Thank You many times.

    Gerald W

  4. Hi Christina,

    I have a sample piece of writing that I think uses persuasion really well.. And which seems to be my most favorite sample that I have written thus far.. But I am having trouble finding where I fit in with getting clients who are looking for the type of material I can produce... I would really love to get your feedback on my sample and help me find direction... Thank you

    Nancy M

    Guest (Nancy)

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