to the Word Lab :
What types of writing styles can you put into your general communications, Web pages or articles?
Today we'll identify a few elements that are useful for sales letters.
Working with Metaphors:
We touch on this in part one, but let's include it here too.
A metaphor is a figure of speech that suggests a likeness or similarity but offering a description that is not literally applicable. One of the most common metaphors are those that invoke a meaningful comparison that may highlight or reinforce an important point.
Example of metaphors that define a characteristic:
|Blind as a mole||Dead tired||Solid as a rock|
|Bold as brass||Ironing out all the wrinkles||Stubborn as a mule|
|Busy as a bee||Large as life||Thin as a rake|
|Brave as a lion||Light as air||Tip of the iceberg|
|Cool as a cucumber||As old as the hills||White as a sheet|
|Dead as the dodo bird||About Serious as a heart attack||Wise as an owl|
Some of these may even be over used clichés, but the point is, people relate to them well when you are writing or telling a story and there are many more than these. Another common purpose for metaphors is to create "smiles."
Using Synonyms in Writing for the Web is becoming much more important.
A synonym is a word different than another word that means the same or has similar meaning. With the importance of Artificial Intelligence and latent semantic indexing or LSI on search engine like Google, it is important to work with synonyms and supporting terms in your content that allow your content to read well and be in good context.
How can you find words that
are semantically related or synonymous supporting terms
based on what a search engine understands through the use of
artificial intelligence and latent semantic indexing?
Normally we tend to use a thesaurus but the challenge of
being limited to a thesaurus is that you are choosing terms
based on what a human being understands to be related. Think
about how much more powerful it can be to find supporting
terms that are based on which words that a search engine can
**understand** is related (based on it's artificial
intelligence rather than human intelligence.)
Now it sounds silly to use a phrase like "based on what a search engine thinks." After all, a search engine cannot really "think" now, can it? A search engine is not enabled with the abilities of reasoning or any true human "intelligence."
However, some search engines appear to "think" based on the influence of "artificial intelligence" or AI. Based on their storehouse of information it can be quite interesting to examine which words that a search engine "thinks" is related to your chosen keyword phrases.
Other elements of writing for your readers that are important to keep in mind:
Affiliate marketing master and e-book author Michael Campbell recently made a good point when he talked about the power of story telling.
Michael says, "Tell stories rather than relate facts.
Facts and figures are forgotten. But stories are remembered and
retold. Come up with a story that's uniquely yours. Tell it
often, stick to it, and never change it. If you need to tell
a different story, do it under a different brand."
Michael explains that, "We are hard-wired for stories. We are story-telling creatures. Long before the electronic age, we used to sit around the campfire, watch clouds or ocean waves and tell stories to each other. If you invent something, or innovate an existing product, you must tell a better story than the competition. Package it better and tell your story to everyone who will listen. Tell it often. Stick to it. And never ever change it." -------(Excerpt from Michael Campbell's Internet Marketing Secrets)
Another type of story
telling is that of the "parable" from the Latin
parabola (meaning things set side by side or beside each
The parable is a short story that illustrates some kind of truth, through drawing comparisons in the telling of the story. Dating back to Biblical times and teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, who often spoke in parables that focused on teaching some moral truth.
Also remember that good writing helps connect to the emotions of the reader.
Depending on the objective of your page, it may be very important to use some emotional content. This will be true for instance if you are working on a sales letter that you want to effectively communicate and highlight the genuine benefits of your product or your service. Using emotional content is what connects the reader to the point you are trying to make.
The use of Verbs are
A Verb is a word showing action, movement, or being.
Examples: "Ruled," "wears," "carries," "to wander" and "fought" are all verbs.
The use of prepositions:
A preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence.
Example, “Pride comes before a fall.” (before is the preposition)
“I am moving toward the solution.” (toward is the preposition)
Here is a list of common Prepositions:
The use of descriptive and compelling "muscle
These are words that when used in your content can be very compelling and persuasive terms.
Also see Robin Nobles complete article "The Use of Muscle Words on Your Web Site. . . 148 power words"
The use of conversational dialog for connecting your thoughts together, are good to use in sales letters or content involving dialog:
Examples of phrases that
sound like they were written to be spoken out loud as
(or written for voice as broadcasters would say)
These are all examples of spoken dialog that can be used just illustrate the fact that most of us do not tend to write the way we speak. But writing for voice is very effective for sales letters or any content requiring some call to action. One of the best ways to learn to write effective sales letters is to study some examples.
Rather than showing you
examples of poorly written sales letters (there are plenty
of them out there.)
Here is an example of naturally flowing dialog that you can study from the sales letter that is promoting Robin Nobles recent e-book, Content Challenged No More!
First have a look at this page: http://www.contentchallenged.com
Then watch for the use of several of the principles we've talked about.
Notice the use of numbered bullets to highlight benefits:
(The human brain loves bullet points and loves numbered headlines)
Notice some of these elements:
Learn more about Multivariate
Then read distinguished IBM engineer, Mike Moran's book called:
Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules (IBM Press)
These points are not so much about SEO but are more about communicating better with your audience and helping them make that connection to the value and benefit your product or service offers.
The use of phrasing and the context of your message needs to flow smoothly and help the reader connect emotionally. Writing sales letters is significantly different than creating general content. And article marketing is considerably different than writing general content and writing for news is yet different again.
As you fine-tune your own writing style for the Web, always watch for opportunities where you may excel more in one area than another. When you notice that you tend to enjoy one certain style of writing more than another, pay attention to it as it could be a natural leaning towards your particular niche.
Do you need help refining
your SEO skills or writing skills for the Web?
For fine tuning your skills, you can attend in-depth local community workshops teaching in-depth on these areas as well as high performance SEO skills in Search Engine Academies located across North America and Asia.
If you need help, then come out and attend one of these personalized hands-on workshop classes where you'll enjoy personal coaching with ongoing mentoring and support. Read a few recent students success stories.
Looking for an authorized SEO
educator located near you?
Check our partners page for one of our associate classes in North America or in Asia.
Read another Article by Robin
Nobles and Stephan Mahaney?
Tips for Writing Effective Sales Copy
About John Alexander:
John Alexander is Director of Search Engine Academy, Co-director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops. John is author of e-books called Wordtracker Magic and Keyword Forensics 2.0 and has taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries world wide.
Robin Nobles is the Co-Director of Training of Search Engine Workshops with John Alexander. They teach 2-day beginner, 3-day advanced, and 5-day all-inclusive "hands on" workshops in locations across the North America. She also teaches online search engine marketing courses through and they opened a networking community for search engine marketers called The Workshop Resource Center for Search Engine Marketers.
Michael Campbell is author of the several e-books on affiliate marketing as well as author of the Internet Marketing Secrets Newsletter. Michael's latest Google Blog Alert System (Goobert for short is available here.)
Mike is the co-author of the best-selling 2005 book Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (along with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), which is now in its Second Edition (2008). Mike is also the author of the acclaimed Internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules (IBM Press), named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald.
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