15 Steps to Catchy Blogs and Simple Sales Letters

by Tim Francis on August 13, 2013

Years ago I would sit down to write a blog post and repeatedly run into the same problem: I knew what I wanted to write, but I didn’t know how to start!

It’s such a frustrating feeling to have an awesome insight to share with the world, but feel paralyzed with your fingers at the keys.

Some days when I wanted to close my laptop and walk away. On really bad days I wanted to slam the thing shut and run away!

In today’s podcast, I share a special 15-Step Formula that helps you write Catchy Blog Posts and Simple Sales Letters in roughly an hour or less.

Listen to the podcast here, or read the steps below…

Finally the Fog Cleared

Over the last few years I’ve done significant study of copywriting – the art and science of writing persuasively.

I’ve discovered there’s actually a few formulas you can follow to easily overcome this irritating bit of writer’s block. The easiest, most straightforward formula I know is a 15-Step Method I’ve personally developed by combining what I’ve learned from a number of different experts.

It’s a huge shortcut, and I’m going to share it with you now. I call it…

15 Steps to Write Catchy Blogs and Simple Sales Letters

Note: This is such a handy roadmap I recommend you print this out and tape it on the wall next to your computer.

Hook the Reader

The first two steps are meant to hook the reader into wanting more:

1. Mention the problem, directly or indirectly.  You could say: “Do you have XYZ problem?”  That would be direct.  Or tell a story about how you had this problem; that would be indirect.

2. Stir up a little emotion and show the reader you know what it’s like.  OR give an example of the bad things that can happen when the problem exists.

Share the Solution

The next three steps are about sharing the solution and showing you’re an expert worth listening to.

3. Tell the reader what the solution is.

4. Describe the solution – what to do, where to go, how long it takes, websites to visit, courses to take, books to read, people to call, length of the course, etc.

5. (if applicable) Add any tables, calendars, graphs, etc.

Motivate the Reader Towards Action

The next three or four steps are about getting the reader to take action:

6. (if applicable) If there’s a product or service to buy, mention the price.  Note: the price may not be monetary – could be hours volunteering or inputting their name and email address somewhere.

7. The Call to Action.  Tell people what you’d like them to do.  If you’re selling something, tell people to buy now.  If you’re not selling something but offering some education, give people some encouragement to go and do it now.

8. Sign your name.

9. Add a P.S. line (and possibly also a P.P.S. line) with the top one or two items you really want to emphasize.  Usually one of the points is repeating your call to action.

Make it Smooth, Fast, and Easy

The next three steps are all about making your writing really, really easy to read.  The confused mind says “no” and leaves – we don’t want that! Follow these next three steps and you’ll wipe out any resistance happening in your reader’s brain:

10. CRUCIAL: Read your blog post or sales letter out loud.  Yup!  Literally say it out loud.  Where you stumble or hit awkward spots, you know you need to rewrite that section to make it smoother.  Keep reading your text out loud over and over again until there are no stumble-spots.  NOTE: This is probably the 2nd most important part of this entire list.  Just do it!

11. Add formatting – break up paragraphs into smaller paragraphs so it all looks welcoming to read.  Nothing scares away a reader faster than massive blocks of intimidating text.  Keep paragraphs to 1 – 3 sentences long.  Add bullets where it makes sense.  Indent text (like you see here) where it makes sense.  Underline or bold any really strong, important words.  Use bullet points for lists.

12. Add Section Heads to make the blog post really easy to scan through.  We want the reader to get the general idea of the entire post just by scanning the section headers.

Grab Your Reader by the Collar!

The next two steps are here to make your whole blog post so compelling and irresistible your ideal reader basically has no choice but to read everything you’ve written!

13. Make your section heads catchy.  Ideally there is a Hook + Benefit in each section head.  “Use Catchy Section Heads” is fairly boring.  But “Grab Your Reader by the Collar!”… now that’s got some sizzle!

14. Review the title of your blog post / the headline of your simple sales letter.  This is the MOST IMPORTANT element of your entire piece.  Believe it or not, these few short words will literally make or break your entire project.  People *do* judge a book by it’s cover, a blog post by it’s title, and a letter by it’s headline.  If you don’t win them with your headline, the rest is irrelevant.  “Writing Blog Posts” is boring compared to “15 Steps to Write Catchy Blogs and Simple Sales Letters”.

Are You as Dumb as Homer Simpson?

This final step may seem obvious, but don’t lull yourself into laziness. You have no idea how many incredible sales letters and blog posts have been written, generate a ton of action, maybe even get lots of people excited to buy, but then the phone number or website link doesn’t work… D’OH!!! Don’t be that guy or girl. So….

15. Once you’ve done all this, click all the links and double-check any other information such as phone numbers.  Make sure it’s all working properly!

There you have it: 15 Steps to Catchy Blogs and Simple Sales Letters.

Crank ‘Em Out In 60 Mins or So

The first blog post / simple sales letter will probably take you 1-2 hours to do, but don’t worry – you will get faster. Pretty soon this will be second-nature and you’ll pump these out in 60 minutes consistently, with really high quality every time.

Perfection is NOT Profitable

I learned this the hard way: getting your blog post 100% perfect will take many, many hours. It just isn’t worth it!  Don’t go for 100% perfection. Instead, go for 90% – 95% and be good with that.  The extra 2-6 hours required to achieve 100% perfection is a waste of time.

Example of This Formula in Action

You may be wondering: where can I see an example of this format in action? Believe it or not, you’re staring at it right now!  (Wasn’t this blog post nice to read?) Use the 15 steps above to analyze this blog post.  Like magic you’ll see each of the 15 steps jump off the page at you. Nifty, hey?

More of “The Good Stuff”

Personally I love audiobooks and podcasts because I listen to them while I drive, clean, file paperwork, and work out at the gym. They allow me to continue building my business and my #1 asset – ME – despite being away from my work area. If you agree with me, check out my iTunes podcast.  It’s all about marketing, and contains tons of helpful, profitable, real-world marketing help just like this blog post. I broadcast twice per week, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  Click here to check it out. And when you check it out on iTunes, be sure to subscribe so all fresh new episodes are automatically delivered to you the instant they’re published.

Enjoy,
Tim :)

P.S. If these 15 steps look like it’s a lot of work, don’t worry about that.  At one point driving was really hard for you too.  But then a few weeks went by and it got a heck of a lot easier.  Then two weeks after that you were driving while chatting with friends and listening to music too. You are an amazing learning machine!  Just need to get a few reps in.  So give these steps a shot and watch your results soar!

P.P.S. My podcast has now been downloaded over 23,000 times by people in 139 countries.  I sincerely hope you check it out.  Here’s the link if you’re interested: 1000% Marketing Podcast

P.P.P.S. Did you print these 15 steps out and tape them on the wall next to your computer?  They’ll always be by your side, ready to guide you when you’re writing :)

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