All literature is gossip.
And she has dozens of other online products.
One of my criticisms of her video was that she was using too much abstract and conceptual language, and she needed to get down to earth and write more of her copy in visual, visceral, emotional, concrete terms.
She asked me how to do that.
It's hard to give direct instruction. But I urged her to look at the writing techniques used in The National Enquirer, since they do that kind of writing so very well.
She came back to me a day later, baffled and a little put off. And, she asked for clarification.
She liked the email I wrote her in response so much that she urged me to share it with you in this blog.
Here it is, slightly redacted to respect her privacy and confidential issues in her business -- and with one addition at the end:
Fair question. But I wonder if you are asking me this question in the context in which I suggested you read the Enquirer?
As I remember, you said:
Where can I get examples of how to write more viscerally/visually/emotionally?
And as I recalled, I did not say:
Suz, follow the approach, mindset, context and worldview of the National Enquirer word-for-word. Adopt your entire way of writing to model it, lock-stock-and-barrel.
What I said, as I remember it, was, you can find examples of this more conversational and direct, emotional, connected style of writing, in the way that the Enquirer writes.
For example, compare this, page 6, October 24, column 1, paragraphs 3, 4, and 5:
"The 5-foot-7 mother of six has slipped to a near skeletal 97 pounds, sources say, and her partner Brad Pitt is concerned that she may be popping weight-loss pills to boost her energy level.
"'Angie used diet pills a few years back, and everyone around her believes that she's started up again,'" says a source.
"'She's burning the candle at both ends - juggling career demands with her humanitarian work and trying to keep up with her rambunctious kids. Angie believes the pills give her energy to help her get through the day.'"
Now, that reads like the way people talk when they're gossiping -- which is a lot like what copy needs to read like -- and it reads very concrete, emotional, visceral and visual.
Compare that in concrete, visual, visceral, and emotional qualities to this passage you wrote for your video script:
Every relationship is like a snowflake. Your specific situation is infinitely unique with it’s own history and hungers and demands personalized tactics. Like a new house where the floor plan is set and you personalize with flooring, paint and lighting that fits your style. Start with the 4-step floorplan:
- Establishing Polarity
- Overcoming Resistance
- Seductive Psychology
- Seductive Sexuality
Then you personalize your turn-around plan from the strategies of more than a dozen of the world’s leading seduction experts I hand-selected for their deep expertise in situations like yours.
What you have written there is far enough removed from the immediate here-and-now of visual/visceral/emotional experience as to have a negative effect on your level of engagement with the reader, and your sales. To disconnect, and reduce response.
Here is a partial rewrite of the above:
Your relationship is unique to you and your woman. You have laughed together, fought with each other, known the bitter and the sweet. But if you're like many couples, it's cold and dark and unhappy when you're together much more than when you first met -- and you have no idea what to do about it.
Especially when you're in bed.
I'll show you, step by step, how to turn back the clock and get the juices flowing again! It's amazingly easy and it will lead to nights of wild, almost magical, passion. Nights that, until now, you thought were long gone, never to return!
My proven four-step action plan (it has worked for thousands of men) is simple. Anyone can do this. And here's the good news: You don't have to be a movie star, a celebrity athlete, or The Most Interesting Man In The World. :)
Step one is creating the Sexual Tension that she craves (and so do you). I'll show you exactly what to do.
Step Two is melting her Ice Queen façade (she wants you to, but she doesn't know how to tell you to do this. Lucky for both of you, I do... )
and so on. Plain, roll-up-you-sleeves, face-to-face English.
Like you'll find in the Enquirer in just about every single article.
Now, am I a fan of the hammer-and-tongs, do-everything-we-can-to-destroy-the-lives-of-celebrities spirit of the Enquirer?
You mentioned you weren't.
I'm not either, Suz.
But I have a paid mail subscription and have had it for about 17 years!
Because the writing itself is actually quite brilliant in its simplicity and dy-no-mite powerful in its emotional impact. That's why I asked you to look at.
I have learned tons about how to communicate with people across a wide spectrum of socioeconomic and psychographic categories, by reading this publication every week.
Without ever having to compromise what I hold near and dear, myself.
Get agnostic about what they're writing about and look at how they use words and particularly how they describe people and situations to elicit emotion and evoke experiences.
And here's the part I didn't tell Suz, but I'll share with you now:
I have a youtube video called "How to Read The National Enquirer."
If you haven't seen it yet, take a few minutes -- it's a real treat!
P.S. The day after I posted this, Copywriting Authority Bob Bly sent out a newsletter revealing a marketing secret of The National Enquirer.
He was kind enough to allow me to post his newsletter text here.