So many of the agents I speak with say they know they should be blogging, but they “can’t write.” They don’t know how to put a sentence together to make it interesting.
If you’re lurking here at Active Rain and thinking you wish you could blog, but just don’t know how to write something good, try a learning method used by copywriters across the world...
It's one of the first exercises I did when I began studying copywriting, and it was an exercise I resisted because it was, truthfully, downright boring.
But... the book said it was important, so I did it anyway.
What was the exercise?
Copying effective marketing letters. By hand. Twice.
Along with the textbook, each AWAI student receives a fat book filled with successful direct mail promotions. You've probably seen some of the letters that were in that book, because some of them have remained in use, making money for their companies for years.
One that comes to mind is the Wall Street Journal letter about two young men who started out equally, but one met great success while the other didn’t. The difference, of course, was that the successful one read the WSJ. It’s a prime example of a letter that gets results.
But back to the exercise…
The reason behind it is something called "written structural priming." It's similar to an athlete practicing specific moves over and over. Physical repetition builds up what's called "muscle memory."
Copying good writing builds up "written muscle memory."
I read that there are more than 500 academic research papers supporting the belief that this practice is effective in teaching people to write well.
So what does this have to do with you blogging?
If you want to learn to write for your blog, find a few posts that hold your interest and convey good information, and copy them by hand. If you aren’t sure which to choose, look for featured posts and posts that have a great number of comments.
(By the way, even some of the most popular posts have typos or mis-used words, so do be careful not to copy the errors!)
Before you wonder, yes it does have to be hand writing - not typing - and not just reading them several times. The effectiveness has something mysterious to do with your brain interpreting the words, sending the signals to your fingers, forming the letters, etc.
Do it again and again until the form and sentence structure begin to feel natural - and at the same time, keep practicing writing your own original material.
Image courtesy of punsayaporn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Before long, you can be a top blogger!