A Copywriting Lesson From Dr. Seuss
Looking for inspiration for your next marketing communication? Try the children's bookshelf.
Dr. Seuss has entertained young (and old) audiences for nearly 50 years with titles such as "The Cat in the Hat," "Hop on Pop" and "Green Eggs and Ham."
The reason why his books remain so popular says something about what makes for good writing (and reading), no matter who the audience is.
Nouns and Verbs
Nothing keeps readers moving like strong noun-verb combinations. If the sentence were a train, nouns and verbs would be the engine. Adjectives, adverbs and the other parts of speech make the train longer and slower. Dr. Seuss' sentences have strong engines pulling light loads to keep readers moving down the tracks.
Lots of Periods
A byproduct of eliminating the extraneous words is shorter sentence length. Lots of periods. Paradoxically, more sentences of shorter length increase reading speed and comprehension. Dr. Seuss, as are many children's authors, is a champion of the short sentence.
Albert Einstein said, "The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." Were it not for imagination, there would be no Cat in the Hat and no Dr. Seuss. Imagination is the beginning of copywriting because first there must be an idea or concept.
Dr. Seuss' books are fun to read. They're funny, too, but that's not the same thing. Fun to read is material that's entertaining and effortless for readers, an excellent standard for all writing.
Dr. Seuss' books are written in verse. Of course they're lyrical. However, this goes beyond silly rhymes. There are a sound and rhythm to the words that, like a favorite tune, you don't mind hearing over and over. Good writing of all varieties is pleasing to the eye and ear.
Children have short attention spans. Dr. Seuss knows how to tell a story without unnecessary detours. Every word counts. That's good advice for all who write copy because children aren't the only ones with short attention spans.
This is the litmus test for all writing. Did readers take something away? Was their time well invested? "The Cat in the Hat" is a story about having fun, even on a rainy day. Now that's worthwhile reading.
(c) 2005 Neil Sagebiel
Neil Sagebiel is a veteran copywriter and publisher of "Headlines from Floyd," a FREE monthly ezine for those who want proven copywriting and marketing tips to generate more business. To sign up and also get a FREE bonus report, "Close More Sales with Testimonials," visit http://www.neilsagebiel.com.
Top 3 Rules For Writing Effective Copy
One thing all successful Internet marketers have in common is that they're good copywriters. If you want to have a profitable online business, you need to know how to write a copy that motivates people to buy your produc...(related: Copywriting)
How To Write Powerful Headlines
I want to tell you how I go about writing headlines. I like to keep swap files of headlines around for future use. And how I go about doing it goes something like this...I'll find a headline I like, wherever it may be, and then I don't copy it word for word, instead I'll use a "fill in the blank" approach. That way I get a generic headline that I can apply to almost any business.For example, I find a headline I like that goes something like this:"Give Me 5 Minutes And I'll...(related: Copywriting)
Who Is Your Customer?
When you want to sell something?anything? you need to first know who is going to buy it. Why? Because your ad copy has to be written to that person.You should actually picture a real person and write to them. It might be someone you know or someone you know about. But it is someone. Give your person a body and a face you can visualize as you begin to write. If you have a photo, tape it up where you can see it as you work. If you don't, try finding someone in a magazine and cut out his or h...(related: Copywriting)
Headlines That Pull, Persuade And Propel!
When writing direct response copy, there are a few things that can maximize the responsiveness of your message. The first and most important element that can turn any website, salesletter or ad into an action-generating mechanism is the headline.A headline is meant to do two vital things.First, it needs to grab your reader's attention. Realize that people surfing the web are click-happy. They tend to scan web pages quickly, even many of them simultaneously. Your site is but a blur. So, your headline must be prominent and effective enough to stop them.Second, your headline needs pull the reader into the copy and compel her into reading further. To do that, it must cater to a specific emotion or ...(related: Copywriting)
Health And Fitness: A Huge Industry In Need Of Writers
Think about how much you read about and spend on health and fitness.Do you ever exercise? Take supplements? Go on a diet? Visit the doctor sometimes? Most of us do all four. And how many books, magazines, tapes of videos ...(related: Copywriting)
Copyright, Copyrighting, And Online Copyright Abuse - Save Yourself The Headache By Reading This!
Lets start with copyright infringement.It is easily explained as copying someone else's work without gaining permission first. This includes publishing other peoples work to your web site, newspaper, magazine or even just downloading it to your computer can be seen as copyright infringement. The last is known as a grey area.Other peoples work me...(related: Copywriting)
Top 10 Ways For Copywriters To Overcome Writers Block
We all know that words have the power to persuade, compel and most importantly, sell.However, many have likened the process to getting the 'right words' to trying to get blood from a stone.When I first started out, writing copy meant slitting my wrist and 'giving blood'.Of course, I've greatly refined my copywriting process, and I'd like to share my methodlogy with you.Here are my top 10 ways of getting greatly reduce the number of brain farts that can stand in your way of writing cash pulling copy.Writer's Block Annihilator #1: National EnquirerWhile you might be tempted to dismiss the Enquirer, the fact is people love tabloids! Senstionalism sells. Big time. This may just provide the muc...(related: Copywriting)
Write Hard-hitting Headlines With Magic Words That Sell
Writing a killer headline for your copy is simple! You just need to follow simple dos and donts that make or break a headline respectively. If you think you have tried them all, check this out....TOP 9 POINTS TO FOLLOW:1. Stress on ADVANTAGE, RES...(related: Copywriting)
How To Write Adverts That Forces People To Respond
Think for a moment some day and consider the kind of advertising you see in your post box, on the TV, on your computer, on the radio, etc. Then ask yourself this question, "Would I buy this or not?" If you say "No," then ask yourself why. If you say "Yes," then ask yourself why.Consider what is it that makes this advert attractive or what is it that this person's offer is deemed to be unattractive. By carrying out this exercise regularly you will be surprising ...(related: Copywriting)
Top 7 Things To Do Before You Hire A Copywriter
Now that you've decided to hire a copywriter, how do you go about finding one? Here are seven things to look for to make sure the match is a good one.#1 ? Define your expectations. Are you looking for a copywriter or a technical writer? Do you need a writer that can take a project and run with it or do you need someone who will follow strict guidelines? Do you want a writer with the ability to make technical material readable for the general public or do you need a writer who specializes in retail? Are you looking for a writer you can build a long-term relationship with or w...(related: Copywriting)
Impulse Writing For Better Ad Headings
Writing headlines for your ads is the most important part of your online presence.When posting your ad to classified sites, directories, message boards, newsgroups or mailing lists, the only part of your ad that is showing is the heading.So, what your heading says will make the difference betw...(related: Copywriting)
Business Writing: When Not To Be Professional
It's time to write your next ad or brochure. Maybe some web content. You've done all your research, and you're staring at a blank computer screen. You want to look good in print. You want to put your "best foot forward." And, of course, you want to make a barrel full of money.Well, you're going to have to pick one, because you can't do all three.Not, that is, if "looking good ...(related: Copywriting)
Dont Be Satisfied With Your First Draft
Sometimes it's a struggle to figure out what's the best thing to say.
You're writing a heading, the first sentence of an email, the introduction to a newslet...(related: Copywriting)