I’ve made millions typing words into emails, blog posts, ads, and social media. And if having a voice laid the foundation of that success, the frame was built from style. So let’s talk about that.
Here are six ways to make your paragraphs pop.
1) Sense-based descriptors. Most marketers write in a single dimension. They describe only how something looks. But what about the other senses: how does it feel, taste, smell, or sound? Get specific. Give your words a pulse. (“The pop was bad” versus “I couldn’t tell if it was Mountain Dew or Satan’s piss I was drinking.”)
2) Strong verbs. The better your verbs, the better your writing. Verbs give your content wattage. For example, which sentence has more horsepower: “His last stock pick doubled in quarter one” or “Warren Buffett straight pistol-whipped that last pick”?
3) Metaphors. Also known as your ability to see and describe what’s on your mind as though it were something else. The more unexpected you make ’em, the more attention you grab. “Kim’s butt’s so big, Kanye could step back and set his Cognac on it.”
4) Alliteration. PayPal. LuLu Lemon. Coca-Cola. American Airlines. Cleveland Cavs. Porky Pig. Marilyn Monroe. Good as gold. Pleased as punch. Make millions. Slap you silly. You get the idea. Similar sounds make reading more fun. (See what I did there?)
5) Surprises. Don’t be predictable. Challenge everything that comes to mind too easily. Creativity takes work. Use that noggin. Go back and edit out anything that’s overused. (“At the end of the day,” “life is short,” “follow your passion,” etc.)
6) Emotion. Great writers control a reader’s emotion at all times. Since people buy on emotion and later justify with logic, this ability, alone, is a blank check. Don’t just write; connect. (“He was mad” versus “His ears got hot, fists formed, and anger turned to violence.”)
Do these six things and stay true to yourself in everything you write and good things will happen.