Rules for writing good copy

recently, I came across Jack Kerouac’s rules for writing well.

It inspired me to examine my own rules that I’ve been following consciously and unconsciously for writing sales copy over the past few years – particularly with emails.

So I typed my rules out. & decided to share them.

These are the rules I try and follow in every piece of copy I write, to ensure that it’s not only a compelling piece of sales material, but also a genuinely good piece of writing. 

Folks say you don’t have to be a good writer to be a good copywriter… 

…but you don’t have to not be a good writer either. & I feel it’s a bit of an insult to the intelligence of the reader to not put some time into the craft aspect of writing.

And that’s what these rules are for: the CRAFT.

So here they are. they’re shorthand for the most part, so feel free to ask for more explanation on any of them if you’re interested 🙂

copy poet’s writing rules:

  1. let unconscious flow write forward no deleting (Shitty First Draft)
  2. model what works (don’t reinvent the wheel)
  3. write in the key of C (Connect, Engage, Galvanize)
  4. your, you’re. get it right.
  5. Interbeing. this is because that is. everything’s connected.
  6. no neediness. be a Giver.
  7. grease the slide w/ every word
  8. no persuasion tricks. No turd polishing. If it ain’t valuable, don’t sell it.
  9. educate, revelate, entertain
  10. create golden vision of greater future within reach
  11. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (use 2-3)
  12. 4 Buyer Types (Impulse, Logic, Empathic, Deadline Rider) know who you’re writing to
  13. practice Economy of Words
  14. use 2nd Person WHEREVER Possible
  15. its, it’s. get it right.
  16. no implied fallibility.
  17. know your voice.
  18. dynamic lyrical journey (rhythm, meter, sentence & paragraph length, etc)
  19. write fearless. They asked to read this. No apologies.
  20. no pitching. Make authentic fiduciary invitations.
  21. be a friend. Kind. Respectful. Genuine belief in people.
  22. there, their, they’re. get it right.
  23. ascend, transcend, uplift emotionally & mentally. Write words worth reading no matter what. 

Them’s the rules (so far). Now that I read them, I think I’ll probably be breaking each one out into its own post in the coming days & weeks.

In the meantime… go forth & write things worth reading.

starving, spamming, or selling

where do you fall on the spectrum?

many creatives have a strong aversion to asking for attention…

let alone MONEY.

perhaps they feel that attaching a price to their art cheapens it…

that it CORRUPTS the SANCTITY of their creativity…

so they fall on the “STARVING” end of the spectrum — where they have to constantly compromise between having the TIME & RESOURCES to create…

or having the Quality of Life they truly desire.

I would give you an example, except all you have to do is look around the internet @ all the unknown artists who refuse to put out anything besides the art itself.

on the other hand, there are those artists who really subscribe to the “Hustle” mentality…

their ambition outweighs their artist’s guilt so they try their damndest to promote themselves and make their dreams a reality…

only they don’t know HOW to promote themselves.

so they end up on the “SPAMMING” end of the spectrum (bless their ambitious little hearts <3 )

you see a LOT of this on social media…

people who shamelessly (& unintelligibly) plug their stuff in the comments under posts without any attempt @ being relevant or starting a dialogue…

“COOL POST CHCK OUT MY NEW MIXTAPE”

ugh. total SPAM.

total turn off. makes anyone who reads it a little bit dumber.

Hustling is good.

Plugging your stuff is GREAT… but you have to find the happy medium between STARVING & SPAMMING.

see there’s a “sweet spot”, right on the middle of the spectrum that very few creatives arrive at naturally…

SELLING.

see, SELLING – in it’s highest form – is the Act of Awakening Someone To The Potential Of A New & Upgraded Reality That They Could Be Experiencing.

SELLING is Connecting The Dots.

SELLING is Empowering Someone to TAKE INTENTIONAL ACTION — which is one of the most Rewarding, Self-Affirming Experiences a Human Being can have.

& when you’re SELLING your music (or any type of art or creation for that matter) you are literally ALLOWING other human beings to become PARTICIPANTS in your Divine Process of Creativity.

SELLING is where it’s at, my friend.

the trick is to combine your STARVING artist’s Humility with your SPAMMING artist’s Hustle.

HUSTLE + HUMILITY
= ARTISTIC, AUTHENTIC SELLING.

boom.

remember: Your Art is PRICELESS & You Are Only A CHANNEL For It.

you’re pedaling GOD’S Goods, baby.

so how would you sell an album, if it was GOD’S album/book/painting?

you wouldn’t hide it away & feel guilty about asking for people to pay some attention to it…

you wouldn’t cheapen it by shoving it in people’s faces & hoping that someone pays attention (without caring whether people hate you for it)…

so the question is: what WOULD you do?

…got it?

good.

now go make it happen.