Are there really only 21 good Copywriting Hacks?

This question is from Hugh, who took my 21 Copywriting Hacks course.

He asks, “I have taken your course and love it. But I can’t help feeling there are more hacks I could use. Only 5 hacks for writing great headlines? Surely there are more.”

I’ve been hoping someone would ask this question!

Could I write a version of this course with more than 21 hacks? Sure I could.

Give me a little time and I could probably ramp it up to 101 hacks.

But here’s the thing…

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When marketing stories are false and manipulative.

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

Martin emailed me and said.

“Nick, I have been reading your work for years and have a lot of respect for what you do. But stories? Almost every marketing story I read feels totally fake and manipulative. What gives?”

Fair enough. (I’m guessing he hasn’t taken my course on Selling with Stories.)

In part, I agree. Although I think Martin overstates things when he talks about EVERY marketing story being fake or manipulative. But I do get his point.

The two kinds of false stories that irritate me the most are…

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Tap into the power of a shared, common experience.

Hiking is often a shared experience

If, like me, you write a blog, you’ve probably promised yourself you’ll post at least once a week.

Or maybe twice a week. Daily even.

There are plenty of good reasons for posting to your blog, whether you run a business or work as a freelancer.

Writing a blog makes sure your voice is heard. Writing posts regularly helps get your message out there, and keeps your name on people’s lips. (Google likes to see you posting regularly too.)

Is it always easy to come up with new post ideas? No, it isn’t.

In my case, sometimes l’ll have a lineup of ideas for posts, all clamoring for attention. But other times the well runs a little dry, and I have to cast around for inspiration.

I’m guessing it’s not so very different for you.

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Power up your copywriting with causality, a strong narrative and a healthy respect for cognitive dissonance.

Snack bars for copywriters.In my last post I wrote about the human obsession with causality, and how copywriters can use this weakness to their advantage.

Today we’ll move to the next stage and consider how causality is a building block of narrative.

I know…it all sounds weird. But keep reading and all will be explained. (And if you didn’t read the last post, you may want to read it now, before you continue with this one.)

Let’s work with an example.

Imagine you decide to invest in gold bullion.

Naturally, you are going to read all about the yellow metal, its ups and downs and the various forces at play that influence its price.

Then one day you read an article about price fixing, and about how gold prices are actually under the control of a shadowy force, comprised of international bankers and billionaire oligarchs.

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Before you say a word, be sure you’re saying the right thing.

Zippered smiley faceI have been writing a lot of copy recently. I have also been reviewing a fair amount of copy written by others.

Whether it’s my own copy or someone else’s, I keep finding weakness in the same area.

And this area of weakness is..?

It’s when the copywriter starts writing copy before he or she is absolutely clear about WHAT to say.

If the message is wrong, it doesn’t matter how talented you are as a copywriter. You’ll simply end up writing the wrong thing really well. And your ad or web pages or sales letter won’t achieve the result you were hoping for.

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To write a successful sales page, share one simple message aligned with one simple belief.

Attractive couple on beachMost online sales letters are just too complicated. They make the reader think too much.

If you want your readers to buy, you need to give them a very simple message that is aligned with a very simple belief they already hold.

Above all, as strange as it may seem, you don’t want them to think too much.

To illustrate what I mean, let’s take a peek at what politicians do, because they have to work within exactly the same constraints.

Consider a politician who wants to promote a bill that will increase the minimum wage.

He will do two things…

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