Writing Tips from Copyblogger

In this post, Brian Clark includes a YouTube video of Ira Glass. Glass is the host of NPR’s This American Life (which I TIVO and always enjoy). In this video, Glass teaches how to relearn the way we write. In the video, he explains the two building blocks of writing for the media. Because I believe that we live in a “sound bite” society, writing for a 3-5 minute clip is good advice for blog posts.

The two building blocks he talks about are the anecdote and the moment of reflection. I think of the anecdote–which makes dull events interesting–as the “hook” for getting attention. The anecdote shows the sequence of the story and has a momentum of its own. Kind of like deliberately leaving an elevator with on listeners wondering how the anecdote ended. The second block–”the moment of reflection”–completes the tale by telling you why you are listening to this story.

Copyblogger consistently provides great tips/ideas about writing and marketing. Sonia Simone writes “13 Emotion-Based Headlines That Work” and includes the following examples:

  1. When’s the Last Time a Cute Girl Checked You Out?
    Emotional benefit: feeling attractive and sexy
  2. Learn How to Stand Up to Your Boss (and Force Him to See What You’re Really Worth)
    Emotional benefit: feeling assertive and confident
  3. Your Grandkids Will Be Struggling to Keep Up with You
    Emotional benefit: feeling vital and energetic
  4. You’ve Worked Hard All Week–Now Indulge Yourself
    Emotional benefit: feeling pampered, justified entitlement
  5. A Limited Number of Spaces Are Still Available for Founders’ Circle Membership
    Emotional benefit: sense of belonging, exclusivity
  6. Are You Working Harder than Ever, but Still Worried About Downsizing and Layoffs?
    Emotional benefit: feeling in control of one’s own destiny
  7. The 20-Minute Read that Will Make You a Financial Genius
    Emotional benefit: feeling wealthy and powerful (also feeling smart)
  8. They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Keyboard–But Then I Began to Blog!
    Emotional benefit: feeling proud, sense of accomplishment (also being gigantic dork)
  9. How to Take Command of Any Meeting
    Emotional benefit: feeling respected
  10. The SecureWidget Alert System Keeps Tireless Watch Over Your Family
    Emotional benefit: feeling safe
  11. Is Your Child Emotionally Intelligent? Take This Test and Find Out
    Emotional benefit: feeling like a good parent
  12. Reconnect With Your Friends and Family on this Incredible Three-Day Retreat
    Emotional benefit: feeling of loving connection
  13. How to Survive (and Yes, Even Thrive) in a Recession
    Emotional benefit: feeling financially secure (note that this is subtly different from feeling wealthy and powerful)

Posted on December 12, 2004, in Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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