Writing Gripping Introductions: How To Command Attention From The Very First Sentence

Have you ever wondered why some authors are able to capture their audience’s hearts seemingly instantly while others struggle to keep their readers’ eyes open page after page? The secret lies in the introduction; simultaneously the most and least interesting part of an article.

Unless you’re writing heavily technical work for scientific publication, EVERY writer needs to know how to write an introduction. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a copywriter, a book author, or a weekend freelance blogger, if you don’t know how to captivate your audience within a few sentences, you’re not just losing money – you’re losing the potential to connect with an otherwise interested party.

Writing an introduction isn’t easy. I know this because I stare at the dreaded white emptiness of a blank page almost every day. Fortunately, I’ve been able to perfect the art of “getting into it” and I rarely suffer from writer’s block (my personal weakness is always the conclusion). However, before I created a creative formula, I had moments where it would take me up to a week to conjure some arcane way to introduce an idea.

READING an introduction isn’t easy either! Just look at your own reading habits: do you ever relish the idea of reading an introduction over and over? Probably not. In fact, if it feels too dreary, I usually skip right past the intro and dive right into the first chapter. Sometimes I even speed read the first chapter – I want to get to the good part as fast as possible. It seems like after a lifetime of being inundated by tiresome intro after intro, most readers hate reading the very first portions of a literary work. There are some exceptions to this that I will go over to perfectly illustrate the value of a well-written beginning.

Become the exception to the rule. Learn how to write the introduction well; in fact, make it your strong point. When you entertain your readers, arouse their curiosity, and spark their imagination, you begin having a conversation with them that can open doors.

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Raise Your Freelance Writing Prices in 2021

2021 is finally upon us! 2020 was quite an….”interesting” year, to put it lightly, and I’m already feeling like a new man. I wanted to write a mini-pep talk for my writing friends who want to make the best out of this year. As Coronavirus (hopefully) starts to wind down, I think massive opportunities are growing in our industry that should be seized.

You see, I had an epiphany when I woke up this morning that I wish to share with you:

It’s time to raise our prices.

The first thing I did this morning when I started working was to immediately increase my current rate from 10 cents a word to 15 cents a word. Why do I feel deserving of a self-imposed raise?

Because I’m worth it. End of story.

I’m actually worth much more than that, but I’m fine with working for $0.15 per word.

Over the last year, my writing skills have improved. My vocabulary increased. I read a lot more; not just about my niche, but a whole collection of books which broadened my perspective. I got feedback on my work that helped me to increase my skill in my craft. I work more but simultaneously feel happier. I am better today than I was yesterday, and I think that my fees reflect my personal growth over the course of a year.

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Mind Hack: Using The Barnum–Forer Effect To Connect To Your Readers on a Fundamental Level

I recently came across a particularly interesting technique, which although can veer into the slightly unethical, clearly illustrates how a writer can use insights into human nature to improve their literature and connect with their audience.

Have you ever heard of the Barnum-Forer effect? Essentially, in the middle of the 20th century, several psychologists were trying to delve into the core characteristics individuals tended to attribute to themselves. They conducted a personality test where students were given a “personality test” and later were given the results of the test based on how they answered. There was a catch, though; everyone was given the exact same result.

Some of the students that participated in the study were so touched by the results, they were moved to tears!

Even more interesting was the fact that the personality traits they fabricated were based on horoscopes, graphology, and other controversial forms of parapsychology. Some of the common traits they included in their “results”, which we will be taking a deeper dive into were:

  1. You have a great need for other people to like and admire you.
  2. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage.
  3. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them.
  4. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved.
  5. Security is one of your major goals in life.

What exactly does that mean? Are human beings fundamentally the same? Do we all perceive a certain set of values and try to work towards them?

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4 Killer Ways To Encourage Your Audience To Take Action: Exploring The Nudge

After working in copywriting and freelancing for many years, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. People in our industry tend to mystify the sales process. Sure, there are hundreds of little things you can do to improve the conversion rate of a certain piece of copy, but ultimately, only a few factors decide whether or not someone will buy your product. Most of it comes down to the subtle art of influencing people.

No, I’m not referring to some weird mind control trick where expert level hypnosis is used. Influencing people is quite easy, and this article will dive deep into one particular method that is widely referred to as the nudge.

As an example, I’m notoriously bad at replying to emails and other text messages. However, contrary to my terrible habit, I replied very quickly just the other day to a message from a friend of mine. He specifically wanted to organize an event for several people to attend and was wondering which day would be most convenient for me. So, about a week ago, he sent me the following message:

Hey Anta, can you tell me on which date you’re free to attend the event?

Several days passed and I still hadn’t replied. Like I said, I’m terrible, but not necessarily intentionally. I had already seen the message and I had thought that I could probably respond at a later time. Procrastination seems to run deep in my veins haha. In fact, I had already formulated a response. After some time, my friend tried a different approach:

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Persuasive Writing: 4 Copywriting Secrets That Will Help You Create a Rabid Customer Base

When I first started freelance writing, I devoured just about every blog, article and book I could find about copywriting. I wanted to know everything about the industry. How much could people make as independent writers? How could I personally improve my writing style? What were the secrets to building an audience that could hardly wait for my next piece to drop?

Among the many open doors and familiar stories, I found that almost everyone has their own unique way of doing things. People generally tend to find their rhythm when it comes to approaching the same task. I’ve probably discarded more advice and methods than I have kept over my life, and anyone with enough experience has almost certainly done the same. While the plethora of eye-opening tips and clarifications helped to take me to the next level of my craft, a few outstanding tips really gave me the boost I needed to make my career a full-time endeavor.

Even though I have found that the “best” writing tip differs from person to person and moment by moment, there are a few overall things writers need to apply in order to outshine their competitors. Particularly, I’ve found tips relating to writing convincingly to be the most useful for my day to day life.

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