EEK. My first-ever published book, So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Online Writing, launched TODAY on Amazon.
In today’s episode, I read aloud part of the Introduction, where I talk about how I got started in this crazy world of online writing, and the first chapter from my book, where I share a section I thoroughly love: starting grounds for the online writer. Enjoy!
In Episode 10 of The Write Podcast, Julia reads an excerpt of her new book, So You Think You Can Write?
- Learn how storytelling is an underlying fundamental of great online writing
- Find out which companies are leading the forefront in creative, spectacular online writing skills
- Hear some of Julia’s history, from her early days as a content marketer to today
- Be inspired as you listen to what makes up some of the great stories in content marketing today
- ….& more!
If you like what you hear, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and it’s ranking in iTunes immensely. I appreciate it! Enjoy the show!
Transcript: Book Chapter Read of So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing
Julia: Hello and welcome to The Write Podcast! This is Julia McCoy, and today I’m really excited to share with you that my book So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide To Successful Online Writing is finally out. It went live today as print and Kindle on Amazon! This book is a summary of every skill I’ve learned and taught myself in the last few years to create successful online content, from blogs to webpages and much more.
To buy my book on Amazon just go to bit.ly/juliamccoy. The direct Amazon book link will also be in this podcast description.
I’ve had this book idea for years and I started working on, So you think you can write about a year ago. It’s been crazy just to get through this year of writing a book, I have a whole new respect for authors.
Writing a book is no small task, especially if you really wanna make it a good and worthwhile book. Worthwhile book. So the section I’m gonna read to you begins at the Introduction and I will read you chapter one, so let’s get started. Introduction. As an online marketer, site owner and freelance writer I’ve been and in online consecrations since 2011.
In a short few years I have seen the entire world of online content evolve for 100’s of businesses. The good news is that I’ve seen a great deal of progression, in 2011 I saw a lot of sub par online content do just fine then Giggle Panda hit the web a lot of duplicate cured stuffed poor content got struck down from the rankings.
Every time a major Google update has come out I’ve researched it, written about it and watched marketers flinch and then adapt. Some of my favorite clients were the marketers who came to me with the need to change and fit their content to the new Google rules and regulations. I think I was on speed dial for some of them [LAUGH] It was simple really.
Many of these marketers just needed higher quality content or they needed to replace the duplicate content on their site that they had copied over from somewhere else on the web. Yikes! So today’s overall online content direction is progressing toward a higher content quality and standard all over the web.
And who’s the major driving force? Google. I’ve been doing this for half a decade now and I run a seven figure company with a team of talented writers delivering online content to businesses of all kind. This has been my self taught full time career path. Here’s my belief about succeeding in this field, you don’t need a college course to learn to be an online writer, the nitty gritty, hands on, real world skills of online content writing aren’t taught in college yet.
I’ll agree that a foundational knowledge from college English 101 or 102 is applicable if it helps to refine your basic writing skills. Consequently a journalism degree does help if you choose to write press releases, but I firmly believe anyone could be self-taught in successful online content writing to create great content for themselves or earn a living doing it with the caviar that they have a passion and talent for writing because passion and talent will keep them going.
I’ve seen this manifest in my own career. If you’re this kind of writer but you don’t know how to bring your talents online yet or you want to solidify your knowledge in creating good online content, then my guide is just for you. I am giving you such a thorough definitive guide on online content writing that if you find all of it, you’ll be ready to write any kind of content that will rank well online and be successful, whether it’s for your clients or for yourself.
Chapter One: Starting Grounds.
Success in online writing, both monetary and in the subsequent value and ranking of great web content can happen for any passionate writer and brand given the opportunity to learn the tricks of the online writing trade. The tough part is there’s no one easy course to sign up for it that teaches you all of the tricks you need to know to succeed.
I was completely self-taught and I picked up some of my bet skills by learning them on the job as I wrote online content for my clients, not what I’d suggest for everyone. I think that essential writing skills are born from a passion that surfaces at a young age. This passion can’t be taught and it’s the starting point of what it takes to be a stellar content creator and copywriter.
My stunning growth can be traced back to writing fiction when I was just 9 years old. Many professional copywriters, probably more than half, double in fiction When the mood strikes them. Writing fiction maintains and sharpens the base skills of creative writing. When we grow up telling stories it’s only natural that we incorporate pieces of them into our current writing, and guess what, fiction writing is the fertile ground where some f the greatest storytelling genius is born and cultivated.
A passion for storytelling born at an early age can blossom into amazing online content writing skills at a later age and thus translate into well developed copyrighting chops for the world’s most successful brands. Ordinary writers doing extraordinary things. Storytelling comes from showing reality from a different perspective, it could be summed up that simply.
An interesting, unique point of view can really draw a person in, and when you combine the identifiable point of view with a good story to tell you transform that story into an extension of someone’s life. A good story and advertising copy makes the person witnessing it subconsciously think – GEE, that sounds like or could be me!
How was that emotion pulled out? By a story told so well that it became relatable and real. Very often that person goes on to become a customer for the company that drew them in and related to them on a personal level. Although story telling styles and media has changed over time, the idea that a good story appeals to the audience is timeless, it’s why we tell our kids stories adapted from 16th century German fairy tales.
The story is in itself a timeless art form. Once upon a time stories were used as a means of promoting discourse. Socrates presented his thoughts to the public in the form of fables. Many ancient Greek and Roman philosophers such as Euclid and Plato used to couch their factual knowledge and Story telling, and you know what? Stories stick.
Who remembers the first grade fairytale rather than the sixth grade Geography or Math lesson? Me too. It goes to show that a relatable story is often remembered far more accurately and much more vividly than drier content pushed down our throats as a road to memorization. This persistence of memory is also another reason why the story has taken root in modern day advertising.
Storytelling allows us to bring the audience into the front seat and bad times make each person feel like the most important person in the room. Nothing is as memorable as a show put on just for you, unless it’s a show that is starring you. In our attempts at storytelling we try to put the audience in the driver’s seat and have them experience the feelings and emotions that an ordinary person would feel in such a position, like the myriad of writers that came before us, from Herodotus to Shakespeare.
We continue to carry on the timeless work of telling stories. What are the online writers stories made of? Now obviously online copywriters don’t write the kinds of stories found in books. You just won’t see a guy staring at a full page ad and reading it like a novel enjoying its use of double entendre, maybe we’ll get there one day, whenever any single one of us enjoys the fabulous art of reading entire volumes voraciously, but I highly doubt that’s likely.
Our attention spans are currently dwindling not growing according to research. So the way an online writer builds a story is a little different. While a fictional writer has a toolbox full of plots, devices and character portraits, the content writer has a trunk full of information about whom they want to reach and the most effective way to do it.
We began by researching our audience first and foremost before we even start writing. A fiction writer starts with the premise and then finds the audience but the copywriter starts with the audience and then generates the premise, and they create a story that sells to that audience.
There are a number of different success tales in businesses, both large and small that testify to the usefulness of this story as a marketing tool. Recent trends in marketing have shown that combining the idea of a story to teach the audience something has a far greater impact on final sales.
As entertaining as the story is, if it doesn’t sell then it isn’t successful from a marketing perspective. So are there limits to storytelling? Will the story ever detract from a message you need to get across to a potential customer in order to sell him or her? Enter the following example, marketing storytelling so good it sold crap literally.
An example of storytelling success in marketing: Poo~Pourri. Recently I came across an example of brand storytelling so good it blew my mind. It was an ad by the brand Poo~Pourri on YouTube. This 3 minute 5 second video captured me and held my attention the entire time. Yes they interrupted the writing of this book.
The video opens with a beautiful, English, redheaded girl drinking tea and eating baked goods with her lady friends. She suddenly experiences the passing of gas, looks into the camera and says, my butt trumpet is about to blow [LAUGH] and when the eclairs spreads my hot-crossed buns no one will ever know. It’s time to go down the crappit hole, where smelling is believing.
The viewer then proceeds to get flushed down a toilet, and to a music video where people are doing yoga and simultaneously singing about crap with their heads between their legs. Did that just make you say what? And then immediately you want to know more.
The maker of this newer brand sold no less than 4 million products to date. And I think the magic of their story telling is their primary reason. Make your story educating and entertaining. Potpourri’s example is so crazy good it’s out of this world literally I haven’t seen a better tale in marketing.
If you can nail a story that creative then my hat is off to you. Not every brand will be able to come up with that amount of successful crappy puns, pun intended. So even if you cant be the next Poo Potpourri here’s how you should be using the hugely important element of storytelling in your content.
The overall aim of our online storytelling should be to educate and entertain and from that naturally to sell. Educating validates the idea of a value-based content system, what Google and readers love today. Success for the online marketer is found in copy that isn’t aimed at a hard sale, but instead offers useful and insightful information.
Through visualized content that naturally attracts more leads out of viewers and entertaining is simply your desired and achievable level of creativity. However far you want to go to make your story entertain your fans on a one to Poo~Pourri level. With a truly useful educational, entertaining story line and consistent content output, regular blogs, videos or other content types you’ll draw and warm leads will keep reading your content because it gives them an answer or solves their problems, and these leads are much more likely to buy your product.
Then the readers face with the cold sale. This is big news for us writers, since a whopping 40% or more of the world’s population now has access to the Internet, which means there are more than 3 billion people online, Internet marketing is the primary advertising avenue for all businesses.
More than 8 new people get online every second and over 139,000 new websites go live everyday based on 2013 statistics. 46% of people read blogs more than once a day and 82% of marketers who blog daily gain a customer from their blogs. Adobe has reported that Internet TV will be replacing traditional cable television with Internet video viewing growing by 388% annually, and cable TV is seeing the lowest number of viewers today than it has ever seen.
I could cite stuff all day long but the point is if you’re in business your best audience is found online and the foundation of all online marketing is good content. Fundamentally good story telling is the key to writing contents that excels then add too this strong underlying foundation it make as your knowledge research skills and the ability to thoroughly address all of your readers questions.
Learning to create captivating headlines that correctly reflect what the content is about is another important tool in your skill set. This described process is also what I’m about to teach you in my book. This approach is already working, numbers don’t lie, companies such as General Electric RedBull have utilized the medium of story telling in a bold new way giving theirs viewers and readers stories informing as opposed to selling.
Go read and watch some of the media on their websites if you want to be inspired, and as I showed there are brands like Poo~Pourri taking storytelling to the next creative level. and simply sewing through the power of an astoundingly fun brand. Providing useful engaging content is the new face of marketing.
If you’re aware of this concept and can manage to blend storytelling with useful information then you’re well on you way to becoming a first class content creator, and when And once you’ve had some experience in storytelling, whether it is making up fables on the fly or your kid brother, eating up volumes of beautiful fiction tales at a time or writing a lengthy essay you actually enjoyed creating for your middle school teacher, then you probably have the skills for this type of content.
Truth be told I personally find it easier to write from an ad or targeted online copy perspective than just writing from a fictional perspective. Fiction gives you a lot of freedom to experiment but too much of a good thing means you have no limits or boundaries and it’s very easy to wonder off message.
In contrast online copy almost every time has defined guidelines to work within and although you were challenged to think outside the box where really good ideas are born, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll end up doing something wrong if you stay within the guidelines while exercising your writing talents and skills.
In this type of writing once you understand the instructions it’s impossible to stray off the beating path, fall off the cliff or wonder into the weeds.
End of chapter one.
I really hope you enjoy this brief excerpt of my book So You Think You Can Write, The Definitive Guide To Successful Online Writing.
Thanks for joining The Write Podcast.
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