This is a reprint of one of Paul Myers’ newsletter issues.
I have his (exceptional) permission to do so. 🙂
There is very little that’s as contagious as enthusiasm for a shared interest.
I’m not talking about over-the-top BS and exaggerated hype. I’m talking about a sincere enthusiasm for your subject. Get people seeing the results they’ll get from using your product or the information in your article. Just get into what you’re writing and use action phrases, rather than sitting back and sounding stuffy.
It’s hard to be boring when you’re having fun.
“Yuck It Up”
If you’re good at word play or jokes, use that whenever appropriate.
People have a lot of demands on their attention, so you have to keep them focused. Not only is laughing fun, it serves a sinister, secret purpose for the clever content developer.
Write this down in your Little Black Hat Book of Internet Marketing Secrets:
When you make someone laugh,
you reset their attention span.
Okay. So it’s not *really* sinister or “black hat.” And they don’t all have to be knee-slapping funny. A quiet chuckle will do just as well.
You don’t even need to be a laugh-a-minute kind of guy. Or gal.A laugh-about-every-three-minutes will do.
Roughly once per page of text.
Seriously, if you aren’t funny in print, learn. It will be time and money well spent. You can get books on comedy for cheap at Amazon or your local bookstore. (Cheap books are okay. I recommend avoiding cheap shots. They’re not usually funny,unless they’re directed at the premeditatedly stupid or the casually rude.)
One clever bon mot, an appropriate aphorism, or even a grin-worthy gag can be the difference between someone reading on to your promotional links or deleting the email with a yawn.
Thus, we give new meaning to the phrase, “Laughing all the way to the bank.”
“Throw Down The Gauntlet”
Challenge your readers. Make them think.
Contrary to the “common wisdom,” people enjoy a challenge, as long as it’s honest and in their own best interest. They like to think, and they enjoy being creative. It’s human nature.
Never talk down to your readers, and never be condescending.Don’t try to impress people with your language, but don’t “dumb it down” either. They’ll sense both, and they’ll toss you aside like a bad first date.
Ask questions. Present new concepts. Challenge conventional wisdom. Push the boundaries. Explain yourself clearly and expect them to understand, and even to go beyond it.
If you treat someone this way, they’ll sense the respect behind it. And they will rarely disappoint you.
People are much smarter than most other people give them credit for. Don’t be the one who forgets it. The average person is much smarter than average. And just about everyone is a genius or a potential genius in some way.
Expect more than anyone else, and you’ll usually get it.
Read more in Are You Really That Boring Part 7.
Oh, and if you’re really smart, you sign up for TalkBiz News
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