How to write articles with impact – Episode 84 with Sean D’Souza
“A well written article can be transformational for your readers”, says Sean D’Souza, the founder of Psychotactics. “It has the power to educate, inform and entertain and with a good structure at your fingertips, you can overcome the myth of writers block, the myth of it’s all been said before and the myth that it’s a difficult skill to master and create impactful articles that connect you, your ideas your business and your clients”.
In this conversation we look at the structure to adopt when writing so you can be interesting, telling stories to stand out on the sea of online content that we sit within today.
Sean estimates he’s written close to a million words across his articles and reports in Psychotactics, the business he runs In New Zealand. He is dedicated to marketing that serves and captivates so your clients can’t help but keep coming back. As a long time follower and recent student of Sean’s work, I can guarantee that this is a conversation that has the power to change you and your business – grab that pen and paper and listen in!
Listen to the Episode
- If the “funnel” concept doesn’t appeal to you either (and it often doesn’t to us Next Chapter Businesswomen) embrace the “Karate concept instead. You can have white, yellow, brown and black belt levels of clients.
- Educate as much as possible in your writing – be generous and – you want your reader to sit back and think “I didn’t know how to do that 5 minutes ago and now I do!
- Find questions that your potential clients are asking and answer them – the importance of this cannot be overemphasised
- A key to create fresh articles is the “sub topic and Sub-Sub topic”. Take confidence as an example, that’s such a BROAD concept – too broad perhaps. But break it down into a sub topic such as: Business confidence for women, and you have a more defined topic to explore. Take that further into sub-sub topics such as “increasing confidence for women on the stage” or “building confidence to be seen on video” and you can begin to see the depths of content that is possible to dive into.
- Now consider the first 50 words to capture the attention of your reader and draws them into your article– sort of like the equivalent of an elevator pitch. Sean suggests finding an interesting fact to start your story with and then create a bridge between the fact and your key point – the interesting twist will surprise and captivate your reader (see resources below)
- The structure of your article can go in 2 keys ways – using curiosity (What is X, Why is it important, when do we need it, how do we use it etc) or The simple 3 pronged approach (Point 1, Point 2, Point 3) and both are followed by objections, examples, summary
- Use sub headlines throughout – they should tell an abbreviated story of the whole article on their own, connecting the ideas above t the paragraph below. Try it, Read back through yours and see if you can get the gist of the article content, If not, a rejig is recommended.
- Don’t miss the all-important “Next Step” step. What do you wan the reader to do next? Read another article? Opt in? Watch something? Buy something? Try not to be too literal. Instead entice, motivate or inspire action. Ask yourself, how can I help people to become curious about taking the next step?
- Now tackle your headline. There are many approaches to this, but here’s a simple and powerful option. Take your topic – and use how or why and add details or specifics eg: “How dinosaurs eat their breakfast so quickly”. Then pop something in brackets afterwards (even when they’re not often hungry). Curious!? Yep, me too J
- Article writing prowess comes from consistent, deliberate practice. It’s actually about communication and transformation of your reader rather than article writing per sae. That’s the approach to take – he spirit of teaching, delighting and serving.
Links and More Information
Looking for interesting facts to begin your first 50 words with? Try these sites:
I also recommend reading an article on www.psychotactics.com to see how Sean builds bridges so elegantly from his first 50 words to the main thrust of his article
Sean mentioned a resource that you should pop over and register for right away – a report on “Why Headlines Fail (How to write headlines that get results every time)
Click on the image to visit the page.
Fresh out of university with a degree in accounting—of all things—Sean joined an advertising agency called Leo Burnett, one of best advertising agencies in the world. It provided Sean with the springboard to get on the heady road of copywriting, for TV commercials. He then moved into graphic design, cartoons and web design and finally into marketing.
Today he runs Psychotactics (and has for 18 years) teaching business owners and entrepreneurs how to ethically get customers to move forward in the buying process ethically, and without high pressure, by using the concepts of psychology and tiny marketing increments and giving away loads of great stuff. It’s fascinating, addictive and highly effective. The cartoons only add to the experience!
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