The Curse of Knowledge -vs- The Knowledge Gap

Once upon a time… a few years ago… I met a brilliant writer with the initials CW, who taught me about something she called “The Curse of Knowledge.”

If you’re not sure what the the Curse of Knowledge is, then it will be my extreme pleasure to share it with you, as it was once shared with me.

My friend CW explained it to me thus…

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Essential Ingredients For Powerful Headlines – (Part 2 of 2)

Welcome back –

So in part 1 of Essential Ingredients For Powerful Headlines we touched on a few powerful ways you can improve the performance of your headlines. In this next short lesson we’re going to go over some common powerful headline formulas.


If you study a lot of winning sales copy you’ll probably recognize these formulas, and there’s a good reason they get used so often… Because they work!

Rather than having me go into a long introduction for this post (because if you read part 1 of this series then you’ve already been primed for what’s coming next), what do you say we just dive right in and get to the good stuff, OK?

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ingredients for powerful headlines

Essential Ingredients For Powerful Headlines – (Part 1 of 2)

Whether you’re writing a blog posts, sales letter, email, or any kind of copy where you want to engage your reader…

… If you want your copy to perform well, you have to start with an attention grabbing headline.


In this short post I’ll show you how to capture the attention of your ideal audience, and pull them into your copy.

This lesson is crucial because if your headline doesn’t bring people in to your copy, then it doesn’t matter what you’re selling or how great your offer is. Because few people will ever see it.


The late, Great David Ogilvy was quote as saying…

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”


Which makes sense, because if 100 people see your headline, but it doesn’t peak the interest of 80, then that’s 80 people who will never stick around to read the body copy.

Simply put… A bad headline can kill your copy, before it ever gets a chance.

So, how would do we minimize the chance of writing a bad headline, and maximize the chance of creating a winner…?

Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about right now…

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(confessions from a 20 year copywriter) 4 Things I Wish I Knew, when I first started writing sales copy …

OK, so I’m writing this next post just for fun…

Ah heck, who are we kidding? Most of the articles I post here are fun (at least they’re fun for me to write).

The formula I use for these posts is to take a solid bit of wisdom, gained from experience, and I drop it right in the middle of the page. Then I get out of the way and see which direction it splatters.

Unlike sales copy, where I need know exactly which direction I’m going, I don’t really know, which way a post like this will flow, until I let it go.


Anyway, it looks like this one starts with a little autobiography (highly redacted) and then I get to the good stuff.

So if you’ll indulge me for 30 seconds while I take a short stroll down memory lane…
Trust it will be worth your time…


The year was 1994 and I had just walked away from the last official J-O-B that I would ever work at. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I knew that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life working for peanuts, just to make someone else rich.

On top of that, after a couple years in the Army followed by 7 years working at a New England sawmill; My 30 year old self was all done taking orders from idiots.


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Trigger Words That Will Make Your Copy More Powerful

Just want to say for the record… I’ve never been a big fan of so called “power word lists”.

The main reason is because too many people grab the list, and then scattershot random power words throughout their writing.
By the time they’re done they end up with content that might sound exciting… but it has no substance.

It’s like filling your car with high octane fuel, and then driving really fast in an uncharted direction. Eventually you run out of gas and end up in the middle of nowhere.


Personally, I prefer writing that has substance. And writing that leaves people better off for having read it.

Especially when we want people to take action from our words, having a deliberate direction is far more important than just moving fast.


So, with that as my disclaimer… I think most of us would still agree that some words have more emotional impact than others.

The goal of this post is to give you a few words that can bring emotion and power to your writing.
Use them wisely, and you can embrace high impact fuel in your writing. Use them haphazardly, and I’ll call you a cab when you run out of gas…


So after that lengthy introduction, let’s just dive right in… Shall we?


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