Writing Sentences That Sell

“am” and “is.” The sun “is” hot. I “am” hungry. You “are” here. Healthy sales conversions depend on that brevity.

You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.

~ Octavia E. Butler

#3. Cut Out %50 of Your First Attempt At Selling With Words

You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.

 ~ Jodi Picoult

This is trial by fire for the uninitiated. Professionals understand it, but its truth is vague without trial. No matter how pretty a sentence is if it’s the first time you wrote that particular sentence, cut out 50 percent of it. That’s a minimum. Do more if you can. Close your eyes if you have to, but deal with the pain because you must.

Sentences with clutter don’t convert well. Their message isn’t optimal. Beginners feel conversions are perfected the first time around. Here’s the thing, sentences carry more weight than necessary at first. ALL sentences do! So pros give them a makeover as they’re committed to paper. A CTA is more powerful slimmed down to important points only.

edit ruthlessly malcolm forbes

#4. The Difference Between Latin, Anglo-Saxon, and Which Converts best?

You weren’t taught it in school. This is a history lesson that converts. Consider these languages: Latin, Italian, Spanish, and English. Each conjugates differently though the words are often similar. They’re variants of the same in many ways. We, we’ll stick to the words of the Anglo-Saxons.

Here’s why: Words like determination–or others with four to five syllables–come from Latin derivatives. The Latin words are snobbish and overly intellectual. Seriously. Here’s an example: “The exceptionality of independently existing without the departmentalized features of imprisonment is an establishment for exhilaration.”

These are words that have “dent,” “ment” and “tion.”

And that multi-syllabic sentence above actually makes sense. It’s just too much for anyone to deal with. That’s where the Anglo-Saxon words come in. They’re optimized by today’s technology. The Anglos inhabited Britain. Their English was short, one to two syllables words that express all under the sun.

Like plate, bed, hope, saw, walked, bead ate, slept, and loved. Those are the words your readers connect to when buying. They say everything with less.

[Explore Further: Writing English as a Second Language]

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#5. A Verb Sells a Noun as an Auxiliary Sells a Pronoun

Here’s where you get confused. It’s not your fault though. We use grammar based on our education. For example, verbs and nouns are related. Everyone knows what a verb is. It’s the action that a noun takes. Everyone knows what pronouns are. But few people can tell me about auxiliaries.

Hmm. …

I call auxiliaries the pronouns of verbs. Or the verb’s version of pronouns. Pronouns represent a noun without referencing the nouns’ name. They help avoid, ” ‘Gary’ was sad when ‘Gary’ got home and into ‘Gary’s’ bed where ‘Gary’s’ blanket was.” We write sentences that sell by eliminating that.

With pronouns: “He was sad when “he” got home and into “his” bed where “his” blanket was.”