The Copytist

I write words that sell, influence and persuade.

Category: fun

Plan Smart and Write Good Content in 20 Minutes

I started writing professionally, back in 2009. I translated for money, and at the same time wrote web content for companies I knew.

18 years old with no business experience. I translated texts at a near-native level, from Polish to English and reverse.

But that’s irrelevant and doesn’t count as work experience.

Because my writing process sucked

I would take the original, read it rapidly, and then delve into writing a translation, sentence by sentence.

And when I was writing original content, I would just take a load of notes by scouring Google. Then I would cram them into a quasi-readable form, and call it a day.

This resulted in several time-sinks for me.

Editing. Huge time-sink, since I had no idea what I was doing.

Proofreading. Not as bad, but still took me about 15-30 minutes on each piece.

Formatting. Most of what I was writing at the time was printables. Thank God we live in the digital era.

And the biggest culprit… actually typing.

You too can save time on writing

Nowadays I use a four-step process, which addresses all of the above problems.

Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents
Piss Poor Performance

Step One: Research & Idea Generation

This is the most demanding part of writing. If you’ve ever felt ‘stuck’ or otherwise incapable of producing content… this is the solution.

Before I begin writing anything, I take time to research the topic I am writing on as completely as possible.

I’ll also keep a separate piece of paper handy, where I’ll jot down article ideas. Anything that comes to mind goes on the paper.

When that’s done, I look at the ways in which my writing is going to support my ongoing endeavors. That can be a client’s marketing strategy, delivering premium value to you – the reader –  or just self-amusement.

Once I decide on which approach I want to support with the piece, I go through the list of ideas I made earlier. For every single one of them, I ask the question:

What value does this provide to the reader?

If I find it not suitable for the strategy, I’ll leave it for future use and move on. I’ll often go through 30-40 different ideas to find one that clicks.

Step Two: Outline, outline, outline

This is crucial. An idea can’t stand on its own. You don’t want to float around it any longer than absolutely necessary to get your point across.

By using a framework of how you want to present the idea, you’re making your work as a writer easier.

The way I do this is simply to guide the reader step-by-step. From the problem resolved by the idea, all the way to the solution.

As an example, this post consists of:

  • Short intro
  • Problem
    • Explanation of problem
  • Solution
    • Step 1
    • Step 2
    • Step 3
    • Step 4
  • End

Having a strong idea of what you’re going to say at each point makes writing effortless.

Step Three: Write

This is the part that is easiest.

What made the biggest difference for me in this respect was switching from typing to voice recognition. I went with the Google Docs Voice Typing feature, since it’s free, and available on all platforms.

Just doing this simple thing, increased my writing speeds by 3 to 5 times. Depending on just how complex the given topic is.

A 500-word piece would take me about an hour in the past. Nowadays, that’s 10-15 minutes, plus 5-10 for editing.

Once you have all the notes, ideas, and concepts laid out on the page, comes the tedious part.

Step Four: Edit & Proofread

I usually do my editing myself, with the help of HemingwayApp.

Then I drop the text into either Google Docs or Microsoft Word to catch any errors that might have slipped by.

Sometimes I ask my wife to read my writing for a final check-up, as she’s American, well read, and a very proficient writer.

Having a second set of eyes to rely on is always a good thing.

If you’ve found this helpful, or have comments, thoughts, or considerations about how this process can be improved, let me know in the comments.

Phil Bajsicki

Reading List – Hypnosis & Hypnotism

If you want to learn hypnosis from all sides that matter, this is The Reading List™.

It’s not particularly short, many of the books and works listed here are very theory-heavy.

Now, if you’re up to solving simple problems that you, or those around you have, you’ll find a lot of tools and techniques that you can immediately use in the Basics list.

And if you’re a copywriter/ salesperson looking to improve, you’ll want to focus on the more therapy-oriented titles on this list.

Lastly, if you’re here just to impress friends, you can’t go wrong with Reality is Plastic and the Stage Hypnosis section.

Basics of Hypnosis (mostly direct stuff)

A THEORY OF HYPNOSIS — Alfred A. Barrios, PhD

A good research-based overview of what hypnosis is, the ways it functions, and all that. It’s academic language, but it does cover everything in a coherent definition of what, how, and why.

Hypnotherapy — Dave Elman

One of the most, if not THE most important book on hypnosis and hypnotherapy so far. Must-read for anyone even remotely interested in practicing hypnosis in any extent whatsoever.

Yes, it is about therapy, but it covers all principles which are important.
And it does so in a very accessible manner.

Reality is Plastic — Anthony Jacquin

Excellent intro to practice, regardless of which direction you want to take later on. It’s a beginner’s book. It does cover things fairly direct perspective, and it makes in-person work easy. Which you should take advantage of; as suggestion remains suggestion regardless of medium.

Conversational (covert) Hypnosis

A lot of it mimics the approaches of conventional marketing. Yet the linguistic subtleties are something that I rarely see mentioned.

Worth your while, especially with regards to storytelling, using confusion, and metaphors.

Ericksonian Approaches — A comprehensive Manual — Thomas L. South

It explains most of the Ericksonian principles in a straightforward way, and opens the way for your study of the next book:

My Voice Will Go With You: The Teaching Tales of Milton Erickson — Sidney Rosen

Basically a script book. It contains the words of Milton Erickson. In-depth study of the way they’re written and their contents will prove very useful.

Literally anything by Igor Ledochowski

The authority on conversational hypnosis in this day, Igor went from lawyer to coach, to hypnotist. Any of his materials are pure gold as far as I’m concerned. What will be of most interest to writers are:

Power of Conversational Hypnosis,

Mind Bending Language System,

and World-Class Hypnotic Storyteller.

Therapy-oriented Materials

These are aimed at elaborating on issues, problems, and solutions a hypnotherapist can offer to their clients. This is definitely not something you can just pick up and use. It requires that you know what you’re doing, and that you can actually help your audience when implementing these ideas.

International Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis

Title says it all. The book is aimed at psychologists and psychiatrists, so the language can be rather dense at times.

Clinical Use of Hypnosis in CBT — Robin A. Chapman

If you’re interested in your target audience picking up healthier behaviors (such as selling coaching programmes), this is the book.

The Complete CBT Guide to Anxiety — Lee Brosan

Paired with the above, it gives insight into the methods of approach, the way to get your reader rid of anxiety. I imagine it especially powerful when their anxiety prevents them from taking action.

Hypnosis and Treating Depression — Michael D. Yapko

Same as above, except with depression. If you’re selling a good, life-changing program, deep knowledge of your audience is necessary. And what better way to start that process than by knowing what works, and what doesn’t?

Provocative Hypnosis — Jorgen Rasmussen

An absolute gem of a book, especially when you know your audience enough. That said, it does need a very deep familiarity with your prospects, so it’s quite difficult to use these methods reliably.

Stage Hypnosis and Mentalism

The reason this section is even here is because being in your audience’s heads is always an astonishing phenomenon for them. It gets attention really, really well.

The New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnosis — Ormond McGill

Everything you need to get out and run a show. You’ll find easy, quick and useful techniques of getting attention, guiding it, and utilizing it.

13 Steps to Mentalism — Corinda

Super-old book, but it’s still very much valid, and useful.

And… that’s it. There’s a lot more worthwhile books that I could recommend, but this should be a sufficiently wide spectrum of techniques and information to cover anything you might need, whether you’re writing copy, or helping friends out. Or making sales.

Phil Bajsicki

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