AS1_Copy_CourtIn an excerpt from the first Action Seminar, John Carlton’s panel of expert copywriters critique a participant’s webpage, discussing the how to create a personal voice in one’s writing.

Their comments:

And just reading your opening here, it sounds to me like you are trying to follow the rule of short sentences.  Because it is not very conversational.  You’re adhering more to your sentence structure than you are to a conversational tone.  My name is Robert Earl Howells, call me Bob.  I’m a freelance writer.  A very successful one.  If you came up to me and started talking that way, I’d try to get away.

“Hi, my name is Bob.  I’m a successful freelance writer”.  Keep in mind that your ultimate goal…grammar doesn’t matter, sentence structure…you don’t want run-on sentences or crazy things.  But the most important thing is that it sounds just the way you speak.  So, read it out loud, and see if you would engage someone with that conversation.

Another thing, and I don’t see it at the top of the screen right now…You’ve got a list of bullets, which I’m not sure that that’s what you want to do there.  You’re credentializing yourself too early, in my opinion, then this “Hi”.  With the golf ads, for example, it’s “dear fellow golf nut”.  That’s a John Carltonism, but “Hi” is too weak.

You’re credentializing yourself too early, but I would like to hear your story earlier.  Your story is what’s really strong.  It’s a fascinating story about travel writing and the excitement of it.

That’s in the video

Doesn’t matter.  You can’t assume that people will watch the video.  Don’t let it go without backing it up with text copy, unless it’s the only thing on the page.

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