Now name of the book look a little scammy but it has lots of golden gems. It goes into various ways to produce and promote your content. Some are very old school and also the sales pages off the author looks scammy since they have been used a lot.
So new marketers have come with better way to write sales pages. Although the psychology has not changed. People still but the info products. Markets Still sell how to information. Marketers still give bonus, how to guides etc.
Main things i learned from this book
The 4-step how-to writing process
- Organize content If it is a linear process, your outline can be a series of numbered steps describing what you do first, next, and so on
- Teach your subject to the reader. Use illustrations, stories, examples, case studies, photos, diagrams, tables, analogies, metaphors, comparisons—whatever it takes to make your subject clear to the reader. Give plenty of examples, worksheets, resources, and model documents that the reader can copy so he does not have to reinvent the wheel.
In fact, teaching a class is a pretty good way of assembling the content you need to write a book, manual, home study course, or other information product.
Good teachers organize the class syllabus into modules; these modules are the analog of chapters in a book. In addition, students often bring in interesting materials related to the discussion, and some of these can be used in your book.
If you teach a class, you may want to audiotape or videotape it and transcribe the sessions. This transcript will capture a lot of your content and your explanations of it, in roughly the order you would present them in a how-to book or series of articles.
- Polish your prose so it is clear, crisp, and concise. Teaching a class requires research and organization, but not writing. So even if you transcribe your class lessons, you will need to edit them into clear, coherent prose.
Here’s where your writing skill comes into play. When style is not dictated by the client, publisher, or format, write in a natural, conversational style, like one friend talking to another, or like a patient teacher looking over the reader’s shoulders. Use small words, short sentences, and short paragraphs. Avoid jargon. Write in plain simple English. Use frequent heads and subheads to break the writing up into short sections. Use bullets and numbered lists to make the text easier to scan and read.
The 7 most common writing mistakes and how to avoid them
- Laziness: Many writers are just plain lazy. They don’t want to do the hard work of researching their topic, so they fake it. As a result, the readers don’t get the information they want or need, and they become frustrated. It’s the writer’s job to find it and present it to the reader
- Visit this site or Google it. The reader has paid us for a book that is supposed to give the information, not refer him to the Internet for it. If he has to look at Google to find more price information, he is, in essence, doing the writer’s job. It’s okay to suggest web sites or Googling, but only after you have presented the information the reader needs
- Logical contradictions
- Rambling: It takes 135 words and basically says, “Web metrics are important and should be measured.” Given that the reader has shelled out $29 for an e-book on Web metrics, it’s safe to assume he already thinks it’s important. Therefore, this paragraph adds no new information or value and just takes up space. It’s rambling and has no point or purpose.
- Not realizing that words have meaning
- Writing that says nothing Do NOT write WEAK RAMBLING DRAFTS …WRITE bold Confident Competent writing.
- Running out of steam: Having Chapter 3 be 50 pages and Chapter 15 be three pages is a sign of author fatigue.
Matters of Voice
writer’s expertise in the topic matter and status in the field in relationship to the student’s knowledge and position.
“To be a powerful and effective communicator, whether in print, on the platform, on TV or radio, you need to communicate in your own special voice,” writes Ted Nicholas in The Success Margin. Nicholas defines “voice” as “nothing less than the sum total of your words, expressions, personality, and mannerisms that make you—you.”Ted Nicholas
3 basic voices:
- Experienced Expert
If you have been in the field a long time, have a lot of experience, and are highly educated in the subject, your voice is that of a top expert patiently teaching others his craft or topic.
examples of the experienced expert include Larry MacMillan on options trading and Suze Orman on personal finance.
- Knowledgeable Participant
This is the voice to use when you have not spent your life learning the field, but you do have more experience and expertise than your readers, and you are at least one or two steps ahead of them in the learning curve. You teach what you know, but are honest and admit you don’t know everything, and point your readers to experts who know more in certain subtopics whenever appropriate.
- Enthusiastic Amateur
Here, you freely admit that you are a peer of the reader rather than a superior, and your writings chronicle your adventures as you progress in your mastery of the craft or subject you are writing about. It has a collegial tone of “let’s explore this great subject together!”
Matter of Tone
good how-to writing, the tone should be conversational, easygoing, and natural
“a friendly, patient teacher looking over the reader’s shoulder.”
Even if you are the authoritative expert, you should keep things simple and accessible. Remember, part of your job is to motivate readers into pursuing the activity, not scare them into quitting.
According to a June 1982 article in the Harvard Business Review, here are the qualities of a personal writing style:
• Be warm.
• Use the active voice.
• Use personal pronouns.
• Use contractions.
• Write in a natural, conversational tone.
• Write in the first person and the second person.
• Vary sentence length.
• Let your personality shine through.
Matter of Style
Isaac Asimov notes that there are two chief aspects to any piece of writing: (1) what you say and (2) how you say it. The former is content and “the latter is style,” says Asimov
Since the primary goal of how-to writing is to communicate information, instruction, and ideas—and not tell a story, paint word pictures, or evoke strong feeling or emotion—the best style for the how-to writer is to say what you have to say in plain, simple English.
“I think most writers, even the best, overwrite,” said Truman Capote. “I prefer to underwrite. Simple, clear as a country creek.”
A simple, unpretentious, informal, conversational style with a friendly, patient tone is ideal for how-to writing. Literary or poetic style has no place here, nor does obscurity or intellectual wordplay.
“I have an informal style, which means I tend to use short words and simple sentence structure,” says Isaac Asimov. “The informal style pleases people who enjoy the sensation of feeling that the ideas are flowing from the writer’s brain into their own without mental friction.”