Action Catalyst Blog

What Bestselling Writers Know that Most People Don’t

Could you be a best-selling author?

When I was young, I never wanted to be a writer or thought of myself as one – let alone a best-selling author.

I wanted to be an entrepreneur and a speaker.

After that, I found my way into writing – and it’s become a key part of my life and of our business at Southwestern Consulting.

You might not think of yourself as a writer, but writing has become a very important skill in the world of elevating sales and generating business.

We use the written word in texts, emails, email funnels, websites and so on – there’s all types of ways companies use the written word to communicate, influence and sell.

I’ve become a best-selling author and along the way, there are a lot of lessons I’ve learned about writing and specifically about using the written word to sell.

One of my favorite quotes about books, sales and best-selling authors is from Robert Kiyosaki: “Remember, they don’t call it New York Times best-writing author. It’s New York Times best- selling author.”

That’s really a key distinction and something to remember: Writing is very often a vehicle or a medium to move people to take action.

It’s a skill that’s useful to all of us regardless of whether you think of yourself as an author or a blogger or a copywriter.

All of us use the written word to influence.

That’s why I want to share with you perhaps the greatest secret about writing – what best-selling writers know that most people don’t.

If you understand this one idea, it’ll instantly make you a great writer.

It’ll instantly make you a more influential writer.

It’ll dramatically increase the likelihood that you can use the written word, whether in email, texting, on websites or through email funnels, landing pages, blogging or books.

Here it is: There’s no such thing as a great writer. There are only great editors.

There’s no such thing as great writers. There are only great editors.

That’s what best-selling writers know that most writers don’t.

You’re not going to write the most influential thing the first time.

You’re not going to write the best copy the first time.

You’re not going to write a book that everybody just loves to read the first time.

Step one is that you write and step two is good editing.

It’s really about the editing process – and most people don’t spend enough time editing.

They fire off the text without thinking about it. They hit send on the email before they process how the reader might receive that information. Or they publish a web page without putting enough time or energy into it.

Remember, you’re not just a writer, you’re an editor.

I’m going to share with you two tips on how to be a great editor.

Learn how to edit with a microscope and a telescope.

These are two different types of editing that you can apply to everything you write.

Editing with a microscope is the first type of editing – it’s also called copy editing.

This is how most people think of editing – looking at word choice, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. That’s editing with a microscope.

I’d say that the other type of editing – editing with a telescope – is more important.

That’s not editing up close. That’s standing back and looking at your writing from afar.

Now what are you doing there? First, you’re editing the overall emotion. You’re editing the overall experience that your piece creates.

While you write word by word, then you need to step back, read the whole piece and ask, “What’s the energy being conveyed here? What’s the emotion being transferred?”

That’s what selling is – a transference of emotion.

That’s what persuasion is – when we write, we’re almost always communicating or influencing or persuading someone to do something.

Step back and read all the copy and make adjustments.

These are all things we teach in our digital marketing, coaching and consulting, and our lead generation at Southwestern Consulting.

Also look at your web pages – the photos, the colors and the call-to-action button, which should be the brightest color on the page.

Don’t get so lost in all the words that you miss adding in the call to action or behavior you want to elicit from your reader.

It’s so easy to forget that. And that’s why you have to edit, not with just your microscope, but with your telescope.

What’s the call to action? What are the colors? What are the pictures on the page, and what type of energy do those pictures convey?

It’s not just looking for commas and periods and semi-colons.

It’s editing for an experience and an emotion you’re creating for your reader.

There’s no such thing as great writers.

There’s only great editors.

If you’re going to be a great editor, you want to edit in two different ways: with a microscope and a telescope.

You can also request a free call to learn more about the ongoing training, coaching and consulting that we do with people – including how to use the written word to communicate with and sell to your customers.

So, use the written word to influence – do it through being a great editor, not just a great writer.

2 Responses

  1. Hi exceptional blog! Does running a blog similar to this take
    a massive amount work? I have very little expertise in coding however I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, should
    you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners
    please share. I understand this is off subject nevertheless
    I simply needed to ask. Many thanks!

  2. Julie Gardner says:

    Wonderful! Rory, you definitely lead the way and inspire. Every time I read your TTS book I want to get to writing.

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