Read time: 3 minutes.
In today's issue, I'm sharing a tactic. A little trick I like to use.
There's no doubt in my mind that this one technique has single-handedly taken my writing to the next level. And it can do the same for you. Want to know something?
I'm using it right now...
It's not a copywriting technique.
And no, it's not difficult to implement. So before you start picking up your pitchforks, allow me to explain. I'm still using the method.
Have you picked it up yet? I'll give you a hint. It's called the 1-3-1.
✍🏼 1-3-1 Technique
I must give credit where credit is due.
A famously popular digital writer showed me this technique and it was none other than Nicolas Cole. You may have heard of him. Once I started using the 1-3-1 (as I'm sure you can tell in most of my writing), I acquired a significant habit of abusing it.
The reason is, it just works too well!
So here's what it looks like (enjoy a screenshot from my Medium post about it).
It'll help you "flow like a pro in no time" as I attempted to convey on Medium.
🧪 The Science Behind the System
Essentially, this does one thing well.
It keeps the reader incredibly engaged. I think that's due to a couple of reasons. It gives your writing a rhythm, kind of like a musical melody. It's the variation of sentence structure that hypnotizes people.
American writer, Gary Provost, said it best (you'll love this).
Now, it's not quite the same as my beloved 1-3-1, but the essence remains.
Paragraph structure definitely depends on where and who you're writing for, but in most digital writing environments, I find that the 1-3-1 does the job beautifully.
After all, we are living in an attention economy. The era of digital distraction. And unfortunately for us, visuals dominate the landscape. But fear not!
Our skills (and the ones you'll continue to learn from this newsletter) are more than enough to take on the titans of content. We will fight our war with words. And receive the benefits of battle!
It's a bit dramatic, I know.
💸 What About Making Money?
You might be left wondering what this has to do with monetization.
You know I got your back. Always. The point of using this sentence structure stuff is precisely what I previously mentioned. To keep the reader engaged. Because when we can keep the reader reading, we can continue to earn.
I'll give you a few examples.
On Medium, we're paid by reading time. So, it (literally) pays to have the reader remain on the screen.
On a landing page, the call to action (which encourages a consumer to whip out their wallet) typically resides at the bottom. So, it would make a lot of sense that stringing the reader along toward the bottom is a good way to get them to pay.
Here's one more.
It's an indirect method. The longer you keep the reader around, the more trust is built. The stronger the bond becomes. Think of it like a relationship.
A reader who trusts you will listen to you. They'll want to support you. And that can easily mean more money. But if you ask me, trust and support are worth more than common currency.
🧠 Final Thoughts
Techniques like this are unforgettable.
Because once you start using them, they just stick. That's how good they are and how good this one is. See?
Still using it.
But beware. I told you before that I acquired a significant habit of abusing it. Sometimes, I literally can't stop using it. We must understand (as digital writers) that it's totally okay to "break the rules" a little bit.
I encourage you to notice the habits you form as you write because I know it took me quite some time to realize that I was relying on this. Almost as a crutch.
Some habits are good (and I don't think this is a horrible one), but just do me this favor if you will.
Remain on your toes...