How to Bend the Rules in Your Copy and Succeed
Let’s start by saying one thing clearly (before we dive straight into this post) and we mean crystal-clearly…
Bending the Rules does not mean……
Breaking any rules and of course the law!
Running a red light (just because you are in a rush to work)
Jaywalking (because it is convenient for you)
Not paying your bill at a restaurant (for whatever reason)
Are all examples (in life) of breaking the rules (and ultimately the law)…
Which is 100% NOT what this blog post is about!
We are specifically talking about:
Bending (not breaking)
Copywriting rules (where appropriate) to:
Achieve Success, and
Be Original (your true self!).
Admirer of people (yes)
role model (no).
But ‘inspiration’ from this post comes from the greatest “bender of rules” of all time (in my opinion)…
And that is…
You can read more about what he calls “Break the Rules” (his wording not mine – prefer bending – much clearer!) in rule number 2 of his 6 rules to success.
But now let’s dive straight into it…
Take a deep breath
Open your mind, and
Get ready to…
Learn How to Bend the Rules in Your Copy and Succeed!
1. What is Bending the Rules in Copywriting Anyway?
… (for flow and / or build up purposes)
…… (for revealing something major)
“ “ (isolating copy in double inverted commas for style reasons)
Ever tried it??
– Never start a sentence with a conjunction
– Never use sentence fragments
– Never end sentences with a proposition.
Or even (and to be perfectly blunt):
Your writing must be…
Like that, or
That way (no exceptions!)
You know them and I know them:
They are the grammar Nazis and as this post ‘perfectly’ points out……
They are the worst!
They have a piece of paper…
Framed (and in a prominent position in their fancy office)…
Does it all really matter from a big picture copywriting point of view and achieving your end-goal??
As Kerrie Brooks points out (in this great post) there are grammar rules you can definitely break in Copywriting because:
Grammar rules (count)
Guidelines (count for more)
If “Bending a Rule” results in……
Winning Communication = Winning Copy
Have you really broken a rule??
No of course not (you have just bent it) to achieve:
Winning Results (the end-goal always in Copywriting!)
And that is exactly what we mean by “Bending the Rules” with your Copywriting.
Nothing more to:
Examples to give (without overloading you) because always remember:
Results = Happy Client = Happy Life!
But of course (and it goes without saying) that you need to always choose your ‘time’ and ‘place’ for “bending the rules” with your copy.
Because we all know each Client is different and some in fact could be:
When to “bend rules”, and
When “not to bend rules”
Is two things:
1. It is part of the “80% Art” of Copywriting (discussed in this top blog post), and
2. It is part of the “Instinct” of Copywriting (discussed in this top blog post).
That is “Bending the Rules” in Copywriting explained (but stay with us now) as we discuss the “how” of:
“Bending the Rules” in Copywriting!
2. How to Bend the Rules and Win in Copywriting!
Good news and bad news.
The good news is that it is easy to start today “bending the rules” in Copywriting.
The bad news is that without knowing:
To “bend the rules” is subjective and an art:
And as mentioned earlier (discussed in this blog post) – Copywriting is 80% Art!
Let’s start with what you can do today…
The first key to learning to “bending any rule” in Copywriting is to:
Master your mental game.
Because that is the key to success (as you would have heard a zillion times and maybe rolled your eyes each time you heard it)…
But this is…
The ‘ultimate tip’ if you’ve only ever:
Played by the Copywriting rule book (is there even one?!), and Never bent a rule!
You can read 6 great tips (from Lifehacker about Mastering your ‘fear’ here).
But (in my opinion) key to mastering fear is to think of the ‘worst’ possible result that can happen and say is it:
Worse than death, or
Worse than being in jail (two worst scenarios I can think of)
And then if not:
What is the worst that can happen?!
Because if the end-result (that you have overplayed no doubt countless times in your head – play by play) is no big deal…
And can bring you closer to success (what we all want in the big picture) then:
After you have mastered your mental game – start small!
Because the worst thing you can do is constantly have (in the back of your mind – when writing copy) is “I need to bend a rule.”
Let it be your ‘instinct’ (critical and as discussed in this blog post) that dictates:
Bend a rule!
But when doing so (always) ask yourself this question:
Am I doing this for a better end-result or just because convenient?
Because ‘convenience’ in breaking rules = poor choice
End-result in breaking rules (optimal) = great choice
My final tip (in what you can do) today to start “bending” some Copywriting rules is:
Read some of the greatest Copywriters ‘copy’ and ask yourself…
In their copy did they ever break a rule to achieve a better-end result!
And if that fails:
Just check out the top ‘blogs’ you follow, or
Scour the next for some of the ‘top ‘blogs’ (in an area of your interest) and…
Because will absolutely bet you…
You will find some “bent copywriting rules” along the way!
That is what you can do today (master mental game, start small and check resources).
And what about tomorrow??
Well (and as we mentioned earlier) that is the bad news and what takes time because….
Art (all 80% of it in Copywriting – as discussed in this blog post) takes time as it is all about:
Understanding the “Wonders of Copywriting”
Having a “Passion for Copywriting”, and
Believing “You are the Authority.”
Again – please check out this blog post – where we discuss the 80% Art of Copywriting in more detail).
That is the psychology behind the “how” to…
“Bend the Rules” in Copywriting explained (but last / not least) let’s discuss why bending the rules is key to being……
3. Why Bending the Rules in Copywriting is Key to Being Original (and your true self)
The “art” of being original all boils down to two things and that is:
Does a person seek instant gratification?
Does a person seek delayed gratification?
Parents and grandparents (even great grandparents):
Always gave us those famous words of wisdom (throughout early childhood / teens / adulthood)…
And that is…
To be yourself!
But how many of us realistically do it in reality??
During our demanding (and grinding) 9-5 job
During our biggest (insert big obstacle) challenges
During life’s major (weddings etc) events.
Because “Bending the Rules” in Copywriting (or whatever it is for that matter) leads to……
Originality = Your True Self.
And of course, it is everyone’s goal in life to combine these traits to be:
Your Best Self!
But before you throw your hands in the air
Reach up to the sky (trying to touch the stars), and
Get all excited …
Calm down because you first need to understand the ‘science’ (yes no longer ‘art’ – we have talked a lot of that) of why:
Most people follow the crowd (and are not original).
As reported by Psychology Today (read more here) we are influenced by others:
We are big on:
Popularity (being the crowd favourite)
Groups (influencing us all the time)
Learning (from what other people are doing)
And is there anything wrong with that??
Of course not – because as Psychology Today reports we live in a ‘complex world’ where:
Others affect our behaviour.
But stop for a moment.
Because ‘bending the rules’ in your copy does not necessarily make you a ‘non-crowd follower’ and ‘original’ because…
It is a big wide world (just scour the net) and many Copywriter’s like to succeed by……
Bending the Rules!
But it is a gigantic step in the RIGHT DIRECTION that says you:
Recognise (your fear)
Embrace (your fear), and
Take (your fear) head on…
To block out any naysayers (any outside influence at all) and truly focus on what matters and that is:
Not results (just by being different) but…
Results (because you dared to be different) and really believed this would be your:
Winning edge over all your competition!
And that is (from the very biggest picture) why “bending the rules” is key to being original (and your true self) and now…
Let’s quickly wrap this blog post up!
How to “Bend the Rules” in Copywriting and Succeed Wrap-Up
Life is short (as we all know).
Life is a game (as some people like to say).
Life is beautiful (whichever way you look at it).
Work the ‘hardest’ on your mental game (half the battle as a Copywriter) and learn to focus on:
The End-Result (what matters).
And that end-result can be:
Without breaking any rules, or
Breaking the rules (subject of this blog post)…
There is no RIGHT or WRONG Answer.
But (if you choose) to say yes to:
Through “originality” (and being) your true self…
By “breaking some rules” (along the way)…
You will go a long way towards…
Conquering your fears (what will ultimately master your mental game) and……
Winning BIG in Copywriting!
Over to You…
Do you like to “bend the rules” in Copywriting or are you more of a stickler for perfect grammar? Would love to hear from you in the comments – any feedback is greatly appreciated.
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