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How to Bend the Rules in Your Copy and Succeed

Arnold Schwarzenegger talking at event and pointing to head
Arnold Schwarzenegger Achieved Success by Bending the Rules and You Can too with Your Copy!


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!

stop sign
Listen Carefully Because Bending the Rules in Copywriting is Not About Breaking Any Rules!


We are specifically talking about:

 

Bending (not breaking)

 

Copywriting rules (where appropriate) to:

 

Win

Achieve Success, and

Be Original (your true self!).

 

Me:

Admirer of people (yes)

Inspirational role model (no).

But ‘inspiration’ from this post comes from the greatest “bender of rules” of all time (in my opinion)…

 

And that is…

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnold Schwarzenegger cartoon in suit
Arnie Sure Knew How to Bend a Rule to Make it to the Top!


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…

 

But first:

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??

 

But:

– 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 this

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……

grammar-nazis-tell-you-not-to-bend-rules-copywriting

They are the worst!

 

They have a piece of paper…

 

Framed (and in a prominent position in their fancy office)…

businessman looking out window with stunning view of entire city


That they worked years and years to get…

 

They went to OxfordCambridge or Harvard

 

And (at least in their mind) they have the:

 

 Very Best Education You Can Get.


BUT (Stop. Wait. Think).

red and white stop sign


Does it all really matter from a big picture copywriting point of view and achieving your end-goal??

 

Because…

 

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)

 

But ultimately…

 

If “Bending a Rule” results in……

 

Winning Communication = Winning Copy

 

Have you really broken a rule??

confused man scratching head


No of course not (you have just bent it) to achieve:

 

Winning Results (the end-goal always in Copywriting!)

bending-rules-copywriting-can-lead-results


And that is exactly what we mean by “Bending the Rules” with your Copywriting.

 

Nothing more to:

Say

Explain, or

Examples to give (without overloading you) because always remember:

 

Results = Happy Client = Happy Life!

woman jumping in air and letting go of colourful balloons


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:

 

Grammar Nazis!

 

Ultimately, choosing:

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:

 

When

Where, and

How

 

To “bend the rules” is subjective and an art:

 

And as mentioned earlier (discussed in this blog post) – Copywriting is 80% Art!

bending-rules-copywriting-subjective-and-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.

Master Yoda seated
You Don't Need to be a Master Jedi like Yoda to Master your Mental Game in Copywriting!


And 7 mental toughness tips from a former navy seal trainer is a great starting point (for overcoming it).


But I would like to summarise those 7 tips into the most important tip:

 

Master your fear!

young woman poking tongue out at growling polar bear


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:

 

The only way is ‘through fear (as reported by Psychology Today).


After you have mastered your mental game – start small!

after-mastering-mental-game-start-small-bending-rules-copywriting


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:

tiger chasing bird on snow


When, and

When not…

 

To potentially:

Tweak

Reshape, and

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

bending-rules-copywriting-all-about-end-result


Remember that!

 

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…

learn-from-greatest-copywriters-bending-rules-copywriting


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…

learn-top-blogs-bending-rules-copywriting


Read

Absorb

Learn.

 

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:

pink cloud bursting blue background


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……

 

Original!

 

 

3. Why Bending the Rules in Copywriting is Key to Being Original (and your true self)


One “Life”

One “Brain”

One “Chance”…

 

The “art” of being original all boils down to two things and that is:

 

Does a person seek instant gratification?

 

Or…

 

Does a person seek delayed gratification?

art-being-original-comes-down-gratification-seeked


Because as the Marshmallow Test (summarised here by The Atlantic) shows:

 

‘Patience’ is Key to Success in Life.

businessman riding large snail


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.

red bird moving opposite direction


And of course, it is everyone’s goal in life to combine these traits to be:

 

Your Best Self!

bending-rules-copywriting-can-lead-to-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:

scientist viewing test tubes


Most people follow the crowd (and are not original).

 

As reported by Psychology Today (read more here) we are influenced by others:

 

Incredibly!

 

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.

crowd of people walking city


But stop for a moment.

red and white stop sign


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!

man efficiently pushing sphere ahead of men pushing boxes
This Could be You Out in Front Pushing The Sphere if You Dare to Bend the Rules in Copywriting!


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

video wrap
Let's Quickly Wrap this Blog Post 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:

Work Hardest on Mental Game as Copywriter


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:

 

Winning

Success, and

Results

 

Through “originality” (and being) your true self…

 

And…

 

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.

 

Want to Talk Copywriting or SEO?

Please contact me and let’s have a chat!

grammar-nazis-tell-you-not-to-bend-rules-copywriting

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from You!

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