Copywriting Supertip—Use the Rule of Three

💫 💫 💫Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Time for another Supertip (this is a series I started on LinkedIn and figured why not add it to my website).

I love sharing information & connecting individuals with each other. While theology is my expertise a deep passion of mine is writing about writing. I want YOU to power-up your writing skills. You will be able to do that with this supertip!🚀

Here is my tip ⤵️

💡Excellent copy provokes a response.

It prods (like a bear in hibernation) and awakens your audience toward an action.

Legendary copy makes you act.

Here’s an epic example of copy from the comedy The Office.

Bears. Beets. Battle Galactica.

Jim used this line to get Dwight’s attention (and viewers).

This quip is among the most famous from the show.

I wear a hoodie with Jim’s quote…

And every single time I’ve worn the hoodie I got a reply at least once!

Bears. Beets. Battle Galactica.

It follows two important rules of copywriting:

🐻 Rule of three— include a trio in your copy to make it easier to remember

Use a pattern (small, medium, large) or a random break on the third item

🐻 Alliteration— the human brain loves similar sounds

Delight your readers with delectable copy.

That’s my tip. Now, the super part of comes in from YOUR participation in the comments!

Share a tip specific to your niche and tag a connection who helped you the past week in the comments ⤵️

Bears beets Battlestar Galatica
Best scene from The Office.

P. S. No bears or beets were harmed in the writing of this blog post. I can’t be for certain about whether any starships were captured by aliens.

Thank you for sharing!

Apostolic Analogies—Similarities with my Namesake Saint

 

 

 

 

 

 


Editor’s note: Article originally published on September 23, 2018.


According to Rick Riordan, author of the acclaimed young adult series Percy Jackson, “Names had power!”  Among the first questions people ask parents upon the birthday of a child is “which name did you choose? Names also possess a meaning.

Now you may or may not be aware of the meaning or purpose of the name your parents choose for you. If you are not aware, it would be an interesting conversation to discover why they choose a particular name? If there was no particular reason, it would still be interesting to look up the history of your namesake or the literal meaning of it!

The general reason for my name selection is due to my parents being Catholic had myself and my siblings to be named after a holy person who espoused the truths of the Gospels. While I am not entirely sure why my parents, specifically picked Matthew out of the myriad of Catholic saint names available.

Celebrating the feast day of the St. Matthew is something that I regrettable not truly did until last year. Along with eating a special dinner with my wife, reading today’s Gospel, and playing a fun board game, I am going to also celebrate by recognizing a few similarities I share with my personal patron!

You Owe Me

Within the past year, I took on a new position in the company as a student loan debt collector. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and modern technology certainly has softened collection practices in recent year. But debt collectors still don’t have a positive connotation in today’s society. Back in the time of 1st century Palestine, the stigma against debt collectors was prevalent. In fact, tax collectors were especially hated by the Jews as they were viewed as sell-outs who worked for the “evil” Roman Empire.

 

 

 

 

My new association with debt collections brings the challenges of dealing with angry, concerned, confused, and desolate customers. However, my new job comes with a hidden joy of being more closely linked with St. Matthew.

Lover of Theology

Along with sharing similar occupations with St. Matthew, I possess a thirst for discovering knowledge about God just like the Gospel writer. Theology refers to faith seeking understanding. Among the saints Matthew possessed a privileged opportunity of being selected as an Apostle of Jesus Christ. What is more, Matthew together with St. John are the only individuals able to claim being both an Evangelist and Apostle!

Matthew’s Gospel is laden with parables and the incredible Sermon on the Mount. He shows Jesus as the Good Teacher always willing to shed light on the truth of God’s love. I am always emboldened by the following words of Christ proclaims to conclude Matthew’s gospel, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19-20, emphasis added mine).

Called by God

While the saint whose moniker I bear did not always believe in Jesus, he experienced a profound conversation. Matthew’s calling is significant. All three Synoptic Gospels include this episode as important in the public life and ministry of Jesus.

Being a cradle Catholic myself, I lack that momentous public conversion that St. Matthew experienced. However, this does not mean that I never underwent a conversion. Actually, my Catholic faith and reliance has slowly deepened over the course of my college years, and nascent parenting years.

A couple years ago I took an assessment on the various charisms that would most likely be my natural God-given gift. My two highest [according to the questions I answered] included the charism of writing and evangelization. I’m sure St. Matthew helped foster those talents.

The craziness of wrangling three ( now four) overtired kids and bustle of the workday delayed my celebration of Matthew the Evangelist’s Feast Day. Tonight, I plan on celebrating my patron saint! Jesus choose an unworthy man to be among his apostles. If God can choose sinners and tax collectors, certainly we are called by Him to follow in the footsteps of the saints who came before us.


Collect [From the Liturgy of the Feast of St. Matthew]

O God, who with untold mercy were pleased to choose as an Apostle Saint Matthew, the tax collector, grant that, sustained by his example and intercession, we may merit to hold firm in following you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Related Links

St. Matthew the Evangelist

Saint Matthew- Franciscan Media

11 Awe-Inspiring Art Pieces That Celebrate Saint Matthew

An Unexpected Journey- How September 21st, 2017 Became the New Start to my Spiritual Life

Thank you for sharing!

Use Imagination to Relate to Your Children Better

Tolkien quote about imagination

💡Dadhack #123—Think like a child to relate better to your children

Someone made a comment to me that everything is rainbows and unicorns to me.

Initially, it upset me. But after thinking about it I realized he was right.

The young don’t have a monopoly on imagination.

Thank God for it because reading only the news or talking about serious stuff makes me curmudgeony.

Amelia had trouble sleeping because of her brother making noise (she had a long week at school)

I hugged her tight and told her,

“Tonight you’re a caterpillar. I’m wrapping you tight into a cocoon. Tomorrow you will be able to fly like a butterfly. Maybe we will see a butterfly and say, ‘Is that Amelia?'”

🦋 She gave a sheepish grin and a tired laugh.

I could have easily got frustrated (it’s been a long week and I have failed in similar situations in the past).

🌈 But I think the Holy Spirit gave me patience and the ability to summon up silliness (who doesn’t like butterflies or find them calming?) to help her calm down.

Imagination isn’t merely child’s play or silliness. It’s living life open to the possibility of a higher reality—a world where anything is possible.

Unicorns rhinos

I did end up replying to that comment 👇

🦏🦄I do believe in real unicorns (rhinoceroses).

😊😂😆

How does imagination help you as a parent?

Thank you for sharing!

Why You Need to Tell Your ‘Why’ Story

why questions

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” —Simon Sinek

That phrase is continued throughout his book Start with Why.

💡Your why or purpose for your personal brand or company will be something that sets you apart.

Is this something you thought about?

Start with Your ‘Why’

Don’t begin with what you do or even how your product or service works

❤️ The starting place has to be deeper— go to the heart of the matter.

It’s natural to start with asking someone: “What do work do you do?”

Have you considered asking people:

“Why are you a ___________?”

A bit uncomfortable question (maybe at first) right?

Here’s why I became a writer 👇

My first why was surviving depression from losing kids to miscarriage (I write to help show others how to survive a similar horror).

A second why is related to my first— my younger kids are my rainbow babies & they both need speech therapy.

Daily I have to listen 👂 carefully to what my kids needs because it’s not always clear.

💡This skill translates well into the workplace

Understanding the importance of communication has deepened my ability to help people communicate effectively.

🎯 What’s (there I am again with defaulting to ‘what’ 😅) your ‘why’?

Share yours in the comments ⤵️

Related Links

Start With Why- Simon Sinek

Why is it Important to Ask “Why?”

Thank you for sharing!

Why 2020 Will be The Return of the Simple Catholic

This marks the start of something new….

In April I almost died from Covid19

🔷Young

🔶No previous health conditions

🔷 I took plenty of Vitamins

But I still got sick— and my content game never recovered fully

But many times life never works out as planned.

The good guys lose and the bad guys win

By the grace of God and the support of my family, friends, and my faith community I survived the virus.

🎶 Let the good (insane) times roll 🎵

But the hits of craziness kept coming:

Remote learning for my kids (mental health drainer there)

The insane requirement on teachers (my wife is a special education teacher) forced me to rethink my approach to my freelance business.

I knew my limits— pandemic + special needs kids + increasing work demands at my “day” job made it a simple choice— I had to put a pause on consistent writing.

I’ve been living on recycled content (mostly) or less than my 💯 work.

I used to be ranked #92 in Feedspot’s Top Catholic Websites and Bloggers. Now I’m in the top 110. I’m not upset about the ranking loss. But I am a bit frustrated at myself for losing the influence I had to help educate and inspire Catholics across the world to find joy in the Gospel.

The Devil is in attack mode

The Enemy has attacked me unceasingly with the sins of anger and sloth. Too often I got distracted by others’ failure to take the pandemic seriously and that wrath zapped me of energy to read and write about Catholicism.

Return of The Simple Catholic

Today is the start of a restart— my goal for the rest of the year is to get more creative, collaborate more, and be more disciplined.

Why?

Because I want to provide YOU with a how-to guide to return from a bat 💩 crazy year and succeed (all the while thriving in the truth and hope of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Today I renew my commitment to earn back trust. I won’t wait for the calendar to flip to 2021. Partnering with the Holy Spirit and my team of The Simple Catholic Supporters I gathered over the past year or two, I will end 2020 on a high note.

How do you bounce back from a big backslide in success?

Thank you for sharing!

How Baseball Helps Your Copywriting

Writing Tips

🔆Copywriting tip— Use short paragraphs, sentences, and words to pack punch to your copy.

Writing is analogous to the flow of a baseball game.

⚾️ Think of the headline as the opening inning. It gets your the attention of your audience and sets the tone for the rest of your copy.

The first sentence leads to the second— the lead off hitter gets on baseball to set the other batters for success.

✅ Keep your sentences short to keep your readers’ attention

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes you need to have a longer sentence—especially when you want to provide facts or evidence for a claim.

Use those short punchy sentences to your advantage.

⚾️ Short punchy sentences are like hitting a home-run or grand slam. Immediate impact.

⚾️ Longer sentences are similar to hitting to playing small ball (stringing singles together, stealing bases, or sacrifice bunts to advance runners)😊

⚾️ Packing your copy’s lineup will get your audience’s attention, but without sentence variety you can’t defeat distractions.

✅ Hit for average (long sentences) and power (short, punchy sentences)when you write.

How do you arrange the rhythm of the paragraphs in your copy?

Thank you for sharing!

3 Reasons Why Containing Creativity is Impossible

Creativity

 

 

 

 


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 25, 2019.


Mark Twain wrote, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Recently, the “greatest American humorist” has showed up in a lot of my posts. His wit and eccentricity defy convention.  Boundless creativity define Twain and other classic writers.

Is this it in Life?

Sitting in my cubicle at my bank job got me thinking quite seriously about creativity, self-reflection, and life in general. During a long span between inbound calls, I gazed across the floor and noticed something—more accurately the absence of something. Perhaps it is the drudgery work, but I realized, my job does not reward creativity. Compliance, uniformity, and procedural elements dominate the world of finance. “Is this what life is truly meant to be?” I pondered.

Instructed to work within the limits of law, policy, and procedure, I learned that I cannot be free to create—new ideas, content, strategies, or even share best practices. Although I enjoy order, working in a solely unimaginative environment stymies my creative side. Along with my desire to evangelize and educate others on the Catholic faith, my primary motivation for writing was to satiate my creative thirst. Creativity cannot be contained. It may be limited and temporarily tempered, but it can never be truly contained.

Uniqueness Defeats Conformity

Uniqueness

Influenced by my faith and personal experience as a father to special needs children, I place high value toward individuality. My sons require an individualized education plan (IEP) to best succeed in school. Human beings are not meant to be uniform. We should celebrate our differences, strengths and limitations all together! Authentic diversity actually leads to true unity. This is best summed up in the Catholic Church.

St. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12 speaks of the importance of the uniqueness of the Body of Christ. United by Christ the diversity of the members is graced with the ability to work for the greater good.

Beyond Limits

Limitless gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another reason that containing creativity is impossible is because creation by its nature is limitless. French philosopher Albert Camus purported, “All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.” Creating art, language, music, and technology starts with the mentality of the limitless. The greatest act of creation, that formation of the Universe via the Big Bang, seems absurd. Creation out of nothing. Genesis 1 tells us  God created the formed the universe ex nihilo!

The Supreme Creator God definitely cannot be contained or limited. That would be contrary to God’s nature. However, that is a grandiose example of creativity. Creation simply  cannot be bound. My 5 year old daughter uses her imaginative and sees beyond the ordinary in everything. A rock becomes a “piece of chocolate”. Cardboard boxes become animals. Sticks become “silverware”. Pages and pages of drawings populate our kitchen table, bookshelves, and dresser tops. Maya Angelou describes the limitless nature of creativity perfectly when she said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Creativity Attracts

Creativity is Contagious, Pass it On

 

 

 

 

 

Along with the unique and boundless quality of creativity a third reason why imagination cannot be contained is due it is spread so easily. According to Albert Einstein, “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” Opposites attract. Creativity attracts exponentially more! Great imaginative minds never exist on their own. J.R.R. Tolkien attracted C.S. Lewis and vice versa.

Together they transformed literature in the 20th century. John Lennon and Paul McCartney collaborated to bring the world amazing music. The Wright brothers worked together to innovate transportation by developing the first airplane.

Whenever I feel my creativity spirit drying up I look to the creative individuals to reignite my creativity. Reading Tolkien, Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and the doctors of the Church such as Catherine of Siena and Teresa of Avila brings forth creativity. Creativity elicits more creativity.

If you are a writer stuck in an imaginative idleness please don’t despair. It is natural to experience periods of droughts, but creativity is never truly lost or fully contained. Seek out other creative individuals (both past and present). Learn from their works. Creativity lead to creativity. Embrace your uniqueness. Don’t try to be anyone else expect yourself. You have a 100% monopoly on being you—let this be your advantage!

Thank you for sharing!