How I Write: Sales Pages, Video Scripts, Blog Posts

How I Write: Sales Pages, Video Scripts, Blog Posts

53 thoughts on “How I Write: Sales Pages, Video Scripts, Blog Posts

  1. I like the index cards with short notes. I always avoided writing ideas out because I write so slow and my thoughts would be way ahead of my hand.

  2. I love this! It's great to see your process, it's great that you go from analog to digital! Also note there is a really cool app called "self control" that will stop all your distracting notifications and it won't even allow you to log into facebook for whatever time you have set up (even if you reboot!) https://selfcontrolapp.com/

  3. Great video Derek. Thanks for the insights of your creative process.
    For me, I dance it out. Literally I’m in dance class (or it could be the gym) and I have to keep running off to write down the ideas. It often comes to me like a movie, a conversation, (usually with animations, drone shots and dance breaks!)
    And then it can get turned into the content. Part of my challenge is my ideas can be a lot more fierce than the finalizing which is why your video helped me and I have people on my team who are genius at that. But there’s always room for growth. I’m going to try your technique and let you know. Plus get some more help to get all these ideas created into the content I vision. Thanks and see you tomorrow! 👍🏼

  4. I love the analog approach! I also find the digital world very distracting and I even go so far as switching my phone in plane mode by a set time every day so that I can decompress and relax and do my daily rituals. One thing that I read that I believe it was on an article by Ryan Holiday is that when he is going to write he just pretends that absolutely no one cares about what he is writing about and he must use the best words to convince people that his article is worth reading. Then he gives all articles his all. Great video!

  5. Yes!!! This is Gold, Derek! As you know I do a lot of work with stuck creatives and the "tyranny of the blank page is a REAL THING!" It seems like I'm forever telling people to stop making their first step to sit down at the computer… Dude! That's step FOUR! There's a reason that big-time Hollywood screenwriters STILL in 2018 start with a big stack of notecards and thumbtack them all to a corkboard… Figuring out the "big points" and the structure is most easily accomplished before we jump into a word processing program.

    The other thing I find super interesting is that this idea doesn't just apply to writing. I can't tell you how many visual artists I know who start with a notecard, or a pad of post it notes… They sketch the thing in a small "one minute sketch"… and maybe they do it a DOZEN times… or more(!), refining the ideas as they go… BEFORE they ever sit down to do the ACTUAL thing. I mean just consider… we have sketchbooks from Leonardo Da Vinci… even HE used sketches as a necessary part of his process!

  6. 0:13–0:30 LOL. Why does this look so familiar?

    I usually start writing on paper not only because it's more distraction-free, but because it feels more tangible and I don't feel like I'm stuck frozen against a blank screen. I do have some difficulty organizing my thoughts and could use something that helps provides more structure, so I may give your index card approach a go.

  7. Once again, a fantastic video on how to be more efficient, and get into the flow. Your new videos are literally a master class in creating a million dollar business. I do the same as you, map out the big ideas, write to the finish, then edit. I don't use index cards, but I do love some of the mindmapping software.

  8. I like the ideas here and will definitely add them to my writing repertoire. Personally, I take a similar approach walking my dog a little after sunrise and then taking a shower with a pen and note pad on the counter so that I can write down any ideas that pop up

  9. I've found these points really useful to writing 😉 … "Copy is never written. Copy is assembled"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8DVNa0mCtk

    Thanks Derek!

  10. This advice is gold.

    I use the exact same process. But that's only because I was taught it – at university, by an English tutor… on a course that cost £35k+.

    It's the best system out there, especially for dyslexics (like me), and people that think they can't write.

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. I love this ………i have a similar process in where most of my ideas originate on my daily walks with my labradoodle . I use my notepad app on my phone to make note of my ideas and I have everything sorted into categories …… reminds me of a digital version of your index card box of notes from books you read. 🙂 another great video Derek. Love seeing the process of successful people!

  12. Baller!!! Two MAJOR takeaways – Analog and Attention grabbing via benefit or conflict. Holy sh!t I’m happy I saw this today. I’m now rethinking my first email to launch a new product. It wasn’t quite on point yet, but the “closing gap conflict” was EXACTLY what I needed. Thank you! Keep rocking your vids because they are BALLER!

  13. Hey Derek, I am totally a paper and pencil kinda person myself and loved this video. And have a quick question – do you set yourself a time limit on the process? That's one thing that I secretly wonder about all the time – 'would they be taking this long to get it all together?'

  14. Yes – index cards! I used this method too for structuring complex topics (that have a lot of subtopics shuffled around). I type faster than I write so for simpler outlines, normally just switching off the wifi helps. I also keep a notebook where I write ideas on the go. I found that James Altucher's method of writing 10 ideas a day really helps me become more creative. Lastly, keeping a bookmark folder or screenshots of great copy and sales pages has really helped in writing better!

  15. I like your process. IM the kind of person who can sit at the computer and just start writing. I guess that’s unusual. But I used to write radio spots.

  16. Favorite so far🔥🔥🔥 I like to review the notes you helped me create through the blog that converts course.

    I really like how you said you look for the most interesting parts that’ll catch the viewers attention. And the biggest benefit. Stuff I already knew but you made simple.

  17. So….I laughed when I saw you sitting at your computer desperately trying to come up with ideas. It took me back to when I first started blogging, and I sat down at the computer to begin writing a blog post. I sat there and I sat there and I sat there and….nada, nothing, zero, zilch. Then one day when I was watching TV (frustrated because I couldn't come up with any ideas while sitting at the computer) the things I was watching on TV triggered all kinds of ideas. I ran and grabbed paper and pen and within the hour I had over a whole page of ideas written down.
    I realized at that moment that I needed my mind to be busy on other things, but still in seek and find mode. I also learned to always have pen and paper on me to take notes, because if I didn't write the idea down at that moment, it would go up in smoke. After doing this for quite some time, it all became habit. I am constantly finding ideas to write about. When I sit down to write a blog, I just grab my notes and I'm ready to go, I never sit at the computer staring at it hoping for the blog fairy to sprinkle blog dust on me. I don't know what I would do if someone hadn't invented pen and paper.
    P.S. I recently left the house one day without pen and paper (that never happens)….panic set in, I felt so naked and afraid (yes, pun intended).

  18. Best one yet! Super helpful. I love that you go for a walk. That’s definitely my go to for getting my creative juices flowing. I like to create bullet point lists of all my ideas and then read over it to figure out a structure and what stays and goes, but I am curious to try out your index card method. Thanks!

  19. It feels like you shot this video just for me.  I like writing, but have been feeling that I'm horribly inefficient at it.

    Between today and tomorrow, my goal is to write the scripts for three videos of a four part video series.  I'm going to try your method, because I just don't have a good one.  I have a science degree for gods sake!

    So, I'm off to take my dogs for a walk, even though I want to get to work.  I'll let you know how it goes!

    Thanks!!!

  20. Oh I LOVE the Sharpie idea with the cards to stay away from details at first! Putting your first thoughts on index cards is also easy to rearrange and get a good visual. And it's like arts & crafts! 🙂

    Wow this was a lot of meaty information. I have to listen again!

    What a great process for writing! I love that once you enter your outline, you don't just start writing from there; you note what research and data you need to do to come up with that info. And then you go do THAT before you start writing.

    You have to be patient with your process. Mine shows my impatience…

    My process is more like what you said you DON'T do. Well, I will hand-write an outline on paper. It gets pretty messy as I change my mind and rearrange things. I put the outline into a Word doc, and then start writing out from each item. I actually stop when I get to a point where I need research, and do the research — right in the middle of my writing process. Oy I'm cringing as I write this after listening to you. I edit and fuss with it. THEN I walk away (or wait until the next day) to go through it and edit again. Then publish. Your process looks way smarter. It's more methodical and streamlined.

  21. This is fantastic!

    I love that your process involves walking. I’ve been trying to incorporate walking into my afternoon for ages and now I have an excuse that ties into my business. Boom! (Apparently the health and relaxation benefits aren’t enough for me).

    I also love that you start offline. I’m a pen an paper lover and the idea of cards sounds fun. I would never have thought of using a sharpie though…but it’s true. With a normal pen I’d wanna go buck wild and write a lot.

    Seriously…this is such a valuable video!!! Love it!

    How do you open up a post? Open up an information gap. Gap between what they know and what they want to know.

    1. Biggest benefit, eye catching.
    2. Most aggravating conflict.

    As for editing, this is SO true. Write it ALL and then edit.

    As for my process for writing, I just vomit it all on the page. Yup. I tend to get ideas at night, just sit down and let it pour out of me.

    Then I go back and find places where I can add screenshots and make my own GIFs (cause that’s ma’thang), and then I’ll let it sit and go back to review it.

    Reading it a loud is also key for editing. I love your process though and I’m excited to try it out!! 😉

  22. Good stuff! Your process reminds me a lot of mind mapping techniques I have seen in the past. Got some good takeaways from this video. Especially your opening statements/paragraphs approach! Thanks!

  23. So, i also love getting up and walking – always get my best ideas when I'm moving.😁

    Also, GENIUS using a sharpie! Keeping my big ideas and narrowing down content. This us quality info. Leving digital tools OFF until you're ready to outline is also a way to overcome the number 1 hindrance to progress; distraction.

    Flippng through the files 🤣 great little story. ❤

    I also love all your statistics… I'm going to have to start keeping records. Yours always capture my attention.

    I think my process to blogging was get a mocha and go to a quiet place with my laptop and start writing but all of the problems you described always happened distractions. Squirrel! Nut since there's no outline difficulties moving forward Etc as far as getting the ideas though, I almost always get my best ideas in the gym on a walk especially if I'm in the forest or by the ocean or, hilariously, in the bathroom. 🤣
    Sometimes just getting up and moving around gets the ideas flowing again.

    This is some great content Derek. Thank you.

  24. Thank you for the insight Derek!

    The way I do it:

    1. Outline on paper first
    Answering these questions: what, why, when, where?

    2. Try to avoid bloating: cut off parts that don't fit into the context (These I learnt from Sean D'Souza)

    3. Into wordpress editor: the outlines will be headings, time to fill with text.

    But I'm not perfect, I write and edit at the same time, which is not good…
    Mind though, my posts are very image based, there are a tons of illustration and pics. I mostly use Evernote Web Clipper or Canva for these.
    Making these images kind of disrupt the flow of creating content.

    New things in your video for me were:

    1. using small notes with a sharpie, so I can't write more (there's always the urge :))
    2. Researching and commenting in Google Docs

    I will definitely use these two tips!

  25. Few things in life suck more than staring at a white page and trying to be insightful.

    I spent last year learning the ukulele. Yes the uke. Anyway the first time I tried to write a song I tried to sit and compose something. I learned I am not a composer.

    A few days of beating my head against the wall I just started playing riffs on things I knew. Then jot them down and tie them together. At some point, I realized it’s like my writing style. I put down bullet points/riffs/ideas and then organize. Clean up and organize again. Rinse and repeat until the flow is where I want it and all that is left to do is bulk it out with whatever it is I want to convey or tie it together.

    Great post. Thanks for the high-level view and then details.

    It’s not really the same style but I think the enthusiasm with sharing your depth of knowledge that you have in this post reminds me of the infectious excitement that made the Social Triggers podcast one of my favorites. This actually seems a bit less clinical and more, dare I buzzword, authentic. My favorite video so far. (I kind of miseds the gong though…)

  26. Derek you are so organized! No wonder your content is always so interesting and valuable! I have a similar process, I do an outline, collect research that will be useful, think of a catchy, relatable intro, and then flesh it out all in one go, then take a walk or play piano or drive somewhere, chew on it some more, and note any straggling ideas that should be added. Then I re-read it, take out any excess, add in the last ideas if needed, edit and publish.

  27. Is just me or am I the only that really LOVES then ending where the elevator music plays. Makes me smile for some reason.

  28. Thanks Derek, very nice way, simple, straight, no nonsense, and very usefull way to organize a process…
    Very cool plant wall behind you too…!!! I like it a lot…
    Thanks for the content …
    Have a great week…

  29. Thak you Derek! I feel so relieved that I don't have to do everything digitally. I love walking and talking my ideas out and now that I know I'm not alone in this I feel even more freedom to trying working this way. If you can be successful this way surely I can too! And then there are the notecards. I have a good friend who was writing a book and he had note card collage on an entire wall. It was great for brainstorming and helped him to reorganize the book more easily as it expanded. Do you do this for short content such as your blog every time?

  30. I hate a blank Word document more than anything else computer related! I so much prefer your approach of starting the real writing work away from the computer.
    This video was so very insightful and inspiring. You better believe I’ll be trying this in the coming days. Thank you so much Derek! I feel like you made this video just for me. Perfect timing.

  31. NOthing better than pen and paper!!! (japanese paper). 🙂 I get "divine downloads" so if I write it out on paper then stuff just flows out of me more so than at the computer. But I type way faster and find that writing on paper breaks my wrists. Ha ha

  32. This was probably your best vlog so far. I’m probably going to have to rewatch it two or three more times to get all the valuable information you gave. So in blogs should we talk casually as if we’re speaking to friends or professionally? Wonderful video keep it up!

  33. Again great advise Derek. I am just starting out and my biggest fear was/is being with out inspiration, writers block. I always considered myself bad in this because I started from an empty screen. This video and the one from a few days ago really changes my approach. I really, really wish they told me this back on high-school!!!

  34. Derek, you’re sexyAF. Thanks for sharing your process, it helps me understand why I was so overwhelmed and hated writing and obviously now, a way to address it 👊

  35. How I Write: I start writing whatever I'm most excited to write.  Get that stuff out of my system.  Get the main point onto the page.  Then, sit back, look at what I have, bridge the pieces together, flesh out the argument, solve for the middle.  Iterate.  It's not the cleanest and quickest version of getting it done, but it works for me.

  36. Awesome, Derek! I had just written a short video script, and am really grateful for your insight and helpful instructions!! I'm revising this one, and looking forward to using some of your tips for next time. ALSO, I have a request. How can I get in touch with you directly? Thanks.

  37. Hey Derek, another great video, thank you. Just today we went through almost this exact process, only with stickie notes….and we keep doing this to flush out the process and make certain we are getting all the steps we need to give the idea or action life. When I write, my brain tends to see things in finished mode, and I am fortunate to be able to go straight to the computer and bang it out. Of course after a few edits and re-writes this is the sales page or headline we need. Thanks again Derek, you are bringing the fire!

  38. Hey Derek! I get a variety of emails every day from all of the travel emags, online stores and digital influencers (like you!) I follow, and if the post idea or title fits into something I could cover in my own blog, I file these emails into individual Gmail folders for future reference. So it's similar to your index card idea in that I'm sifting and filing away ideas that I will likely revisit. Once I decide on a topic for my blog, I scroll through the emails within the specific category folder (Eg. Wedding Guest outfits) and I copy and paste key words from the emails and input additional thoughts into a multi-tab Google Excel spreadsheet. Since I'm gathering the "best of" emails on a daily basis, I have a big reservoir of blogging ideas for the future. That said, I think I'll also implement index cards because some of my best ideas have come from analog brainstorming!

  39. I like the idea of walking to generate ideas and using the cards. When I blog I tend to go with the flow and write as much as I can while in flow and then when that dries up go and seek research to back up my content.

  40. Amazing, just amazing!
    Can i ask you a question please?
    Using this process will help you write a high quality blog post for sure but it may takes longer for me, because i am not a native speaker and i am new to writing, and am starting a new blog and youtube channel, do you think that 1 blog every three days is enough ? and two videos per week??
    thanks

  41. Finally some funny, engaging, honest videos on the topic! Thank you 🙏

    I'm curious about your process for finding, vetting, and building relationships with employees. And your decision making process for delegating work vs doing it yourself. Think you could make a vid about that?

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