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The number one way to get attention without doing anything illegal

Why isn't this a formal class in school??

Last week I made a confession.

I still don’t know what the heck I’m doing.

But today, let’s dig into the first point on what I shared last week.

As a reference: 7 parts of great writing:

  1. Powerful hook

  2. Slippery slope formatting

  3. Focused content

  4. Approachable delivery

  5. Reader-focused

  6. Specific writing

  7. Powerful takeaway point

I should also say that this is nothing new, but it is finally starting to sink in after a year’s worth of constant effort of writing.

Sometimes, it takes people more time to realize these things.

It’s taken me this long, and it feels like it’s my duty to help you shorten your timeframe (especially if you’re where I am in life).

I’m jealous of the younger generation…little sponges that they are.

It’s a bit scary what my children can do right now even at the grade school level.

Anyway, today’s issue is about hooks…

Generated using Leonardo.AI by the author.

What are we talking about?

I’m no expert, but if I were to start over with my writing journey, I’d say this is where I’d focus most of my time initially:

  • marketing

  • psychology

  • copywriting

From the initiates of the order, I can hear the eyeroll.

“Yes, Vince. This is where you should’ve started.”

They don’t teach these things to engineers in school, ok?

We’re taught to create and tweak things that make technology work. We don’t know the first thing about how to sell it to the world. It all just gets sucked up into the monolithic black box known as “high-tech” corporations and somehow magically ends up in the Apple store near you.

No, really. ZERO knowledge of these concepts before I started writing.

Now, I know better.

If you want someone to read your stuff, you need to get their attention. Your writing maybe the bees knees for making the best damn Insomnia knockoff cookies without getting arrested, but nobody’s going to find out unless you write a hook that invites them to keep reading!

BTW, that is one of my aspirations…baking awesome cookies.

Ok already! What do you mean by this?

In a nutshell a great hook or headline or scroll-stopping statement usually goes like this:

  1. Shares a big idea quickly

  2. Speaks directly to a specific group of people

  3. Convinces a reader to keep reading the body

  4. Provides a clear benefit or promise of an outcome

  5. Sets the author apart from the masses, hence “authority”

Easy to share, but it’s HARD to get good at!

It takes practice...lots of practice…lots and lots of practice…

This is why most people skip this and just start writing.

In fact, 99% of aspiring writers (including yours truly) just ignore this step. Only the few who survive long enough to realize the importance of this will come running back!

It’s no wonder that most of the people I started this journey with have disappeared back into the bowels of cyberspace!

No, really, I can count on my fingers the number of people that are still on TwiX.

I don’t blame them. This is a tough gig, but that’s why I’m starting to share what I learn as I go here.

As I don’t want this to become a tome of hook writing, I’m simply going to point you to some materials from some of my favorites to dig into if you so choose:

The people I just mentioned are MASTERs of their domains, and no amount of AI is going to replace that kind of experience…or at least I’d much rather prefer to learn from them because I like them!

These are the tools that I’m using to get better at this whole process. Once you get good at hooks, you can actually get people to read and maybe even critique your work!

Closing thoughts

I talked about the important of getting eyeballs on your writing…the art of the hook.

Wow, that would be a great boxing topic as well (reminds me of Gary Veynerchuk’s book).

And if you’re in my generation, who could forget this Robin Williams masterpiece?

Good times…

Anyway, thanks for reading this far as always! If you’re aspiring to become a content creator, this is quite possibly the most important and hardest skill to master.

Ignore at your own risk!


P.S. I’m trying to make these issues a bit shorter…perhaps going atomic would be something to consider in the future, but I enjoy the practice of writing long-form as well. Medium is where I’m putting more of my eggs in these days…