Masterson said the idea, while it came to him about 20 years into his writing career, was actually an idea advertising guru David Ogilvy expressed many years earlier. Ogilvy relayed that every
great promotion has, at its core, a single, powerful idea that he called “the Big Idea.”
This single strategy will help you make every email, article, web page, and sales letter more effective—which means you’ll get better response and therefore make more money.
Plus it will help you write clear, concise copy and keep you from rambling and getting off topic—which will save you time.
This strategy, which Masterson refers to as “The Power of One” is the idea that no matter what you are writing…from a blog post to a book…concentrates on one good idea.
This seemingly simple, yet effective strategy, is present in the best books and promotions of all time.
For example, on the all-time best-selling non-fiction book list Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (which has sold 70 million copies) and The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (30 million copies sold) both use the power of one.
And if you look at the highest producing promotions of all time you’ll see it there too. For instance, “The Secret of Making People Like You” or Porter Stansberry’s recent blockbuster, “The End of America”.
The problem is, the power of one isn’t always as easy to implement as you’d think.
To help keep you focused, I’ve developed a checklist that I use when writing which is included with this article. This will help you stick to the “Power of One” rule.
Answer these questions before you write a single word. Then keep the list near you:
- What is my topic?
- What is the one big idea I want to address?
- What one audience am I writing for?
- What is the one desirable promise I will make that my audience will benefit from?
- What is the one compelling story I will tell?
- What is the one core emotion I will use throughout?
- That leads to one action that I am leading the reader too
After you’ve answered these questions, use them as your guide when writing. Then once you’ve completed your draft, you’ll want to check for the following three items to make sure you’ve used the “power of one” in your copy:
Focus on one single good idea. Good copy focuses on one single good idea. The problem is many people don’t stick to this. If when reviewing your copy, it seems like you are not sticking to one idea, see if narrowing down your idea helps.
For example, let’s say you want to write about how to use social media to generate leads for your business. This might be okay for a book, however that’s a pretty broad topic for an article. To narrow it down, try picking one type of social media… like Twitter, to focus on.
Another way that will help you focus on one good idea is to make sure you are only targeting one audience. With the topic, “How to use Twitter to generate leads” you would write differently to brick and mortar businesses for instance versus online marketers.
Focus on clarity of language. Zero in on the power of one by checking for language clarity. The easiest way to check this is to use your Flesch-Kincaid (FK) score when you use your spellcheck.
Your FK score shows you what grade level you are writing at. Masterson suggests you write at a reading level of below 7.5. An FK score higher than that suggests your writing is not clear enough. To fix this problem, try eliminating adjectives. Use active verbs. And read your writing out loud to make sure you aren’t fumbling over words and your language sounds clear.
Be specific. Check your details to make sure they all relate to your one big idea. If they don’t, cut them. If you need more details, do more research to find out more details about the who, what, when, why and how that relate to your one big idea.
Keep your writing to one idea and keep that one idea up front. Let people know what your one big idea is right away so they will know why they are reading your story. When you do, you’ll find your promotions, articles and books generate a higher response than ever before.
The problem is most people don’t do this. You see it in some the in the greatest promotions of all time too…such as This single strategy will help you make every email, article, web page, and sales letter more effective.
This will help you write clear, concise copy and keep you from rambling and getting off topic— which will save you time.
And best of all, it will help you create an emotional connection between your customers and your products and services…which means they’ll buy more and more often.
As an Insider, we're proud to provide you with this contributing article from expert copywriter, Cindy Cyr.