How To Use Deadly Sins Of Copywriting & How What Why When Where Who Questions To Write Viral Content

More often than not – as cringeworthy as it may be – we are all influenced by pride and a little bit of ego to some extent. We also want to be respected and to feel like we belong in some way, which is not such a bad thing. That’s what makes us human.

We buy “stuff” for all sorts of reasons that are uniquely important to us. We also want to be seen to be making a good, smart decision when buying goods or services, that’s a pride thing right?

You can pretty much be assured that in some way, our buying decisions will at least in part be swayed by outside opinion, and there are many factors that influence what we define as a good decision.

Composing sales copy, persuasive content involves connecting with these “human factors”, the unseen but powerful motivators that influence a buying decision.

It can be a bit daunting, trying to think of ways to relate your product or service to a customers’ needs and wants sometimes. So we came up with a list of “deadly sins” that tie in with our who, what, why, where, when and where format.

When searching for ways to connect with an audiences wants, needs and concerns, you can refer to the 7 deadly sins to come up with some ideas.

Using 7 Deadly Sins To Help You Write Copy

  • Pride:
    is overconfidence in one’s abilities or self-admiration. Pride is also called vanity.
  • Envy:
    is the desire to have others’ attributes, status, abilities, or circumstances.
  • Gluttony:
    is an extreme desire to spend, eat or consume exorbitantly far beyond the extent of what is required.
  • Lust:
    is pretty self-explanatory.
  • Anger:
    or fury is being really annoyed or pissed at something or somebody.
  • Greed
    is the want for material riches, sometimes at the expense of others.
  • Sloth:
    Sloth is laziness or lethargy.

You might find it strange to think about the seven deadly sins of copywriting on a website about selling stuff online. The general consensus is that anybody showing one or more of these traits are without ethics or morals, yet that is not true in the context of what I mean here.

If we get real with ourselves for one minute, we have to accept that all of us have some small aspect of these traits, and they can come with good intent. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t feel the need to connect and belong.

For example, the Loreal makeup brand uses the slogan “you’re worth it”. You can buy their makeup and look your best (pride).

Alot of us are overcome by a lazy streak from time to time. Can’t be bothereditis! I am a person who likes to do things in the most efficient way possible, call it laziness (sloth), or call it wanting to complete my work tasks so I can go do fun stuff. Either way, it’s my wanting to do things in the least painful way so I can enjoy life. I am sure you can relate!

Lust….. if you see a Calvin Klein underwear commercial, or Victorias Secret, they both use lust and envy to sell underwear.

You get a general idea here. You can use these concepts to stimulate motivating sales copy ideas.

I teach people how to create content that satisfies people’s desire to feel something: we want to be inspired, we want to feel relieved, loved, respected, secure, free, abundant or other things.

We buy stuff to feel something, that might be to feel:

  • love
  • security
  • happiness
  • relief
  • satisfaction
  • abundance
  • joy
  • freedom
  • safe
  • sexy
  • proud
  • worthy
  • appreciated
  • respected
  • admired

I could keep adding to this list but you get the idea. What are people going to get EMOTIONALLY from engaging with your content and eventually receiving something of value to them personally?

If they are buying something to make their job easier and to get results that they will be rewarded or admired for, then help them believe they can, then help them achieve that IF you can. If you can’t help them, then they are not your market.

Writing good copy is always about putting yourself in your audience’s shoes, and genuinely helping them understand what they want, believe they can get it, and then delivering on your promises.

There are plenty of the right people out there if you can connect with them, relate and show them you get them, then they may trust you enough to follow your lead.

That’s the art of copywriting.

The seven deadly sins give you a place to start, so you can think of all the things your reader may be wanting to achieve or avoid.

You can also use these words to start questions such as “who do I admire” (envy).

  • How
  • What
  • Why
  • When
  • Where
  • Who

I use the combination of these bullet points and the 7 deadly sins to come up with a list of topics and questions my readers might be interested in.

I hope that all makes sense. 🙂

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About Mia Gordon

Mad scientist online marketer, experimenter & tracking/analytics nut since 2003. Co-owner of Adventure Helicopters, a helicopter scenic & charter business. See my full list of software, apps & tools that make online marketing life fun & easy!