Are you a writer that obsesses over every word you write? Is your desire for perfectionism and literary genius holding you back from actually writing anything at all? Well this is exactly how Ray Edwards, best-selling author, speaker, and host of a top-ranked iTunes business podcast felt until he realized it’s okay to break your English teacher’s rules. In fact, he says, all you need to write at your top potential is an idea and a path to get there. Finesse will only get you so far. You need to write the words that sell books!
Ray Edwards dons a plethora of professional hats. His impressive resume includes Communications Strategist and Copywriter. He also has an extensive media following with features on high-profile business sites, such as Forbes.com, SocialMediaExaminer.com , and Entrepreneur.com.
Ray Edward’s Epiphany
After years as a copy editor, Ray had a critical epiphany which changed the way he wrote. Ray realized that everything one writes is about the act of persuasion.
The proverbial light bulb went off and Ray realized that he could simultaneously write and sell. Figuring out that writing and selling weren’t mutually exclusive changed Ray’s perspective on how to write, as well as how he coached others to do the same. Using his new philosophy, Ray wrote his first book using the same framework he used as a copywriter.
Ray further extrapolated that the process and framework used for sales copy can be applied across the board — to blog posts, book chapters, even draft outlines of books.
Ray found that writing was an uphill slog when he tried to wear just “his literary hat.” Instead, Ray achieved writing success when he wrote the words that sell books. Ray surmises, “If you don’t put your message out there, your readers will never get the message.”
Embrace the PASTOR Framework
Ray created the PASTOR Framework for writers. In other words, you should strive to be “a shepherd with your customer.” It’s impossible to be pushy or sleazy when you have the best interests of the customers at heart.
To explore this concept in more detail, PASTOR stands for:
P – Person. How does it solve a problem? What pain you will help relieve?
A – Amplify (the pain) and Aspire. You must explain and amplify the pain (problems) you will resolve. Replace the pain with something to aspire to. Ask readers, what do they really want?
S – Story, Struggle, and Solution. What’s the story? What’s the struggle? How have you turned a solution into a system?
T – Testimony and Transformation. Tell other people’s stories of how they used your system to show transformation.
O – Offer. This is what you have to sell and how much it costs. Don’t focus 100% of your time talking about deliverables, spend just 20% of the time talking about deliverables.
R – Request for Response. You must ask for the sale to close the deal. This is where you should employ a direct call to action.
Ray found that the PASTOR framework works not only for sales copy, but across the board for all writing. This universal framework for writing persuasively can be applied to blog posts, chapters, and even outlines of books.
Write, Write, Write
Ray says he doesn’t wait for inspiration to hit before he starts writing. Sometimes it’s coming through you so you can’t stop, but sometimes you just have to write and get it done.
Ray reports that he’s at his best when he’s dictating. Ray uses REV.com to dictate his words, which are then typed up for him. Ray’s rapid writing method allows him to dictate faster than he types.
Ray embraces the method which works best for him to get the words on paper. He encourages other writers to work with the method which gets the words out quickly, and then keep going. Before you know it, you’ll have a complete book.
Write Down 10 Questions
Ray has found success in writing quickly with his Top 10 Question format. He tells writers to write down their own Top 10 questions.
The first step is to write the full introduction. Following the introduction, each of the ten questions will become a chapter. Finally, you’ll wrap up with a conclusion and a direct call to action.
Use the PASTOR method to outline this. Then dictate as fast as you can. Send it off and get the transcript back. The draft will be a mess, but you will be shocked to find that you wrote 100 pages in a day. Ray shares that when he first started using this method, he knocked out two entire books in a weekend (!!!).
Sometimes it takes a shift in paradigm to see what is possible. You have plenty of material in the “treasure chest” in your brain. You just need to get it out, no matter the process. Ask yourself: “Do you actually want to write, or do you merely want to want to write?”
With Ray’s tips, you have the tools to succeed and finish your book. What are you waiting for? Write the words that sell!