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Here’s a cool psychology trick you can use in your travel articles or even simple emails to friends…

Say you’re hungry. Really hungry.

Which hamburger would you go for: 

A quarter-pounder…

Or a four-ouncer?

Regardless of which you choose, you know you’re getting the same size burger, right? 

But for some reason, one sounds much bigger than the other. Why is that?  

We’re talking about copywriting this week – writing jobs that pay big to people who can persuade others to take action: donate to a nonprofit, sign up for an investment service, try a new weight-loss vitamin, attend an event, and so on…

 … and this little copywriting word trick is one you can use to help fund your travels, too.

I learned it first from marketing guru, Herschell Gordon Lewis.  

Lots of people think of Herschell as the King of Gore.  He’s a famous filmmaker known for his exceptionally gory horror films.  But I’ve met Herschell at least a half-dozen times at AWAI’s copywriting workshops, because he’s also a well-known copywriter.

Here’s how his word trick works …

  • Generic terms are often interpreted as “more.” 
  • Number-specific terms are often interpreted as “less.”

Look at these examples…

One hour sounds longer than 60 minutes. 

One day sounds longer than 24 hours. 

One month seems longer than 30 days.

Half a pound sounds like more than eight ounces. 

Half a kilo sounds like more than 500 grams.

A quarter of a million dollars sounds like more than $250,000.

Here’s how it works in your travel writing…

Imagine for a minute you’re writing about a spa treatment in Mexico.  Would you say you enjoyed a “60-minute massage,” which is often how it’s written on the spa menu?  Or would you use this word trick and instead write that it was “an hour-long escape” to make it sound longer?

Likewise, if you want to play down a negative feature of something, you could use this trick in the reverse.  Say, for example, to describe the line at the Louvre.  Rather than saying, “You’ll face a half-hour wait,” you might instead say, “Bring a book and brave the 30-minute wait. The exhibit is well worth it.”

Think first about your intention when you describe experiences in your articles and then use this tip to convey that intention in a smooth way that readers will quickly understand.

Over the years, I’ve seen three types of writers make six figures.  Screenwriters who write for movies and TV…  Ghost writers who write behind the scenes for celebrities and politicians…

And then there’s copywriting.  This little writing niche no one knows about that pays big.  

Sales letters, brochures, websites… basically anything written to persuade someone else to do something is called copywriting.  And the folks who write this way are paid thousands of dollars, plus royalties, for their work.

You’ll hear from one of these tomorrow. And, stay tuned for more about getting started in copywriting this week…

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