Create a curiosity gap
The first thing you want to do is create a "curiosity gap" in the first paragraph to draw readers in. This can be in the form of a hook sentence, teasing article title, tweet, or subject line. By creating a sense of mystery or intrigue, readers are more likely to continue reading. Puri recommends practicing this technique to hook readers and keep them engaged from sentence to sentence. Make readers want more.
Copy other successful writers
Aspiring writers should start by copying others. Just as musicians learn to play by covering songs and cooks use recipes to learn to cook, writers can improve their skills by handwriting the work of authors they admire. This technique, called "copywork," can help to overcome writer's block. By mimicking the structure and word choice from other great writers, aspiring writers can get a better feel for those line-by-line decisions.
Write like you talk
Puri's third tip is to write like you talk. This means using conversational language and including sound effects or other vocal cues to bring your writing to life. If you don't know what to write, Puri suggests starting by talking out loud and then writing down what you said, editing out any unnecessary words. You can take this a step further with a dictation tool that will listen and write for you. Shaan’s Milk Road newsletter
is conversational in tone and doesn’t take itself too seriously, even though many readers take its guidance seriously.
Forget what you learned in school
While schools often reward the use of big words and lengthy essays, Puri believes that the best writing is simple and concise. This is particularly true in the real world where clear, easy-to-understand communication is essential. Tools like Twitter
have popularized short, concise storytelling and it's celebrated in the Silicon Valley business culture.
Write like a boss
For business writing, he recommends using a simple format that includes the what, why, and so what. This means answering the questions of what happened, why it happened, and what are we going to do about it. Other questions can lead to unfocused tangents. This approach helps to ensure clear, crisp communication around decisions
and is useful for both retrospective analysis and future planning. Getting in this mindset can you you generate better business ideas too.
Write for emotion, not information
According to Puri, the goal of writing is to transfer emotion, not information transfer. By using emotions such as fear, greed, anger, hope, love, and certainty, writers can create content that motivates readers to take action, whether that be to share, like, or purchase a product. What action the reader should take is based on where in the conversion funnel
Practice writing everyday
Finally, Puri emphasizes the importance of practice. As with any skill, writing requires practice and coaching to improve. Through consistent practice, anyone can become a better writer.
Overall, Puri's tips provide a valuable guide for anyone seeking to improve their writing skills and he goes into much more detail in his Power Writing course
. By focusing on creating engaging content, using simple language, and transferring emotion, writers can create content that resonates with their audience and motivates them to take action. This article was inspired by Shaan’s Twitter thread