Secret 6: Use The "APSA" Outline
the six secret of creating killer content is to use the absa outline. So in this video we're going to talk about how to structure your writing to make sure people read from top to bottom. And this lesson is really where we're going to bring everything together right, especially now that you have the tools to write like 1/7 grader to pick the apples from the orchard, to investigate like Sherlock Holmes and to paint pictures with rare metaphors. Alright, so next time you're stuck in your writing, I want you to think of four letters A. P. S. A. It doesn't matter if you're writing an article of video, script, a sales page and email newsletter. A speech. The same structure will be your secret weapon to initially put together your thoughts before fleshing it out and making it more eloquent. Using the tools that we talked about. Now I think what you'll see is that most great pieces of writing can be divided into four sections of Absa, the first of which is the A. Which stands for attention. A...
nd this is where as we talked about before, you want to hook the reader, you gotta get their attention with the juicy headline or a great subject line that captivates them. And we've talked about the different formulas through which you can do this. And since we spent a lot of time on this in a previous lesson, we're actually gonna spend this lesson talking about the next three parts of absa the P. S. A. So the P. Stands for problem and every piece of writing should strive to help the reader solve a problem that the question you have to ask yourself is what's the problem that you're solving in your writing and why is that problem even important? And what are all the bad things that could happen if that problem isn't solved in the reader's life, right? You want to really make sure they feel the pain of it of all the other problems that may be experiencing. So that's what you write about in this section in the P section of the Absa outline the S stands for solution. Now that you've really emphasized the problem, it's time to offer a way to solve it. And this solution can take many, many different forms. It can be tips that you write out. It could be insights that you share, give you stories that you tell either about yourself or other people that you've interviewed or the solution to the problem. Could be the product or service that you're selling, right. And the best way to do this is to set up a really tough problem that people are feeling in their life and make them feel as though they need to find that solution and yours is the best one. Yours is the desired one. And you can do this by sharing testimonials, sources of credibility. This is all in the solution section of the Absa outlined. I'm gonna share an example here in a moment that's gonna really crystallize this. But that's really what this section is about, solve the problem that you set up before. Right? So that's the s now the final A in the Absa outline stands for Action. This is the final section of your writing and I cannot believe how many people forget to include it. I mean, if you have the reader's attention and they've gotten to this point in your writing, then you've earned what I call the permission to pitch. That means you can ask them to do something. It could be either asking them to join your mailing list, trying out your product or even clicking to learn more. The point is if you never ask, you'll never get the full benefits of your writing. And I work with far too many writers who just assume that the reader will just know what to do once they finish reading, but most won't you need to guide them, especially now that they've shown enough interest and read your work and shown that it's resonated with them and if they don't take the action right away, that's totally cool. That's okay, because research shows that asking them to do something now we'll prime them and make them more likely to take that action the next time. So not all is lost, even if it's not showing through in your click through rates, right? So that's the apps to outline in a nutshell, a p. S. A attention problem solution and action and what I want to do here is take you through two examples that can really bring this to life and really show you how universal the absa outline is. The first example is from a company called squatty potty and I kid you not, their product helps correct your posture as you poop as you go to the bathroom and I know some of you guys may be thinking um john that's pretty gross, man, that's pretty gross that you're talking about a product that helps people go to the bathroom in this course and really, I think it speaks to how impressive it is that they got 34 million views on this video using this app to outline and I want to break that down for you here because if they could do it with a product that's as gross and as boring as their products should be, then you could really do it with any product, service or sales pitch that you're putting out in your writing. So let's roll the clip of this successful ad, you've probably seen. It has been all over the internet is one of the most viral ads to date. So let's hit it. This is where your ice cream comes from, creamy poop of a mystic unicorn, totally clean, totally cool and soft served straight from a sphincter. Alright, so right off the bat, it just gets your it cracks me up every time I see it even now and I've seen it so many times. So the 1st 12 seconds, you can see how they fit into the a of absence. They're all about grabbing your attention, right? You just see that unicorn and your mind immediately says, you know what is going on and you're intrigued. And by the way again, I talked about how this part of the outline, this part of the lesson really brings everything together. You'll notice. What are they doing here? Thank unicorn is nothing more than a rare metaphor. It's a rare metaphor right there right then and there. And it's really because rather than talk about real person pooping, which would be downright disgusting. They talk about a unicorn pooping a rainbow. You know, it makes everything all the more memorable and humorous. And so I encourage you again, think about how you could tie together all the different lessons using this outline and fitting and sliding it in because that's how squatty potty did. So again, 1st 12 seconds of this video all about grabbing your attention and hooking you so that you watch the rest. But you know who sucks at pooping you do. That's because when you sit on the porcelain throne, this muscle, that's a kink in a hose and stops the Ben and jerry's from sliding out smoothly. Is that a problem? I don't know hemorrhoids a problem because sitting at this angle can cause hemorrhoids bloating. Constipation and a butt load of other crap. And seriously unicorn hemorrhoids the glitter gets everywhere From seconds, 12 to 50. You'll see how squatty potty explained and amplifies the problem. The P in absa they talk about how the way we poop today is bad for our bodies and they talk about the problem in a way that's important and crucial to our health. So when you write, you have to make the reader feel the same pain for the problem, right? You have to really emphasize it because our bodies were made to poop in a squat and now there's a product that lets you squat in your own home introducing the squatty potty. No, squatty potty is not a joke. And yes, it will give you the best poop of your life, guaranteed. I don't just mean you bloated lords in hemorrhoid. All ladies. I mean everyone king pancake kink, kink. It's simple science, really can't get the last scoop out of the carton with the squatty potty. You get complete elimination, spend too much time on the chamber pot. The squatty potty makes you go twice as fast or your money back. I scream. You scream and plop plop baby. Maybe you're sore from squeezing out solid globs of rocky Road. The squatty potty gives you a smooth stream of frodo that glides like a virgin swab. Plus when you're done it tucks neatly out of sight. Thanks to its innovative, patented design, truly a footstool fit for a constipated king. So if you're a human being, you poop from your butt, click here to order your squatty party today at squatty potty dot com. Now in this section of the video, you'll see exactly what squatty potty is doing right. They're following the absolute outline to a T. They're now going into the solution And they're showing you how you know, this problem that is so bad and that you may not have realized, well, we got an answer for you and that answer is squatty potty and why squatty potty? The answer? Well, one, it completely eliminates waste when you go to the bathroom to it allows you to spend less time in the bathroom all together. You know, they say 50 seconds on average versus that the one minute 30 than most people spend and it just helps alleviate constipation altogether. So for all these reasons, squatty potty is a great answer to the problem. And next, you know, they go into the a of the absa outline, they prompt you to take action by encouraging you to visit their website to buy their product. I mean, now that they've gotten your attention, They have emphasized the problem. They teed up the solution. The next best thing is to go and ask you to buy the product and they don't stop there. What I really like about squatty potty is that they offer testimonials to back up. Why you should take that action and offer reviews like the one from Amazon and it's no surprise that this ad not only got over 30 million views brought in over $300 million dollars worth of sales for squatty potty and of course with squatty potties video production also. Amazing. Yes, absolutely. But without a great script, that video would have been nothing. I mean, you could just imagine how many of you thought about the problem of going to the bathroom before you saw this ad. I know I didn't, I had no idea that was the case until they outlined so beautifully. They really made me feel the pain of the problem. And that's why I bought one of those products myself and that's why they sold over $300 million worth of that product. It's not a coincidence, right? That outline that video that really led to a lot of success. And I think you see the same with your writing, but okay, let's do another example here to show you how universal the apps that outline is is. So here's afford the article I wrote. The article was called 16 tips you'll never hear in a graduation speech, but should. And I've included a link down below here so you can check out the article. But for our purposes of learning, I'll just read off the first couple of paragraphs and show you how I use the apps to outline. I'll take you behind the scenes in my writing process here. So the first part of this article read like this, Here we go, graduating from college is like jumping off a plane with no parachute. Nobody teaches you how to fly as you fall. Most commencement speakers will say follow your passion shoot for the moon, impossible is nothing. Just do it. And other pieces of advice that could easily pass as brand slogans. This made me feel lost When I graduated from college. It took me years to realize that the real world is not a scary place. It's actually awesome. Today I work for google, write for Forbes and draw cartoons like the six year old. I am deep down So I want to share 16 specific tips that help me chase my dreams. So you can too. Alright, so right off the bat, you'll notice how the headline of this article really strives to grab the reader's attention, right? I followed that formula that we talked about before. While there are thousands of other articles with graduation advice, I positioned mine is having more unconventional tips that you normally wouldn't here. Right? So, I addressed their objection, right? People are always seeing these tips, these tips, but I'm like answering the question of why? Why is your what are your tips different? And I'm not saying these are tips that you would never hear in a graduation speech. Right? So I hooked them next. You'll see how once again I am going deeper with the attention grabbing by trying to put a metaphor in the first line. And so again, it's graduating from college is like jumping off a plane with no parachute. Nobody teaches you how to fly as you fall. Okay. It's a rare metaphor. And I wanted to paint this picture of how terrified I felt after college. So other recent graduates could relate right? And from there I go deeper into the absa outlined. So I have the attention, we talked about all the attention grabbing tactics that I took. But what did I do to really outline and sell the problem before I talked about the solution? Well, here's where I really tried to outline and go deep on the problem. I said, most commencement speakers will say follow your passion shoot for the moon, impossible and nothing just do it. And other pieces of advice that could easily pass as brand slogans because it made me feel lost. When I graduated from college, it took me years to realize that the real world is not a scary place. Alright, so in other words, the problem is that most life advice feels like total fluff, right? It's not actionable. And you'll notice how I use what we learned in our previous lesson as well by emphasizing the apple in this situation, not the orchard. In this case, I made myself vulnerable and just said, you know, I was the apple in the orchard of lost college graduates. You know, I didn't exactly want to show metrics of like, you know, X percent of college graduates feel overwhelmed. after graduation, I just said, hey, I felt overwhelmed, I felt lost. So readers can relate more to me and my story than some statistic from there. I took the next part of the absa outline which is the s the solution and this is what I said the following I said today I work at google, write for Forbes and draw cartoons like the six year old I am deep down so I want to share specific tips that help me chase my dreams. So you can too, you'll see that I named her up brands like Google and Forbes to show credibility to show that I was lost, but now ultimately found my way as if to say, you know, you can do that too. It's not impossible as if to say, here's the solution, here's the guide rails that you can take as you try and navigate life after college and really the meat of the article here is the solution. It's those 16 tips. This is where I really tried to help people solve that problem that I outlined before look, if you feel lost after college, it's OK, I felt lost as well, but here's 16 ways that you can get through here. 16 unconventional tips And once readers got to the bottom, well, that's where I took and implemented the final a of the apps to outline. I encourage them to take action and part of that action was you know, make sure you stand up for yourself, all those things just to end on a high note, but it was also sign up for my email list, you know, I have 400,000 people who get my career tips and cartoons, some of which you can see behind me in my studio here. So if you want more tips like this now that you've read to the bottom, just sign up and that was really successful and I can't tell you how happy it made me, not just to see the sign ups come in, but to see people email and reach out saying how helpful the article was and to be honest, that article um you know, I was feeling writer's block, like it was graduation season, I wanted to write something and I just thought of the apps to outline and that really helped me flesh out what the point of that article should be before I ultimately wrote it and published it and Forbes picked up on it. So again, that's the apps to outline. Those are two examples from squatty potty to Forbes and I think there's a lot to be said here about how you could apply it to your writing and to the stories that you want to tell. So with that I want to say congrats on finishing this lesson, I can't wait to see you the next one. We're gonna actually talk about how you can partner with bigger publications to amplify your voice and get bigger viewership. I'll see you there.