Vitale’s “Hypnotic Writing” Chapters 3-5

Welcome back to my series on “Hypnotic Writing” by Joe Vitale.

Chapter 3

In chapter 3, Joe challenges the reader to think big by starting out with a story of a 93 year old woman sky diving for her birthday. The point of this chapter is to encourage us to think bigger. If you want a book for that, he recommends, “The Power of Impossible Thinking.” I also recommend, “The Magic of Thinking Big.”

Joe ends the chapter asking you what you want to accomplish by studying this book. Think about your own impossible dream and any “could not fail” kind of goals.

Chapter 4

This chapter is a disclaimer Joe wants to make that he doesn’t know everything. It’s a little ironic to me that it follows the chapter on accomplishing impossible goals. It almost makes it sound like he wants you to think big but then not expect big things from the book. Joe recommends you read other stuff too.

Chapter 5

Now the book actually starts. This chapter is titled, “A Beginning” and so it is. Joe tells us that his interest in hypnotic writing came from reading classic literature as well as great sales letters. Specifically, he mentions Robert Collier, Bruce Barton and John Caples. He also mentions “Hypnotic Selling Power” too.

Joe says that hypnotic writing generally is any writing that hold your attention. He then goes on to define hypnotic writing as “intentionally using words to guide people into a focused mental state where they are inclined to buy your product or service.”

So again, we’re seeing a difference in hypnotic writing and NLP copywriting. Yes, they’re both about getting more sales. The difference is that hypnotic writing limits itself to guiding a focused mental state while NLP copywriting is about short-cutting that process and using patterns specifically designed to elicit a response.

If you’re only doing hypnotic writing, an interruption could ruin your whole set up. If you’re using NLP language patterns, your reader can skip around and still have a few patterns embed on his brain… keeping him up at night until he either buys or forces himself to stop thinking about you.

Top Copywriting Habits

Recently, I combed through over 60 interviews with A list level copywriters. No doubt, there are a number of interesting patterns that emerge.

All the copywriters had a pattern of doing research, writing and editing. That’s no shock. The difference came in how much time each copywriter spent in each area.

Funny to find that there was almost no consistency between our copywriters. There was a wide range of anywhere from 40-80% of their time spent on research and then 20-55% on writing. One guy even claimed he didn’t do any editing at all (not recommended). The lesson here is to find your own way. As long as you’re getting good results, it doesn’t’ matter.

A common theme developed on what it’s like for top copywriters when they write. There was always some kind of core emotion involved in the creation process. Sometimes each segment had its own state of being (detective, conversationalist and editor). Others, it was a simple enjoyment and fascination with the entire process.

That strong emotion could be described as a flow state. Athletes know about being in the zone. It’s the same thing. It’s where your ability comes up against a commensurate challenge and everything else seems to fade away while you fully immerse yourself in the experience.

What if you’re new to copywriting and don’t know how to find that flow experience? Look for it in another area of your life. Maybe you’ve lost yourself in a dance, a painting or while cooking. What’s it like during that activity? Consider what brings on that flow state for you. If it’s music, a feeling, etc apply that to your writing.

Our copywriters have other qualities in common too. Take time of day for writing. Isn’t it true that the early bird gets the worm? Or how about the old saying, “Early to bed, early to rise…”

The pattern was that there was very little consistency there either. Many copywriters like to knock out an hour or two of writing first thing in the morning. Some say though that they do their best writing in the afternoon or evening once everyone else is gone to bed and all is quiet. So it’s really up to you to find your most productive time.

What’s the consensus on how long should you keep editing things? Some writers pride themselves on getting a job out in a day or two. Others revise and revise… until the company finally calls and asks for it to be submitted.

The bottom line is to get out there and do it. Yes, brush up on your skills but don’t worry that you’re not doing things in the optimal amounts or times. Find what works for you and gets going.

Vitale’s “Hypnotic Writing” Chapters 1-2

As promised, I’m rereading Joe Vitale’s book, “Hypnotic Writing: How to Seduce and Persuade Customers with Only Your Words.” There are 56 chapters and many are a page or two long so I’ll combine them at times.

Chapter 1

Joe starts out with a brief history of hypnotism. Of note is his mention that arguably the most famous hypnotist of modern times, Milton Erickson, theorized that hypnosis (or more accurately, trance) is a state of mind that we’re all entering “spontaneously and frequently.”

He then goes on to define hypnotic writing by saying it’s not hypnosis at all. It’s irresistible writing that keeps readers’ attention. It’s “spellbinding, unforgettable and filled with embedded commands.”

Joe gives several examples including Shakespeare and a number of books. He reminds us of the experience we’ve all had of being engrossed in a book.

Then Joe lays out the point of the book:

“My intention is to reveal – for the first time anywhere – the principles and strategies that will transform your writings.” This transformation of course is to irresistible writing with hypnotic writing.

Joe finishes the chapter future pacing the benefits of learning hypnotic writing and then throws in a few things it’s NOT (like manipulation or controlling people).

One major comment I have at this point is in our definitions. Most people wouldn’t know the difference between hypnosis and NLP. NLP started as a model of a few of the most effective hypnotherapists in the English speaking world. And even today, there are two main branches of NLP – the hypnosis related personal change system AND the process of modeling through which they got that system.

The main difference between hypnosis and NLP is the structure. Whereas hypnosis seems to concern itself with different inductions (the part where you relax and drift off), suggestions, outcomes and repetition, NLP is a systematic organization of changing the way the mind thinks. The approach is as different as painters and software engineers.

The reason this distinction matters is that hypnosis based hypnotic writing could veer off into artful use of inductions and suggestions. NLP copywriting is an organized system of tools to shift people’s perception of reality. Hypnotic writing seems more suited to books and prose (which are all the examples Joe gives). NLP copywriting is about sales letters and getting results.

NLP was the structuring of hypnosis so that anyone could pick it up and get the same kind of results. NLP copywriting is the same thing for hypnotic writing. We’re not just going for irresistible. We’re going for action. We want the sign up or the sale. We want a direct response.

Anyway, that’s a little plug for my course too. It’s about compelling direct response NLP copywriting, not simply being irresistible. The tools and tactics you might have spent years refining as a novelist are immediately at your fingertips. The reason I’ve called it, “Be A Hypnotic Writer” is because I’ve found few people who have even heard of NLP.

The first lesson is free too. In it, I review an excellent case study of NLP copywriting. Get yours at:

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 is a page long and asks you to write down your current strategy for writing as a reference point.

If you’re meaning to write persuasively and you don’t have a written strategy yet, feel free to borrow the one I created. You get it free when you opt-in to my blog notification list in the sidebar. It’s a model of over 60 world class copywriters. So for what NLP did for hypnosis, I did for copywriting.

Look for upcoming chapters soon.

Review of Jonathan Royal’s NLP Course

In my last post, I referred to a sales letter that was making a blatant mistake of trying to do in writing what only works (if at all) spoken. I’m going to show you the whole thing now so you can see for yourself.

The reason I didn’t go into depth last time was that I was also using that post for article marketing. I wanted to give you, my dear blog reader, a more exclusive look.

Also, as a disclaimer, let me say I haven’t reviewed the actual course. My comments here are based on the sales letter and his “Confessions of a Hypnotist” book.

The page I referenced is here:

Jonathan Royle’s NLP Master Practioner Course

The paragraph I was referring to came about 1/4th of the way down the page after the subhead:


You can look and see the rest of the blatant attempt at manipulation there. I want to point out a couple of other observations I had in reading his sales letter.

Hypnotic writing aside, there are a few basic copywriting issues with this letter. Namely, 1) poor headline, 2) fonts are all the wrong shapes and sizes and 3) unconvincing testimonials.

Poor Headline

Here’s the headline:


First off, the headline is too long. It’s a paragraph rather than a headline. One marketer who did extensive testing said the outer length of a headline can’t be past 131 characters and this one is 353. Ironically, he’s comparing his product to the others by calling them “long winded.”

Secondly, never put your whole headline in all caps. Caps mean you’re shouting. You can put individual words or phrases in caps for emphasis (or maybe to embed a command) but not whole sentences and definitely not for a whole paragraph.

Finally, the benefit statement is weak. To sum it up, he’s saying save money and my course is better and save money and I’ll tell you secrets you won’t hear anywhere else and you better buy it because you won’t be happy if you don’t. Hmm… really? Some questions then come to mind:

  • People know you typically get what you pay for. Why is he selling something that you might expect to pay thousands for for 150 pounds?
  • How did he compress weeks into a weekend? (Not answered in the sales letter either)
  • What kind of secrets could only he know? (Turns out, probably nothing he didn’t repackage and/or rename himself)
  • How does this compare to a legitimate master practitioner course?

Now typically, you want to generate curiosity with a headline. This one though generates questions all right… but the skeptical kind, not the interestingly curious kind.

Inappropriate Formatting

People who have tested fonts will tell you the bigger, the better for headlines. In my Firefox browser, the headline looks the same size as the body copy.

Typically, you’ll want your subheads to be smaller than your headline but larger than your body copy. Again, in my browser, the subheads look bigger than both.

For readability, you usually don’t want paragraphs to be longer than 4 lines. One line is okay here and there especially if that line is a complete idea. I count one paragraph with 11 lines in it. Scanning through the letter you see that about half the paragraphs are more than 4 lines.

Also, you want to use a san-serif font for  headlines and subheads and serif font for body copy. The default on Microsoft Word is the opposite of that and that’s what this letter did as well. Serif fonts are what you see in books and newspapers and what we’re used to seeing in paragraphs. San-serif is slightly faster to read because there are less shapes involved for your eye to identify. That’s probably why they’re for headlines.


When I first read this letter, there was one thing I wanted to see in the sales letter AND backed up by a testimonial… how does this course compare to accredited NLP practitioner courses? While the letter talks about a regional UK accreditation (which I wasn’t able to locate in Google),  no one in a testimonial says it’s better than real NLP courses.

Here’s what the sales letter says to that effect:

Some of the delegates were already ANLPTA and ANLP approved & certified NLP Practitioners, Master Practitioners and Trainers, and even many of them made comments such as “Blimey I would never have thought it would be possible to learn NLP & Hypnotherapy to this level in just two days if I had not seen it with my own eyes, what’s even more amazing is that I learnt more from Royle in the past two days than I ever did on my original “Approved” NLP course which took Seven days for the first level of training alone!”

No one is quoted. None of the testimonials are from anyone with an NLP designation following their name. In fact, they’re many if not all the same testimonials he uses for all of his products.

He uses the argument that even NLP Trainers attended his seminar. What that’s an argument for is that NLP Trainers understand the value of continuing their education, not that his course was better than accredited versions.

His Book

A final piece of evidence I have was that I read his way too long book, “Confessions of a Hypnotist.” While the personal anecdotes are entertaining, I was left feeling he has a limited understanding of NLP. His forte is as a stage hypnotist. His only reference for learning NLP was to read Tony Robbins. Tony’s stuff is good but it’s far from the gold standard for NLP.

Overall, I’d say Jonathan Royal may be one of the closest things we have to a modern day PT Barnum. He does crazy stuff for public relations which was Barnum’s most well known attribute. No doubt he’s a good stage hypnotist. I have serious doubts though that his master practitioner course reviewed here is worth the money you’d pay.

And if you’re thinking of taking NLP courses to buff up on your marketing, look no further. My “Be A Hypnotic Writer” home study course includes all of that for a marketing context. To get the first lesson free, go to:

Don’t Try Hypnotic Writing Like This

One of the fundamental mistakes people make when trying out hypnotic writing is to assume that something you SAY works the same as something you WRITE.

For instance, one of the most widely known patterns are embedded commands. They work in spoken language because some words and phrases can have two or more meanings and your subconscious can recognize both.

The most obvious use of this is when writers use the phrase, “By now…” With that, they’re hoping your subconscious will take the suggestion, “Buy now.” That might work in person depending on a bunch of factors (voice inflection being the most important), it won’t achieve the same result in writing.

For a more involved example from the seminar “Persuasion Engineering,” John La Valle tells a story. It’s about how his young son came up to him and said, “When is now a good time to get me some ice cream, isn’t it?”

Clearly, the command is that now is a good time to get him ice cream. In speech, when you embed a command in a question like that it’s more likely to go unnoticed. And if it IS noticed, you can pretend you said something else.

As you were reading that ice cream command, did you have to go back and read it again? If so, it’s because it’s not grammatically correct. Also, in writing, you CAN go back and read it again so people will catch you if you’re not much more subtle.

This applies to all hypnosis and NLP. You can say and do things in person that simply won’t work in writing. You could speak in continuous run-on sentences. If you did, the transcript would be a mess.

“Notice how sad you start to feel inside, as you realise that no other course or training on the market has ever (or will ever) teach you the True Inside Secrets of NLP, CMT and Clinical Hypnotherapy in the way this course would have done ? How Sad does that make you feel?”

If someone did this to you in person, you probably couldn’t help but go along with it especially if the person had been talking for a while already and established some good rapport.

But here you see it and immediately catch on what he’s trying to do. “How Sad does that make you feel?” Really? How do you feel seeing IN PRINT that someone is callously trying to make you feel bad so you’ll purchase his course? You’d probably feel something like irritation, not sadness.

If you want to achieve stellar results with hypnotic writing, you have to help people feel good in a way that doesn’t feel obviously manipulative. That’s where the real power is.

Realize that hypnotic writing is substantially different than spoken hypnosis or NLP. Take the time to learn elegance and you’ll be well on your way to greatness.

You can learn elegance by reading this blog over time. If you’d like to get everything I know altogether, check out my course, “Be A Hypnotic Writer.” The first lesson is free:

First Lesson is FREE and Book Club

Based on inspiration from Eban Pagan, I went back and retooled the delivery of “Be A Hypnotic Writer.”

Specifically, Eban talks about “moving the free line.” The idea is that you give away your best stuff for free. Then people realize how good it is and want to buy the full version.

So now the first lesson of “Be A Hypnotic Writer” free. If you want to read about it or get it, go to:

Also, I’m thinking of doing a blog book club if such a thing exists. Anyone want to re-read Joe Vitale’s book Hypnotic Writing with me? In any event, I’ll read a chapter or two each week and post my comments. If you don’t have time to read it and only want to follow along, that’s cool too.

Last update: I’ve realized the picture I had in the sidebar wasn’t very much like what I currently look like. I don’t have a current picture of me at the lake or anything so I took a clip from a speech I gave presenting the model I created on how to do violence (it’s related to self defense).

Update on Hypnotic Writer Course

After testing both methods for a while, I’ve decided to switch my “Be A Hypnotic Writer” course back to the fixed term membership delivery method.

Eban Pagan is having a info product course launch this week and some of his free materials have inspired me to revisit how I do products. If you haven’t seen any of his videos or reports, go to:

Before I switch my course over to a 12 week delivery, I’m going to be writing an autoresponder script to encourage opt-ins. I plan to do that this week. Once that’s done, I’ll switch the course. Until then, you can still save a little money and time buying the whole thing at once at:

6 Crucial Steps to choosing the right marketing partner for growth.

In this ‘do more with less’ economy, is there a way that a smaller or medium-sized company can tap into the marketing power that the big guys are paying for? You bet there is. This is the perfect time to discover a Lean and Mean Marketing provider willing to add fuel to your entrepreneurial spirit. Here’s how to choose the most effective marketing partner in this lean and mean economy:

Look into the track records of the agency principals. Were they performing at a Director’s level at a big ad agency? If so, for how long? It makes a difference – too long, and they may be disconnected with the trends of customized marketing solutions. On the other hand, if they left their agency before the ink had dried on their new business cards, they may not have enough marketing insight.

Look beyond headlines that are too clever by half. Creative people need clever headlines to get a job, but many don’t have any results to back them up. Check their portfolio, if it’s is empty of measurable SEO copywriting services, customized marketing solutions, or a proven track record in measured results, keep looking.

Avoid anyone with a victim mentality. If people at a start-up agency still have a bitter pill only half swallowed from a bad break, they may be unable to move on and contribute to your business. Who has time to wallow? You need clear and focused marketing insight, surrounded by positive energy.

Choose a leader. It’s not unusual to discover an executive level marketing director or creative director working hard to establish their own marketing company. Grab this opportunity. If your start-up can benefit from experienced customized marketing solutions from the former director of a large advertising agency, it’s your lucky day.

Beware the SEO Guru. Seek out solid and proven SEO copywriting services by asking for an optimization tour of the websites associated with this provider. True SEO Guru’s have yet to be fully identified, as tracking qualified SEO copywriting services is a relatively new measurement. And since their results on your behalf may not register for a few months, be smart.

Work with people who are excited about your product or service. Good ad guys and marketing professionals are incurable people/product matchmakers, and usually quite likeable and responsive. If you find someone who’s fitting you in between the ‘real clients’, move on. An engaged marketing professional will bring incredible value and marketing insight, beyond your greatest expectations.

This is the dawning of the new entrepreneur. Incredibly talented marketing professionals have their eye out for intriguing products and services that transcend corporate structure. And companies that discover a lean and mean marketing partner are in a great position for phenomenal growth.

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Use These Simple SEO Tricks

Search engine optimization (SEO) is thought to be tough, difficult and time consuming by many. In this article, you can learn a few very simple SEO tricks that work very well on Google. Use these tricks to get your blog post ranked for a particular keyword.

Good ranking for a blog post means lots of traffic. Using these simple tricks, I have been able to get my blog posts ranked on the top of that particular keyword within a few hours by Google.

If you have a blog, then you need at least 50 posts for these tricks to work. In the beginning, Google will not take notice. But if you are consistent in posting a least once on your blog, Google will take notice once you have more than 50 posts.

Google likes fresh content. Since blogs provide fresh content to Google on daily basis. Google indexes blog posts much faster than webpages. If you are posting at least once everyday, your blog will get priority with Googlebot and it will index the post (in most cases) in 15 minutes.

When you are posting on a blog, first choose a keyword that you want to get that post ranked. Use that keyword in the title of the post.

Try to use that keyword in the first sentence within the first twenty five words, the closer to the start, the better. Use the keyword in the blog post a number of times but dont try to exceed more than 4% keyword density. Use of the keyword should be made in a natural manner.

Try to include three or four links in the post containing the keyword solely. Give emphasis by bolding the link. The URL of that post should also contain the keyword as an extension like http:// Both wordpress and blogger allow you to do this.

But in Blogger, once you have published the post, you cannot change the URL of the post. Publish the post using only the keyword in the title. Later on you can edit and change the title again if you want. You can change the title but it should still contain the keyword.

This way you are telling Google; hey this is the keyword for this post. I have used these simple tricks for getting top ranking for keywords having 100,000 to 1000,000 competing webpages.

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