The Magic of Thinking Backwards

How many times have you drawn an absolute blank when you sat down to write some website or advertising copy, or an article for your blog, or any other kind of promotional material?

You may have a vague idea for a subject, or you may know exactly what you want to write about. But for some reason, you still can’t get it started and flowing like you want.

Maybe it’s because you’re starting at the wrong point.

Instead of starting at the beginning, try thinking backwards. Begin with the end.

Before you start to write, think about the people who will be reading your message. Who are they? Why are they reading and what do they want to get out of it?

Think about what you want these readers to do when they finish your web page or blog article or whatever. If you were trying to convince them of some particular point of view, what should they be thinking or feeling now? If you were trying to sell a product, do they really want to buy it now? When readers reach for the mouse at the end of your web page, what do you want them to do next?

The answers to these questions should help you get into the right frame of mind.

Next ask yourself, what causes people to think, feel and react the way I want them to? When you find the particular answer to that question, you will also find the words to create the action and reaction you want.

It’s important to be specific, so let’s look at an example.

Suppose you are writing an article to promote your website where you sell a product. What do you want readers to think, feel and do after they read the article?

You want them to think that you’re an expert who is very knowledgeable about the subject of your article. You want them to feel curious about you and your product. Maybe you even want them to feel desire for your product. And you want them to take action by visiting your website or contacting you for more information.

Once you find the words, phrases and images you can use to create those thoughts and feelings the hardest part of your writing job will be done.

Vanessa Shelton is a web designer, marketing consultant and copywriter with over 20 years experience. She uses “The Right Words – The Right Way” to bring your ideas and vision to the world. With newsletters, article marketing, the website refresh, and more in her arsenal, Vanessa is ready to help small business owners and independent professionals get attention, and get results. Visit to see how Vanessa can help you.

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