Words Matter More than You Know for Crafting World-Class Copy

It’s called spelling for a reason…

Our words are magic. With our words we create our realities. The words we speak create the experience we have and the reality we live in

Change one word, change everything

The words we use create narratives and stories. These narratives and stories create images and visions inside our minds. These images and visions elicit specific feelings and emotions. And these feelings and emotions drive our actions and behaviours

This is why our words are the most powerful tool we have when it comes to copywriting and communicating. It’s why they’re the 4th Universal Principle of World-Class Copy and why we focus all of our time, energy and attention on them once we have the desired outcome, emotion and story figured out

When it comes to words, like all things — we keep it simple… There are 2 types of language:

  1. Conflict
  2. Architect

As you can tell — there’s one we want more of than the other. What comes to mind when you think of conflict? Tension. Obstruction. Anger. Violence. What comes to mind when you think of an architect? What do they do? They build. They create. They bring things into reality that ceases to exist

We break these 2 types down into 3 subtypes:

  1. Negation & Affirmation
  2. Soft Talk & Solid Talk
  3. Projection and Reflection

Negations are when we focus on what wasn’t, what isn’t, and what can’t be. The rampant use of Negations in our personal relationships can cause minor and major Conflict without us even knowing

Words like not, can’t, won’t, isn’t, don’t, haven’t, hasn’t, and shouldn’t are all Negation setup words and focus the mind on what it’s trying to avoid. When we use negations in our copy we’re talking our clients OUT OF THE OPPORTUNITY OF WORKING WITH US. We’re essentially turning them away…

Negations are powerful when wanting to elicit a “negatively aroused emotion”, yet we need to balance them with affirmations so the mind is also forced to focus on what the reader/client does want

Affirmations are when we focus on what was, what is, and what can be. Words like can, will, is, has, have, am, are all Affirmation setup words that help you focus on the imagery and feelings of what you are seeking or seeking to understand

The use of affirmations focuses the readers mind on what they want. It paints a perfect picture to bring about feelings of excitement and awe

Soft Talk is the excessive use of softening words to create ambiguity, uncertainty, and avoidance about a particular concept or choice. It’s a great way to add frustration and uncertainty into our lives

Soft Talk works on the same line that “Choice Overload” does — whereby we tell ourselves a narrative that isn’t definitive and no choice is made. Words like could, should, probably, might, maybe, someday, one day, something, think, feel, some time, future are examples of Soft Talk

Solid Talk is the use of clear, direct, powerful language to effectively communicate your thoughts about a particular concept or choice. Solid Talk is an effective way to add clarity and end unnecessary Conflict in our personal lives

This is what’s going to happen. This is when it’s going to happen. This is how it’s going to happen. It’s communication that’s “set in concrete

Projections assign exclusive responsibility to someone or something outside of yourself for what you are feeling, thinking, and doing. They are some of the most deeply held, challenging Conflict stories

Here’s the good news; they often end in extremely liberating outcomes. Projections immediately place ourselves in the “victim role” in life and force us to be blamethrowers — continually pointing the finger at something or someone and giving away our power

In copywriting, this would be focusing on other people or other things and drawing your readers attention away from themselves — thus weakening the copy. Instead of YOU, it would be “most people”, “women in general”, “some men”, they, he, she, and more

Reflections acknowledge what you have created and are creating for yourself AND your ability to change it. They’re the launching point for profound change in our personal lives

Reflections place ourselves and our readers in the “herOo role” in life and force us to point the finger back on ourselves. Copy that speaks to the reader and forces them to reflection back on themselves (i.e. reading in the “I”) will delve deeper than the surface level that a broader style of copy will reach

This greatly enhances the depth that the copy hits, the emotional level it reaches and the intimate connection formed between yourself and your reader. A greater depth of reflections and the greater the liking, knowing and trust that is formed

Words matter. Simple…

Spend more time on your words. Make them specific. Choose them consciously. Ask, is this an accurate representation of what I am trying to express? One word can change the level that your copy hits. Oftentimes, we’ll break each copy piece down into single sentences and assess and tweak them that way — sometimes, spending hours over choosing a specific word…

Journaling Prompt: do these words paint an accurate representation of what I am trying to express?

Nick Maier

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I write copy, create content + systems for some of the biggest brands, businesses and influencers inside the H&F + Personal Development Space. It’s fucking rad

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Nico Maier

Nico Maier

I write copy, create content + systems for some of the biggest brands, businesses and influencers inside the H&F + Personal Development Space. It’s fucking rad

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