I’ve developed something of a resemblance to Shrek in recent years – the waistline has expanded big time, my grumpiness occasionally rears its head and I sometimes end up with clients who are donkeys: stubborn, answering back and reluctant to pay for work done.
But, back in the day, I used to show “Shrek” on DVD regularly: one, because it is a class film; two, students and I enjoyed it; three, I could relax knowing that my fetish for showing films in English engendered high GCSE grades and instilled intrinsic motivation.
Like business, innit, if you like where you work and who you work with, you produce better results. Films did that for me – and my students.
“Shrek” though, the original film, has other crucial factors too as I explained to Joshua over the phone last week, who rang me to pick my brain about writing.
I used the Shrek analogy then and make no apologies for repeating it here.
Ogres have layers, onions have layers, content has layers.
“Shrek” begins in one place (the swamp) and your blog posts should begin and end in one place: like the swamp.
Your subject line or title should contain enough enticing detail to get people clicking through to read; the opening should compel your reader to continue (that opening can also become your metadescription – that snippet Google shows); the content should be informative and entertaining and take the reader on a journey (like Shrek does to rescue the Princess) and the finale should return to the start.
It’s called in media circles: Freytag’s Triangle but in copywriting it’s called structure I guess?
So there you have it: some pearls of wisdom from someone who graduated in 1986 with an English degree, taught the subject from 1987 to 2014 from ages 8 to 18 and is now sitting in his Norfolk swamp, wondering when Donkey clients will pay up and when his partner, Fiona, will knock out a fresh stovetop coffee.