Robots Can’t Play Chopin.

When I was 12, I watched the 80s sci-fi movie D.A.R.Y.L. (“Data-Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform”… get it?) over at a friend’s traditional Asian household with his older brother, who was an accomplished violin virtuoso. I remember one scene where Daryl, a lifelike child robot powered by A.I., sat down at the piano and played… beautifully. “Daryl could never play that well in real life,” my friend’s brother sniffed. “He’s a robot… he could play the notes, but he could never play with emotion.”

The D.A.R.Y.L. scene and commentary replayed in my mind recently upon receiving an email from a keyword research company clobbering me over the head with “Buy Now!!!” sales copy about their new product: A software that can allegedly write highly effective copy.

“Complete Sales Messages In Under 90 Minutes!” It promised. “Users typically finish their first income-generating video sales message  in 90 minutes – with absolutely no copywriting experience.”

As a writer, I immediately took offense: They’re saying a robot can do my job!  I flashed back to D.A.R.Y.L., and started wondering… is it possible? Robots are amazing: They can vacuum floors, perform surgery and even explore distant planets!

I decided to investigate.

As much as I hate to admit it, I discovered that A.I. can indeed now “write” — but only in clumsy, basic forms, such as AP-style journalism stories and awkward erotica from “sexy chatbots

(though I daresay A.I.-powered sexy chatbots could easily surpass the writing quality of 50 Shades of Gray).

But let’s be clear: Robots will never be able to write well, because writing, in its purest incarnation, is a creative art form.

Nutritional supplement copywriting, in particular, takes a deft touch. In order to sell any natural health  modality or product, we must connect with the reader’s feelings, fears, hopes and dreams.

Real writing requires something A.I. will never have: Feelings.

The same goes for painting, dancing, acting, and music. Any creative art, and those dummy stupid-head robots will fail.

Way back in 1987, my friend’s brother had been spot on about D.A.R.Y.L. and A.I. of the future:

Robots can play, but they cannot play with emotion.

Here’s what it sounds like.

Exhibit A.: Chopin – Nocturne No. 13 in C minor, Opus 48 No. 1

A damned dirty robot, ruining beautiful Chopin.

So clumsy! So devoid of finesse or style! Just a lifeless rendering of notes, like a player piano reeling through its scroll.


(OK, maybe robots don’t say “beep boop” but they definitely think in all caps)

Human Valentina Lesitsa, playing the same.

So different. the Machine and Ms. Lesitsa the same? Taking “data” (the sheet music) and translating it into sound, using the physical tools at hand.

Yet their sound could not be any different. The reason why is best expressed at the 5:00 mark of Ms. Lesitsa’s video. It’s much better in the context of the performance, but in a nutshell:

Dat face.

She’s pouring her soul into her performance. Robots can’t do that.

Robots don’t have souls.

And why? Because as the plays, Ms. Lesitsa feels. She feels something Frédéric Chopin once felt, and mingles that with what she feels.  and bringing him to life once again. She mingles his brilliance with her own artistry; her own interpretation.

Deeper still, she is extending far into the Astral Plane, tapping into the infinite energy of the universe and pulling out something divine.

At the risk of mixing composer metaphors, Ms. Lesitsa becomes a mouthpiece for The Voice of God.

Is it any wonder that by the end, Ms. Lesitsa looks like this?


Exhausted. Drained. Slumped. She’s put every ounce of her mana into her performance.

It would be fitting for an assistant to emerge, drape a cape over her shoulders like James Brown, and help her off the stage.

What I am trying to express, I suppose, is that…

Robots will always fail at art because they don’t have souls.

There, I said it.

Robots cannot be creative. They will never be inspired by a muse. They will never suffer to sing the blues.

They might be able to muster a clumsy and soulless “performance.” But never will they be able to pour their soul into the music and leave it on the stage, as Ms. Lesitsa or James Brown. This is a human condition.

Ergooooooo, any software that claims it can “write” compelling sales copy is a joke.

And remember: Some of y’all “writers” are robots, too.

Any performing monkey can mine data from wikipedia, rearrange it, swap in a few synonyms and call it a day. That’s A.I.-grade writing.

Sure, it’s cheap, easy and plentiful. But it’s also mindless and soulless, and and quite frankly, it stinks.

The Google knows the difference. Your audience knows, too.

If your health message matters, you need a nutritional supplement copywriter who will give you a part of his soul.

Who, at the end of the performance, will be slumped over the keyboard in exhaustion, just as Ms. Letista is slumped over her keys above.

The difference in the finished product will be clear: More than merely words strung together into lifeless copy, you will possess writing as art that is a piece of the divine.

Robots can’t play Chopin.

And they sure as hell can’t write great copy.

Memo to all robots: Step away from the keyboard and get back to vacuuming my floors.


~ P.J.S. the N.H.W.

P.S. As you may have guessed, The Natural Health Writer is obsessed with Chopin Nocturnes. It’s better than chocolate. Listen to the Nocturnes once, all the way through, and they will unlock and open doors in your mind that will never close again. As you listen, you will feel your brain cells perking up, making new connections, flexing and reorganizing like cosmic antennae orienting to a higher power.

There are many who play Chopin Nocturnes, but in my opinion, Brigitte Engerer is best.

The Commodity Myth for Nutritional Supplements

Shattering the nutritional supplement commodity myth secures the sale and educates customers for better health.

In the nutritional supplement world, The Commodity Myth is when consumers say that “all  supplements are the same.” When supplements are commoditized in consumers’ minds, dollar-store brands and bargain Amazon listings reign supreme.

Many El-Cheapo nutritional supplement brands are commoditized to a lowest common denominator.

You know the brands I am talking about. There is a certain economy class nutritional supplement that ranges from toxic to adequate. They are most often found at rock-bottom prices in locations like:

  • Drug Stores – Generic brands that offer bare-bones basic supplements
  • Dollar Stores – Probably the worst option due to low supplement quality and FDA safety risk warnings regarding bad foreign manufacturers
  • Amazon – Consumers who believe the Commodity Myth will sort by price and buy the cheapest supplements
  • Membership Warehouse Stores – The combination of bulk purchasing and generic ingredients makes for irresistibly cheap supplement for budget-conscious consumers

Now, not all supplements in the aforementioned outlets are crappy quality.

Bargains can be had, and health can be supported without breaking the bank. That is, if a customer is lucky or informed enough to pick a winner against difficult odds.

But quality supplement brands are something altogether different. They may cost more, but the extra expense is justified. Consumers will pay more for supplement cleanliness, bioavailability, safety and overall effectiveness.

The truest supplement forms (those that respect and realize nutrition’s potential to optimize health) cannot be commodified. Instead, they offer unique properties that create unique sales propositions.

When Vitamin World needed to train its sales force on the Nutritional Supplement Commodity Myth, they called the Natural Health Writer.

In tandem with nutritional supplement industry Marketing Genius Gerard McIntee, I created the following Commodity Myth training piece. It was subsequently published in Vitamin World’s Healthy Sales in-house newsletter:

The Commodity Myth, as it appeared in the Healthy Sales newsletter for Vitamin World store associates

Education is always the secret to supplement sales success.

In this case, the commodity education can completely change a customer’s supplement buying habits — compelling them to shop for the most effective supplement, and not just the cheapest.

With Vitamin World, shattering The Commodity Myth was a slam dunk because they had the right products to back up the claim.

Standardization, cleanliness, branded ingredients, sophisticated stacking strategies… there are many ways for supplements to rise above the commodity crowd.

The Natural Health Writer is here to help you find those sexy supplement features and benefits that set you apart from other products. You may have unique features and benefits that you have not even identified and tapped yet.

The Lesson

The Commodity Myth is an intriguing frame for a common challenge in supplement sales: product differentiation.

The Natural Health Writer‘s magazine spread-style sales training piece proved a successful tool in educating associates on how to educate customers about The Commodity Myth — ultimately selling more nutritional supplements at a higher price, while meeting customer demands for cleaner, healthier and more reliable formulas that work.

As my one-time mentor, Nutritional Health Alliance founder and supplement industry legend Gerald Kessler used to say, “Don’t bargain with your health.”





The Panda Joke

A panda walks into a cafe, pandasits down and orders a sandwich. After he finishes eating it, he pulls out a camera, takes a picture of the waiter, and then stands up to go.

“Hey, Panda!” shouts the manager. “Where do you think you’re going? You didn’t pay for your sandwich!”

The panda pulls out a battered, poorly-punctuated dictionary and tosses it to the manager as he exits. “I’m a PANDA. Look it up!”

The manager opens it and sees this definition: “Panda: A white-and-black, bear-like mammal found in the forest areas of central China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”

OK, so maybe it’s not the best joke in the world, but it serves a purpose: It illustrates how one misplaced comma can change the entire meaning of a sentence, leading to disaster.

Panda jokes are funny. But Google’s Panda 4.0 update? If you’ve been populating your website with cheap content, then the joke’s on you.

A fantastic write-up by Julia Spence-McCoy* at SEMRush outlines 7 content writing guidelines for businesses to follow now that Google’s Panda 4.0 is in place.

Spence-McCoy’s analysis seems to place a more urgent emphasis than ever before on posting unique, knowledgeable and professionally written content only.

My favorite is #6, in which she advises companies to remove low-quality writing from their websites to avoid punishment from the new Google update.

Spence-McCoy goes on to advise, if removing bad content is not possible, companies should “start publishing more quality pieces immediately.”

 The Natural Health Writer loves this.

It sounds like Google’s Panda 4.0 may now even more aggressively target and punish the following affronts to the Art of Writing:

“Frankenwriting” that cobbles together copied-and-pasted phrases from scattered sources of questionable quality.

“Spun” content that changes a few words here and there to spawn meaningless permutations of the original piece.

Flat-out badly written copy: Typos, grammatical errors, poor sentence structure and lack of cohesion or meaning.

Inaccurate, unsubstantiated copy, which, in the natural health realm, creates risks far beyond a “Google Slap.”

Plagiarized content: Ah, plagiarism. The bane of Google, gumming up the works with redundant, unoriginal drivel.

*Here’s the Real Punchline:

I first read this awesome list of 7 Post-Panda 4.0 Content Rules to Live By as a LinkedIn post, “written by” an SEO consultant.

But scrolling down to the comment section, he was exposed as having plagiarized the entire post from the original work of Julia Spence-McCoy.

This means that this “SEO Consultant” plagiarized an article that was about avoiding plagiarism for SEO purposes…. Oh, the irony!

Talk about a misplaced comma!    ::rimshot::

But seriously, folks… what kind of writers are you working with in this Panda 4.0 world?

Need Great Natural Health Content?

Supplements and holistic practices need premium-quality content to excel.

All your communications must be credible, clear and compelling.

Equally critical: Your messaging to patients and customers must be consistent.

Here’s the problem:

Whether you’re treating patients, developing supplements or marketing natural health products, you don’t have time to create consistently outstanding content.

The Natural Health Writer is Here to Help.

– Accomplished storyteller of supplements and holistic wellness

– Skilled curator of authoritative, substantiated research sources

– Copywriting mastermind who sparks instant and sustained sales

I’ve written for industry legends: Piping Rock, Puritan’s Pride, Vitamin World, Cosway, Youngevity and Nature’s Plus.

My campaigns have made millions for branded health ingredients like Pycnogenol, Kaneka, OmniActives and more.

I’ve published two natural health magazines, seven books and 100+ articles on diverse holistic wellness practices.

I’ve landed and interviewed stars like Alec Baldwin, Jane Seymour and Mike Huckabee for natural health articles.

Let’s Work Together!

Are you months behind on email newsletters and blogging? Facing a “need it yesterday” time crunch on new product copywriting? Are your competitors winning Google because their content is simply better than yours? I can make these headaches disappear.

The Natural Health Writer is seeking a limited number of outstanding clients right now. Let’s take writing off your plate to free your time… so you can focus on what you do best!

Contact Me Today

And we can get started today!


Call: 631.790.4331

Connect on LinkedIn too, it’s cool!

Thank you, speak soon!



P.J.S. Dougherty

the Natural Health Writer

Model Supplement Claims… Use ‘Em!

Have you noticed the increasing attention given to what you can and cannot claim about your products? It’s a jungle out there… something is going on, and damned if the Natural Health Writer knows what it is!

Remaining compliant with your nutritional supplement copywriting is more than difficult — it is, in fact, the ultimate moving target. This supplement copywriter can get you close; only an FDA-fluent lawyer can hit the target.

However, there remains a bulletproof option for making science-backed statements about your supplement: Claims that have already received the “thumbs-up” from the FDA.

Click here to learn how to make supplement claims that are a-OK with the FDA.

Remember: You must use these claims verbatim, a.k.a. word-for-word, and your products must fit their definition.

Of course, these claims are not exactly Sexy Nutrition

But something about the FDA-styled wording conveys such gravitas that it makes a potent supplement marketing message.

Want to learn more? Check out this page on the difference between Authorized Health Claims and Qualified Health Claims.

Your Customers Are Like Star Trek’s Borg

Remember the Borg from Star Trek? They inhabited a massive cube-shaped spaceship. They thought with a collective hive mind. They assimilated anything useful. When something was of no use, the Borg ignored it completely.

The Enterprise crew blasted the Borg with phasers. This worked… temporarily. After 12 phaser blasts, the Borg adapted to the phaser frequency, rendering the blasts ineffective. The solution? A modulating phaser that changed frequency with each blast. The Borg was unable to adapt because it was faced with something new and unpredictable.

Your audience is the Borg.

When you blast your supplement marketing message with the same frequency every time, your audience will adapt — the blast will be ineffective.

Top 5 weird tricks“…. “Top 3 secrets“… “The #1 tip for“… do these subject lines look familiar? Oh yes, these subjects work… temporarily. But by now, your audience has adapted. The message no longer works. Nutritional supplement consumers are smarter than that.

Make your nutritional supplement marketing message like a modulating phaser beam. Mix it up. Present something different each time. And above all, present something useful to your audience. When you do, your nutritional supplement will be assimilated

Boldly going where no supplement copywriter has gone before,

~ P.J.S. Dougherty
the Natural Health Writer