Being able to write a compelling post on any given subject is one of the most important skills for anyone running an online business or blog, or who aims to become an online influencer. This skill will enable you to convince an audience to keep reading, to get them to trust your opinion and your expertise and ultimately to make purchase decisions based on your advice.
When you can do all that, then you’ll be able to create a large audience, eager to buy your product recommendations from you.
This is persuasive writing and it’s probably the single biggest factor that will ultimately determine whether your business is a success.
The Basic Structure That Draws People in and Gets Them to Buy
Whether you are writing a blog post, article or sales script, your first objective is to get your audience interested and to draw them in. Remember: whenever someone comes across your content on the web, they are liable to be in a hurry. If
Most people online are in a hurry and will have other things they want to do: be at work, answering emails or reading other content. This is why the average bounce rate (amount of time it takes for someone to leave a website) is one to three seconds.
Your job is to get your audience to stop and take notice and the best way to do that is by demonstrating that they should read on. You do this by making it clear that your content is aimed at them and showing them how it matters.
From here, you can gradually unravel the deeper layers of your story or your product until you get right down to the precise details. This is called the ‘inverse pyramid’ and often it will be presented as:
In the case of this very article, we started by outlining that the information we were going to share would be relevant to online marketers and bloggers. Only at this point have we gotten into the specifics of what you need to do to write creatively.
A similar concept, often used in persuasive sales content, is called ‘AIDA’. This is:
Here you take the reader on a journey: from not having heard of your product before, all the way to knowing exactly what it is and really wanting it. This ultimately motivates them to click ‘buy’ or to consider themselves a fan of your content (becoming a warm lead). This is how to write for a web page
Another tip to help you engage your audience is to talk directly to the audience. That means using rhetorical questions (asking the reader to consider things) and using personal pronouns like ‘I’ and ‘you’. This creates the illusion that you’re speaking directly to the reader, which makes them listen. It also forces them to reflect on what is being said, rather than just glancing over it.
Keep your sentences short and to the point. Time is a precious commodity and if you’re going to hold the attention of your audience until the end, then you can’t stuff your content with filler words. Think in terms of trying to provide the maximum amount of value in the minimum amount of time for the audience.
That said, just because shorter is generally better, that doesn’t mean you should make every single sentence the same length. You still need to write in such a way that you sound ‘like you’ and you still need to approach your writing in a varied manner to keep it interesting.
Backing Up What You Are Saying
For the most part, a friendly and familiar writing style works best for online content. The problem is that this still needs to sound professional and trustworthy.
The danger is that if you sound too casual and colloquial, then it won’t seem as though you should be trusted as an expert in the niche.
Getting this balance is just right then and one way you can ensure your words carry weight, is to back up what you’re saying with studies, statistics and expert opinion.
There are many forms this can take. If you’re selling a product, then using testimonials, stats and figures and more can all help to make your product or service sound more appealing.
Never underestimate the power of social proof (such as testimonials). Not only does social proof back up what you’re saying but it also subtly plays on our desire to belong and not to miss out.
If everyone is raving about your product, if everyone is saying it is the best thing to happen to the industry, then that makes most readers curious and want to get involved.
Conversely, if you’re writing an article, then you need to back up your opinion with studies and external references. This ensures that what you’re saying looks like expert opinion and not just opinion or hearsay.
Give your writing weight and back it up with a credible source. And if you’re selling a product, consider looking for evidence or a source that can back up your argument, even if it isn’t direct.
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Keep all this in mind when writing your content and you should find it’s easier to create a compelling piece of content that engages the reader, provides value and ultimately persuades them over to your way of thinking. You can use this to position yourself as an expert in your chosen field or to sell a product.
All that’s left is to conclude your paragraph. Avoid redundant conclusions that sound like high-school essays and never make your conclusion explicit. Instead, try to wrap up the content that has gone before and ideally, reassess the points you made in the introduction.
If you’re trying to sell a product, then the aim is to illicit an ‘action’ (that action being a purchase) and if you’re simply providing value in the form of an interesting article, give your readers something to think and reflect on. This way, your article will stay with them, long after they have finished reading.
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