Make More Money Writing Online: How to Write Persuasively
One of the things I have learned from writing over the past 40 years is that good writing, or copywriting, has tremendous power to move people. Here is the key to writing great persuasive copy that convinces people to take action:
Good writing does not necessarily move people. People move people.
People don't take action based on how well copy is written, they buy from people whom they know and trust. The funny thing is, you don't even have to be a good copywriter to move people or get them to take some kind of action.
All you have to do is get them to like and trust you when they reading your copy. I have been in the advertising and marketing business all of my life and that is something I know how to do.
In this article, I'm going to share the first three tips that have been the most helpful in writing persuasively.
Additional tips will be covered in this Hub, "Make More Money Online: Write Persuasively."
All Original, All the Time
Attached to the top of my computer screen is a small placard that reads, "Be Authentic." These two words remind me to not only be truthful but to be real and original when I am writing to or speaking with others.
Originality is one of the most valuable commodities you have because you are indeed unique. You are an original so speak or write like an original.
Here is what I mean: Your reader does not want to waste time with a re-hash of a particular subject. Your reader wants something new, original, a never-been-seen-before fresh angle on your topic.
This type of copy is difficult to write but it presents them with something of value. When you give your reader something they value, that reader is beholden to you (as we say here in Texas).
To your reader, original information is valuable because it is truly new. This value builds trust in your reader and opens them up to be receptive to what you are saying. Give readers rewritten garbage and they will not trust you and will likely never be receptive to anything you say to them in the future.
Be authentic and original all of the time.
Benefits and Features Together Forever
This benefit/feature couple is great together but each is useless when left alone without the other. Benefits and features are married and together - this is a vital key to writing successful persuasive copy. The features and benefits must be explained together in order to persuade the reader - to give the reader a reason to take action.
For example: A snow tire may provide superior traction in the slickest conditions and help keep families safe. That's the benefit of owning the snow tire. Readers want to know why the snow tire provides that benefit. Without the features explaining the benefit, the traction is just a boast with no basis in fact.
What proves the traction is better? The features of the tire explain how the benefit does what it does. In this case, the feature may be a newly engineered special tread design that allows for the benefit of superior traction.
Do you see how the feature and benefit work together?
The converse is true if we only tell the reader about the features. The reader is confused because the copy does not tell them why the feature is important. One of the most common mistakes writers make when trying to create more persuasive copy is assuming the reader already knows something about the topic.
As a result, writers often create confusing copy. One of the worst things you can do as a copywriter is tease your readers with only features or only benefits. This only leads to confused readers that leave quickly.
To write more persuasive copy, start by telling the reader how your topic/product/information will benefit them in their particular situation. Write about benefits first, then explain the benefits with features. Features clarify the benefits - with our new snow tire, the newly designed special tread provides better traction in slick conditions.
If used together, readers now know what the tire does (benefit) and how it does it (features). Readers really don't care about features unless they understand how those features will provide a benefit.
Using Bullet Points for Online Perusers.
Another tip is to present features and benefits in an easily readable format. Typically, online readers like to scan over copy and pick out the most important information. Bullet points do the job quite effectively.
Place the benefit first (usually in bold) and then explain that benefit with the feature copy placed immediately after - for our TreadMaster snow tire, it might look something like this:
• Your family can ride safe and secure in the worst weather with the newly designed TreadMaster superior tread pattern design.
Building a Solid, Persuasive Case for the Reader
You can tell readers every last detail about your topic/product/information but unless you provide substantial evidence supporting your claims, readers will not be interested.
Never provide information when writing persuasive copy that cannot be backed up by facts, evidence or true statements. Provide readers with lots of facts, figures, data, testimonials and information that support what you're telling them in your copy. Truth is the most powerful force in persuasive copy.
Testimonials provide superior support, especially if that testimonial is provided by a known expert. Real life experience is also an effective means of persuading readers.
Documents also provide adequate credibility to support your copy. Citing copy from expert sources like books, magazines, or other articles is also an effective way to prove a case.
Be sure to cite only the part of the quotation that is pertinent to your copy and provide the proper citation. Click here for examples of citing information properly.
Remember, persuasive copy that is supported by verifiable sources carries a lot of weight and authority with readers. Imagine yourself having to defend your topic/product/information in a murder trial.
If you lose the case, the reader will not want hear whatever you're saying and send your copy away to the "big house." What arguments would best persuade the jury of readers to come back with a favorable verdict.
A Brief Explanation of How to Write Persuasive Copy...
In "Make More Money Writing Online Writing Persuasively," you will discover:
• How to Write an Effective Call to Action
• Developing a Clear Writer's Voice
• Emotional Appeal
• Editing for More Persuasive Writing
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