You may write some fabulous stuff.
But if your reader never takes action — never attempts to put your advice into practice — then you’re not going to get very far as an authority.
You need your readers to take your advice if you ever want to have testimonials about how you’ve helped them (and you definitely want some great testimonials!).
Inspiring them to action is a gift you give that gives back to you.
Now it’s time to take your first draft and make it better…
Persuade With Reasons And Repetition
Studies show that people are more likely to comply with your directions, if you just give them a reason to! Think about it…people do things for a reason, give them good reasons to do what you want them to do.
Repetition is critical in persuasive writing. Argue your point from many different angles, always arriving at the same conclusion…your’s! You should: state your position plainly and clearly, use examples, use statistics, tell a story, quote a famous person or authority, give convincing evidence that your position is the right position to take.
Provide Social Proof
When you show that others agree with your perspective, you go a long way toward proving your point. People look for guidance from others as to what to do or what to accept. Just look at how many testimonials you see on sales pages. Social proof in a blog post means quoting other authorities, statistics or research.
Before you publish that blog post, do a quick internet search to see what others have said about the same topic. If you find something valuable, use it (and quote/link to your source!)
Use Comparisons As A Persuasive Technique
Using metaphors, similes, and analogies are very common persuasive writing techniques. Why? Because they allow you to compare your conclusion to something the reader may already accept as true, which makes your point easier to understand. (I did this last time when I used the example of my son’s struggle with writing an English essay.)
Feel Their Pain!
Identify the problem your solution will be solving a little later in your piece (remember what we covered in Lesson 1?). Let them know you know how they feel. You’ve been there and done that yourself, and here is what you found to take the pain away! Your solution’s credibility goes way up if you can demonstrate to your reader that you truly can identify with their problem.
Use a Story to Illustrate your Point
This is probably the most crucial thing you can do. And there are two ways to do it:
- Using a direct story
- Using a comparative story
Let me explain:
In a direct inspirational story, the people and the actions are meant as a direct example. The story of a paraplegic overcoming odds to live a normal life is not a direct inspiration to a realestate salesperson, but the story of the guy who cross-sells the customer is.
The direct inspirational story comes from the same industry you’re in, and was originally experienced by someone who does what you do. It’s directly applicable as an example. It’s a role model. It’s also harder to work with because it’s likely there are fewer good examples to use, and you can’t just keep trotting out the same old ones every time.
In a comparative inspirational story, you’re comparing one person’s situation to another. You’re sending the message: if this person can overcome obstacles to succeed, you can, too.
Comparative inspirational stories come to us all the time from the world of sports and are applied to business because in both cases people are striving against competition to win. Same thing with war analogies. On a different side altogether, a story about getting through a difficult family situation and maintaining relationships can also inspire a team having troubles getting along (it’s not always about sports and fighting). In my situation, I like to use the metaphor of cooking as a way to explain writing.
You may be wondering, who am I to write something inspirational? Why would anyone listen to me?
You’re the person with the blog other people are reading and learning from, that’s who. You’re already inspiring them. To what degree is up to you.
That’s it for today. Next time, we’ll tackle your blog post’s title (aka the headline).