58 ways to create persuasive content your audience will love

58 ways to create persuasive content your audience will love

reader comments (68)

  1. practice, practice, practice, seems to be the only way to get good at anything! my favorite tips are those that make the reader remember- gotta rock those adjectives.

  2. the plan ahead tip, or number 45. stands out to me because i am a lazy writer by default. and tip number 51 will always catch me out. as it will for most of the readers of this blog post. good thing that i’m not planning to become an english teacher.

  3. thanks for so many helpful ideas, wish i had this earlier before i tried to “be clever” in a heading and great post fell flat.

    the real jerusalem streets
    @realjstreets

  4. great list on tips to write killer content, however, most important is how we use it effectively. i just can say thanks and google + for this post.

  5. i’d like to add a #59

    entertain first, then educate and sell.

    your customers aren’t just sitting around waiting to read that next, huge tome that you spent 12 hours writing if it doesn’t contain a little controversy or a little spice.

    …just look at how many hours people spend forwarding and facebooking silly jokes- how many hours we spend watching ‘reality’ tv.

    this doesn’t mean that you have to shell out crap, but you need to focus on catching that reader’s attention with a little entertainment before you expect her to spend 15 minutes reading your “7 tips for conquering world hunger” blog post.

    look at how much we pay movie stars and sports figurs vs. teachers. this is not a mistake. this money translates most other businesses as well. those that entertain us as they teach us are the ones that get our attention.

    it positions you as one of them.
    it helps create a relationship, where you’re no longer a sales person… just a real person.
    it helps build your tribe and makes it really hard to infiltrate.

    -joshua black
    the underdog millionaire

    • i agree, joshua. entertaining is a good way to catch the attention of your audience and to keep them reading. entertaining is even more effective if you also help your readers to solve their problems.

  6. awesome tips!

    i couldn’t think of adding anything more to this wonderful list that you shared with all of us. i think each tip is so well thought of and listed perfectly well.

    thanks for sharing. 🙂

  7. these are all fabulous tips – i’ve featured most of them on my blog as well.

    but, i’ve come to the conclusion that while most people can improve their writing skills, truly ‘great’ writers have an implicit skill that cannot be taught or honed.

    it’s not like riding a bike.

    copywriting, or writing in general, has an inherently creative/artistic element that you’ve either got, or not!

    not everyone can be a picasso.

    • thanks for adding your thoughts to this post, ruth.

      i agree that to become a truly great writer like, for instance, haruki murakami, one needs incredible talent.

      i’d like to add, though, that most writing doesn’t require that kind of talent. regular practice, studying the masters, and being generous to your readers will make most people effective writers.

      • i really agree with that, henneke.

        and study after study after study shows that what we think is innate talent mostly comes from a lot of practice. i’m still not sure what i believe about writing — some people do seem to be more innately verbally expressive than others — but to become a strong content marketer, it’s about practice, not an innate talent.

      • great point. i think a lot of people get discouraged because they feel they just don’t have “it”. practice may not make perfect, but it sure helps.

    • hi ruth,

      although many greats in their niche had tremendous natural talent, almost all of these folks had 1 or numerous massive limiting factors which had to be worked through, before they became geniuses. elvis, fred astaire, and countless all time greats in many fields were written off more than once, before they became legends.

      limiting beliefs do arise in all forms; it’s important to note them 😉

      thanks for sharing with us.

      ryan biddulph

      • oh – don’t get me wrong ryan. i’m not suggesting that the ‘greats’ don’t struggle. i’m arguing the converse – that even after struggling, working, modelling, learning, practicing – great writing still requires a certain element of skill that tends to be innate.

        going through those motions may make ‘most people effective writers’ (as henneke pointed out in her reply), but i don’t agree that it will make most people great (or even solidly good) writers.

        there is nothing wrong with aspiring to ‘effective’ – it’s still a lot better than most of the garbage that is out there.

        but it’s not great.

    • ruth, i suggest you read the book “the war of art” by steven pressfield. pressfield struggled for more than 20 years before writing something that gained him success. he was beset by resistance, and didn’t write for years. when he finally sat down to write his stuff wasn’t worth anything (or at least didn’t bring him success). he kept slogging away for more years, practicing, writing, writing the occasionally good stuff, and writing some pretty bad stuff. he was an overnight success, but it took him two decades!

  8. a thorough and thoughtful list. nice to see someone ‘do as they say’. happy to pass along.

  9. hi henneke,

    super! i worked over my blog and squeeze page too after digesting your tips.

    keep up the great work. thanks for sharing 🙂

    ryan biddulph

  10. all of these ideas have helped me become a good writer. i even learned a few new ones, go you! i would say that the last one is the most important. to be a good writer, it is crucial to write, a lot. at least 1,000 words a day.

  11. great post! i tend to get frustrated because i spend too much time on my posts between research, writing, editing, writing, editing…more writing, editing, etc. i’m always looking for ways to streamline the process while still adding a ton of value to my readers which can get tough sometimes.

  12. #39 if i had a pound for every time i read the word ‘we’ on a corporate site i would be typing this on a very sleek macbook air (rather than a grubby – and well loved macbook!) awesome post.

  13. i love the point about writing remarkable content. there’s so much out there, that if a writer really wants to stand out, he/she needs to take the time to write remarkable content that gets noticed and shared. this also happens to be a key tenet of buzz marketing.

    thanks for the great post! 🙂

  14. thanks for the easy to read, comprehensive post! i am just starting out in the blogging world and have been making a checklist of sorts for myself to make sure i include what needs including, keeping out what needs keeping out and double checking everything.

  15. wow — this is one hellova list of things to remember to make your writing great. thanks for the reminders!

  16. very valuable information – thank you so much. i’ve managed to make some improvements to my copy using strunk and white’s “elements of style,” but this little checklist helps to clarify how to translate merely good writing into writing which impels action.

  17. henneke,
    for me, the turning point was right near the beginning. you had me sit up at point number 2. it made total sense cultivating your subheadings will only
    a. add to the power of your title
    b. keep you on track as your write your post
    c. keep your reader’s focus

    brilliant!

    to be honest, everyone’s sudden trend of only posting top x or numbered posts is fast becoming a bore.

    but your post is different. you composed your list to flow like that of a real document instead of a list and thus a more enjoyable read. instead of a jarring jump into the next section with continued the listings you created a pause. the preamble under each subheading acts as a break that gently segues the reader into the next stage of writing. interestingly, i noticed your style change slightly in sections. and the pace varied! with carefully chosen words, in some sections you’re like a sprite that springs from point-to-point. then, other sections your tone slows becoming subdued as if you are catching your breath before springing back into action in the next section. from this, i get a sense of which stages you prefer to do and the ones you find a chore. the variation added to the originality of your post and made for a refreshing and fun read.

    as i said earlier, my patience of reading numbered list posts is waning. i know they are the most popular post to read but the frequency of their appearance is redundant like that of an overplayed song on the radio – tiresome. your post, however, is different because of your careful attention to the flow of the post, variation of pace, and choice of words. you held my attention for all 58 points.

    but, you had me at number 2.

    plan your post, post your plan

    • thanks, alexandra. i am glad you enjoyed the post.
      subheads are hugely important – especially for long list posts. it’s important to draw readers back into the post if they start skimming. 😉

  18. bookmarked this post. you persuaded me sir. hehe! for me, it’s like a quick intro for those who haven’t digging the archive of copyblogger.
    what i could add is the “spacing”. like what i learned from this site, the appearance of your copy matters.
    i wouldn’t read this post if it’s written in big blocks of paragraph. .
    btw, great post as usual from cb! =)

    jerome

  19. i have to admit when i saw ’58 ways…’ i thought to myself, do i really want to read this? i’m going off list posts, they’re great but it ends up being just another resource which i don’t have time to go all the way through and have to mark for later – i hate that.

    that being said, i read the article anyway, and i’m glad i did!! i loved it – you kept your points succinct and it’s all great advice – thanks for sharing,

    take care & best wishes,
    alan

  20. the tips that i have seen work the best for me are #15 and #16. i have gotten over 30,000 hits on 1 post just for taking a common item and completely surprising my readers with something new they didnt know they could do with these items. readers love it! thanks for the awesome list!

  21. great list – i really stand behind the points you made about crafting the perfect headline. this is definitely the first thing that can catch the eye of a potential reader, so it is smart to write ones that convert!

  22. awesome tips and i’ve already applied a few to an article i’m working on. thanks very much!

    p.s. i actually think the common belief that there were three wise men is because there are 3 prominent gifts mentioned in the story.

  23. wow… i think i just had a brain orgasm lol

    i do many of these points unconsciously when i write but i was definitely losing out on a lot of the suggestions as well.

    i loved the tip on using “because” as an action trigger and the word “you” as a connector.

    i have never read anything backwards and i don’t use a spell checker but i normally read all my content a few times before publishing it.

    sergio

  24. good points. i’ve been to lots of writing classes in my life and all of your arguments here are the best anyone could ever follow. it takes skill to enchant your readers and mastery of this skill will pave the way to more opportunities for a website or blog.

  25. it’s also good to check your details to avoid looking silly.
    “use the rule of three. our brains are wired to remember three things more easily. why do you think we have three little pigs, three wise men, and three musketeers?”
    your example has nothing to do with remembering things in threes.

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