For a blog post to be truly effective, it must be persuasive. This is especially true when you’re marketing a product, brand, or business online. You must persuade the reader that your idea, opinion, or business offering is superior to that of your competitors.
Once you have learned how to write persuasive content, you’ll be surprised by the success that follows.
Your brand awareness will increase, your content will be considered more authoritative, and your sales will skyrocket. To help you get started, here are five essential tips for creating persuasive blog posts.
1. Make your content credible
For a blog post to be persuasive, the reader must be convinced that the content is credible. Credibility can be obtained in a number of ways:
Work with influential and authoritative people in your industry
The easiest way to add some credibility to your blog is to have an influential individual to contribute. Locate individuals who are highly respected within your industry and hire them to contribute to your blog or comment on its contents. This can be done through basic manual outreach or with the use of platforms like HARO. Readers who associate their name with credibility and knowledge will feel your blog is also becoming a credible source of information.
Link to credible websites
When you write blog posts, get into the habit of citing content from well-respected and popular websites. Use the content and opinions of those credible websites to improve the reliability of your article.
Quote authorities in your industry
Insert quotes from well-respected experts in your industry to back up your claims. If your statements are backed up by quotes from industry leaders, your piece will automatically become more persuasive, especially for those who identify those authorities.
Highlight your own expertise
Mention your own knowledge and experience in the article. This is often done with an author description at the top or bottom of the page. When you inform people that you have been working in the industry for 25 years, your article immediately gains more trust. Other things to mention include your educational background, any awards that your business has received and other publications that you write for.
Use customer quotes and reviews to increase credibility
If you are discussing a product or service, consider adding customer quotes and reviews to your piece, also known as testimonials. Real feedback from a customer can immediately add validity to your blog post and will persuade the reader.
Always provide value to the reader
Blogs often lose trust by producing “puff pieces” of content that are actually low-quality sales pitches. They don’t hold any intrinsic value for the reader. This can seriously damage the reputation and brand image of your businesses blog. Always write content that is valuable and useful — even if the primary aim is to sell products and services.
Be transparent and ethical at all times
Enhance the credibility of your blog posts by being completely transparent and honest with your audience. If you are reviewing a product, tell your audience if you are being sponsored or if you received a free sample. Tell your audience about relationships you have with other businesses. If you don’t, your name can be severely damaged when your audience realises the true intentions behind your article.
Under-promise and overdeliver
Far too often, blogs manage to create catchy headlines that grab user’s attention. But, when it comes to the article itself, the mast majority of them are of poor quality, which forces users to hit the back button.
2. Make logical claims that are supported by data
Logical claims that are supported by data are much more persuasive compared to opinion pieces. Link to the sources of any data that you mention, source quotes appropriately, and back up important statements with evidence.
If your article is fairly technical, consider including the sources in a separate table at the bottom of the article.
Including solid evidence supporting your claims will help to persuade the reader about the validity of your arguments.
3. Anticipate objections to your blog post
Think about the common objections that a reader may have when reading your article.
If you’re promoting a product, what might prevent a reader from being persuaded enough to buy it? Their objections may include:
- It is too expensive
- The competitor’s product is better
- I’m not sure it meets my needs
- I’m not sure this company is trustworthy
Address each of these objections in the article, highlighting the necessity of the product, its superiority over competitor’s products, its affordability, the trustworthiness of your company and so on.
4. Be passionate about your blog post
If you love the topic you are writing about, it will come across in your blog post. The reader will enjoy your passion for the topic and be persuaded by it.
When choosing topics for your blog, always focus on the subjects that you enjoy and are somewhat familiar with.
5. Use perceptual contrast to persuade readers
Perceptual contrast is a well-known psychological concept often used in sales. It describes the change in perception that occurs when two items are compared simultaneously.
Humans use perceptual contrast everyday to compare the physical attributes of different objects — the weight, color and size.
You can take advantage of this psychological impulse to make your blog posts more persuasive.
If you’re selling a product or service, use perceptual contrast to make it seem more valuable or a better deal. You can do this by describing a competitor’s product that is lacking in features or poor value-for-money, then compare it with your product.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.