There are many data-based strategies to successfully create persuasive communication. That’s the science. Likewise, there are just as many techniques for delivering the words, ideas, and data that persuasion often requires. Knowledge and mastery of those techniques is the art. And, like science, art can be learned.
So, today I want to share five key characteristics of persuasive blog posts and a simple five-paragraph template for creating your own persuasive blog posts. Five Characteristics of Persuasive Blog Posts
There are countless books and papers on how to write more persuasively, but I’m going to share the characteristics I’ve found most effective based on 30 years (ouch, I’m old) of persuading folks using blog posts and other content marketing tools.
The most persuasive blog posts are… 1. Logic-Based
Far too often, we allow our emotions to color our style. Passion is great, but in written communications, passion usually clouds, hides, and often replaces fact. To convince the skeptic, strip your posts of emotional language and pleas entirely. 2. Data-Driven
Writers fall back on emotional language because they lack any meaningful data to support their position. Sometimes the data doesn’t exist. But more often the lack of data is because the writer is too lazy to do the work to find the necessary supporting data.
The truth is that it’s much harder to argue with data than opinion, so find the most compelling data and include it in your posts. 3. Proven, Not Told
In a great scene in A Few Good Men, Tom Cruise’s character tells Demi Moore’s character, “It doesn’t matter what I think, only what I can prove.”
Never have truer words been spoken. When you’re trying to persuade “the other side” to come around to your point of view, build your case using logic, facts, and proof served up like breadcrumbs. You want the reader to follow the breadcrumbs down a logic trail that you believe will deliver reasonably intelligent, logical people to your desired point of view. 4. Short
We live in an ADD world. Although I disagree that humans’ attention spans have shortened, I emphatically believe humans’ time to pay attention is at an absolute premium. Don’t make your reader wade through War and Peace. Make your point, make it well, and move on. 5. Not Lines Drawn in the Sand
At some point, your blog post will venture into the land of opinion: the point of view you’re promoting and encouraging your reader to adopt. If possible, don’t state it as a black-and-white decision. Instead, give the reader permission to acknowledge the point without having to agree or disagree.
Soften the landing with phrases such as “the data seems to support you should do X,” or “research suggests doing Y leads to positive outcomes.” Softening words, such as “seems” and “suggests,” give readers permission to draw their own conclusions vs. having to begrudgingly accept yours.It may feel like nothing, but that one little change can often be the difference between successful and unsuccessful […]