When most people think of persuasive writing, they think of essays in school. However, persuasive writing is a skill that can be used in many different areas of your life. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to write persuasive content for your website or blog. We’ll cover the basics of what makes good influential content, and we’ll give you some tips on how to create it. So read on if you want to learn how to persuade your readers!
Engage with others’ ideas
We don’t convince others by thinking about our ideas in a vacuum. We learn and persuade others by reading other blogs, understanding what others think, and looking for places where we have something to say. The best persuasive content tells us why it matters, includes the views of other people, and reaches beyond the closest cliche to provide insight and understanding.
Summarize others’ thoughts
I like to start out writing persuasive content by engaging with the ideas that other people have on the topic. I like to start out with a simple formula called “they say/I say.” It’s a technique I learned in the book They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein but it applies to all kinds of writing.
Start out by simply restating their ideas and then add what you think. An example: “They say cheeseburgers are delicious but I say their environmental costs are too high.” Another example: “Most Americans think exercise is important but few follow through on daily goals in my experience.” It’s a great way to start out persuasive content and shows that you’re connecting your ideas to others who are thinking about the topic too. Then summarize their ideas. If your blog or article is long enough, quote them as well. It gives you credibility and attribution is always appreciated by us writers.
Tell us what you think
Next, respond with your views. Do you agree with what others have said? Disagree entirely or just partially? This is the fun part! Finally we get to say what we think. If you know of other writers, researchers or groups that agree with your views, feel free to include their voices as well. The best persuasive writing contains lots of ideas and voices! Be sure to attribute other people’s thoughts and writing in this section as well. A good technique here is to use phrases like “Although I agree up to a point, I still think…” or “Though I concede that _______, I still believe _______.
Everything is connected
The third and final step is to connect it all together. For me, this is the hardest part of persuasive writing. I want to end with precision, a tinge of emotion, and in as few words as possible. That is hard. A good trick here is to go back and look at your first paragraph and think about how to restate or build upon those initial sentences so that the article or blog comes full circle back to the original ideas. Have you ever heard that joke about how movie executives tell screenwriters to give them “the same story but tell it differently?” That’s what you want to do in the final third of your blog post or article: repeat the ideas but take the reader into new territory.
You need persuasive content for any website or blog aiming to generate leads and sales. By understanding the basics of what makes good persuasive content, and by following our tips on how to create it, you’ll be well on your way to writing content that persuade your readers to take action. Of course, if you need help creating persuasive content, we’re always here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our writing and editing services.
Check out this 30-second YouTube video on starting out argumentative essays if you’d rather watch than read!