7 Surefire Strategies Of Persuasive Content
The web is growing. It’s not uncommon for 150,000 new domains to be registered in a single day (source: Mashable). It’s no longer as easy as it used to be to create an online presence.
Here’s the challenge you face either as a new starting business or one that’s already established: new websites are popping up every single day. And people are constantly putting up new content to attract search engine visitors.
Not only that, many websites are training and teaching others to create more and more content in order to attract traffic. Some of them create very good quality content, some of them create sub-par quality content. But they employ the quantity strategy. I’ve also come across many sites that tell people to create content daily.
“Just write, write and write”
While that helps the single entrepreneur to become better at conveying ideas through writing, it creates more noise in the digital search place. So the search engines don’t just rank a website because it has lots of content now, it ranks them based on relevancy, popularity, amongst other factors.
If just purely writing content can get you tons of traffic, the top few websites in the world ought to belong to bloggers who feel the innate urge to broadcast their daily activities to the world. Fortunately for us, that’s not the case.
If you want to make yourself known or to gather attention for your online business, you’ve got to employ the best strategies. These strategies don’t take very long to learn or implement and it is only a very simple process.
Here they are:
- Proven titles
- Simple communication
- Focusing on “you”
- Visually attractive text
- Keyword centric
- People centric
- Action taking
What I am referring to with proven titles is to use swipe files. There are formats with which you can use to rewrite your current title. These titles have been tested over and over again by various experts to get the most attention.
The title is critical – people look at the titles and judge it even before they get to the meat of your content (especially true when it comes to written web content). So your title has to be sizzling. Don’t try to create your own titles – use already proven formats. Here’s a good suggestion – do a search on Google images for Cosmopolitan magazine (or any other top magazines). Pay attention to the way they write their titles. (Alternatively, you can check out the Cosmopolitan Swipe File resource here)
Magazines have to make sure their cover page gets as much attention as possible. They are fighting with other magazines to grab attention and the 2 things they do well is to have attractive images as well as attention-grabbing titles. Wherever you can get your hands on swipe files, do it. All copywriters and marketers know that the most valuable thing is the headline; millions of dollars have been spent on tweaking these words.
So unless you have deep pockets overflowing with money and feel like testing new headlines against time tested headlines, I suggest you go with proven headline formats.
Keep Your Communication Simple
“You can never underestimate the stupidity of the general public.” – Scott Adams
“A confused mind does nothing.” – Anonymous
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Here’s a quick litmus test – take a look at the best selling authors in Amazon. If you can comprehend what the author is trying to say, most likely the author made it a point to keep his communication simple. They avoid bombastic words that cause people to wonder what it means.
You want to make sure the words you use can be understood by a child. Yes, there are millionaires out there who can only read at the level of a child. But how do you make sure you content is readable? I’m glad you asked! This is the best resource I recommend:
The Readability Test Tool at Read-able.com – this resource will scan through your content (be it published on the web or its still a written draft on your computer) and give you a grade. It’ll even tell you whether a child can understand this or not.
There’s no need to impress people with the use of sophisticated words – especially if you want them to take certain action with your content.
Focusing On “You”
I don’t really have to expand on this too much… you just need to imagine talking with someone you’ve just met and all he/she does is talk about him/herself. In fact, if you study any book or course about improving relationships, you’ll notice they talk about finding out what the other person wants by focusing on the other party.
Even if you are writing a company profile and it has to sound official or ego-boosting, try to sneak in something that focuses on the visitor or the target market.
Visually Attractive Text
Writing and publishing on the web allows you the flexibility to place graphics, colors, effects, etc. While you have that ability, what I want to focus on is making your text “look” attractive. And by attractive, I mean easy to read.
I can’t recall how many times I’ve come across a forum thread, a blog post or some kind of content that neglected the use of white space. Use a maximum of 3 to 5 sentences in a paragraph before hitting the Enter key and create a new paragraph.
You’ll notice I follow this rule quite strictly… and many other well-known bloggers also follow this rule.
Also, break up the monotony of your content by using bullet points, headers, etc. This is meant for people who like to scan read. So if your title has done its job by getting them to begin reading your content, your bullet points and headers should act as speed bumps preventing them from scanning through all the way without going through your content.
Keyword Centric Content
Creating content based on keyword research is a smart thing to do. People are constantly searching on the internet for answers and solutions. And fortunately, there are many keyword tools available (free or paid) revealing what are the exact words people search for.
So it makes perfect sense if they search for something and you provide the exact answer for their needs. Do this well and the search engines should reward you well by sending you even more visitors from their search engine result pages.
People Centric Content
There is another approach to creating content and that is to create it based on what people need. This can be done by a passion for whatever you are writing about, based on your experience in dealing with your niche, etc
Doing this is a double-edged sword, in my opinion. The drawback of doing something like this is to not actually get any readers or you are shooting in the dark. So people won’t actually appreciate the amount of time and effort you’ve put into creating the content. The positive part on this though is that you can actually establish your authority well among your readers or niche.
(Side note: There’s no reason why you can’t mix content written for people and well researched keyword content together. A good resource for newbies to learn how you can do that is with Content Rich.)
Getting Them To Take Action
If you want people to take a certain action (be it contacting you, buying your products/service or joining a newsletter), you should give people a strong reason to do so. In fact, tell them what to do. If you’ve done your part in giving great valuable content, people will be glad to do what you request of them such as asking them to leave a comment on your blog, etc
People, generally, want more. And if you have more to offer people in terms of solving their problems faster, cheaper… they’ll definitely jump on what you’ve got to offer!
So there you have it – be sure to make full use of the tips I’ve provided you and if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section.