We’ve been talking this week about how to be a persuasive blogger and so far I’ve spoken about getting attention to your posts and going deeper to create interest in your post. Today I want to go a step deeper again and look at ‘conviction’.
You see you can write posts that grab the attention of readers and that even are wonderfully interesting – yet still have no lasting impact upon those who read them.
If you truly want to persuade them to some new course of action then you need to convince them that the action you’re asking them to take is a worthwhile thing for them to do.
Without it – your readers will simply walk away from your post without really being moved to do anything by it (that could be a valid goal that you have – but this series is about being persuasive so I’m assuming we want to go further than that).
Of course convicting or convincing readers is not something that happens just naturally – it takes thought, clever writing and having something worthy of convincing them of.
Elements of Convincing Blogging
Whilst the ‘attention grabbing’ and ‘developing interest’ stages generally happen at the beginning of your post (often in the title and first paragraph) the ‘convincing’ work generally takes a little longer and will make up the main part of your post.
It’s where you present your case in full and to your reader
1. Outline the facts
This is where the main thrust of your post will be. Outline your main points (don’t overwhelm people with too many). Talk them through the pros and cons of the choice you’re putting before them and show the end results of taking the action you’re suggesting (painting pictures of ‘end results’ can be a powerful thing as we’ll see in tomorrow’s post in this series).
2. Present the full Picture
I find that people are often more response when I’m open and honest both about the positives and negatives of taking the course of action that I’m presenting people. For instance if I’m recommending people buy a book I’ll always try to point out both it’s strengths and weaknesses. I find that people respect this transparency and are much more likely to follow the recommendation than if all I do is give a glowing review.
3. Share the Action you’re asking readers to take
If you want readers to DO something then you need to outline it for them. It’s pretty logical really but I’m quite amazed how many people don’t seem to get this point and expect their readers to read their post and then go and do something about it without giving them some concrete suggestions of what that might be. Even a simple task at the end of a post can empower your readers to put into action what you’re writing about.
If you’re asking readers to do something that is complicated (and even if it isn’t) outline it step by step – breaking it down into bite sized achievable actions.
A Quote for the Road
“Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.” – Thomas Carlyle
Thomas is right and tomorrow we’ll take another step forward and talk about another important stage that your readers need to go through in order to be fully persuaded to take action – Desire.