Top 10 Persuasive Writing Techniques

Admit it. You write because you want to convince your readers to do something or agree with your point of view. Or maybe you want them to be inspired by your words, to apply your teachings and principles, to act on your ideas.

Don’t want to admit it? Okay. This is not an interrogation. I’ll move on then.

Persuasion is the ability to present a certain situation as being beneficial to both parties. You make someone an offer they can’t refuse. Not in a Godfather sense of the way though.

Yes, you need to work at making the other understand that a good deal is being offered.

Weird, right?

And, yes, there are techniques that can help you create a more compelling case.

Here are the ten best persuasive writing techniques.


1. Repetition

Because no one is listening the first time you say something. They’re just not paying attention. So you must say it a second time. And you think to yourself, now they got it. Odds are, no, they didn’t.

The third time you say it, that’s when they ask a question about what you just said, because they really didn’t hear you the first times.

The fourth time you say it, they think to themselves: “Well, this must be important, because it’s the second time he’s told me about it.”

Or so the legend goes.

The truth is that repetition is crucial. The trick is to deliver your point in several different ways, such as directly, using an example, by telling them a story, or utilizing a quote from someone famous.

2. Use the power of because

“Why?” you ask.

“Because I said so.”

Because is such a powerful word that people are more likely to comply with a request if you just give them a reason why… even if that reason makes no sense at all to them.

The idea is that we don’t like to be told to do things without an explanation.

We’re all rebels here, so when you need people to be receptive to your line of thinking, always give reasons why.


Because I said so.

3. Consistency

Consistency (also known as congruency) is an important trait to have. It is associated with integrity and rational behavior.

We want to be consistent, so we don’t like to have conflicting ideas or opinions.

When it comes to writing this translates to making your reader agree with something that cannot be denied, then add all sorts of evidence to support your case. Tie it all back to the opening idea that has already been accepted in order to make your readers agree with everything you wrote.

4. Social Proof

This is a concept I talk about when making my case against posting too often, especially on a young blog.

We’re constantly looking for guidance from others, but at the same time we want to make sure that the people we associate ourselves with have been “verified by others.”

Yeah, that’s the best term that I could come up with.

It’s why testimonials are so effective, or why a person who’s seen having a lot of friends makes others want to be friends with them too.

How do you use social proof in your writing?

Quote from a bunch of famous people, use studies, and so on. If others agree with what you’re writing, then odds are that your readers will too.

5. Comparisons

Metaphors, similes and analogies are the persuasive writer’s best friends. When your scenario relates to something that the reader already accepts as true, you stand a better chance at making them see things your way.

6. Fix a problem

Don’t we all have problems? Don’t we all want them fixed?

You just need to identify the problem, play a bit with your readers emotions, then offer them the solution to their problem.

This sounds like something straight out of a plan for world domination, but it’s not about being cruel, it’s more about empathy. You want your readers to understand that you feel them, you get what they’re going through because you’ve also dealt with this issue.

Your solution is only as good as your ability to show the reader that you can feel his pain and struggle.

7. Become a modern-day Nostradamus

No, I’m not kidding you. This is an actual persuasion technique. The idea is to provide your readers with a convincing glimpse of the future.

Take into account current events and then tell folks how it’s going to be.

If this sounds foolish to you, it’s not. The only issue is that if you have no idea what you’re talking about, then you will appear to be foolish to your readers.

Your prediction needs to make sense, to be convincing enough. You need to demonstrate that you know what you’re about, that you’ve given this some serious thought.

8. Unify … Selectively

Do you know when people best work together? When they have to fight against another group.

We function primarily in a mode of “us vs. them.” There has to be an outside group we are aware of to form an identity as a group.

Exclusive memberships work like that. As a matter of fact, I believe the word exclusive means that you’re apart of a special group. The best group.

You can study pretty much every successful leader in the way they chose their words as to create a group, and especially the words they used to define everyone else outside that group.

The more difficult it is to be a part of a group, the more you want to become a member.

For instance, the group made up of all the hundred something thousand people who follow this blog is the best group ever. Honestly. Every single day they make my day, make me smile and laugh, offer incredible insight into the world of art, books, blogging, writing. Great people!

9. Address Objections

There will always be someone who disagrees with a particular statement of yours. This happens every time you make a nuanced point, so it’s best to identify those moments and address potential objections, because…

Credibility, I guess.

Yeah. That one.

It also means that you know what you’re writing about.


Storytelling is the wonder weapon: you can and should use it in combination with any and all of the previous nine techniques. Storytelling works so well because it allows people to persuade themselves, and that’s what it’s really all about.

Truth be told, we never convince anyone of anything — we just offer to help them decide we’re right. If you’re a great storyteller, then you can pretty much make people do whatever you want.


Source: Top 10 Persuasive Writing Techniques

What’s Needed is Magic: Writing Advice from Haruki Murakami

If you can believe it, Japanese novelist, talking cat enthusiast, and weird ear chronicler Haruki Murakami turned 70 years old this weekend. 70! But I suppose we should believe it, despite the youthful gaiety and creative magic of his prose: the internationally bestselling writer has 14 novels and a handful of short stories under his belt, and it’s safe to say he’s one of the most famous contemporary writers in the world. To celebrate his birthday, and as a gift to those of you who hope to be the kind of writer Murakami is when you turn 70, I’ve collected some of his best writing advice……..

Source: What’s Needed is Magic: Writing Advice from Haruki Murakami

8 Ways for Students to Invest in Their Writing Skills Without Spending a Dime – Daniela McVicker


Students who do not have solid writing skills are at a clear disadvantage. They must compete with those who do, and they are judged on their writing skills in virtually every class. There are those essays and papers, and, while it may seem unfair, using proper grammar and composition counts, even in biology class. If you are challenged in English composition, then you need to set a goal to improve your writing skills and become competitive. After all, your GPA depends on it……

Read more:


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What Keeps You From Writing? — The Art of Blogging

Today we have a simple question that will likely draw many different answers from different people. What prevents you from sitting down and writing? What’s stopping that great blog post, compelling article, or even bestselling book from pouring out of your mind and onto virtual paper? Don’t be shy, step up and have your say.

via What Keeps You From Writing? — The Art of Blogging



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How to Find a Juicy Writing Idea When Your Creative Well Has Run Dry – Sonia Simone


It’s the hard part.

The thing about being a writer that isn’t necessarily all that awesome.

Sometimes it’s the part that makes you doubt yourself, doubt your creativity and abilities, maybe even doubt whether this whole professional writing thing really makes sense for you.

“What the &$%# am I going to write about this week?”
– All writers, at least sometimes

Perhaps not all writers. Surely there are some who never face their content deadlines thinking, “This would be the perfect time to fake my own death.”

Like those people who stay magically thin while consuming a steady diet of packaged cookies and beer, I don’t much want to hear from those people. Let’s talk about you and me, instead.

This month, I asked our editorial team for their favorite techniques when they need a writing topic and there’s nothing bubbling at the moment.

Here’s what they came up with:

Brian Clark, Copyblogger founder and Rainmaker Digital CEO

Read. It almost doesn’t matter what it is, and it’s usually better if it’s not about content marketing or even business. I’ll end up finding some interesting fact or idea that I can connect with something I already know. That’s the spark that leads to an article topic.

Chris Garrett, chief digital officer

  1. Go into Facebook.
  2. Search for [keyword] groups.
  3. Join the largest groups and see what people are asking.
  4. Find an inspiring question.
  5. Write a long-form answer.

Jerod Morris, lead podcast cheerleader

I podcast instead. 😉

Seriously. Some of my most useful articles have come out of preparation for a podcast. The process of prepping for the podcast, by either writing a script (which for some reason always feels less intimidating to me than writing an article) or preparing bullet points, almost always presents me with something that can become an article.

With a script, the work is almost totally done. It just needs to be reworked to be read instead of heard. And if it’s bullet points, then I use the process of recording the podcast to flesh out the ideas verbally before refining them into an article.

Loryn Thompson, data analyst

If I can, I’ll talk to people in my audience — just casual conversation about what’s on their minds. That usually surfaces a few things that I might not have thought of, or reframes things in a different way.

Another tried-and-true tactic is to just start writing anyway, even if you don’t know what you’re going to write about. Sit down at a keyboard, turn off all your notifications, and just do a stream-of-consciousness mind dump. Keep going until you hit on something that gets you excited.

Also, for me it helps to separate the idea-generation and the actual article-creation work. They’re different states of mind, and I’ve found I can come up with many more topics when I’m in a free-association mode than when I’m panicking about creating the article I will publish next.

Even if they aren’t all perfect, a list of random, free-associated ideas is a better starting point than the blank page.

Kim Clark, VP of operations

I feel like explaining my favorite techniques for what I do when I don’t know what to write is like asking me about my spirituality. It totally makes sense in my head, but when I try to type it or say it out loud, I sound like an idiot.

But here it goes … this is where my obsessive and anxiety-driven personality is an asset. I sit and constantly think.

This can work against me in many ways, but usually I spend a good amount of time thinking of really stupid things to say. I know this because my husband gets one of those looks on his face that says, “What are you thinking? … Please don’t say that.”

Most often, this dilemma solves itself around 3:00 a.m. when I have amazing ideas. I really should be sleeping, but my brain thinks: “No, this is the time to actually solve everything at once, including what to write about.” So I try to write it all down.

Somehow, when I sit down to actually write, the words come out. Usually they make sense. A lot of times, there are extensive edits that need to be made.

But I do have to say, some of those 3:00 a.m. ideas are brilliant. I just wish my brain would want to sleep when my body needs to.

Stefanie Flaxman, editor-in-chief

I like writing about this topic!

Here are three posts about finding ideas to write about. The first one is the most recent and includes a story about a bird that kept waking me up at 4:00 a.m.:

My bonus tip is listening whenever other people talk.

It’s easy to zone out — especially after work when you’re tired — but staying present and curious about what other people say enriches your creation process. It helps you connect the dots between ideas that lead to more interesting content.

For example, I recently had a seemingly pointless conversation about how the construction of standard toilets has more or less stayed the same for decades, while advancements in cell phone technology have skyrocketed over the last 10 years.

That concept might show up somewhere in future content I write. Maybe it just did. 😉

Kelton Reid, VP of multimedia production

When I don’t know what to write, it’s usually not a matter of not having done enough research or frantic scribbling of notes in a notebook. For me it usually means I haven’t given my initial thoughts and ideas enough air, and by that I mean I haven’t let my brain do some of the important work for me.

I’ve found that before I can have critical insights into what I need to write, the ideas need to incubate, just a link in the chain of the creative process.

Einstein named it “… combinatory play … the essential feature in productive thought — before there is any connection with logical construction in words ….” (I mentioned it here: 21 Productivity Hacks from 21 Prolific Writers.)

I put my phone in sleep mode, put on the headphones, dial up some ambient music (wordless is best), and go for a run around the park. With my phone strapped to my arm, I can’t check email, get notifications, or do anything other than run and daydream.

Having had a break from the busy, those ideas tend to solidify themselves. With a renewed vigor, I’m then ready to grab them from the ether and get them onto some paper or into a rough draft in a doc.

Sonia Simone, chief content officer

It’s sort of my job to always have topics to write and podcast about, but that doesn’t make it (at all) easy.

I’ve been known to use just about every technique mentioned here, but my go-to, year-in and year-out, is to capture the ideas as they’re flying past, so I have them when I need them.

My creative journal has evolved from a collection of notes in Evernote to a physical object stuffed with drawings, washi tape, colored pencil doodles, and lots and lots of ink.

Once I find a scrap of an idea that seems worth working on, I have a strong set of processes that I rely on to take that scribbled idea and turn it into a solid piece of writing or recorded work. Those processes are probably directly responsible for allowing me to keep what remains of my sanity.

Is it easy to find a topic when I need one? Not particularly. I have to sift through doodles and arrows and ink blots and random circled words.

But it works. I’ve been producing content nearly every week — including, at varying times, blog posts, podcast episodes, and educational content for paid communities — since around 2008. Every week I wonder if I’ll be able to do it again. And every week I do.

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