The Most Powerful Persuasive Element of Blogging

The Most Powerful Persuasive Element of Blogging

Reader Comments (44)

  1. A lot of what you’re saying here, Brian, is the stuff I’ll be teaching people in Gateway Blogging, but your copywriting depth really comes through here. This is absolutely the way to go. Copywriting is not just for sales and landing pages. It’s one of the main points (if not the entire point) behind blogging when running a business. And what you have described is exactly how it works. The majority of my clients were readers of my blog first–usually for a couple months. So I can vouch for this from my own experience.

    This whole “common enemy” thing is something that I just ran into myself for the first time the other day, so thanks for pointing out Cialdini–I’ll have to check that out. I have to laugh at myself a bit, here. I’ve been reading your blog forever, it seems, and only in the last couple months do I feel like I’m finally “getting” what copywriting is really about.

  2. For me, #1 is answering “their” questions, as opposed to just rambling about whatever comes to my mind, is the thing that establishes a more direct connection.

    It’s more about what they want to hear than it is about what I want to say.

    Coming in at #2, for me, is using some type of audio event to cement the bond between them and I. Teleseminars and recorded interviews seem to be the easiest to create and seem to be the most asked for type of content.

  3. Great posting. In essence, create massive value for the reader. I teach my clients to always be a resource before you are a vendor. In other words, build trust, credibility and rapport before asking for the sale.

    Kathleen Gage
    The Street Smarts Marketer

  4. Thanks for reintroducing Blog Triggers. It’s always been one of my Copyblogger favorites.

    In my opinion, building a relationship starts with having something interesting to say. You figure out what problems your audience is having, and then articulate the solutions to those problems in a way that grabs their attention. Otherwise, you won’t have time to do show them your passion, emphasize your similarities, contact them again, or build a common enemy. They’ll just leave.

    … which brings us to another Copyblogger favorite:

    The relationship starts with the headline.

  5. I loved your thoughts about using a passionate voice. I never struggled with that on my personal blog, but once I created a new blog that was meant to be more professional, I struggled. In the last few weeks, I’ve gotten more/better responses on the posts where I’m using my natural writing voice not a contrived one.

  6. Thanks for the great article today. It helps me defend my first rule in the Web Style Guide I made for our company: “Be positive. We’re a positive, helpful company, and our Web style needs to reflect this.” I remember an Ad Club presentation back in the 80s by The Richards Group (creators of the Motel 6 advertising campaign featuring Tom Bodett, “We’ll leave the light on for you” – which, BTW, he ad-libbed). The presenter said the same thing: “I like that ad. I like that company. I’ll give that company my business.” I remember how some of my fellow copywriters pooh-poohed the idea. I bet they’re still trying to move dollars using Web banner ads and dancing gorillas ….

  7. I respond to reader comments and ask them to share their thoughts. I know some comments slip through, but I try to respond to every one of them. I’ll ask questions in posts and comments as well.

    Something I don’t do enough, but have been trying to do more of lately is generating posts from reader comments. Other than the obvious helping with post ideas, I think it lets readers know you’re paying attention to what they’re saying and it’s also a way to show them a little special attention, by quoting them, linking to their comment, or linking directly to their blog if they have one.

  8. Great tips, Brian. I’m relatively new to professional blogging (I used to work on the other end, for Blogger at Google, reassuring bloggers that their content was safe 😉 ). These are fabulous pointers, and plan to refer to them often. I noticed that certain commenters (or customers, as it were) seem to have it out for you. Is this a blogger bait strategy? Eg., if they engage you, you’ll pay attention to their blog? Naturally, I refuse to admit they have a point, and consider that perhaps I have indeed produced drivel…

  9. “Revealing mistakes and faults makes you more credible.” I love this quote. I often think that by admitting a mistake, I’ll be less prfessional, or less of a man. But that ‘ol saying is true, it takes a bigger man to admit his mistakes. I have to constantly remind myself of this. I wrote a
    awhile back about humility, and Sam Walton from Walmart was huge on humility, and fully believed in it.

  10. Brian – Sorry to be contrary here, but I would say for our business Relationship is second to GETTING ATTENTION.

    In probably depends on your market, but in ours, we’ve GOT to stand out and be noticed and that sets the stage for relationships.

    To bond with our audience? Games, games, games.

  11. Emmon, I’ve written about getting attention more than most.

    I’ve also maintained that attention alone is worthless. If you can’t transfer attention into authority and trust, you make no sales.

    This is sales 101 applied to blogging. Not sure what game you’re referring to.

  12. I’m just starting up but I focus on really letting me come through in my writing. So I’m writing as if I’m talking to my best, then if people respond I try to keep talking as if they are one of my most trusted.

    After all, I want to be friends with everyone 🙂

  13. I completely agree. I’ve been in sales for 25+ years and I can tell you – the relationship first, sales second tip should be everyone’s mantra. From a consumer standpoint, I am certainly not going to buy the best product in the world from someone I am not all warm and fuzzy about.

  14. Another excellent post, Brian. You never fail to provide my email such great posts. I definitely agree with you, building a relationship with your readers requires a lot of hard work but more than that – personal touch.

    As I have mentioned in my last post – How to convince your Visitors to read your Blog Posts, it is not enough that you give our readers what they need. We must be able to inspire them. Guiding someone is better than educating him. Visitors love to be treated like children.

    As a whole, we must be as simple as possible especially if we are writing about technical stuff. Never tell your readers that you are the best because they will look for the better ones.


  15. Mugil, you bring up an important point, although I don’t believe it invalidates my point. Many blogging advocates endorse “authenticity” to a ridiculous extreme, even in business blogging. This is a mistake in my opinion, and I think the study you cite supports that.

    People still expect professionalism even if delivered in a more human voice. You can let people know that you’re human without letting them know that you’re contemptible. There are still boundaries, but I’m sure they differ from person to person.

  16. It’s post like these that keep me coming back. I try to keep my readers engaged and entertained even when the content tends to be on the dry side (my site deals with writing). One thing I would add is to read your reader’s comments. When someone takes the time to post a comment, good or bad, I will acknowledge it and thank them. They don’t need to agree with me. Just the fact that they are reading and felt the urge to comment keeps me blogging.


  17. I think relationships are actually becoming even more vital to successful sales in this age of impersonal internet marketing, don’t you? People want to feel as if they are more than an email address and customer account number.

  18. Very true. Great tips. The point about a common enemy – yes, definitely. Cialdini is one of the most insightful social psychologist out there. I think knowing who you are talking to matters as well, that way you can develop the same common ground to discuss solutions/tips on.

  19. I try to reach the audience on their own term to maintain regular contact. People have different consumption habit and preference.

    By re-purposing content I can often reach people who are otherwise not reachable via a blog.

  20. I like the ideas of being more passionate and also disclosing faults and mistakes. It reminded me of one of my recent posts.

    Thanks for the good info!

  21. Your points are right on. I find I get my best results come from being there using your points #1,2,&3, for my clients and sharing helpful solutions. I never saw the enemy point of view and now I have something to watch for! This is really a nice eye opener I’ll use and share with the self publishers who come to me to design their book covers and interiors.

    As an F.Y.I., I’m following you on twitter…

    Remember, keep doing something everyday toward your book and promotion

    Kareen Ross
    Your Book Cover Designer

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