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Persuasive Writing Strategies you Should Know

Oct 11, 2022

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Do you want to convince readers to do something or agree with your point of view? Persuasion is a common skill to create win-win situations that comes with experience. You say something that others find helpful to agree with. You make an offer that the readers cannot reject, but not in a manipulative “Godfather” manner. For those you are reaching out to, your writing should appear like a good deal or represent the right point of view. 

There are distinct strategies that can make your writing job easier and your suggestions more convincing. The below list is far from being exhaustive, but these 8 strategies are the most commonly used because they actually work.

Repetition

Anyone who is into the study of psychology will tell you that repetition is the key to learning. In the art of written persuasion, repetition is extremely important because the addressee cannot be convinced until they understand exactly what is meant.

Of course, there are “good” and “bad” repetitions. For repetition to be “good,” it must be varied. Indicate a position in several different ways: by direct formulation, by using an example, by telling a story, by quoting a famous person, and by summing it up again.

“Why should I do this?”

Remember the power of the word “because”. Psychologists have shown that people are much more likely to comply with a request if they have a motive to do so…. even if it turns out that the reason doesn’t really make sense.

The strategy itself, if used deliberately, is not meaningless. We do not like to be convinced of something or asked to do something without a reasonable explanation. If you want to make people receptive to your flow of thoughts, always give them good reasons.

Sequence

We do not want to appear inconsistent because true or not, this quality is associated with instability and inconsistency, while consistency speaks of holistic and rational behavior.

Use this strategy in your writing when you need to convince the reader to agree with something that most people would never agree with. Carefully substantiate your position, giving a sufficient number of arguments, and always proceed from the positions already proven earlier.

Social approval

One of the strongest features of our psychology is the search in others for guidance to action, advice on what to do in a given situation. This determines whether we can help others in need and whether we dare to kill ourselves.

Letters of recommendation and endorsements are obvious examples of social approval. It is also the main driving force behind social media. Elements of social approval can be introduced into the texts, ranging from subtle references to the opinion of some abstract authorities to mentioning specific names that support you and share your position.

Comparisons

Metaphors, comparisons, and analogies are the best friends of someone who can speak with confidence. When your flow of thoughts relates to something the reader a priori takes to be true, he is on the right track to seeing things through your eyes.

But comparisons also work the other way around. Sometimes you can be more convincing by comparing “apples” to “oranges” (using a hackneyed but effective metaphor). Do not compare the price of your home training course with the price of a similar program, rather compare it with the cost of a live seminar or payment for an hour of consultation.

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Search for problems and ways to solve them

This persuasion technique is a general approach to writing text. First, identify the vulnerabilities of your audience. Then act on these painful points, and gradually offer your own solution to the problem, with the help of which everything will comply.

Acting on vulnerabilities is not sadism, but empathy. You let the readers know for sure that you understand their problems because you have dealt with them and/or are experienced in dealing with such situations now. The credibility of your writing increases when you show that you really understand what the point is.

Predictions

Another persuasion technique involves the inclusion of a vision of the future. If you can convincingly extrapolate current events into probable future results, you become omnipotent. This strategy is entirely based on trust. If you don’t give any idea about the future of the subject of the conversation, you may look stupid. But if you back up your proposal with some kind of guarantee for the readers, or tell them about your own benefits already gained (which, of course, await them too), it becomes extremely easy to persuade.

Storytelling

Storytelling is a versatile technique that can and should be used with any other (like the previous seven) strategies. The reason real stories work so well lies in the very core of belief.

Stories help people convince themselves – that is belief. We can say that we never convince anyone of anything – we just help others independently decide to do something. Do your best to tell the most appealing stories you can, and you will find that you are damn convincing.

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