Have you ever wondered why some bloggers are so darned good at getting into your head?
Reading their posts, they don’t seem to be extraordinary writers. In fact, many of them seem to be, well… kind of simple. Plain spoken and folksy.
Yet they draw us into their stories like a mystical Svengali, mesmerizing us with descriptions of our problems and needs. As though some hidden ego cam is recording our every thought.
Impressive, isn't it? And maybe a bit scary, a gift bestowed only to the blogging demigods. Leaving us mere mortals to sigh with admiration, pining for a fraction of their glorious talents.
Well, take heart, because they’re not actually more favored by the Fates. They’ve simply learned how to tap into our emotions by using words to create vivid mental pictures. They know how to grab our attention, and keep it all the way through the post by applying a few simple tactics.
Tactics that you’re going to learn in this post. So keep reading to learn how to use the descriptive power of words, and take your place among the blogging elite.
Get Them Interested
The first step in getting your audience to read your posts is to capture their attention. And the most effective way to do this is with compelling headlines. A well-crafted headline is like a good song lyric – it’s succinct, engaging and creates an emotional impact. Headlines that are rambling, vague or overly bombastic have the opposite effect, they’re repelling rather than attractive.
To create absorbing headlines they need to contain powerful, persuasive words that convey a sense of immediacy and create curiosity. In his book Confessions of An Advertising Man, marketing mastermind David Ogilvy gave us a list of 20 of the most persuasive words that create the impression of instantaneous effectiveness. Words such as: suddenly, now, remarkable, revolutionary, amazing, startling, miracle… you’re getting the picture here, right?
These words convey the idea that the article is going to contain the solution we’re looking for – it’s going to provide a quick fix solution to my problem now.
And this strategy is being used with enormous success by today’s big name bloggers, some of whom have expanded the theme with their own lists of influential words. For more on using power words to create headlines that work, pick up a free copy of Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks or Copyblogger’s How To Write Magnetic Headlines.
The Magic of Persuasive Words
Bloggers write primarily for two reasons – to share information and to persuade readers to take action. It doesn’t matter if the action is to try out a recipe, buy a product or change a bad habit. The bottom line is we first need to capture their attention, then motivate them to behave in a desired way. Such as clicking on a link, the call to action or leaving a comment.So, once we've grabbed our audience’s attention with a great headline, the job is to keep it and build on their curiosity.Click To Tweet
To do this, we need to engage their imagination by provoking emotions. As with headlines, we want to use power verbs and colorful adjectives to spark sensory images, so they can picture themselves happily enjoying the outcome we provide.
To achieve such visualization, we need to use words that tap into emotions and evoke powerful responses. Words that will lead “the reader to feel a certain way about that information”. That is, the information you’re presenting. Words that generate feelings of fear, enthusiasm, lust, anger, greed, safety and curiosity all have tremendous impact on our decision-making; and can be used to draw readers along, capturing their attention. For a comprehensive list of these power words, please visit Jon Morrow’s post 317 Power Words That Will Immediately Make You A Better Writer.
Also, the post 80 Power Words To Entice New Readers To Your Blog by Adrian Leighton has some good examples on exciting and positive words as well as phrases denoting cause and effect.
And of course, a good thesaurus is a treasure trove for finding “descriptive, entertaining adjectives.”
Some Other Tricks
Now, the use of power words isn't the only way to get readers engaged with your posts. A few other highly effective methods for evoking curiosity and arousing emotions are:
- Keep your readers engaged by staying on topic and using short, strong sentences. Long-winded passages and segues into unrelated topics will quickly have your readers yawning and hitting the delete button.
- Write for one person. If you’re writing for mass appeal, you’re going to lose fans. Why? Because every one of us wants to feel special. To really involve a reader and keep their interest, write directly to one person – a profile of your ideal customer. “Talk to your customers like they are the only one that matters. Because they are.”
Ask questions. “Few people can resist trying to see if they know the answer to a question.” And if they don’t know the answer, they want to. To find that answer, pique their curiosity – which you, of course, will fulfill with your superb solutions.
Deliver the Goods
Now, none of the above techniques are worth the pixels they’re printed on if you don’t provide the top-quality information, education or entertainment your audience is looking for.
You simply must be exemplary in consistently generating outstanding information, and generous in sharing it. Hard sell tactics, fluffy filler material and teasers won’t generate the type of reader loyalty that leads to prominence in your niche.
So give your readers a treat and use the descriptive power of words to create exciting visuals. You’ll keep their attention, and with your outstanding content, they’ll reward you with a generous following.
Cari Bennette is a freelance blogger and professional writer at Jet Writers. Her area of expertise includes content writing and academic papers proofreading, she also wants to try herself in creating fiction. Feel free to follow here on Twitter.