What is Persuasive Writing? 11 Strategies to Develop this Ability

It doesn't matter your line of business. If you want to convince someone to do something, it's critical to know the fundamentals of persuasive writing.

What is Persuasive Writing? Strategies to Develop this Ability

Mastering the skill of persuasive writing is a competency that can deliver lifetime value, as it helps you communicate your ideas and convince others of your point of view. 

This valuable communication skill is regularly used to persuade internal colleagues and management, external prospects and customers, and even business-critical investors. 

Persuasive writing techniques help advocates gain support for a movement or cause, and it assists salespeople in closing deals.

In this blog post, we will give you the best tactics for better persuasive writing, so keep reading!

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    What is Persuasive Writing?

    Persuasive writing is the skill of using the written word to sway others to agree with your expressed point of view. 

    It encourages readers to first support your viewpoint, and then take action or nod in agreement.

    In the world of content marketing, this writing technique is not limited to blog posts or emails. 

    Writers across departments at organizations of all sizes and types regularly use this skill to generate support in all kinds of written communication, from cover letters and social posts to emails, thought leadership scripts and sales pages.

    Persuasive writing is the process of sharing a strong opinion that refutes objections, substantiating it with relevant stats, leveraging social proof to demonstrate outside support, and closing with a call to action. 

    It is a foundational skill that helps great communicators convince others to support their vision of solving a problem, moving forward, or choosing a side on which to align. 

    Benefits of Writing Persuasively

    Following the framework of persuasive writing compels you to think critically about the subject you’re addressing. 

    It ensures that you become keenly aware of the pros and cons of your own point of view and can succinctly address each side of an argument. 

    Further, it stretches you to consider the reader’s perspective in order to make the argument most compelling. Without successful counter-arguments, you’re unlikely to sway the reader.

    The more you write in a persuasive style, the more likely you are to critically evaluate all opinions you consume. 

    Soon you will find yourself looking for the factual and emotional arguments that support the writer’s position. 

    In short, persuasive writing improves critical thinking as both a creator and a consumer.

    Persuasive Writing Framework

    No matter the type of final piece you’re creating, all successful persuasive writing assignments follow this simple format:

    • Introduce and Hook your reader with a strong statement.
    • Support your statement with multiple (at least 3-4) relevant ideas.
    • Address counter-arguments and objections.
    • Conclude and Close by restating your statement and delivering a call-to-action.

    11 Strategies for Better Persuasive Writing

    Ready to develop your persuasive writing? Here are some of the best strategies.

    1. Know your audience

    Understanding the “who” is critical before beginning any persuasive writing assignment. 

    Why? Because the arguments can change depending on whose mind you’re trying to sway. 

    In other words, what’s essential to management differs from what’s important to your colleagues or prospects.

    If you have multiple audiences, overlap their personas to find the commonalities to address and objections to overcome.

    2. Get specific with your word choices

    Lean into the thesaurus to select passionate verbs and intense adjectives that would elicit a powerful emotional response

    Go all-in on what you believe with deliberately forceful language. After all, this is persuasive writing, and you have a specific opinion, so there’s no need to hedge your viewpoint.

    3. Be empathetic with a personal short story

    Anecdotal stories help connect the reader to the cause on a personal level. 

    Empathy sells. It makes you and your cause relatable. 

    The key is not to overexplain with too much backstory and details. Instead, keep it brief and use the story to hook your audience or reinforce the most compelling and emotionally charged part of your argument.

    4. Make your writing relatable with metaphors, similes, and analogies

    Using relatable comparisons helps readers understand your overall point of view. 

    Simple metaphors can go a long way in simplifying even the most complex problems and can help readers see your point of view. 

    Along with stories, metaphors make your message more memorable. Neuroscience has repeatedly confirmed that emotions create more long-lasting memories than facts.

    5. Include a hook in your declarative statement

    Do your research. Then create an intriguing hook with a stat or irrefutable piece of evidence that supports your POV and is meaningful to your reader. 

    Use it to clearly identify the problem and how it impacts your target audience. 

    Show your expertise in the area by agitating the reader’s pain before showing how your specific solution solves the problem.

    6. Address objections

    Every solution has objections. It’s your job as the writer to address as many of the most common objections as possible so that the reader has no roadblocks. 

    Make a list of the biggest objections to your point of view from the perspective of your target audience, and develop strong arguments to address those objections. 

    Often, direct response creates “bonus stacks” to not only add value but to overcome potential objections to purchase.

    7. Address counterpoints

    Imagine yourself as the target audience reader and think about the most obvious counterpoints to your argument. 

    You can add to your credibility by addressing these counterpoints. 

    Doing so makes your persuasive writing more compelling because it is perceived as more thoughtful and well-balanced.

    8. Include expert opinions to support arguments

    Much like social proof testimonials, expert opinions reinforce the credibility of your argument. 

    Ideally, these experts are well-known to your readers and would be held in high regard. 

    Research facts can also be used, but expert opinions that align with yours are often a better choice, as it adds a component of “social proof” beyond the facts and figures. 

    It’s another example of how persuasive writing is a perfect blend of opinion and fact, emotion and stats.

    9. Start and finish with your point

    Repetition works. At a minimum, begin your persuasive writing with your compelling statement. 

    Use examples in the middle to reinforce your point. And at the end, finish by restating your point. 

    As a writer, you may feel like you’ve overdone it by hammering home your point, but in reality, your passion for your opinion should shine through and help sway your reader. 

    Someone without a strong opinion on a topic can often be swayed by someone who passionately supports a side.

    10. Finally, include the CTA

    After convincing your audience of your point of view, it’s time to tell them what to do next. 

    People need a next step. You’ve taken them on this impassioned journey of persuasion, and now that they’re in agreement, you need to show them what to do next. 

    Use a call to action to wrap up your persuasive writing piece. Guide your readers to take action.

    11. Edit and use your tools

    Use available, easy-to-use tools like an online thesaurus and Grammarly to tighten your wording and edit your draft. 

    Sleep on your draft, then make your final edits with a fresh pair of eyes. 

    This approach may make the timeline a bit longer, but nearly every writer will tell you that the next-day edited piece is always more compelling.

    Persuasive Writing: Next Steps

    If you want to improve your persuasive writing skills, start practicing. 

    Persuasive writing is not confined to thesis papers or sales letters. The framework and techniques can be used in any communication, from an email to a social media post. 

    If you’re unsure of where to start, think about how to convince your family to go to your favorite restaurant tonight. 

    Drop them a text stating your opinion, overcome their objections, and close with a call to action, like confirmation of availability at 7 PM. 

    The more you write, the more naturally the process of persuasive writing will come.

    You may also be interested in these articles:

    Wrap Up

    You can use persuasive writing in any situation where you need to convince others of your opinion. 

    Remember to direct it to your specific audience. If you don’t, your refuted counter-arguments and objections may not resonate with the specific people whose opinions you’re trying to sway.

    Looking for more overall writing strategies? 

    Check out our blog post with essential tips on SEO Content Writing

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