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15 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Writing Persuasive Content


Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Writing Persuasive Content

I have a confession to make: I hate trying to convince people to do something.

I understand that this is an important part of marketing, but writing persuasive content has never been my strong suit. That is, if I’m persuading someone to do something that will benefit me. I think I can argue my own point well to persuade you that I’m right about something, but persuading you to buy something, download something, etc. has never come naturally to me.

Luckily, there are people out there who are insanely good at it, and they’ve shared what they know in blog posts. I hope this week’s edition of Brilliant Bloggers is as helpful to you as it has been to me!

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

henneke 58 Ways to Create Persuasive Content Your Audience Will Love by Henneke Duistermaat

I love this post on Copyblogger because it gives you a roadmap to making sure that your content is as persuasive as possible without crossing any lines. Internet marketers get a bad name because there are so many people using slimy, gray-area techniques to convince others to spend money. Henneke’s post, however, doesn’t encourage you to do any of that. Her tips simply help you take your content and make it more persuasive.

After you read the post, which includes all you need to know from writing the headline to editing before you publish, check out Henneke on Twitter at @HennekeD and visit her blog, Enchanting Marketing. (Psst…she also has a great guest post on Kissmetrics about this topic called “7 Lessons Apple Can Teach Us About Persuasive Web Content“)

Even More Brilliant Advice:

  1. 11 Ways to Write Persuasive Content by Thomas Timely
  2. 48 Elements of Persuasive Written Content by Uttoran Sen (@uttoransen)
  3. How Do I Write Persuasive Content? by Jeff Hahn (@HahnPublic)
  4. How To Create A Persuasive Message To Motivate Your Audience by Aura Dozescu (@AuraDozescu)
  5. How to Write Persuasive Content? by Jeevan Jacob John (@JeevanMe)
  6. The Psychology Behind Persuasive Writing by Jani Seneviratne (@janiopt7)
  7. The Secret To Being Memorable And Persuasive by Joe Romm
  8. Ten Recipes for Persuasive Content by Colleen Jones
  9. Ten Timeless Persuasive Writing Techniques by Brian Clark (@copyblogger)
  10. What is Persuasive Content? by Ian Truscott (@IanTruscott)
  11. What’s more persuasive? “I think…” or “I feel…”? by Derek Halpern (@DerekHalpern)
  12. Writing a Persuasive Blog—The Key to Content Marketing Success by John McTigue (@jmctigue)
  13. Writing Persuasive Headlines with the FAB Formula by Julia McCoy (@expwriters)

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about writing persuasive content? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Social Monitoring Tools

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

Blog Post Ideas: 5 Blog Topic Tips to Help You Create Unique Content


blog topic tips Recently, I was asked an interesting question:

How do you consistently come up with blog post ideas and maintain a high quality?

I’ve written over 750 posts for this blog alone, not counting the post I’ve written for other clients and my own blogs. So how do I keep the blog ideas rolling? And more important, how do I ensure that I’m producing unique content, not just boring, unoriginal content you can find on any number of other blogs?

1. Blog Topics and Formulas

Wait…how can you come up with topic ideas that are unique and interesting if you use a formula? Believe it or not, you can! Instead of a traditional blog post formula, however, look to other forms of media for formulas that are super successful and adjust them to your needs. For example, I wrote about 10 Movie Plots That Can Help You Write Better Blog Posts. Look at formulas used by television shows, newsletters, magazines, speech writers, etc. They’re successful for a reason!

2. Getting Inspired

Sometimes, you just have to get the creative juices going a bit. If you’re feeling blocked, here are 12 Places to Find Inspiration for Your Next Blog Post.

3. One Post or Many Posts?

If you write a 1,000-word post that can be split into a two-parter, you’ve essentially done double the amount of work in the same amount of time. Not every post (even long posts) lend themselves to becoming two posts, but look at everything you write with a critical eye. Is your message getting watered down because you’re trying to cover too much at once?

You can even use your initial post idea as the jumping off point for a series.

4. Blog Topics at All Eduction Levels

When you brainstorm a list of blog topic ideas, you’re really brainstorming a double list, because you could write both a beginner-level and advanced-level post for each topic. This is also a great strategy to help you link internally more often.

5. Stay Organized and Passionate: The Blog Ideas Will Flow!

My biggest tip, at least if you’re someone who thrives on organization, is to keep a close handle on your editorial calendar and work schedule. For me, not keep regular working hours in the past led to an inability to come up with great ideas, in part because I lost my passion for the topic. So, even though I could sleep until noon if I want, I now work a semi-normal 9-5 schedule and really remain committed to the craft. My mind is more focused, so I’m able to come up with unique content ideas on a regular basis.

How do you come up with unique content ideas for your blog? Share with a comment!

Image Credit: Bigstock

Three Steps to Writing Better Blog Posts for People Who Hate Writing


writing better blog posts Online content isn’t limited to blogging. Podcasters create great audio content. Video makes sense for others. Photography and other digital art are also options. But no matter what kind of content you create, you can support your work with a blog.

The problem is, blogging is all about written content, and for people who don’t like to write, the prospect of starting a blog can be scarey. The good news is that blog posts don’t have to be long, drawn-out posts like those I normally write here on the BlogWorld blog. If you hate writing, there’s no need to publish 1000-word pieces several times a week. Instead, focus on the following three steps; your blog posts will better support your other content and take less time to write so you can spend more time on the content you actually like to create.

Step One: Identify Your Goal

Before you start writing (or staring at a blank screen wondering what to write), take a moment to identify a broad goal for the post you’re about to publish. Blog posts usually fall into one of three categories:

  • Education – the post is teaching people how to do something
  • Entertainment  – the post is an interesting way to help readers pass the time
  • Inspiration – the post is motivating people to do something

If you typically create another kind of content, most of your blog posts will probably be inspirational (motivating people to check out your other content) or educational (supporting your other content with written guides/tutorials/etc.). Save the entertainment (humor, opinion pieces, etc.) for the kind of content you actually like creating, since that’s where your true passion will shine through.

Blog posts can be both educational and inspirational, and if well-written, they should also be a little entertaining (at least to the point where they are interesting and not boring). But figure out the most important goal of the post you’re about to write. Every paragraph should help you achieve that goal.

Step Two: Create a Basic Outline and Fill in the Blanks

Once you’ve determined whether you’re writing an educational, entertaining, or inspirational post, it’s time to start writing. You may have learned this in high school (if you were an uber-nerd like me and paid attention in English class), but as a refresher: you can easily organize thoughts by using the following outline:

  • An opening paragraph explaining what the post will be about
  • Three to five paragraphs, each explaining one point about your topic
  • A closing paragraph similar to the opening one, summarizing what the post was about

For bloggers, a better way to think about this is:

  • A paragraph explaining why the reader needs to know the following information or what inspired you to write it.
  • Three to five paragraphs under bullet points or subheadings
  • A call to action (what the reader should do next if they liked your content)

Of course, posts don’t have to fall into this rigid outline, but if you don’t like writing, starting with this outline makes things a little easier. Write out a sentence describing your main topic, the points you want to cover in your post, and a call to action (sign up for my mailing list, subscribe to my blog, check out other content, buy my product, whatever). Then, simply go back and fill in the blanks by fleshing out your ideas.

Step Three: Add a Personal Story or Details

Once you have the basic post written, make it even better by adding some personality, either through a personal story or some personal details. This doesn’t have to mean that you write 500 words about your cat (though you can if Mr. Whiskers is relevant to the topic you’re covering). It just means that you make the post a little less sterile. For example, I added the detail about being a huge nerd in high school to this post (see above). You can also add longer stories about why the post was important for you to write, given behind-the-scenes details about whatever you’re promoting, or even crack a joke. Those extra details will definitely take your content to the next level.

Want even more post writing help? Definitely check out the content creation track at BlogWorld & New Media Expo this June in New York. Our speakers will be presenting sessions like “10 Professional Writing Secrets to Create Killer Content, “50 Content Creation Ideas: You will Never Suffer from Bloggers Block Again!” and more.

The Lyrics Don’t Always have to Make Sense


Usually, celebrity deaths don’t really get to me. Sure, they can be tragic or even a little sad, but I’ve never been someone who’s felt a strong connection to specific celebrities. Well, except Freddie Mercury. I still sometimes cry because he’s dead. Yes, my roommate thinks I’m nuts, considering that he died when I was still to young to even know who Queen was.

But I digress. Yesterday, I was overwhelmingly sad to find out the singer-songwriter frontman of LFO, Rich Cronin, lost his battle with acute myelogenous leukemia. LFO has some success in the 90s, but they certainly weren’t a power boy band like N*Sync or the Backstreet Boys. I was sad because some of my favorite memories hanging out with my best friend at that point in my life involves singing and dancing to their most popular song, “Summer Girls.”

Yes, I know all the words to “Summer Girls.” All the…horribly weird lyrics. If you listened to the radio at all in the late 90s, I’m sure you heard this song at some point. But did you realize that, as catchy as it is, the lyrics are downright ridiculous? Let me recap some of my favorite lines:

You’re the best girl that I ever did see
The great Larry Bird Jersey 33
When you take a sip you buzz like a hornet
Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets

Um. What?

Oh it gets better:

There was a good man named Paul Revere
I feel much better baby when you’re near

Paul Revere? Really? Really?

Yet, this song was all over the radio. In fact, this song made it as high as #3 on the charts, was named on Billboard magazine’s list of top summertime songs of all time, and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Those are some hefty achievement for a song that has incredibly bad lyrics.

Earlier today, I posted about the need to challenge yourself to be a better blogger. It isn’t ok to write posts that are mediocre, with the mindset that, “eh, they’re good enough.”

But at the same time, the lyrics don’t always have to make sense.

“Summer Girls” wasn’t a success because it had a life-changing message. It was a success because it was catchy. It was a success because it fit the overall cultural mood of that summer. It was a success because people like me associate it with good times with their friends. “Summer Girls” wasn’t a song that LFO released because it was “meh, good enough.” It was a song that fit their style, what they wanted to convey with their music. I know a lot of people make fun of silly pop music, but say to anyone, “You look like a girl from Abercrombie and Fitch,” and they’ll probably get the reference.

I do want you to challenge yourself, but at the same time, you don’t need a life-changing message with every post. If the lyrics don’t make sense, that’s ok – as long as you have something that’s catchy and fits your style. Don’t get too caught up in writing a prize-winning post every day. Don’t get so paralyzed with trying to be perfect that it takes you weeks to write a post.

It’s a fine line, to challenge yourself and also realize that not everything you write is a 10 out of 10. Look for the sweet spot between complacency and perfection. If all else fails, repeat after me:

“There was a good man named Paul Revere.”

RIP, Rich Cronin. May your afterlife be filled with fun dip, cherry coke, and girls who laugh when you tell a joke.

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