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Writing Persuasive Content for the Web

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Content is one of the hardest things for most web developers (and their clients) to write. It takes us back to that feeling of being in High School and working on our Research Papers for English Class. Let's take some of the mystery out of that process:
> Critical questions to answer before you start
> SEO from a writer's perspective
> Generating and ideas and topics
> Tactics for more persuasive content
> Making your content easy to consume
> Improving your content
> A tried and true formula for great content

Featured Speaker: Charles Arnold moved to St. Petersburg from Sarasota, where he worked as an advertising and technical writer for a diverse portfolio of clients, from packaging machinery to aviation consulting.

Charles is now focusing on freelance assignments and website development. He is enrolled in the web design program at SPC and has joined the social media team for the Shambhala Meditation Center in St. Petersburg.

Linkedin Profile: Linkedin.com/in/charles-arnold

Presented at WordPress St. Petersburg Meetup on 9/4/2018

Published in: Internet
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Writing Persuasive Content for the Web

  1. 1. Persuasive Content for the Web St. Petersburg Word Press Meetup September 4, 2018 Charles Arnold
  2. 2. Overview ● A critical question to answer before you start ● SEO from a writer's perspective ● Generating and ideas and topics ● Tactics for persuasive content ● Making your content easy to consume ● A tried and true formula for great content ● Case study
  3. 3. The Critical Question Who are you talking to? − Potential Customers − Current Customers − Trade/Industry − Education and Information − General Readers and Web Browsers
  4. 4. Writer's Perspective on SEO ● Don't do anything for the sake of SEO SEO is a thread in your tapestry, not the cloth ● The goal is key words that get the right kind of visitors. Will people who search with these: − Find relevant information on your site? − Find what they are looking for? − Be happy with what they find? − Bring financial rewards or meet goals?
  5. 5. Keyword Tools ● Popular Search Engines − Organic and paid ranking results − Competition – Amazon, Etsy, and Ebay stores − Long tail keywords ● Related Searches
  6. 6. Key Word Analysis ● Many tools available: − Moz Keyword Explorer − Google-Hoth Keyword Planner Tool − Google Trends − MS Bing Ads Intelligence (Excel Plugin) − Wordtrackers Free Basic Keyword Demand
  7. 7. Think Out of the Box ● Who would likely have an interest? − People traveling to the Himalayan Region − Students of Tibetan/Nepali Cultures − Mountain Climbers − Buddhists/Hindus in the US − Tibetan/Nepali jewelry ● What are the trends? Influencers? Disrupters?
  8. 8. A Wider Perspective ● Try searching for related keywords − Nepal − Trekking in Nepal − Villages in Nepal − Tibetan/Nepali Jewelry ● Warning – some free tools limit the number of queries per day ● You may not find a “magic bullet”, but you can get ideas for topics
  9. 9. Developing Topics ● Build an idea bank ● Hubspot Topic Generator − Topic keywords − Results
  10. 10. Keywords & Topics ● Product: Nepali 27 bead wrist mala − Mala beads, mala bracelet, Nepal, Rudraksha wrist bracelet, prayer beads, Buddha bracelet, meaning of Rudraksha beads ● Possible Topics − Where is Nepal? − 5 ways a rudraksha wrist mala can improve your meditation − Beauty and power of Rudraksha mala bracelets
  11. 11. Strategies of Persuasion ● Repetition − Make your point in several different ways. ● Consistency − Consistency implies integrity. ● Social Proof − Include testimonials, reviews, and referrals. ● Comparisons − Relate to something accepted as true.
  12. 12. More Strategies ● Agitate and solve − Identify the problem. Discuss the pain. Offer your solution. ● Prognosticate − Explain the future happy outcome. ● Extend an Invitation − Deterfine a group that wants your product and extend them an exclusive invitation.
  13. 13. Even More Strategies ● Add a sense of Urgency − Provide a reason to order now, e.g. a discount. ● Address Objections − Take a shot at potential objections: "Yes, but . . ." ● Tell a Story − Stories allow people to persuade themselves. We never convince anyone of anything, we simply help them decide that we are right.
  14. 14. Layout Best Practices ● Best length: long enough to make your point ● Pay attention to white space and texture − Subheads – Add texture − Line Length – Long lines are difficult to read − Sentence length – Don't ramble on − Paragraph spacing – add white space − Illustrations and information graphics ● Add variety to a page
  15. 15. Layout Best Practices ● Best length: long enough to make your point ● Pay attention to white space and texture − Subheads – Add texture − Line Length – Long lines are difficult to read − Sentence length – Don't ramble on − Paragraph spacing – add white space − Illustrations and information graphics ● Add variety to a page
  16. 16. Making Your Case ● Good Persuasive Content − Supports your case − Demonstrates why people need it − Gives them an incentive to buy it now − Builds trust between you and your customer ● Case Study − imartnepal.com ● An online marketer of village arts and crafts from Nepal
  17. 17. The Classic Formula ● Grab 'em with your opening − A headline that makes a promise − Use a short first sentence − Introduce your topic and theme − Include a personal anecdote – mini-story, testimony − Personalize it – talk directly to your reader
  18. 18. The Classic Formula ● Segue to the most critical point − Lead with a why − Demonstrate your promise with text, photos, graphics, etc − Include a data point − Provide an example − Give an action step ● Use same format for secondary point
  19. 19. The Classic Format ● Wrap it up in your close − Bring it full circle − Pour a shot of motivation − Use an engagement tool ● A survey ● A chart ● Ask for feedback ● Rewrite the headline and opening paragraph
  20. 20. Conclusion ● 6 points of persuasion − Likability − Credibility − Authority − Authenticity − Reciprocity − Urgency ● Case Study: How persuasive is imartnepal?
  21. 21. The End

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