Using the Art of Persuasion in Blogging
The Art of Persuasion in Blogging
I recently saw this amazing little video and it flooded me with ideas. How can you ethically use the art of persuasion in blogging? All the pop ups saying “Hi Good Looking, click here” or “Claim your seat in the course now, it’s filling up fast”, all of those are persuasion techniques.
The video is only 11 minutes long and it is super interesting. I highly suggest you watch it; the results from the studies done are surprising and not what you would expect!
Hundreds of studies have been done on how people are influenced. Let’s use all that research and apply it to our blogs so we can blog more efficiently!
Disclaimer: I don’t intent to stir up any controversy and never aim to unethically persuade anyone. All the opinions on my blog are my own and I am only an affiliate for products I genuinely like or use. I dissected the strategies below because I found it extremely interesting to see the correlation between them and blogging techniques. The left side of my brain loves finding processes and methods that I can reuse and get results!
I will go through each of the 6 methods of persuasion and give clear examples how you can apply it in blogging today. Let me know what impact it makes on your traffic and number of subscribers!
Watch Video then Continue on for the Practical Methods to Apply it to Blogging
#1 The Art of Persuasion in Blogging – Reciprocity
Here is a simple definition of reciprocity
: a situation or relationship in which two people or groups agree to do something similar for each other, to allow each other to have the same rights, etc. : a reciprocal arrangement or relationship
It’s the obligation to give when you receive. The study done in the video shows that if a waiter brings you a mint at the end of a meal, it increase tips by 3%. If two mints are given, tips go up 14%. The method of giving also matters. If the waiter gives one mint, then returns back with a second mint, tips go up 25%! The key is:
*click to tweet*
“Be the first to give, and be personal and unexpected.” @RobertCialdini Click To Tweet
Real Life Example
Or in real life, a friend invites you to their Pampered Chef party. You’re sure your kitchen is already full of little gadgets and that you do not need anything else. But you get to the party and your friend serves you a delicious meal. You feel you can’t leave the party without purchasing something, so you buy a few Pampered Chef items out of reciprocity. Voila, this technique has been working in direct sales for years!
How does RECIPROCITY apply to blogging?
If you share someone’s article, they will more likely share yours. If you comment on their post, they will more likely comment on your post. But the key is to go back and alert the blogger that you left a comment or shared their post; this greatly increases the likelihood that they will return the favor.
Additional ways you can show reciprocity is through round-up posts, promoting others in your newsletter, sharing their post in a Facebook group, pinning their pins, or mentioning them on a podcast.
Be the first to give (share/like/comment) and you do it unexpectedly.
Michelle from Making Sense of Cents pinned my pin to her Money Making Ideas & Tips board.
And I returned the favor by pinning her pins to my Make Money Blogging board.
Apply the Two Mint Rule
Or try the two mint delayed method which increased tips by 25% in the study above. Tweet to the person, “Hey, loved your article on [insert topic here]”. This is the first mint.
Then, a day later, tweet again and say something like “Hi again, I couldn’t stop thinking about your awesome article, I just HAD to share it with all my followers.” Second mint.
Let me know if they then reciprocate and share one of your posts too.
#2 The Art of Persuasion in Blogging – Scarcity
Scarcity is a well used persuasion tactic because people want more of what they can have less of.
In the video it is stated that British Airways announced they will stop the flight of the concord because it became uneconomical. The very next day sales went through the roof. The key is:
“Scarcity: point out with is unique and what they stand to lose.” @RobertCialdini
How does SCARCITY apply to blogging?
The examples are endless on how you can use scarcity in blogging. Many bloggers say things such as “If you use my affiliate link you will get a special price.” This persuades the reader to use that specific link to get a better discount, because it is only available there.
Additionally, we have all been more eager to sign up for a webinar when there “is a limited number of spots open.”
Any type of challenge, giveaway or sweepstakes that have an end date all cause scarcity. (example at the bottom of this post)
#3 The Art of Persuasion in Blogging – Authority
People follow credible knowledgeable experts. When a doctor’s diploma is on the wall of his office, patients are more likely to follow his advice. When an admin redirected calls to realtors for potential customers and introduced the realtor saying “Let me connect you to Bob, he has 20 years experience in sales” the results were staggering. Appointments rose 20% and signed contracts increased 15%.
How does AUTHORITY apply to blogging?
How can you show other bloggers your credentials without being showy?
Set Your Authority on your About Page and Income Reports
In your About Page, give a quick blurp on how many years you have been blogging, or better yet, show your income reports. Or if you blog about saving money, post about how you have paid off your student loans in 7 months. If you blog about raising kids, let your readers know how many children you have, although you do not need to name them and reveal personal details.
(example at the bottom of this post)
Show Where You Write
Many bloggers show their authority by placing little logos of the bigger sites they have guest posted on. You may notice call outs “as seen on Huffington Post, Social Media Examiner, New York Times, etc.” These all increase the authority of that blogger.
Add Reviews or Testimonials from Others to your Product or Landing Page
Put reviews on your site! These are little recommendations from others and it boosts your authority on the subject. People are more likely to purchase from you if others recommend your products or services.
Do a Comparison Post
When you compare product A to product B it shows your knowledge and gives you more credibility.
Use Your Tribe
Another way you could apply this method is by using your blogging tribe. Decide what you want to be known for and ask your tribe to introduce you to customers when they see the need.
For example, I could ask my tribe to recommend me to other mommies if they are struggling to manage their time while blogging. “Hi Mommy-without-time, you should check out Suzi from startamomblog.com, she has amazing resources on time management for moms.”
Recommend Ebooks or Courses
Recommend awesome resources. It shows that you have learned a lot and taken the time to invest in yourself. Be sure to only promote product you have experience with. When you are recommending an ebook or course, people are more likely to purchase it. Even if you are an affiliate for that item and will gain from the sale as well.
#4 The Art of Persuasion in Blogging – Consistency
In the video homeowners were 4X more likely to put up a Drive Safely board on their lawn if 10 days prior they were asked to place a small Drive Safely note card in their front window. Getting your audience to say yes to the little things makes them more likely say yes to the bigger things. The key is:
Ask for a YES on small commitments to get a YES on big commitments -The Art of Persuasion
How does CONSISTENCY apply to blogging?
How can you get your reader to say yes to little things, so that eventually they will say yes to purchasing your product or service?
Start with a Question
If you start your article with a question you are already making your reader connect with you. Ask just a simple yes/no question where the answer will most likely be the one you desire. For example, if you blog about time management, ask the reader in the headline “Need more time? Here are 8 ways to add an hour to your day.”
You can also include these questions in your blog post. As your reader is enjoying your post, they are subconsciously answering your questions and making little commitments along the way.
Every click or share is another small ‘yes’ by your reader. Keep building those small commitments.
Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income has a little “Get Started Here” button on his homepage. He says that the readers who click through that button are 25% more likely to become customers. It’s because they said that small ‘yes’ in the beginning. By building small actions that your readers says ‘yes’ to, you will be more likely to turn that reader into a customer.
(example at the bottom of this post)
Add a CTA
Add a call to action on every post. Ask your readers to do something. Either share the article or comment below.
Additional studies have shown that readers who comment on your post are more likely to become customers. They have stated their ‘yes’ in the comments by leaving you a nice note. This is why it is so important to reply to every comment because those are your potential customers!
Draw In Your Reader
Think of a way to make your post more interactive and engaging. Add a voting box in your blog post or include ‘click to tweet’ quotes. If the reader engages in these little actions, they will more likely to comment and eventually more likely to become a customer.
#5 The Art of Persuasion in Blogging – Liking
In the video a study was conducted asking groups to exchange personal information and chat a bit before they started to negotiate. Those who identified similarities had 90% of their negotiations come to an agreement compared to 50% of those who did not share personal information.
People like people who are similar to them, who give them compliments, or with those who they have similar goals. They key is:
People say yes to people they like. – The Art of Persuasion
How does LIKING apply to blogging?
How can you make your readers like you?
Be Likable, Be You
Be authentic and be yourself. Add a picture of yourself on your front page. Be personal and draw people into your story. You are unique. And people connect with people not blogs. See the examples at the bottom of this post.
Add Content Upgrades to Your Posts
Add a special gift at the end of your posts and don’t ask for an email. Examples could include a PDF copy of the post, a printable, or a quick checklist. These little gifts will make your reader happy and create a stronger connection.
Reply to the comments on your posts. Retweet others. Give compliments. Answer emails from your followers. Even if it’s just a quick reply, take the few seconds to build your tribe. Building your brand is a huge part of your business and little touches like this will help you grow!
Include a Story
Start your blog posts with a quick personal story to increase rapport. These will be the type of blog posts that your readers remember and connect with. Be inspirational, be vulnerable, and be you!
#6 The Art of Persuasion in Blogging – Consensus
People look to the actions of others when they determine their own. In hotels there are signs stating “75% of people reuse their towels, please do so as well.” This simple little sign increases towel reuse by 75%. Almost unbelievable, eh?
How does CONSENSUS apply to blogging?
It’s not difficult to see when consensus is used in blogging. Many blogs clearly state their number of followers close to the subscription box. If you see 300,000 other people are following this blog, it shows authority and consensus, and you will more likely subscribe.
When you see a post has been shared 200 times, you are more likely to share it too.
Additionally, when you see a post with many comments, your likelihood for leaving a comment increases.
Consensus is used in ProBlogger‘s front page below. Thousands of readers can’t be wrong! And by the way, they aren’t. Darren Rowse is a fantastic person to follow!
Top Blogger Examples
Below are examples of how top bloggers use these tactics. All of the examples I show in this post are of bloggers I truly admire. They have helped me along on my journey and have inspired me to become a better person. I have the utmost respect for them and the persuasion techniques they use on their blogs are used so that they can help more people.
Neil Patel‘s Awesome Emails
Neil Patel uses three persuasion techniques in his email below.
- He shows consensus by letting you know thousands of others have registered for the webinar.
- He uses scarcity and tells you there aren’t enough seats, so sign up and arrive early!
- He uses the liking persuasion technique by offering you a gift at the end.
Michael Hyatt‘s Personal Front Page
Michael Hyatt sits casually and looks very approachable. My husband introduced me to his podcasts and they are so uplifting! Michael uses liking techniques (happy picture with a casual pose and personal writing style) along with authority techniques (shows where he has been featured) on his front page.
Dale Partridge the Family First Blogging Millionaire
Dale Partridge displays his handsome beard on his front page at StartupCamp.com. He is genuine and loves his family dearly. Super inspirational! Both liking (awesome, likable pictures) and consensus (thousands of others) techniques are used on his front page.
The Crash Test Dummy of Online Businesses
Pat Flynn gives you a cute smile on SmartPassiveIncome.com. His story is well known and he personally replies to emails!
His smile and personal writing style are liking techniques. Showing last month’s earnings displays his authority in his niche. And the ‘Get Started Here’ is a consistency technique to get a small ‘yes’ from the reader.
I hope this article has helped you think of different ways to grow our following ethically. I find it exciting to use science and blogging together. It blows my mind how these persuasion techniques work. This is the type of stuff that keeps me up at night. Well, this and my nursing baby. 🙂
I’ll just leave you with one last tip:
Thank you for reading all the way to the bottom!
75% of people who read this post leave a comment below. 🙂
Several years later and this is still so useful. Thank you for always giving so much value in your posts.
The video was packed with useful information and then you served more by relating it to blogging – which was VERY helpful! I love your stuff, Suzi. I’m a cat mom so I hope that still counts to be a part of the Start A Mom Blog tribe. 😺 Your website and courses are su-purr helpful and inspiring!
Wow! Sooo much information that I need to tackle. I appreciate the work putting this together – Thank you!
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Really useful article Suze. Thank you so much.
I worked in sales and marketing for years before starting my own business and thought I knew how to succeed on-line but I find social media a minefield!! There is definitely a different way to do things on-line as opposed to in real life and you have provided me with workable examples I can relate to/implement/do.
Anything to help navigate the social media seas with limited time and trying not to waste a minute doing something that won’t result in any kind of result is amazing.
Fantastic! Thank you Heidi. I’m so glad the post helped you!
This is definitely something I need to re-read and learn. I’ve never been good at selling stuff or marketing myself so that is definitely holding me back from really growing my blog.
It’s a process. I don’t think we’re born sales people. 🙂 it has to be learned! But it’s a fun journey! Great to see you here!
In with Meera on Consensus that it’s. Great idea to add up all of your social followers. I never thought of that, but I guess that’s the way companies look at you when considering you for sponsored opportunities. I love seeing the logic applied to blogging. Thanks for this, Suzi! I think you did a great job putting it together. I’ll be sharing this all over!
Andrea, you’re such a great friend. Thank you! <3
I love psychology and persuasion! I have a BA in Psych and I’m also a copywriter 🙂
Great video and I personally like the authority and likable aspects to blogging. I have also used scarcity (time limit) which as worked great in sales. Social proof or consensus is a HUGE factor for conversions for businesses. That’s why testimonials are so powerful!
Thank you Elna! I found the video super interesting especially the part that testimonials work even if you know it benefits the other person. Thanks for reading! And I love that you have a BA in psych! I bet it’s helped you a ton in life!
Love the video, and the practical examples you gave got me thinking too. Thank you!!
Glad you liked it! 🙂
Great list – I love how you have grounded all of the concepts and made them applicable to blogging 🙂 I think reciprocity and liking get a little crossed up when first starting out. It is important to be authentic in all parts of blogging … including in reciprocity. In other words, if you didn’t LOVE the meal … don’t say that you did because you love the mints 🙂
Great input Jay! Authenticity is so important, if any blogger wants to make an online business being authentic is essential. Thank you for the comment!
I really loved reading this and found some great ideas! I am going to have to get my butt in gear and actually implement these. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you Cara! Keep it as a checklist to go through before hitting publish 🙂
This is such a great post and I will be revisiting it often. Thank you so much for these things.
The scarcity issue is one that really creeps me out as a blogger. Not only that, it is starting to really bug me as a consumer. Do you feel like this will fade in time or that we will perhaps become more comfortable with it?
Renee, I completely agree. The scarcity tactic is being overused. And as a blogger who sees this all the time, it doesn’t affect me anymore. Regina recently wrote an awesome post on this, and she stated something along the lines of “Why would you give a grown up person only 5 minutes to make a decision to spend $500? What type of respect does that show?” So even though these tactics have worked for hundreds of years – they may be less effective on bloggers who see them everyday. Thanks for the comment! Here is Regina’s post: http://byregina.com/6-figure-blogger/
Great job in deconing what works for some of the biggest names in blogging. Thoroughly enjoyed this post. Sharing all over the place!
Thank you Jenn!! I was SO nervous posting it – hopefully it won’t offend anyone. I have the utmost respect for the big bloggers who have made it so far. Thank you for sharing!
Another great post Suzi! I always leave your posts with more knowledge than when I started. Thanks 🙂
Thank you Natasha!!
You are so smar Suzi!! I started using the YES tactic and CTA request a few months ago with excellent results. Getting the YES is especially helpful!
So so true! Get that first little yes.. and you can build on it… to finally get the BIG yes when they purchase your product! So happy to see you here Lena! 🙂
Suzi, love this post and it couldn’t have come at a better time because I was researching the same for opt-in forms.
I tried out the ‘consistency’ principle on an exit intent pop-up on my site by asking 2 questions. ‘Yes, I need more time’ vs ‘No, I have all the time in the world’….
And obviously no one’s going to click on ‘no’ and when they click ‘Yes’, I show the pop-up with a related productivity guide. It’s the highest converting pop-up on my site.
I love the examples you’ve used for consensus. And a little hack for bloggers concerned they can’t use this because of a small list is to add up all the followers across social media platforms and their list. You can’t tell if some of them using this technique are already doing the same. 😉
Off to share this Suzi! Great thought provoking post!
Thank you Meera! So glad these tactics are working for you too. I find this stuff so interesting 🙂 always happy to see you on my site!
I love it all and I’m so overwhelmed but just confused. Affiliate marketing didn’t work for me and I feel stuck. It’s been 6 months since I’ve begun and my stats are low and income is zero. Trying to convince myself not to give up. ugh
Dana, I can hear your frustration! How did you market your affiliate links? What are you an affiliate for? I’d love to help!