“If you want to convince someone about something,” says Rolf Dobelli in The Art of Thinking Clearly, don’t focus on the advantages; instead, highlight how it helps them dodge the disadvantages. That’s because, he explains, research shows that, emotionally, a loss “weighs” about twice that of a similar gain.
Of the six techniques a second author, Steven James, suggests writers use to create suspense, the one that appealed to me most as a corporate blogging trainer was this: “Put characters that readers care about in jeopardy.”
In business blogging, I think the lesson here for content writers is to identify ways in which something potential customers value could be in jeopardy. We then assure searchers they’re not the only ones to find themselves in this predicament and show them we’ve solved these precise problems for customers and clients many times before.
On the other hand, I’ve found, in too many SEO marketing blogs, the content is meant to scare consumers, with the message geared towards creating enough fear about a particular problem that readers will be moved to do something about that fear – now!
The middle ground, I teach Indiana freelance blog content writers is to identify ways in which something customers value could be in jeopardy. (Do that without making dire threats or predictions.) Go on to demonstrate that your business owner or professional practitioner blogging client has solved these precise problems many times before.
The word “highlight” in Rolf Dobelli’s statement is key. On the one hand, when people go online to search for information and click on different blogs or on different websites, they’re aware of the fact that the providers of the information are out to do business. That means it’s OK to highlight how your product or service can help them dodge losses and disadvantages. Highlighting, though, is hardly the same as “hitting them over the head” with a hard-sell.
In SEO marketing blogs, “convincing” (as measured in clicks to the shopping cart or obeying Calls to Action) may mean allowing online visitors to do their own “weighing” of the plusses and minuses of taking action now.