The Psychology Of Compelling Content

By on April 28, 2016

Creating compelling content is not just about being a great writer (though of course this doesn’t hurt!). There are actually plenty of tricks and tips that you need to include to drive your readers to act. Whether that is to buy a product, to click on a link, to sign up for a newsletter, or simply to make them want to revisit your site for more.

Motivating your readers to act is all about understanding what they want, what will inspire them, and, perhaps most importantly, giving them clear, logical 'call to actions' to show them exactly what you want them to do.

Here are some great tips which you should include in every single piece of content you write to engage your customers or readers and persuade them to take action.

Use persuasive language

To move your customers to action, you have to reason with them, and explain to them why it is imperative that they do so. Using persuasive language resonates with customers, you can’t just tell them what to do, you need to tell them why.

Writing persuasively is easier than you think. Simply use key reasoning words in your copy, for example:


Considering that

Since you have already

Due to the fact that

If you want to take advantage of

and so on.

Littering your copy with this persuasive language will direct your reader, and convince them that they should do what you are asking of them. For example if you write:

‘For more information you can sign up to our newsletter’

You may not get as many readers doing so than if you write:

‘We think you should sign up to our newsletter because it provides all the most up to date information, tips and tricks about how to write the best copy in the business.’

See the difference?

Write originally, and say something new

The best content tells us something we didn’t know before. Our minds need to be stimulated, and to get your customers interested in what you have to say, you can’t simply dredge up the same old story time and time again. Tell them something they don’t already know.

Why is the information you are giving them more important, interesting and exciting than your competitors? Finding something novel and unique will motivate customers. Use language they may not have heard before (without over complicating or confusing things), make them laugh, move and excite them - if a customer has an emotive response to your content, they are far more likely to act. If you can demonstrate that you have something new, and quantify why it is the newest, and the best option for your customers, they will be drawn to it and want to find out more.

Spark curiosity

Intrigue your readers at the beginning of your content and make them want to find out more. Curiosity is something we have all experienced, right from early on in childhood when we are learning about the world around us.

If you are curious about something you automatically want to find out more about it - this is the important part, as it is imperative that you satisfy a reader’s curiosity at the end of your article. Build it up but make sure they feel they are going to get the reward at the end, and make sure you give it to them - otherwise they will leave feeling frustrated and cheated - the exact opposite of what you are going for!

Reward, recommend and make it personal

Readers want to be rewarded for the time and effort they have take out of their busy day to read what you have to say.

Rewarding your readers is a powerful motivator. They need to feel they have got something out of it, whether it’s great information, a discount, or something for free. Personalising this also makes the reader feel as though you care about them. Recommend other reading, other products they might be interested in - make it easy for them to love you.

Be clear

If you want your customers to act, tell them clearly and precisely what you want them to do after they have finished reading. Whatever the point of your content is, whatever action you want them to take, don’t think you need to be subtle.

Screen readers particularly, tend to skim, and rarely read your entire piece - so make sure you have clear call to actions throughout.


People liked to be listened to. So why not leave an opportunity for them to engage with what you have written, the product, or business as a whole. If people choose to comment or leave feedback, make sure you respond to them.

These simple tips can help you write compelling copy and will given you an insight into what makes people tick. So next time you sit down to write, why not use them and see what a difference it makes?

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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