What is persuasive writing?

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Branding, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Stories | 0 comments

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It’s writing to sell.

I know, I know ….. many of you now think that as a writer I’ve just sworn, committed a mortal sin or both.

You may think that persuasion and selling have nothing to do with one another – that they are diametrically opposed. One is gentle, slow, often pleasurable and painless; while the other is dirty, rude, hard-arse and brash.

But no. Really, let’s just think about this logically.

When was the last time that you tried to influence (or capture) another’s person’s thoughts, actions, decision or feelings? Yesterday, today, two minutes ago?

Yes I’m sorry, whenever you try to persuade someone to do, think or be anything other than that which they normally feel, do or act……then you are persuading them. And that is selling.

So by extension (no matter the type of writing), if through the power of your writing you want someone to do (or feel) what you want them to do (or feel), then you’ve persuaded (AKA sold them) to view things through your frame.

Think of this. Before someone read your work they were in one mind; after reading it they’ve changed their mind. That’s a success.

You wanted them to feel motivated, captivated, inspired or moved – you’ve achieved it.

Even if you were trying to envelope them with your writing, to transport them to another place, to experience another feeling, then you were fundamentally selling. You were selling them on what and where you wanted them to be.


You need to admit it. Persuasion is selling.

It’s perhaps the white hat version of selling – versus the black-hat type to which we all cringe at the thought.

When people have an investment in what they read – emotional or financial – they will read something. But when they don’t, they’ll be unforgiving and not give it any attention.

Remember though, that to persuade someone to do or feel something using nothing but the written word, is no small feat.

Regardless of what label you place on it.


What do think? Are you horrified at the thought that all your writing is in effect an act of persuasion, and therefore selling? Let us know what you think.

Image: winnond


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