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Writing Persuasively Gets a Bad Rap

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

Count others more significant than yourselves (Philippians 2:3, ESV).

Philippians 2:3: how thinking of your reader first makes a difference in writing. #WritingTips with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

A Word For Writers

Early on in my writing life, the idea of writing persuasively made my skin crawl.

That discomfort was a bit of a problem for me, a newbie copywriter, since by definition copywriting is writing to persuade

I equated writing persuasively with manipulation. In writing persuasively my goal is to convince the reader of the merits of a product or service or an idea in order to propel her to take an action: to buy a product, click a link, give money, embrace a cause, opt in. 

The very thought of using words to manipulate readers made me feel like a slimy sell-out (on good days) …

… until one of my instructors said, "Good copywriting begins with your reader, not your product. What are her needs?" 

[Light bulb goes on] 

If I'm doing my job in writing persuasively, I take quite a bit of time getting to know my reader right along with knowing my product or service or cause. By digging in, I find out where those two intersect.

As I write, I focus on another person and her needs and then show her one way she can get those needs met (through a service, a product, or other offer.) I count my reader as "more significant." I put her needs first.

 "Write to your reader." It's a common refrain in the copywriting universe.

Funny how the Bible tells us to put others first, too.

A Wise Word for Writers

Put the reader's needs first when you write.

A Word To Pray

Gracious Father,

Show me how to understand my reader and her needs. Give me insight to understand and communicate one way those needs can be met.

In Jesus name, Amen.


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