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How to Influence Your Readers & Create Successful Content

Ultimately, with content, blogs, social media – any aspect of maintaining a marketing presence online – the goal is to influence people.

Whether you want to coax them to your side, convince them to buy your products, or convert them into loyal followers, your influential power matters.

In the beginning, it can feel like a tall mountain to climb. How do you build your reputation, your authority, and your presence so you can reach people in the first place?

How do you appeal to them, interest them, and move them?

This is a question people have been asking forever. Everybody wants to be liked and respected. We’re all human, and it’s a basic human need. As Dale Carnegie says in his iconic, best-selling book, How to Win Friends and Influence People:

“Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business.”

Turns out, the way you approach your online communication is everything. Every single blog post, social media update, direct message, email, comment, and tweet matters.

That’s a lot of pressure, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Instead, focus on a few key areas, and you’ll naturally build up your influence so people will gravitate to you without thinking about it.

Consider this your guide to creating successful content that will influence readers positively.

Your Guide to Influencing and Winning Over Your Audience with Amazing Written Content

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How do you build your reputation, your authority, and your presence so you can influence your audience? @JuliaEMcCoy discusses her 7-step guide to create influence with amazing written content. 🌟 Click To Tweet

Ready to get into how to grow your clout and influence your audience with successful content? Follow these steps:

1. Know Who You’re Talking To

First thing’s first: It’s impossible to influence anybody without a tailored, personalized approach.

Who are you targeting? Who are you talking to? Without this knowledge, you’ll have no idea how to frame your messages and make them relevant to your readers.

So, before you ever begin thinking about how to win people over, first identify who those people are.

According to G. Riley Mills for Forbes, there are three main aspects of audience discovery to consider. He applies these to public speaking, but they also may apply to any type of marketing communication. They are:

  • Demographics – General statistics pertaining to your audience group and identifying factors including gender, age, marital status, level of education, occupation, etc.
  • Psychographics – Personal information such as beliefs, values, opinions, loyalties, and feelings.
  • Situational factors – The factors that may change on a day-to-day basis that influence why your audience might seek out your solutions, products, services, or content.

Research each of these factors and build your understanding of your audience before you move on to writing content or communicating with them.

'It’s impossible to influence anybody without a tailored, personalized approach. So, before you ever begin thinking about how to win people over, first identify who those people are.' - @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

2. Know Your Objective (What You Want from the Interaction)

What do you hope to gain from posting that new blog, social media update, Instagram photo, or email?

When you have a general goal or objective in mind, tailoring your content to perform and complete that goal is much easier.

I shoot for three different “goal buckets” whenever I post a new piece of content. If the content won’t fit in one of my buckets or help me to advance toward a goal, I scrap it and move on to the next.

'I shoot for three different 'goal buckets' whenever I post a new piece of content. If the content won’t fit in one of my buckets or help me to advance toward a goal, I scrap it and move on to the next.' - @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

3. Write Content That Moves, Inspires, Entertains, or Educates Your Audience

Ultimately, content that’s moving, inspiring, entertaining, or educational is going to be valuable to your audience.

If your content doesn’t accomplish any of the above, stop. Re-evaluate your content goals, and set some if you haven’t yet. Then, try these tips in your content.

A. Get Personal

Getting personal in your content doesn’t necessarily mean sharing every tiny detail of your life (TMI much?) – although you can share relevant experiences, thoughts, and ideas.

Instead, it mostly means talking to your audience on a personal level. It means empathizing with them, speaking to their concerns, and relating to them.

B. Add an Element of Surprise or Delight

Injecting your content with surprise or delight will go a long way toward moving your readers. Use these suggestions to bring more light and life to your words:

  • Use opposites – To jerk your readers out of reading by rote, introduce opposites in your writing. This can apply to anything, including descriptions and metaphors. For example, when describing a problem, compare it to falling into a patch of prickly thorns. Then, flip the script and compare the solution to a cloud of feathers.
  • Embrace the one-liner – When you want your words to throw a punch at your reader, put them on their own line, in a one-sentence paragraph. For great examples of this technique used right, look at Seth Godin’s blog:

  • Share personal anecdotes – Put humanness back in your writing and describe personal examples of whatever you’re writing about, where relevant. For instance, perhaps you experienced the problem you’re discussing or maybe you have a good learning experience to share that relates to your topic.
  • Be yourself – Don’t write to impress. Instead, be yourself. Use idioms and turns-of-phrase you would insert in your speech when talking out loud. Crack bad jokes, litter your writing with puns, or include nerdy Star Wars references, if that’s your M.O. You do you.

C. Include Research, Data, Statistics, and Studies

Want to truly inform and educate your audience? Turn to research to ensure your content is stuffed to the brim with value. Don’t just spout off some numbers or facts without citing a reputable online source – you’ll actually damage your authority instead of strengthening it.

'Content that’s moving, inspiring, entertaining, or educational is going to be valuable to your audience. If your content doesn’t accomplish any of the above, stop and re-evaluate.' - @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

4. Be Human, Engage, and Connect

If you really want to influence your readers, find ways to connect with them and build relationships. The best way to do that is the simplest: Be human.

More specifically, be a friendly human on social media and across the web.

  • Engage and interact with the people you follow. Share posts, comment on posts, and add to discussions.
  • Participate in Twitter chats and live streams.
  • Reply to blog comments respectfully, thoughtfully, and with depth.

Building your reputation is about more than the content you publish or the online face you reveal on your website. It’s about every single interaction you have, no matter how seemingly small.

Think about this when you send that email, reply to that DM, or post that quick update on Twitter. All these small moments add up to how you’re perceived online – and whether people feel that they can trust you.

As you build that trust, you’ll build influence at the same time.

'If you really want to influence your readers, find ways to connect with them and build relationships. The best way to do that is the simplest: Be human.' - @JuliaEMcCoy on creating content that builds influence Click To Tweet

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5. Craft Compelling, Irresistible Headlines, Subheaders, and CTAs

To influence your audience, every piece of your content needs to be convincing. That’s why care and attention should infuse your headlines, subheaders, and CTAs alongside the body of your content.

Headlines

A compelling headline will bring readers to your content, but, more importantly, it keys into their needs, wants, and pain points. This is what makes them click over to your piece versus the other guys’.

  • Touch a nerve – When you touch a nerve with your headline, you’ve succeeded. You’ve managed to get inside the reader’s head so deep, their problems have become yours. This should be your goal with every headline.
  • Don’t overpromise – Don’t overpromise in your headline. If you make a wild claim but fail to deliver on that in the content, it’s a letdown for the reader, and their trust in you will deplete.
  • Make the headline mirror the content – The headline should never be dangled like bait to make readers click. Instead, the headline should mirror the content, which helps the reader know what to expect when they invest their time to read it.

Subheaders

Subheaders have a few jobs to do inside your content.

  • Subheaders break the content into parts. It’s easier to understand your topic when it’s broken down into key ideas.
  • They make the content easier to skim and scan.

Neglecting your subheaders means you’ll make your content harder to read – and nobody has time for that.

CTAs (Calls-to-Action)

Your CTAs pave the way for reader action. Without solid CTAs, you will have fewer sign-ups, downloads, subscribers, and even purchases.

Every piece of content should tell your reader what to do next. If you don’t tell them, they’ll click away – and your amazing, influential content will go to waste.

Look at this recent post by Portent and note how they include a solid CTA to sign up for their newsletter at the very end:

‼️ In creating influential content, never forget about headlines, subheaders, and CTAs‼️ Know more about the steps in creating content that can help you build influence in @JuliaEMcCoy's 7-step guide. Click To Tweet

6. Build Better Landing Pages

Once you begin crafting influential content, you can’t stop there. Other key pieces for conversions need to get the golden touch, too, including your landing pages.

Landing pages are separate pages from your website, where visitors “land” after clicking a link or ad. The goal of your landing pages should be to get these visitors to complete one specific objective (usually, whatever your conversion goals dictate).

According to CoSchedule, your landing pages should have three elements:

  • A strong headline
  • Compelling body copy
  • An irresistible call-to-action

Building better landing pages means:

  • Making sure the page has ONE purpose
  • Using conversion copywriting techniques
  • Holding your audience’s attention and staying persuasive
  • Focusing on the benefits of your offer (rather than the features)
  • Keeping the offer about the user (NOT about you)

Without great landing pages, you’ll earn fewer conversions on your awesome content. While you’re building influence, authority, and trust, you have to make sure there’s a net in place at the end to cash in on it.

Without great landing pages, you’ll earn fewer conversions on your awesome content. @JuliaEMcCoy shares some tips on how you can create better landing pages that can help boost your influence. Click To Tweet

7. Optimize Your Content the Right Way

The final piece of the puzzle is optimizing your content so your influence can grow and spread organically. This means:

Optimize your content the right way. Make sure to invest in quality content, SEO, and a user-friendly and beautifully designed website. Know more tips on creating winning content that builds influence in this post by @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

To Build Online Influence, Build Your Content and Social Presence

Attracting your audience, moving them, and influencing them are no small feats.

To do it, you have to have four things:

  • Patience
  • Knowledge of your ideal readers – their needs and desires
  • Amazing content that speaks to those readers
  • A consistent web presence (including consistent blogs!)

If you’re just starting, start small. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?

Lay your foundation for online influence brick by brick, and soon you’ll build a haven for your audience – one they’ll flock to in droves.

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