Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Other Word...

Last time we revealed the most important word in blogging.  That's right you!  Today we pass along what Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger, considers to be the other most important word in blogging because it will capture your readers' attention.

The other word is "because."

One of the most important characteristics of compelling, persuasive content is specificity.  The more specific you are the more credible your points, arguments or sales pitches.  There are many ways to be specific in your writing.  One of the best is simply giving a reason why.  And the most effective transition word when giving a "reason why" is because.

The power of the word "because" has actually been documented by social psychologist Ellen Langer, as told by Robert Cialdini from the Blog Triggers series.  Langer performed an experiment where she asked to cut in line to use a copy machine. 

She tested three different ways of asking, and recorded th results:
Excuse me I have five pages.  May I use the Xerox machine?  Sixty percent said OK.
Excuse me, I have five pages.  May I use the Xerox machine because I'm in a rush? Ninety-four percent said OK.

It appears taht giving the reason why she wanted to cut in line boosted the effectiveness of the request.
But here's the kicker.

Excuse me, I have five pages.  May I use th Xerox machine because I have to make some copies? Ninety-three percent said OK.

The trigger word "because" is so powerful that the reason why didn't really seem to matter.  Be specific in your assertions and always give a reason why, especially when you want people to take some form of action.

Not because I said so, but rather because it will work wonders for you.

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