Can you use words to sell your product or services?
The quick answer is “yes.” Words do sell. That’s what copywriting, content marketing, and many other writing-related marketing endeavors are all about.
But not all words will sell your products or services equally well.
One of the most popular older posts on this blog is this post, 25 Best Selling Words.
For a long time, I couldn’t figure out why this simple post was so popular. However, I do have a theory. I also have a few ideas about how to sell using words.
In this post, I share my thoughts about how to make words sell online. I’ll also share my theory on the popularity of the post about selling words.
Thought #1. It’s Not About You
Unfortunately, the Internet is filled with blogs and other sites that are just about the publisher.
Selfish writing can be as mundane as sharing what you ate for breakfast on a personal blog or as complicated as listing all your product’s features on your company’s website without including any benefits.
Most webmasters don’t start out planning to publish self-centered content. Instead, they fall into it naturally.
It’s much easier to list your product’s features than it is to think about how each benefit can help your readers. But it’s the second approach, thinking about and sharing how your product’s features will help your readers, that actually drives sales.
Thought #2. Clarity Is Important
Have you ever read something and then wondered what it was you just read?
You’re not alone. Some publications are too technical or filled with too much jargon for their meaning to be clear.
A student who is assigned a jargon-filled text might read the text over and over again until they understand it if they want to pass the course.
Unfortunately if you publish something that’s unclear online, your readers will not read it over and over again until they understand it. Instead they will move on to something that’s presented more effectively.
Here are some other factors that make writing unclear:
- Improper usage of the language.
- Lack of web-friendly formatting.
- Writing for the wrong audience.
- Not supplementing the text with images.
- Using long paragraphs, long sentences, and long words.
Thought #3. Show Some Personality
Why do you think products associated with people are so popular?
Studies have shown that social profiles that include a person’s image are more popular than those that include a generic image or a logo. Read Ann Smarty’s thoughts about profile images in this Q & A post on the Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.
We live in a society where people are rapidly losing touch with each other. Yet people still want to connect with other people. And they want to do business with people they feel that they know and trust.
Adding a personal touch to your business communications can be that first step in making a personal connection.
Another great way to show personality is by answering comments left on your blog posts or social media accounts. It always amazes me when I visit a business blog and see that comments are being ignored (or even worse, are turned off). What a great opportunity to connect those businesses are missing.
So, think twice before publishing that stark, impersonal article or post without even identifying the author.
Thought #4. Be Careful About the Hard Sell
Did you ever buy something because you felt pressured to buy and later regretted your purchase? If you’ve ever been in that situation before, you know it’s not fun.
Almost all of us know of someone who is so pushy that it’s no fun to be around them. If you’re like most people, you tend to avoid interacting with pushy people.
Unfortunately, some business websites are just like that pushy person that we all try to avoid. They use a hard sell approach that turns off most website visitors.
The truth is that most people don’t like to be pushed into making a purchase. They don’t want to be badgered into buying something.
Instead, they want to make up their minds for themselves. And they want to feel good about that decision afterwards.
So, the trick for a good copywriter is to be persuasive without being pushy. Provide the information your potential clients need to make the right decision without pressuring them.
Take a look at your landing pages. Are they like that pushy person we all love to avoid? Or do they gently persuade without pushing?
I can’t say for certain, but I think some of the readers who are attracted to 25 Best Selling Words are looking for a quick and easy way to sell their products and services.
However, there really are no shortcuts to good writing. Instead, good sales copy needs to be carefully crafted. In fact, if you take away one thought from this post, that should be it.
The selling words I listed all those years ago do work if they’re part of carefully crafted copy. But simply inserting those words into your blog posts or sales copy won’t magically increase your sales.
Share your thoughts about what makes copy effective in the comments.