Do You Believe This??

How do you keep your readers engaged in your writing?

You can have something to say, but if you fail to engage your readers, you’re going to drive them away—which, in the end, defeats the purpose of writing.

Today, I’m going to clue you in on an effective way to generate the attention of your readers.

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To schedule a strategy session with Michael J. Klassen, click here.

Guess Who Are The Most Effective Writers?

When I grow up, I want to become a copywriter.

Copywriters, in case you didn’t know, specialize in writing content to sell, educate, or persuade consumers to engage with a product’s brand. They write the ads you see in newspapers, on billboards, or even the flyers you find hanging on the door at your home.

Good copywriters make tons of money because they make tons of money for their employers.

I love copywriting because copywriters know how to massage the English language in order to evoke an emotion and a response. These talented writers know how to induce us to buy laundry detergent, running shoes, or Popeye’s (awesome) chicken sandwich.

Stop for a minute: isn’t that the reason you’re writing your book—to evoke an emotion or a response?

If you want to change the world with your transcendent book, you can’t settle with merely entertaining your reader. You need to compel them to do something.

That’s why, in my opinion, copywriters are the best writers. They know how to make their readers take action.

The secret of their effectiveness, in large part, relies on how they use power words.

Power words, in most cases, convey at least one of the five qualities below:

  1. Action-driven
  2. Descriptive
  3. Inflammatory
  4. Unique
  5. Surprising

You can employ them in the text of your manuscript, but I think they’re most effective as book titles, subtitles, chapter titles, subheads, and blog titles.

Here’s Why Power Words Are Important

I know I sound like a broken record, but in the ever-changing tastes of our audience, we must begin with the assumption that our readers have ADHD. They’re easily distracted, and if we don’t do a good job of holding their attention, they’ll close our books and move on to something else that will engage them.

An effective power word or two in your title will compel potential readers to read the back cover of your book…

If the back cover copy is compelling, they’ll look at the table of contents…

If the table of contents engages them, they’ll scan your book, glancing at the subheads which will convince them to invest in purchasing your book.

I can’t understate their importance.

When I started my career as a freelance writer, I kept a list of 100 power words next to my computer. Even now, I periodically Google “power words” to refresh my memory.

Lists of power words and phrases are legion. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. You
  2. Free
  3. Because
  4. Instantly
  5. New

Before we go any further, you must know that the first five words listed above are the most important. Addressing your readers directly commands their attention. “You” is the most powerful word in the English language. “Your” works in the same way.

Your audience is constantly and subconsciously asking the question, “What’s in it for me?” They want something simple, easy, and free. The path of least resistance. Your readers want simple explanations and desperately want to avoid embarrassing mistakes other people are making.

Let’s keep going:

6.    Why
7.    Fast
8.    Easy
9.    Tips
10.  Jumpstart
11.  Affordable
12.  Secrets
13.  Mistakes
14.  How to
15.  Discover
16.  Transform
17.  Insider
18.  Exclusive
19.  Beautiful
20.  Attractive
21.  Alluring
22.  Transcendent
23.  Potential
24.  Guarantee
25.  Overlooked
26.  Embarrassing
27.  Guide
28.  Influence
29.  Complete guide
30.  Save
31.  Now
32.  No risk
33.  Sustainable
34.  Powerful
35.  Proven
36.  Today
37.  Effective
38.  Limited
39.  Exclusive
40.  Trustworthy

There’s no definitive list of power words. In fact, they change over time.

For example, twenty years ago, no one would have added the word “epic” to a headline, unless they were referring to a voyage or journey. Today, “epic” has taken on the meaning of “outstanding” or “impressive”. In fact, its overuse has reduced its effectiveness.

Do you want to maximize the power of your book? Let’s talk.