Use these power words to give them a pep talk and get them charged up again: Nearly every headline on the cover is either blatantly or indirectly about sex. As a writer, you can use words that inspire lust to make almost anything intriguing. Not for the fun of it, mind you, but because someone is doing something wrong , and the community needs to take action to correct it.
So, we have to fan the flames. Just be careful who you target. Lawyers can eat you alive if you pick on the wrong person. The truth is, nearly every human being on the planet is interested in either making or saving money. Use these words to tap into those desires: They need to trust both you and your product or service. Of course, building that kind of trust starts with having a quality brand and reputation, but the words you use to describe yourself and your product or service also matter.
To help your customers feel safe, try to use as many of these power words as possible: Remember when you were a kid, and someone told you NOT to do something? From that point on, you could think about little else, right? Power Words in Action: Its purpose, after all, is to entice the reader to read the rest of the article.
If it fails to get attention, potential readers will ignore it when it shows up in their social media feed. People generally love anything adorable, so this headline will easily catch attention. The fact that it refers to snakes will only make people more curious. While one or two power words are often enough, this headline proves you can use more when it fits. This headline has four powerful words, but they feel natural in the headline, which keeps it from feeling like over-the-top clickbait.
Once people click on your headline, most will scan the post first to see if it looks worthy of their attention. Adding some power words to your subheads is a good way to make your post look like an interesting read. See how the power words in these subheads catch attention and make you want to read the text that follows? You can stand out in their inbox and raise your open rates by including power words in your subject lines. As a blogger, one of your main goals is to grow a large and engaged readership, and the best way to do so is through converting readers into subscribers.
That means you should have opt-in forms scattered across your website. You can place them on your homepage, at the end of your posts, in your sidebar, in a popup, or anywhere else.
This popup had power words everywhere, but it avoids feeling like overkill. I bet it converted like crazy. If not, you should add some right away. Many people who enter your website, will see this page first, and you want it to make a good first impression.
Some people use their home page to promote their email list, others use it to promote one of their products, and others use it as red carpet, welcoming new visitors and explaining what their site is all about. In any case, your home page is a good spot to add a few power words, as it can determine whether people stay and take the action you want them to take or leave. These words immediately separate his blog from all the other fitness blogs out there.
They just wrote down three power words and follow it up with a service they provide. Go look at your homepage now and see if you can find any areas you can spruce up with some power words.
Your blog or business name should have an impact on people. Having a forgettable domain name is poison to your blog growth. You want a name that people can easily recall when they want to visit your site.
Just like you can use power words to spruce up your blog name, you can also use them to make your product names pack more of a punch. You can also use power words to spruce up your sales pages and make them more effective at selling your products or services. All these testimonials will lend extra credibility and excitement due to their power words and phrases. Many opt-in forms include a list of reasons you should sign up to their email list. You can use power words in these lists to inspire more excitement in your reader as they read through it.
Yep, you can use power words in your button copy too, even if you only have a few words you can fit in there. Now take a look at the buttons on your site. Do you see any opportunities to spruce them up with a power word? When you guest post for another blog, your author bio has the difficult job of making readers want to know more about you so they click through to your site. That means your author bio needs to spark attention and interest. And you usually only get three sentences, so you need to carefully consider the words you use.
It shows her uniqueness and makes her stand out from other copywriters. She opens strong immediately by mentioning her guides are insanely useful. And just the name of her report alone is full of power words: All the biggest youtube channels do this.
They understand that most of their views will come from their subscribers finding them in their feed, and from people finding them in the sidebar of other videos.
See what I did there? Go to top Go Ahead and Tell Me. Yes, this is an enormous list, but so many power words are available, nobody can possibly catch them all on the first pass. What are some other words that seem to have that extra little spark of emotion inside them?
Eventually, I hope to have over 1, words here, separated and organized by category, making this the definitive resource for power words on the web. I took a lot of notes from it!
Yup another post that makes your stomach churns and your mind inspired and enriched… Thank you your awesomeness…. I have to say, I find that most self-help postings are statements of the glaringly obvious at best, and utter nonsense at worst.
But this is really, really good. Thanks for the list, Jon. It definitely gives me some food for thought… but I will tell you that after glancing through the list, it seems like a lot of the words are negative. The fear section is the largest one, and yes, those are definitely negative. Copy, pasted and saved in my swipe file. Thanks Jon for making life easier for the rest of us.
Julie, fear is the most powerful emotion and is so instilled in our collective conscious and we obviously lust after it because the news media keeps peddling fear every night.
I bet Jon that if you punched every one of those words into a thesaurus you will reach your word goal very quickly. You know, I think I will do just that. Or to put it more cynically, Jon, fear sell lots of stuff. Thanks for the list. Paradoxically, sentences constructed negatively are a turn-off. Great list Jon, thank you. Thanks for the great information! I love the list but some of the words also make you sound sleazy.
And secrets has been done to death. A power words is defined by its ability to make you feel. If the forbidden words are making you feel icky, that just proves their power.
People continue using it because it works. This is a great list! Thanks so much for a great, extended list of power words which I will dutifully and studiously commit to memory and learn how to use. I even went back to read your article and noticed the power words used in it.
Amandah, Thanks for sharing the list of words below! Some good ones in there. And Jon, thank you for a great post. Like many here, I have copied both lists into Evernote. That one can work under the right circumstances. Speaking of myself, even though I might use such words when I speak to someone, I am careful to use words that even a 5th grade student would understand or based on the kind of readers I get over at my blog.
So, I do need to keep the words very simple and easy to understand. This is for the purpose of blogging, though there are always exceptions. I wonder if others feel the same way about using such words in their blog posts, even though I admit they are awesome power words, which we do use otherwise. Thanks for sharing these with us. So many good words now to learn how to put the story together. Thanks Jon once again for sharing. Since you asked us for our contributions, here are a few suggestions that might make your list.
My apologies in advance if you already mentioned them:. Petrified a great word, and I want to add more to my list, because I forgot to add them at my post on the bottom and again, sorry for any accidental repeats:.
This list is awesome! I know I could use more for sure. I use your headline hacks and they are amazing. I like the words suggested in the comments and will keep coming back for more! More great advice from the inimitable Jon Morrow! I appreciate the way you have expanded our vocabularies with this post! At the same time, I will proceed with caution. The main takeaway for me is about enriching my vocabulary. Thanks for the kick in the right place! If you think about it, pretty much all writers manipulate the emotions of their readers.
The key is doing it in a way your readers like and enjoy. That takes careful study and a lot of thought. Combination of lust and forbidden fruit there. Thanks for the inspiration, Sophie! See what you started??!!! I love this post. It along with your 52 Headline Hacks have given me a boatload of ideas for my content. Your Royal Awesomeness — thank you for the awesome resource.
I am super excited to get your mind-blowing list of wondrous power words. The post was an eye opener and such a bargain considering all you want in return is an endorsed share. Did I over do what I learned from your post? Are their statues and other symbols for worshiping in your online store.
I need many to adorn my home and to spread across the land to start a Morrow cult. No need for purple Kool-Aid, just meditations where we read your posts and reach higher states of writing consciousness and eventually writing nirvana.
The only problem is how to keep this resource handy? Gloomy, shadowy, glittering, sparkling, creepy, rotten, moldy, spicy, gritty, drab, roaring, squeaky. The only thing missing is a group of words that create FUD Fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Actually I was thinking of writing one along the same lines. There is so much content out there we have to grab the readers attention. Graphic, descriptive phrasing is a way to take them by the throat and force feed them what they need. Or am I, in my imbecility, losing, missing, dropping, overlooking something here?
I love you truly, Jon. But please clarify… and tell us, what in this post is truly new? A list of powerful words that give much more impression when you used it. Thanks John for sharing. Dear Jon, Thank you very much for your lists of powerful words.
You are very kind to share them with us, your readers. Great list of words Jon. A good resource to get the creative juices flowing in telling a story and getting a point across. A generous post and resource thank you Jon.
The post is an explanation for why a random post I did a long while back has always been more popular on view count than others — Confessions of A Recovering Adrenaline Junkie. As a therapist my work is all about power words. Thinking about recent sessions these come to mind: Now if I can just hold on to them as move from my arm chair to my desk and write!
Thanks Jon, I am going to love putting these words into use. I think I will even use the ones others have listed.
Funny about the timing of this post. I have a short memory, so if some of these I present to you are already lists above, I apologize in advance.
I use your headline hacks PDF all the time. In fact, I have officially made it is mandatory reading for all new members of my team. Now the lists in these posts are the perfect supplement to help me and my team take our copy-writing to the next level. I do know that the power words can make a big difference. Now have it printed and good to go with more of your great help from you. Glad my parents, in what I presume was a back-to-the-future move ahead of its time, got hold of your advice just in time for me … lol.
The truth is Jon pretty much came up with that one, with his blogging class I took. It sure is paying off for me. What can i say, Jon is good with the words. Thanks again and hope you have a great day or evening. Your headings are irresistible! I challenge the young and inexperienced to stay away…lol! Jon, a great post! Tony Robbins also refers to power words. I never thought of it that way before. Maybe having worked in the corporate world, authentic seems more audacious to me.
Now, I am going to have to change the tagline for my site. I love the concept of juxtaposition and confluence. Other words I love are those that convey a transitory magical feeling — elusive, evanescent, fleeting. These are delightful would that be a power word? I have a few to add if I may: Re the staggering importance of power words. Now your evil list will quadruple the experience, no doubt about it.
Hence my recession-proof thanks. But I see Your Gifted Awesomeness by now is getting over-powered or disgustingly bored — likely both. So let me hurriedly take quick leave … by crookedly adding the only other intelligent list of power words in my trusted hands is from Tony Robbins [Unleash the Giant Within]. He lists words in two columns: Cannot reproduce it here — whoppingly true — because I only have it as a guaranteed jpg file. But if anyone wants the bonanza of a copy, just holler and make sure it includes your prized email, and a power word or two: Tony Robbins first gave me insight into the power of this word.
Years later, Brian Clark reminded me. This is a really great list. I have been working on improving my writing and this should really help. Thank you for posting this. What an impressive and powerful list of perfectly categorized word groups! Like all those before me, I copied this into a word doc including most of the comment lists for even more reference material! Thanks for not including curse words. It might work, but it will probably just make someone really angry at you for using it.
Jon, I love your article and your list of power words is incredible. I am sure I will be using it all the time. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. Everything we do in life relates to our emotions. What this list of words does is help us to communicate better as writers and capture those emotions from our readers. I offer my sincere appreciation for this list and will be sure to keep it in a safe place along with sharing this great article.
I am a great believer in power words and write and rewrite constantly before posting. Thanks for your list. I will add to mine. I worry about this type of guide as it lacks so much that is fundamental to the craft of good writing, such as pace, tempo and punctuation. If painting were a metaphor, it would say: Use the colour red. I see so many bloggers applying similar rules while ignoring the power of developing their own style and voice. It is the only way to truly stand out because too many bloggers are taking attention grabbing guides like this to heart.
Go and read any newspaper and then go read their blog. I was surfing a writers website and looked at their guest post submission guidelines. It asked for a degree in communications and posts must be written in AP style.
Since when does AP style have to do with blogging? I think too many people along with the so called blogging experts seem to confuse blogging with the writing we were all taught in school. Two completely different things. He has a very clear understanding of what a blog is and what traditional writing is. If you want to write a better fiction novel, screenplay, business letter or speech, take a college level writing class.
If you want to learn how to blog, learn from guys who live it. Writing forms the basis of blogging, as it does journalism, play writing, speech writing and so on. ALL writing, not just blogging.
People may believe blogging needs to be shorter and punchier to retain peoples attention, but a word long blog can retain peoples attention if it is WRITTEN well. Using these so called power words does not make you a better writer. The power of a written piece does not come from individual words, it comes from the context the words are written in; how they relate to other words; sentences; paragraphs and the subject they are describing.
The fact that bloggers can string sentences together is a direct result of that schooling. Without it, blogging would not exist. This list may not touch on everything that makes a good writer, but it specializes in one thing. Why not take that college level writing class Michael mentioned if you want the rest of the picture?
For crying out loud. Some are more than one word: Sick and tired; marked down? Taking this article as well as some of your other awesome basic writing technique articles, and putting them to practice in a system each time I write! Why do we fail to do what we know to do, especially when someone helps us out gives us the answers?
Thanks very much for this post. Ok, maybe that was a tad too dramatic, but I think you understand what I mean. Thanks for the article and thanks to all those that took the time to comment. This has given me some fresh ideas. I think we should petition Microsoft to add high-lightened power words to synonyms.
That way it is easy. It is the lazy me. Jon, I forgot to thank you. This is a lot of hard work and the comments have added more to its value.
Thanks for this great work. Much like your former students, I have been looking for this list for years! Thanks for putting this together and now I will print it out and place it in front of me for reference in all my writing. I have also shared it with our writers so they too can benefit from your Uncensored, Mind-Blowing and Victorious list of power words. Jon, my hat off to you. As a former college teacher of rhetoric a Dale Carnegie instructor and writing coach, I watch people struggle to find the right words to appeal to the right emotion.
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