State-of-being verbs, these are passive as opposed to powerful: Is, am, are, was. Were, be, being, been, have, has, had. Do, does, did, shall, will, should, would. May, might, must, can, could, am I saying these should never appear in your writing? Youll find them in this piece. But when a sentence lies limp, you can bet it contains at least one of these. Determining when a state-of-being verb is the culprit creates a problem—and finding a better, more powerful verb to replace it—is what makes us writers. Note how I replaced the state-of-being verbs in this paragraph.
100 Words Kids need to read by 2nd Grade: Sight Word
The point is that good writing is more about well-chosen nouns and strong verbs than it is about adjectives and adverbs, regardless what you were told as a kid. Theres no quicker win for you and your manuscript than ferreting out and eliminating flabby verbs and replacing them with vibrant ones. How to know Which Verbs need Replacing. Your first hint is your own discomfort with a sentence. Odds are it features a snooze-inducing verb. As you hone your ferocious self-editing skills, train yourself to exploit opportunities to replace a weak verb for a strong one. At the end of this post I suggest a list of 249 powerful verbs you can experiment with to replace tired ones. Want swing a copy of the 249-verb list to read, save, or print whenever you wish? What constitutes a tired verb? Heres what to look for: 3 Types of Verbs to beware of in your Prose.
Image credits: Carbonnyc, ben Locker, conversion XL). Do you ever wonder why a grammatically correct sentence youve written just lies there like a dead fish? Your sentence might even be full of those adjectives and adverbs your teachers and loved ones so admired in your writing when you were a kid. But still the sentence doesnt work. Something simple degenerative i learned from, the Elements of Style years ago changed the way i write and added verve to my prose. The authors of that little bible of style said: Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. Even, mark Twain was"d, regarding adjectives: When in doubt, strike it out. Thats not to say theres no place for adjectives. I used three in the title and first paragraph of this post alone.
Take note of the the words and phrases that grab your attention. Keep in mind why a headline stands out more than another. Notice which words grab you in a bullet list of benefits. As you find new words, you can build a list in evernote or another note-taking app; then be sure to reference them when youre in a pinch and looking for a powerful addition to your headline, copy, or post. And once youve found the power words that help you convert, wed love to help you share them to your social profiles at exactly the right times. Do you have any favorite power words that have worked for you? Which ones from the list here might you be interested to try? Id love to hear your thoughts.
Its my favorite group from Morrows list because these safety words have an amazing effect on the person reading: They create trust. Where to try these: payment forms, signup forms, testimonials 47 ubiquitous power words Improve trust Immediately discover Profit learn Know Understand Powerful Best Win Hot Special More bonus Exclusive extra you free health guarantee new Proven Safety money now Today results Protect Help Easy Amazing. Create each employee on the circulation and email marketing teams at Interweave press has these words printed and posted on their wall. The list, which was originally compiled Linda ruth and Curtis Circulation Company, came from studying best-selling magazine covers, and Interweaves Bob Kaslik found that the words work equally well on magazines as they do in promo copy and in email subject lines. Where to try these: Email subject lines, headlines, calls-to-action 9 word for shareable content Secret Tell us Inspires take help Promote Increase Create discover neil Patel put together the infographic you see below, based on research on each of the four major social networks: Twitter, facebook. His list represents the words that can get your content shared on social media. Ive found success grouping some of these words with other power words as well. Where to try these : Social media updates Create and share your own list If youre looking for inspiration (and a few unique power words to keep in your toolbox try keeping track of the words that get you to convert.
Transitional Words & Phrases
Where to try these : headlines, bullet points, plot subject lines (Sidenote: For a fun blast from the past, courtesy of Ben Locker, here are a couple advertisements for power words that date back to 1961. A new York times ad is on the left, a washington Post ad is on the right. Ogilvys 20 influential words came out two years after these.) 3 words to encourage community join Become a member Come along These community phrases provide a sense of togetherness to the user; they feel like theyre taking part in something larger than themselves. (Youll notice that we use the word join in our email newsletter form.) Where to try these words : Email signups, trial offers, in-app messaging 10 cause-and-effect words and phrases Accordingly As a result Because caused by consequently due to for this reason Since Therefore. Where to try these: Closing paragraphs, transitions 12 phrases that imply exclusivity members only login required Class full Membership now closed Ask for an invitation Apply to be one of our beta testers Exclusive offers Become an insider be one of the few Get it before. You want in because others are. Theres a bit of social pressure with exclusivity wording, and it helps drive decisions and actions for the user.
Where to try these : Signup forms, links, calls-to-action, subheads 9 phrases that imply scarcity limited offer Supplies running out Get them while they last Sale ends soon Today only Only 10 available Only 3 left Only available here double the offer in the next hour. Fomo is essentially scarcity. By showing that an item or product is in limited supply, you hope to ratchet up demand. Where to try these : headings, promo copy 28 words and phrases that make you feel safe Anonymous Authentic Backed Best-selling Cancel Anytime certified Endorsed guaranteed Ironclad Lifetime moneyback no obligation no questions Asked no risk no strings Attached Official Privacy Protected Proven Recession-proof Refund Research. The above section is Morrows grouping of words that engender feelings of safety.
Renvoise and Morin highlight the three different brains we have: the new brain, the middle brain, and the old brain. The old brain is the part that controls decisions, and it also happens to be the most primitive. In this way, the words you use to market to the old brain will often be the most direct, simple, arresting, visual words you have. Youll likely see a lot of these old brain words in the lists below. The ultimate list of words and phrases that convert A quick google search can reveal pages of results for persuasive and powerful words. Theres no trouble finding them; theres sometimes trouble applying them.
The words you see below are split into a number of categories, along with some ideas on how ive used them in the past (and how you can use them, too). The 5 most persuasive words in the English language you free because Instantly new youve seen these words countless times before—and for good reason. The research behind these words has shown over and over that they work. Gregory ciotti wrote about these five in a post for Copyblogger, showing exactly how each is vital for persuasive speech and copy. For instance, immediate words like instantly trigger mid-brain activity and feed our zest for quick gratification. Where to try these words : Calls-to-action, headlines, email subject lines, headings, opening sentences and paragraphs The 20 most influential words, via david Ogilvy suddenly now Announcing Introducing Improvement Amazing Sensational Remarkable revolutionary Startling Miracle magic Offer quick easy wanted Challenge compare bargain Hurry david Ogilvy. His list of influential words you see above was first published in 1963, and many remain in vogue today.
Short Story tips: 10 ways to Improve your Creative writing
Yet it didnt matter. The trigger word because was all she needed. The takeaway: When you want people to take action, always give a reason. Neurologically, we have an instinctual reaction to words and language. Researchers have found that we are hardwired to associate short sounds with images, even in words we do not comprehend. Heres a test for you, pulled from a study by Wolfgang Köhler. Which of the two shapes below is a maluma and which is a takete? The vast majority of respondents label the smooth, rounded image a maluma and the hard, jagged image a takete. To go one step further into the power of words, you can look at Patrick renvoise and Christopher Morins book about neuromarketing (see peep Lajas article at ConversionXL for a great analysis of the book ).
Social psychologist Ellen Langer tested the power of a single word in an experiment where she asked to cut in line at a copy machine. She tried three different ways of asking: Excuse me, i have five pages. May i use the xerox machine? Excuse me, i have five pages. May i use the xerox machine because, im in a rush? May i use the xerox machine because, i have to make some copies? I dont know about you, but I thought Langers third request was rather elementary.
research behind this power of words is incredibly deep. Researchers have found that the word you use to describe a car accident (contacted. Smashed) paints the way eyewitnesses view the event. Another study found that simple stock names that are easier to pronounce lead to quicker gains post-ipo. Perhaps my favorite study is one shared by Brian Clark of Copyblogger. .
A word changes the meaning, the mood, and the motivation. Once youve found the most powerful words, wed love to help you share them to social at exactly the right times — so you can drive more traffic, engagement, and conversions. To connect the dots spondylolisthesis then, youre probably wondering: If a single word makes that much difference, then what words should I be using? Which words and phrases convert? The science of copywriting, the psychology of headlines, and the art of ctas has revealed quite a number of go-to moves for marketers looking to gain a linguistic edge in their words and pitches. Ive enjoyed saving several lists of these so-called power words and pulling them out to use in a pinch. Im happy to share my lists with you of the phrases and words that convert. Do you have any power words that work magic for you? Id love to hear about them in the comments.
MeetingWords: realtime collaborative text Editing
These phrases litter the biography huge variety of email newsletter boxes youll come across online, and they generally serve the same purpose: Click here to give us your email address. They serve the same purpose, but do they say the same thing? Can one word change the way you feel about a button? In my experience, yes. I subscribe to the copywriting school of thought where every single word is absolutely worth stewing over and. A/B testing because one single word can change everything. The difference between joining and signing up is the difference between fellowship and enlisting.