How to master the psychology of writing for greater audience connection

As writers, we always want to make a connection with our readers. What better way than adopting psychology of writing techniques into our copy?

Wielding psychological loopholes for your content is much less daunting than it may seem. Once you get past the mumbo jumbo of it all, some clear psychology techniques begin to emerge that feel quite close to home.

In fact, like the neuroscience of storytelling, the psychology of writing works by surpassing your readers’ sense of logic and engaging with them on a more emotional level instead. That’s something we storytellers are quite familiar with, right?

You already have writing psychology techniques under your belt.

You want to gently persuade with content by using subtle language techniques that bolster trust and rapport with your readers. By adopting the following techniques into your copy, you’ll be able to engage with your audience better while still producing integrity-based and honest content.

Use these four psychology of writing tricks to get your message across faster and make more meaningful connections with your readers:

1. Make use of contractions.

Write as you speak. Studies show that your readers aren’t consuming every single word you write. According to Rayner (1998), 1 in every 3 words are skipped on average when reading something for the first time. This phenomenon, known as word skipping, is actually linked to the word’s length and predictability. 

So, we may as well help our readers out a little by squashing those predictable words together! Not only will their subconscious thank you for your effort, but you are also creating more relaxed and relatable content. 

It is, however, important to use the right kind of contractions. While abbreviating your words does create a conversational, warm and friendly tone, you don’t want to come across as sloppy and unprofessional. Consider the contraction ‘dunno’ versus ‘I don’t know’. Although you may use either in spoken conversation, ‘I don’t know’ sounds sharper while remaining casual. You can brush up on contractions here.

2. Justify your content

Have you ever noticed how toddlers maddeningly love to ask ‘Why?’ for hours at a time? It’s because they are trying to understand a world that they are entirely new to. Although we thankfully outgrow this phase, our curiosity when encountering something new never truly goes away. Psychology of writing techniques suggest that the word ‘because’ holds a lot more weight to it than you may realise

A 1978 study conducted by Ellen Langer proves the effectiveness of justification via a social experiment. The results showed that providing an explanation upfront yielded a 93-94% persuasion success rate (depending on the reasoning provided), while not providing an explanation only influenced 60% of participants. 

If you give readers a reason why before they even ask, you gain an additional opportunity to persuade and validate. But even the most talented copywriter in the world couldn’t satisfy a toddler’s incessant need to know why.


3. Create a sense of urgency.

Never underestimate the power of language. Although this concept is nothing new to marketing, it has recently been revamped by the masses in the form of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). In psychological terms, FOMO is a person’s emotional response to potential loss, which affects the decisions they make.

By altering your presentation to suggest that stock is running out, prices are lowered for a limited time, or the majority is already on board with your brand, you can trigger this loss aversion in readers and persuade them to pay more attention to your content here and now.

It’s important you don’t overuse this technique or create a false sense of urgency. Psychology of writing techniques or not, your readers are smart enough to see what you’re up to, and doing so will hurt your rapport – which is the last thing we want!

4. Repeat the important bits.

Repeat the important bits. The psychological phenomenon known as the illusory truth effect explores the power of recurrence. Research suggests that repetition creates fluency, which makes content easier to digest and believe. 

In terms of your copy, this means you need to identify the essence of your content and repeat the important bits.

So, for those of you who thought your essay writing days were over, you might want to think again! Much like reiterating your contention with an introduction, body and conclusion, you must repeat the important bits in your copy. Is there an echo in here?

If you can adapt your own style to include these winning psychology of writing techniques, then you’ll already be creating more persuasive copy and connecting with your readers better. The most important thing to remember is that your style should stay true to your brand.



Carrington Courtney

Carrington Courtney

Carrington is currently working as an intern for Well Versed while finishing off her BA in Arts (Literature & Media) at Deakin University. Coming from an academically diverse background, she has a wide range of experience and interests which allow her to engage with clients from many walks of life. In her spare time, Carrington digs doughnuts, dinosaurs and doo-wop. (She's also all about alliteration.)


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