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Weapons of persuasion, do you use yours to achieve your goals? science of persuasion

Persuasion is nothing but a communication strategy that consists in using logical and rational or symbolic weapons to induce someone to accept an idea, an attitude or take action.

And do not think that persuasion is only used to sales, politicians or marketers.

Or that it's a method used to force others to do things they would not like through manipulation.

Actually, it's the art of getting people to do things that are already in their interest, but that also benefits to you.

And we make use of it all the time: by trying to convince a coworker to help us with some complex task, to argue with someone about the brilliant idea you had or when you to convince your spouse that you need to change your car.

If we influence people in small things daily, without even realizing it, why not learn a little more about the science of persuasion with zero manipulation and how it can be used for your benefit and the other people around you?

21 Powerful Mental Triggers to boost your Sales!

In this FREE Ebook you will learn how to use the best 21 Mental Triggers to boost your sales without manipulating your prospects.

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Influencing others is not magic, it's science - Robert Cialdini

Continue reading this article to know more about the art of persuasion.

If it sounds interesting, make sure you share this post with your friends:


Have you ever wondered why some people are more successful than others in their attempts at persuasionscience of persuasion

First of all, you must know that everyone was born with the ability to get the audience's attention, influence the undecided, and motivate sales, even if they do not know how to access it every time they need it.

So stop believing in the myth of charisma, luck, or extreme extroversion.

You do not need any of this to start using your persuasion.

You also don`t need to use complex manipulation techniques.

What you need is knowledge and a lot of training.

So let's start with the knowledge part.

We have very similar behaviors, even establishing patterns of behavior.

The point here is to understand these patterns of collective behavior that we have already unconsciously internalized and used them to influence people.

Remember: you must use the power of influence rather than manipulation

Often we do not even realize it, but we like to be alongside "popular" people.

Our brain leads us to do it out of pure instinct, for it knows how important it is to exert influence over other people.  science of persuasion

How does our mind make this selection? Considering two criteria:

  • Will this person be able to help me in the future?
  • If I invest in this relationship, what will be the return for me?

What does that represent?

That, in fact, people will only be interested in you or in what you have to say, if that proves to be advantageous in some way, for them. And no one likes to see himself involved in a network of manipulation.

This same system of evaluation of others is used by our brains to decide which ideas are valid to be shared with the rest of the people.

And that's just what this study done by the psychology department at the University of California has discovered.

A group of students was separated into two categories: those who would watch a series of TV pilot programs and choose which would be produced by the other team, the producers.  science of persuasion

While watching and recording pilot recommendations for the production group, these students had their brain activity monitored.

The producers would decide which pilot to produce based only on the arguments of the students who had made the suggestions.    science of persuasion

And the researchers eventually found that, believing they had an idea that was worth sharing with others, the brains of the participants in the first group activated a particular area called the temporoparietal junction, responsible for processing information obtained both inside and outside our body.

It would be our ability to guess other people's thoughts and feelings.

And unsurprisingly, the students who most succeeded in convincing the producer group was the one who most activated this part of the brain.

Persuasion is not just about influencing others to do what you think is relevant, but rather how much you believe that the information you are passing on will be helpful to the recipient.

The science of persuasion is closely linked to psychology.    science of persuasion

Professor of social psychology, Robert Cialdini, has spent more than 30 years of his life studying the power of persuasion.

And based on his studies that persuasive communication techniques were developed.

These techniques are nothing more than a perfect understanding of how we can improve our ability to communicate with others to the point of being able to influence their decisions.


Cialdini wrote the best material on persuasion. His book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, shows how we can develop our communication skills to the point where we can exert influence on other people's decisions.

You may believe that we use logical reasoning and collect as much information as possible before making a decision.

But the truth is that your brain is lazy!

Yes, he likes to go the easy and fast way. It always takes a short cut.

In his research, Cialdini identified 6 basic principles that guide our decisions and actions. These are:

21 Powerful Mental Triggers to boost your Sales!

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People are willing to reciprocate something that has been done for them.

In fact, they almost feel compelled to return a favor.

When we get a gift, we automatically get the feeling of "debt" to the person who gave it to us.

And if we owe something to someone, we are more likely to say yes to any request made by that person.

When the waiter brings your bill into the restaurant and offers you toast candy, you may think he's just generous, right?  science of persuasion

Well, not exactly.   science of persuasion

Some restaurant studies had shown a tip increase of up to 3% when the customer made some kind of toast.

If this same toast was offered, but twice as much, the tip increase did not double, but quadrupled, reaching something around 14% increase.​

This happens because we have a natural tendency of repaying the one which gives us value in some way.

How to use the principle of Reciprocity

Content marketing is based on the principle of Reciprocity.

People love free stuff. And you, when you produce quality content and make it available to your audience for free, you're doing just that.

Also make sure that what you are giving has value and is done in a targeted, almost personalized way.    science of persuasion

Whoever consumes your content will feel compelled to reciprocate in some way, whether by leaving a comment, liking and sharing your post or signing up for your mailing list.    science of persuasion

And in the future, buying your products.    science of persuasion

But the best part is that everyone wins in this kind of relationship!


The more scarce and harder to find, the more people will want.

In 1985, Coca-Cola traded its original formula for a sweet one, New Coke.

That's because tests made by the company indicated that 55% of people preferred the new formula.

During the tests, the participants were informed which formula was the new one and which would be the old one.    science of persuasion

Despite favorable criteria for replacing the old method with the new one, the result was a failure, in contrast to the tests.    science of persuasion

The explanation for this phenomenon: upon learning that they were experiencing a new product and out of their reach at the time, people automatically made their choice for the new version.

However, when New Coke was already being sold, the old formula became a scarce item, to which people would no longer have access, and so they came to consider it their favorite option at the time of purchase.   science of persuasion

This happens because the collective unconscious usually makes the following association: the more difficult it is to achieve a certain object of desire, the rarer and more valuable it is.

How to use the Scarcity principle

We are more impacted by potential losses than earnings.

Much more effective than giving something to someone is to emphasize that an opportunity to have that object of desire will end.

Amazon uses this strategy with mastery when placing a warning text to products that only have one unit in stock.    science of persuasion

The decision tends to be made more quickly and automatically when we feel we can stand before an opportunity and simply let it slip out of our hands.

A good way to do this can be through campaigns for your products with the following statements:

  • Do not miss this opportunity;
  • Last days of sales
  • The cart closes on Friday;
  • See what you will lose.

Do not fool your reader. Scarcity must be real to work.


People respect and listen to authorities.

It seems like if you know a lot about a subject, it will increase your confidence and credibility.

Of course, you do not want to look like an authority, you want to be an authority. In this article, we teach 10 steps for you to become a real authority in your niche.

However, it is a position that carries a lot of responsibility, as we can perceive in this experiment made by Stanley Milgrim in the 1960s.     science of persuasion

An actor should answer a series of questions and every time he misses one, he would get a shock from a person who was participating in the experiment (not knowing that the individual in question would only be acting).

Following orders from a teacher who was conducting the study, a supposed authority.

The shocks were fake, but the actor emitted signs of pain and discomfort every time he had an imaginary shock.     science of persuasion

Although some felt uncomfortable in causing pain to another person, they continued to do what was ordered by the study driver, clearly showing the tendency we have to follow those we deem authorities.

How to use the principle of Authority

When do you not know the answer to a question or you are in doubt as to which decision to make, for example, you usually ask someone who knows more than you, right?

And how do you show that you are an authority in your niche?

  • Gain the confidence of your audience by providing free, quality content;
  • Ask someone to speak well of your work. If it is an authority already recognized, it would be better;
  • Do not forget to cite sources and references you use in your content. In addition to giving the proper credits, you create credibility.

When you conquer an authority in your niche, do not forget one thing: you have a house of cards in your hands.    science of persuasion

Any suspicious or lying attitude can destroy all your work to gain authority, in seconds.

21 Powerful Mental Triggers to boost your Sales!

In this FREE Ebook you will learn how to use the best 21 Mental Triggers to boost your sales without manipulating your prospects.

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This principle shows that people do not like to ignore small or large commitments they have made.

The consistency between what is said and what is done is something highly valued by society for showing balance and maturity of the individual.

And if someone has already made a small commitment, making a greater one (as long as related) will be a much easier task.   science of persuasion

In 1987, Antony Greenwald, a social scientist, conducted a survey of potential US voters on Election Day, asking whether they would vote (American elections are optional) and what motivated their responses.    science of persuasion

All the people asked answered yes, they would vote. And in fact, 86.7% of them did so against 61.5% of people who had not been asked about it.

Those who had replied "yes" made a public commitment, in "loud voice."

How to Use the Principle of Commitment and Consistency

If you have already purchased an infoproduct, you have noticed that 30-day money back guarantee in case of dissatisfaction with the purchase.

Both the producer is making a commitment in public, making the buyer more comfortable to make a decision faster, as the person who is acquiring it, who undertakes to put into practice what will learn to achieve results.


We are more likely to say yes to those we sympathize with and like.

And we are more likely to like people:

  • That are similar to us;
  • Who make compliments and acknowledgments;
  • Who cooperate with us.

You tend to like someone who is like you, who has the same tastes, same origin and even the same problems and defects.

In an experiment, Randy Garner sent by research forms to strangers with a request for a response.     science of persuasion

The request was signed by a person whose name might look like the recipient's, or entirely different.

The result?

Those who received the polls from people with names similar to theirs were twice as willing to fill out the form (about 56%) and send it back, while only 30% of people with distinguished names did the same.

How to use the Connection principle

Connecting you with your audience through storytelling is a great way to engage them.

Another way is to describe, honestly, how you, who are selling some product or service, have or had the same fears, desires, and needs as your potential customers.

That's the importance of getting to know your audience so well, to know how to positioning yourself properly in your market.    science of persuasion


We have a strong need to belong to groups, so that´s why this principle works so well.

This characteristic is even more evident when we are in moments of doubt and questioning because our tendency is to look at what other people are doing about that particular case, especially the people we like or connect with.

Robert Cialdini conducted a study on the reuse of towels at hotels in Arizona.

To encourage guests to contribute, most use plates with texts that emphasize the benefits to the environment and already obtained 35% of adhesions.

However, by changing the argument and proceeding to establish that other guests were also reusing the towels, that number rose from 35% to 75%, a very significant increase.

And this at zero cost.

To what conclusion did we arrive?

Regardless of the reason, the more people opt for one option, the more we are influenced to take the same attitude.

How to use the principle of Social Proof

Have you noticed that breaking the barrier of the first comment in a post can be something difficult to achieve, but that then begins to flow?

People need to see that others have also had an interest in that topic, so if you want to make sales use customer testimonials, satisfaction survey numbers, the number of units sold, images of people using your product or service, engagement in social networks, the number of readers from the website.

If you know how to use these 6 principles of persuasion in your digital business , your audience will become more engaged, and your sales will increase.

And even better: without investing absolutely nothing!

So what are you waiting for to start training the power of your persuasion?

For those who want to go deep into this subject, beyond the principles of persuasion of Robert Cialdini, you need to learn more about mental triggers and how to best use your business, website or blog.

Also, check out the video I made about Robert Cialdini's 6 Techniques of Persuasion. Just click here to watch:

6 Highly Effective Persuasion Techniques to Influence People

So let us know what characteristics are common to people with a high power of persuasion without using manipulation.

21 Powerful Mental Triggers to boost your Sales!

In this FREE Ebook you will learn how to use the best 21 Mental Triggers to boost your sales without manipulating your prospects.

close x


Some people seem to have been born dominating the art of persuasion.

They are extremely captivating, construct brilliant and difficult arguments to refute and at the same time do so without the other realizing that they are being convinced of something.

How can some succeed more successfully than others?

Here are some common characteristics among persuasive people to understand a little better:

  • They are aware of other people and respect them: People who use persuasion a lot are aware of their power. They never use their aggressiveness to try to convince someone else, on the contrary. They present their arguments, with assertiveness, to those interested in listening.
  • They pay attention to what is being said: Instead of talking nonstop and forcing their point of view, persuasive people pay attention to what the other people are saying. Listening is the better way of understanding that a person is receptive to the ideas proposed, which are the objections (also the ability to solve them), and also to identify where the other person agrees.
  • They know when to be silent: the capacity to express themselves clearly is a characteristic of the naturally persuasive people. However, it includes not just talking, but also knowing when to back off and be quiet. Particularly in the closing moments of a negotiation, after a closing question.
  • They think long term: Very often if you want to persuade another person you need to postpone a discussion, give the time to the other to be able to analyze the proposed arguments calmly. The ones who know how to use their gift of persuasion, leave the others the necessary space to think and if these people do not call back, probably they were not worth it.
  • Do not carry out useless arguments: Even when they are sure they are right, they know that spending energy on pointless discussions that will not contribute to their general cause is not worth it. Instead, they give the others the "gain of a cause." It is better to be successful in the end than to always be right.

Do you have any of these features?

If yes or no, it does not matter, so do not think that if you do not, you have them you may never use your persuasion effectively.

We all have this ability, even in your written content, you can also exercise your persuasion.


Weapons of persuasion can be applied in all contexts of our lives and every form of communication.

This is why you should use all the elements to be more persuasive in your written content.

A compelling text leads the reader on a journey toward acceptance or understanding of the idea which is being presented throughout the narrative.

And doing this in a way that your reader is influenced without using any kind of manipulation to force a purchase, for example, may require some techniques that work very well for articles:

21 Powerful Mental Triggers to boost your Sales!

In this FREE Ebook you will learn how to use the best 21 Mental Triggers to boost your sales without manipulating your prospects.

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When writing a persuasive text, forget the idea of talking too much about yourself.

Quite the opposite.

The focus is to be able to connect with what is on the other side of the screen.

So, write almost personalized content so that your audience feels that you are talking directly to it.

And how to do that? Using the word "YOU", which after our own name is the most loved word.


Our decision-making, as hard as it may seem, is much more connected to our emotional than to our rational side.

When I introduced the 6 principles of persuasion, I showed you that our brains are able of using the shortcuts to make decisions, and they are easily activated when we use emotions in our texts.

The most influential emotions in persuasion are:​

  • Admiration: from an incredible story to a super list with 100 inspirational phrases.
  • Anxiety: People hate losing things. So when you create content that explores this feeling, they rush to read your article, so they do not feel bad.
  • Happiness: stories fit very well to activate this emotion.
  • Fear: it is a powerful emotion because it motivates us to take actions without thinking much, acting more by instinct than rationally.
  • Anger: the kind of article that makes people revolted, causing them to act fiercely for justice.

The more you know your audience, the easier it will be to produce persuasive content.


They are extremely effective at gaining and keeping an eye on who is reading.

Since most people only scan content over the internet, the list format helps you to find the information you're looking for easily.

Also, "step by step" content increases the speed of information absorption and is, therefore, a great way to use persuasion without manipulation.


Storytelling is the best way to create a connection between you and your audience.

We are very influenced by stories since people who believe in equal stories have similar values.

It also represents how we look at various facts and form opinions, as we are impacted by stories and the way we interpret them.

So a good story is critical to creating a sense of "us", of union and connection.


Did you know that some powerful words catch our eyes, even unconsciously?

The use of powerful words in your text will grab the attention of the reader and encourage them to take some action, even if it is to continue reading your text.

Here are some persuasive words that stir our minds:

  • Because (makes sense of your point, even if the reader does not agree with it)
  • Free (everyone likes free and good content)
  • New (evolution has taught us that something new is better than the old one)
  • Now (awakens a sense of urgency in decision-making)
  • Here (very effective when you use the "click here" combination for a link)


They are short messages of less than 10 words, they inspire people.

Messages that go straight to the point and which are perfect to use in sales pages.

There are some types of sound bites that you can use in your articles.

  • Repetition: "Do not hate Monday. Make Monday hate you. ";
  • Rhyme: "Use and abuse" (C & A);
  • Contrast: "Silence is glaring.";
  • Reflective phrase: "No financial success compensates a family failure.";
  • Amplification: "Refresh your thought" (Brahma);
  • Non-standard: "One of the brightest features was left out." (Apple)


Any and all content that you produce, regardless of whether it is free or not, should lead the reader to some specific action, such as:

  • Leave a comment;
  • Share on social networks;
  • Register in the mailing list;
  • Click on any link.

In this article that dealt with the controversial theme “War on Social Networks: the biggest cemetery of great ideas, the invisible trap for the entrepreneur and the battle for an alternative future” the call to action, in the end, was to share it in social networks since this type of content Tends to viralize.

Call-to-action must be related to the subject of your text. 

21 Powerful Mental Triggers to boost your Sales!

In this FREE Ebook you will learn how to use the best 21 Mental Triggers to boost your sales without manipulating your prospects.

close x

  science of persuasion


Do you want to catch the attention of your readers? Set standards.

And using repetitions of words, or phrases works very well for that purpose.

See this example of the article 19 tips to write better (you can’t ignore #17):

Maybe this feeling is just an illusion. Maybe your ideas are bad. Maybe you're just a fool in search of fantasy.

For you to get the most from the power of repetition, use it only 3 times.

All these techniques, if well applied in your text, will raise your power of persuasion. Also, they will increase your chances of making a profit from your website/blog through sales.


One of the most regular questions I receive about blogging is how can I generate income through content production if there is not even an ad on the site.

Surely everyone who works with digital marketing wants to be able to live exclusively from their work.

And to make that desire a reality, you need to have a monthly income, something that supports that dream in the long run.

However, the vast majority of people still believe that they need to fill the website with advertisements and expect a flood of clicks to monetize their work.

If you are an old reader of ``Blog is my life`` you already know that this template has not worked for a long time.

In practice, what really works is making invisible sales.


Selling on the internet, for anyone who does it wrong, can be quite a challenge.

In an environment where people always expect to get free content, forcing a sale, without using persuasion correctly, can even cause an uprising.

To get around this resistance, there is the invisible selling strategy.

People want to be persuaded to do something, as long as it is in their interest.

Manipulate, never!​

In order to be characterized as an invisible sale, your recommendation regarding a certain product or service should sound exactly what it is: a recommendation.

So just sell what you use or believe, be it your own or affiliate products.

I believe in the tremendous importance of design for building a successful blog/website.

As an example of an epic invisible sale, I wrote the article "What Steve Jobs, Apple and my grandmother taught me about design, focus and simplicity."

I begin the text telling my personal story of how I bet on the power of design to start making money with my blog and so I already create a connection with the reader.

Then I offer valuable information about the importance of design, relevant concepts and I continue to offer value until the end, where I enter with a subtle call to action just at the end of the article:

"Visit this page here and learn more about this project."

This is the only one call to action in the whole article.

I did not force the sale at any time and I did not even use the manipulation.

I just used my power of persuasion, my authority, and established a connection through my personal history.

And even talking so little about the product, I managed to get an interest aroused and a lot of invisible sales to be realized.

Without smearing my authority and my credibility before my audience.


You have already realized the power of persuasion.

Your achievements can be multiplied and the success of your blog/site be overwhelming.

However, I need you to use your weapons carefully.

If applied incorrectly, using them only for your own benefit and 100% focused on sales, you may be precipitated.

21 Powerful Mental Triggers to boost your Sales!

In this FREE Ebook you will learn how to use the best 21 Mental Triggers to boost your sales without manipulating your prospects.

close x

Much dedication and time are needed to build your credibility. Never lose everything by betting on dubious strategies, such as manipulating people.

The best possible scenario is the one where everyone has their wants and needs to be met and all parties get the feeling of having made a good deal.

Did you like it? Be sure to share this post with your friends so that more and more people learn how to use their persuasive power in the best possible way.

About the Author Paulo Ribeiro

Paulo Ribeiro teaches workshops and webinars for entrepreneurs and bloggers who want to grow an audience, start an online business and change the life of many. 10 years have passed since he began working online. During that time he crafted a solid experience in the Internet Market industry.

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  • Bruce Schinkel Jr.

    Super informative post, thanks so much for this great info! I’ve pinned it so i can return to it for reference

    • Paulo Ribeiro

      Hi Bruce,

      Thats awesome that you liked it!
      I am preparing a series of 6 parts about Mental triggers in a total of 13000 Words 🙂 so if you are interested to learn even more just subscribe the newsletter to get noticed when its live!

      Kind regards,

  • Nayna Kanabar

    This is an excellent post with so many great ideas and tips, I am going to bookmark nad come back to read the post in more detail so that I can implement some ideas.

  • Vladimir Covic

    Great information. As a content writer, your #4 point is especially useful for me. Thanks for sharing this. I think I’ll return to this a few more times.

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