The Two Most Important Words in Blogging

Mr. Brian Clark over at Copyblogger had a great post about The Two Most Important Words in Blogging.  One thing about this post that really stood out to me was using the word “because”.  I never knew that that one word had such a better response rate than not saying it.  I suggest you read over this entire post and start using these 2 words because it will dramatically increase your conversions…



The Two Most Important Words in Blogging

Imagine… by the end of this post, you will be a more effective blogger, all because you learned two very important words, and the specific reasons why those words are so crucial.

Actually, both words can be found in the preceding sentence, along with hints related to their importance.

Did you catch them?

If not, keep reading, because all will be revealed.

The Most Important Word is “You”

Did you find the opening sentence compelling? If so, why?

Or the better question is, who was the first sentence focused on?

Well, let’s consider this. Have the words “me” or “I” appeared in this post before now?

It’s certainly ironic that a medium often used as a self-absorbed journaling platform would now need to be overwhelmingly focused on the reader in order to be effective. But if you’re blogging for marketing or public relations purposes, your every post should be purposefully aimed at the needs and wants of others.

You only benefit when readers benefit first.

When it comes to writing engaging content, “you” is the most powerful word in the English language, because people are ultimately interested in fulfilling their own needs. It may sound harsh, but the fact is your readers won’t start to actually care about you at all until you’ve repeatedly offered them exceptional value with your blog.

But once they do start to care about you, look out… because wonderful things can start happening. Things like viral buzz and customer evangelism.

The same substantive content will be more effective with the focus shifted toward the reader. One of the easiest ways to do that is to maximize the use of “you”, while minimizing or eliminating “I” and “me”.

Every time you finish writing a blog post, check the focus. How many times does you and its derivations appear? What about I and me?

Got the count? Good. Now, adjust accordingly.

Try it, and you’ll be amazed at the results.

The Other Word is “Because”

One of the most important characteristics of compelling, persuasive content is specificity. The more specific you are, the more credible your points, arguments or sales pitch.

There are many ways to be specific in your writing. One of the best is simply giving a reason why. And the most effective transition word when giving a “reason why” is because.

The power of because has actually been documented by social psychologist Ellen Langer, as told by our old friend Robert Cialdini from the Blog Triggers series. Langer performed an experiment where she asked to cut in line to use a copy machine.

She tested three different ways of asking, and recorded the results:

Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?

60% said OK.

Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?

94% said OK.

It appears that giving the “reason why” of because I’m in a rush boosted the effectiveness of the request immensely.

But here’s the kicker:

Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?

93% said OK.

The trigger word “because” is so powerful that it didn’t really seem to matter that the “reason why” provided was something you might expect to hear from a four year old child.

Be specific in your assertions, and always give a reason why, especially when you want people to take some form of action.

Not because I said so, but rather because it will work wonders for you. :)


Make it a great day!

Mike Hobbs

Mike & Christy Hobbs


  1. Ryan McArthur - September 18, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Never really thought of things that way with regards to those words. I have been a firm believe in the language of increase versus decrease but haven’t incorporated these 2 words into that vocabulary as much as I could. I will be now…so thank you!

  2. Adam Whiting - September 19, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Great Post! Using the word “because” really makes a lot of sense because explaining how something can help can do something really has no power without describing how it will benefit them. Definitely will be considering those 2 words after every post i write. Thanks man!

  3. Sakari - September 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Hey! Thanks for the info. I agree on the use of “because”, it paints the picture in the receivers mind, let’s them know why somebody is doing something. But I don’t necessarily agree on the use of “you” instead of “me, I”, in everyplace.

    I think it’s context sensitive. Because when explaining something from a personal point of view, the reader might feel that ideas are being fed into their system through the use of “you”. At least thats how I feel from time to time, but it depends on the context.

  4. Debbie Parker - September 20, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Mike – Wow!! I’ve always known the importance and power of words, but not these two in conjunction. A person’s own name is the most beautiful sounding word to them so it makes sense that speaking to them with “you” would too. Providing a “because” lets them know to expect some value in what they are reading. Thanks – I will make sure I am always incorporating these into my future posts.

  5. Beth - September 24, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Hey Mike!

    I really enjoyed this blog post! Awesome content from Brian Clark at Copyblogger and very wise of you to pass it along. :)

    I love learning about the effect that using words in writing or speaking can have on your audience. This is really important information and I will be sure that I remember it as I write my blog posts or other things.

    Thanks a lot and blessings!

  6. Kim Clark - September 25, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks Mike for passing along this post from Brian Clark. You have helped me to become a more effective blogger by sharing this info. I knew the word you is powerful, but did not realize the power of the word because. Thanks again.

  7. Gabriel Johansson - September 28, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    This is some great content, and I agree completely. You should post more content like this, because I enjoy reading it and I will come back to read some more!

  8. Ian Belanger - December 29, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Excellent post Mike, I always try and use you and because in all my posts as much as possible. Great advice to all of the new bloggers out there.

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