Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Do you want good news or bad news first?

I have always been fascinated by the science of the brain. So when I read this little nugget on the Useful Science website, I couldn’t help but get excited at the blend of marketing concept and psychology truth.

“Although people prefer to hear bad news first, giving good news before bad news is more likely to motivate them to change the behavior that led to the bad news.” — Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, UCR Today

The study goes on to say that while opening with bad news reduces worry, it actually decreases the motivation to change.

Believe it or not, this applies to your business’s blog.

Before you put fingers to keyboard or hire that outstanding copywriter to write your blog for you, you have to know what your goal is with your blog – and what your goal is for each post.

Let’s look at some examples.

An IT support company:

This IT support company wants their customers to believe that their technology is in good hands and they always have someone trustworthy to call when something goes wrong. They are focused on making their customers feel less stressed.

Knowing this is how they approach their customer relationships, most of their blogs will probably start out with the problem (the bad news) first. By starting out with the negative, they can quickly swoop in with a positive and reassure those customers that there is an answer to their sticky situation.

Doing this, the IT support company provides value in their blog posts, reduces the reader’s worry and increases the level of trust customers have in them.

A health coach:

As any health coach will tell you, there is no magic cure or quick fix when it comes to your physical health. Improving health requires a lifestyle change.

In this case, the health coach wants to improve her audience’s motivation. So employing what we now know about delivering good news first, the health coach would start out many of her blog posts with some good news. That good news could be a story of a woman losing 50 lbs. with a new diet and exercise regimen or the story of a man who got off of his high blood-pressure medication after adopting a vegan diet. Then the post could go into the scary stuff – what happens when you don’t pay attention to your diet and exercise.

Psychologically speaking, this good-news-first approach would help motivate the audience to want to make the lifestyle changes necessary to get healthy. And that is exactly what the health coach can help with.

There Is More to a Blog Than Good Writing

An interesting, entertaining and well-written blog is a great way to give your audience value up-front and build the “know, like and trust” factor. Understanding the way your audience thinks and considering the goal of your blog before you write it will take your business blog to a whole new level.

– Jessica Mehring




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