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Power words are those sexy words that pack a punch. They can instantly transform a bland blog post into an interesting and engaging read.
But what exactly are power words, and why are they so important for bloggers?
If you want to create blog content, or any other type of content, that draws your audience in and hooks them for life, keep reading.
We will tell you everything you need to know about power words and how to use them. We’ll also share over 1500 examples of power words in various categories!
What Are Power Words?
Power words are highly effective words that savvy copywriters, bloggers, and content creators can use to create an emotional or psychological response in their audience or reader.
They have earned the term “power words” because they have such a tremendous persuasive power that readers, consumers, and potential customers have incredible difficulty not being influenced by them subconsciously.
Power words can make the reader or audience member actively feel angry, aroused, scared, safe, greedy, and even adventurous or curious.
Because of this, they can be one of the most powerful tools in a content creator’s toolkit. And it’s not just creators.
Power Words Can Be Used to Persuade or to Manipulate
Given their potency, it’s probably not too surprising that power words have also been a staple tool of marketing and advertising experts for years. Their goal is to get someone to take action from the content that they provide.
A small handful of power words sprinkled into a piece of boring writing can actually begin to turn it into effective sales or marketing copy.
It doesn’t matter if you want to convince your readers to read a specific post in your archives, join your email list, or even add a product to a cart and make a purchase. Power words fuel decisions.
Power words have the ability to directly impact your message and your conversion rates. They can help you write better headlines, which make more people click on your article, which means more eyeballs on your content and your products.
The best part is that you can use power words literally anywhere in your writing or your website.
The smartest writers and speakers in history ensure that their writing is well sprinkled with power words that have been meticulously chosen to function exactly as intended.
They are also known as sensory words since they can evoke intense feelings in others. Think of them as emotional power words.
However, while power words are intensely popular with storytellers and public speakers, they are used by countless others for both good and evil if we’re honest.
What Are Power Words Used For?
Power words are often used in the following forms of content and communication:
- Periodic email marketing messages
- Cart expiration reminders
- Copywriting and advertising
- Infographic creation
- Tutorials and step-by-step instruction posts
- Content marketing
- Sales materials
- Call-to-action statements
- Case studies,
- Social media, and
- YouTube video descriptions
If there is content designed to influence or persuade the audience in just about any way, there will almost certainly be one or more power words involved.
How can they be used for evil? Think manipulative tactics such as:
- Conning people into doing things they wouldn’t ordinarily do
- War propaganda
- Hate speech, and
- Recruitment materials for hate groups, gangs, and even cults
Consider Your Goals Before Choosing Power Words
Think about your readers or your audience, and what you want from them.
Many writers have the desire of exciting or tantalizing their readers. Others hope to induce feelings of caution/preventing the jeopardizing of safety. Then there are still others who will want to create decidedly angry feelings in their readers.
Does your content have the goal of building trust, or creating a sense of urgency that sends them to you for the solution?
No matter what your goals are for creating feelings that lead to actions, the better you are at creating those feelings, the more influential you become. The more influential you become, the better your chances of getting your audience to do what you want them to do.
Now we won’t get into the morality and ethics of whether using power words to instill fear and scare people into doing something is right or wrong or good business. We’ll just leave a friendly reminder to use power words for a good cause.
We can tell you all day long how great it is to use a few power words in your content, but we’ll stop here and get into the good stuff.
Coming up next, we’ve got hundreds of our favorite power words that you can start using in your copy. We’ve broken them up by the type of power word they are, and what goals they are most often used to help reach.
Different Types Of Power Words
Before you dive into this massive treasure trove of power words, you need to understand how they are categorized, and what that means for you when you’re creating content.
We’ve organized our power words by the feelings that they are used to create in your reader. Each type creates a different feeling.
While there are a few words that are in more than one category, it’s important to remember to keep your context clear enough for your audience or reader so that they do not get confused about which feeling you’re trying to create in them.
For example, the word YOU shows up in lots of lists because as many blog posts and articles we read agree, the word YOU is the most powerful of all the power words.
Many types of power words are organized under a type that corresponds with one of the seven deadly sins as well. This is no coincidence as many of the most emotional power words (and the most effective) are those that appeal to the “core” feelings and/or urges of people.
Here are the categories of power words we’re sharing:
- Anger Power Words
- Authority Power Words
- Encouragement Power Words
- Exclusivity Power Words
- Fear Power Words
- Forbidden Power Words
- Greed Power Words
- Lust Power Words
- Safety Power Words
- Sloth Power Words
- Trust Power Words
- Vanity Power Words
Anger Power Words
While many, if not most people, would be hesitant to admit it even if they are conscious of it, anger has a huge effect on our reasoning, perceptions, and decisions.
Anger in high enough amounts can make people highly irrational, which can cause them to make choices that are completely unrelated to the object or situation that originally made them so angry.
Leveraging the emotion of anger with your readers or audience members can be challenging to do properly. You obviously don’t want to create any feelings of anger toward your own blog or brand, with anger being such a considerably powerful emotion, this can spell disaster for growing brands.
On the other hand, if used properly, anger words can work in your favor, but this means helping to clearly direct the anger at something or someone else.
One of the biggest challenges to creating these anger emotions though is that many people will have a high degree of apathy that causes them to ignore the situation until an ideal zero-effort solution presents itself.
The other possibility is that they let it grow and fester until they become completely unable to deal with it, at which point it’s often too late to do anything about it. This is where your power words will come in handy.
If you are considering using anger power words to help your writing create responses from readers, the first thing you need to do is put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Think about what makes them angry in your industry, stir those feelings up, and fan those flames.
Once you’ve created an appropriate amount of anger, you can provide the solution as the only way to alleviate those feelings or the only way to address the problem that caused those feelings.
202 Examples of Anger Power Words
|Agitate||Dishonest||Mad/Madden||Sick and Tired|
|Annoyance||Egg / Egg on||Money-grubbing||Slap|
|Ass kicking||Exasperate / Exasperation||No Good||Sneaky|
|Bash||Foul||Pain in the ass||Sore/Soreness|
|Beat down||Freaking out||Payback||Spoil|
|Blatant||Full of sh*t||Pesky||Stew|
|Boil/Boil over||Gall||Phony||Stir/Stir up|
|Bristle||Get on||Pissed off||Storm|
|Burn / Burn up||Hatred||Preposterous||Thug|
|Chagrin||High and mighty||Provoke||Trash|
|Cocky||Ill/Ill Humor/Ill Tempered||Rage||Up to here|
|Craze / Crazy||Inflame||Ravage||Victim|
|Delinquent||Know it all||Ruffle|
Authority Power Words
It’s important for your readers to see you as an authority on the topic that you’re writing about. It’s also important for Google to believe this if you care about ranking your blog posts.
Using authority power words can help you show your readers that you have insightful, well-researched, and data-backed opinions or information. This helps build trust which helps boost conversions.
If you are offering services like tutorials or an online course, authority power words can make or break you.
35 Examples of Authority Power Words
Encouragement Power Words
Reading is one of those activities that doesn’t get you amped up for any sort of physical activity. Many times, reading anything longer than a few pages can trigger feelings of tiredness in people.
Countless other people find reading to be boring, and they simply can’t muster the energy or enthusiasm to bounce off the walls as some others do.
Many readers are bored. A great deal of them may also be a little depressed, particularly if it is the time of year when days start to shorten and seasonal depression sets in.
These readers are often looking for something that will wake them up and give them motivation or encouragement to get things done. Enter persuasive words with a light-hearted side of encouragement!
You can use a wide range of encouragement power words to sow feelings of potency and energy, and if you write to readers that are often feeling a little down, these power words can be effective in creating motivation for your audience.
Even a slight increase in someone’s mood after reading your power-word-filled content can mean the difference between a conversion and just another visitor.
Encouragement power words are often used to draw people in and can be one of the most effective ways to get clicks on your email newsletters or promotions.
200 Examples of Encouragement Power Words
Exclusivity Power Words
A powerful drive for many people is the drive to be exclusive.
This means they crave to be a part of things that many people aren’t privy to, or that they have special access to something that is off-limits to another person.
One of the reasons for this is that people often want things that will make other people jealous.
A major factor in exclusivity is vanity, and so the exclusivity power words and vanity power words are often used in conjunction with one another to maximize their effects.
Exclusivity power words are highly effective in getting people to opt-in to a particular mailing list or loyalty program. They often tout offers of special advantages and insider sneak peeks at new content, sometimes offering a discount for content purchased through these programs.
34 Examples of Exclusivity Power Words
Fear Power Words
Of all the power words in this article, fear is probably the most powerful. No matter what the subject is, fear is persuasive because it’s such a powerful emotion.
Just turn on any news station for 10-20 minutes in the evening, and you’ll see a steady stream of segments designed to make you feel unsafe, afraid, and sometimes to feel like your personal safety is in danger.
Fear is the hands-down most effective emotion for grabbing and keeping your reader’s attention.
It’s worth noting though that it is still possible to overuse emotional words of fear. The good news, however, is that most writers and content creators do not use enough different fear power words for them to become overused.
No matter which you use, be ready for some traffic because no matter what anyone says, fear words are effective and create connections.
131 Examples of Fear Power Words
Forbidden Power Words
There are few things more enticing in this world than someone telling you that something is not allowed, off-limits, or otherwise prohibited or forbidden.
This can be seen in any child you have ever witnessed that has been told not to do something, only to stare you right in the eye as they do it.
Once somebody says something is forbidden, it immediately becomes an object of fascination, even obsession, and is something that ultimately must be investigated.
Case in point: “Whatever you do, do NOT touch the red button!”
What do you think about nonstop after an instruction like that? Obviously, you think about what the red button might do if you push it.
This is the foundation behind the well-known curiosity-drive theory, which states that feelings of curiosity are natural urgest that one way or another must be satisfied, just the same as the urge to eat and drink.
If you want to lead readers to satisfy their own sense of curiosity, add some of these forbidden power words into your writing. Your audience and readers will be intrigued, and while curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought him back.
Forbidden power words are those which elicit feelings of trespassing, danger, investigation, secrecy, and more.
Anything you paint as forbidden immediately has more appeal than it did moments before, when it was considered far more conventional.
Your forbidden power words are often best utilized in your blog post titles, email subject lines, and headlines of landing pages, where they will make your content irresistible.
105 Examples of Forbidden Power Words
|Be the first||Insider||Thought-provoking|
|Become an insider||Interesting||Top secret|
|Behind the scenes||Invitation only||Trade secret|
|Bizarre||Key||Tried to hide|
|Class full||Members only||Unconventional|
|Classified||Myths||Under the table|
|Cloak and dagger||Never seen before||Under wraps|
|Concealed||Off the record||Undercover|
|Confidential||On the QT||Undisclosed|
|From the vault||Shocking||Unveiled|
Greed Power Words
Greed power words are designed to capitalize on people’s tendency to never be satisfied and to always want more, or to desperately want things that are “too good to be true” to be true.
See also: “Too good to be true” and “overly salesy.” You can find some of these same heavy hitters in digital marketing copy and eCommerce ads that pop up on social media and YouTube.
Even though a solid percentage of greed words have been overused to the point of cliche and even clickbait, they’re still widely used all the time. Mostly because of how effective they are.
The primary motivation for anyone to do just about anything is money. Saving it, spending it, or making it (often while doing as little as possible in the process).
Since it’s a basic human tendency to try and obtain more than we need, these power words will remain effective for the foreseeable future. Even those that don’t directly trigger greed feelings and evoke feelings of scarcity or FOMO, the fear of missing out.
Another way to that using power words in this context is to create feelings of value.
Even in content that isn’t designed to entice people with the prospect of making significant sums of money, that sense of value can be created by offering information offered as a way to save the reader money or to prevent potentially costly or expensive mistakes or events.
This manufactured drive toward loss aversion is a major conversion farm for many blogs.
129 Examples of Greed Power Words
|Ahead of the game||Feast||Notable|
|At the top||First||Now|
|Boost||Greatest||Sale ends soon|
|Don’t miss out||Lucky||Turbo charge|
|Exclusive / Exclusivity||Moneymaking||Wealth|
|Explode||Nest egg||While they last|
Lust Power Words
While it may be one of the most attacked of the core human emotions, lust also one of the more powerful.
This can be quickly and easily illustrated by any of the common men’s and women’s magazines on the rack at the supermarket.
There are countless headlines about sex, and the covers are awash with features either indirectly or directly designed to get the reader thinking about sex.
The reason those magazines are always packed with lust power words is that they work. People pick up those magazines and pay for them because those power words won them over.
Using the same verbiage in your email subject line or in your blog heading can create spikes in your traffic as well. If you lead the readers properly those lust words can also lead to more conversions.
Additionally, while lust may be most commonly associated with sex, it doesn’t actually have to be related to sex. In its basest form, lust is simply the intense desire for something.
This intense desire often preoccupies the mind, and the craving for that object of desire becomes more and more significant until even rational thought can be negatively impacted.
Did you catch that? If you use lust power words effectively, you can start to take reason out of the equation. This can be a powerful way to get leads and conversions to grow with minimal effort or expense.
129 Examples of Lust Power Words
Safety Power Words
If you are cultivating feelings like greed or anger in your audience, you don’t want to leave it like that. Consider also using some safety words that can be associated with your brand or company.
When they are feeling like the whole world is out there making them angry and anxious about scarcity, your solution should be that warm blanket and hot cocoa they come home to, to feel safe.
This means your audience, reader, or customer needs to trust you and your product or service implicitly.
They need to not only trust that your solution is what they need, but they need to trust that you and your organization will actually deliver on your promises.
Finally, they need to believe and have full trust that your solution will give them the results that they are searching for.
This all starts with using some of the most effective power words, safety power words. You will need to use safety power words to paint your brand and reputation as the highest quality, and to convey that your product or service is the only solution that really matters.
The words you ultimately use will be responsible for creating the feelings you are aiming for in your reader, so choose carefully.
103 Examples of Safety Power Words
|Above and beyond||Exactly||Reliable|
|Bonafide||No obligation||Studies show|
|Broke||No questions asked||Sure-fire|
|Cancel anytime||No risk||Survive|
|Case study||No strings attached||Terrifying|
|Caution||Official||That never fails|
|Dangerous||Promise||Try before you buy|
|Don’t worry||Provoke||Well respected|
Sloth Power Words
No, we don’t mean the cute, fuzzy creatures most notably found in Costa Rica. We’re talking about the deadly sin type.
While many people might think that sloth simply means laziness, the best way to understand the entire meaning is that sloth represents an avoidance of work.
Sloth power words can be highly effective because while most people will not admit to it, they are not generally motivated to do more than is required of them.
In most cases, people will tend to do the absolute lowest amount of work needed to reach their goals. By catering to that desire to avoid work, you can draw leads in with surprising power and speed.
Using power words can make your products sound more useful, and can make your headlines more appealing to those with a work-avoidance mindset.
If you run lead magnets or funnels, sloth power words can bring unbelievable value to your site, by bringing in the exact type of people that want to operate passive income operations or use business “cheatsheets” of one type or another.
71 Examples of Sloth Power Words
|All-inclusive||How-to||Piece of cake|
|Basic||In less than||Plain|
|Building blocks||In record time||Printable|
|Comprehensive||List||Simple as ABC|
|Fail-proof||Nothing to it||Uncomplicated|
|Fill in the blanks||Now|
Trust Power Words
Many people don’t realize it, but one of the main drivers behind content marketing and email marketing is the concept of trust.
No matter what you’re writing, or what you’re writing about, the primary goal behind nearly all of your content is to build a bond with your readers that allows them to trust you.
The trust between the customer and the brand is what lays the foundation for conversions of any kind. If a visitor doesn’t trust your brand, they certainly aren’t going to spend money on that brand’s products or services.
Likewise, if a reader doesn’t trust the blog or brand, they aren’t going to click through any links or trust the opinion of that website or blogger.
The biggest hurdle is that building trust can be a lengthy process, but using trust power words in your content can help build the bond of trust much more quickly.
Adding simple power phrases such as “don’t worry” in the copy of a test email where the call to action was referencing a charge that won’t happen until the future caused a greater than 12% increase in conversions for one popular t-shirt printing site.
108 Examples of Trust Power Words
|Best selling||Studies show||No questions asked|
|Cancel anytime||Track record||No strings attached|
|Case study||Try before you buy||Official|
|Don’t worry||Well respected||Professional|
|No questions asked||Best selling||Studies show|
|No risk||Bona fide||Tested|
|No strings attached||Cancel anytime||Track record|
|Official||Case study||Try before you buy|
|Professional||Don’t worry||Well respected|
Vanity Power Words
While you may not think that Carly Simon’s classic song You’re So Vain is actually about you, there has been significant research that indicates peoples’ vanity is one of the biggest factors in the decision chain that leads to an eventual purchase.
No matter how many people want to dress it up or outright deny it, a massive portion of the things we buy, we buy because of how we believe they will make us look to others or how they will improve our own self-image or self-esteem.
In other situations, it’s a matter of wanting to appear a certain way, sort of a “dress for the job you want, not for the job you have” scenario.
Using vanity power words is a great, and highly effective way of showing that your product or your service is the one that will make the visitor look or feel the best, or will otherwise put them in the best light.
Making your visitor feel attractive, powerful, and even successful can have a considerable impact on whether they decide to click through or add to the cart.
One of the most effective ways this is accomplished is by painting the visitor as the smartest or most courageous for taking this step.
Telling them how your solution to their problem will make them instantly glad they bought it or read the blog post, and will easily solve their problem or otherwise better their life, is great, but telling them how smart and observant they are for finding your solution is how you really fluff them up.
86 Examples of Vanity Power Words
|Ahead of the game||Elite||Sassy|
|At the top||Fearless||Smart|
How Do Emotional Power Words Amp Up Your Marketing?
There are two primary reasons that anyone would use “power words” in their content.
- They fuel emotions, and
- They create action.
They Evoke an Emotional Response
Without a doubt, the biggest driver in consumer purchasing or similar decision-making, is emotion. Being able to cultivate a specific psychological or emotional response with your writing gives you some power over what the reader is feeling, and ultimately, what action you can direct that feeling toward.
We should really be calling them “emotional power words” all the time.
They Trigger Curiosity and Investigation
Once emotions have been fueled and the visitor is feeling how the author wants them to, those feelings can be directed toward action. Often, the reader is given some curiosity power words or forbidden power words to draw them in and entice them to click through.
Where Powerful Words Are Best Used
Now that you have a massive master list of power words to use for writing, let’s dig into where exactly you can use them.
If you’ve been writing for a while, you know by now that your headline or article title is going to be one of the most important parts of the entire piece. Using power words in headlines can make a huge difference in your click-through rates, which can also help your SEO!
So many creators undervalue the subheaders. This is, obviously, a gigantic mistake.
After clicking on an effective headline, most readers will scan the headings to see if the article is going to have the value they are looking for. Making sure your subheadings have adequate power word population is essential.
If you have a mailing list for your blog or website, you probably send out periodic emails about your content or other related items. However, without effective power words in your email subject lines, the vast majority of your list isn’t going to open the email.
The subject has to draw them in and get them to open the message to gain access to the valuable content.
If you’re writing as a blogger, one of your biggest goals is to grow your audience and create a significant amount of engagement with your audience. The most common way to do this is by creating a mailing list of subscribers.
However, many people are hesitant to join mailing lists, so power words can create more signups and more subscribers.
If you have an opt-out box that you need people to check, you can use a similar tactic with power words to entice an opt-in, but likely with the opposite verbiage.
Your homepage or landing page is going to be one of the most viewed pages of your entire site, so making sure you are putting your best foot forward (with power words) is essential.
Whether you use your homepage for growing subscribers or promoting products and services, make sure you use it as a red carpet, heavy with power words.
Business and Blog Names
If your brand or blog doesn’t have a memorable name, you’re poisoning your own growth. When you start a blog, make sure you have something that can be easily recalled by your readers or subscribers.
To do this, think about the feelings you want your blog to foster, overall, and incorporate a power word or two in the name. The most popular sites and blogs have at least one power word in their name.
Don’t stop by putting power words in your brand name, make sure you incorporate them into your actual products or services as well. This can make your menu of offerings much more appealing to potential conversions.
Some of the most effective branding has products with such effective names that people investigate them with no other information other than the emotion the name evoked in them.
The bread and butter of power words will be in your copywriting and sales listings. By incorporating effective power words into sales copy, you can make your sales pages more efficient and effective.
Not only will they grab attention immediately, but they will help build emotional response immediately
While you absolutely should not alter testimonials that customers have submitted, you can always select the ones that have incorporated power words into their review. Real testimonials that happen to include power words are one of the most powerful ways to use power words to your advantage, without using them in content.
Tons of pages with sales copy use bulleted lists of benefits or advantages of the product they’re selling to provide an easy illustration for the customer. You may also see lists of reasons that you should join this mailing list or that one, or details of case studies represented in bullet lists.
Call-to-action copy, also called “button copy” since it’s often the text on the button, is used to entice readers to click a button to buy, subscribe, or try some feature or content piece of a site. Putting a single power word in or near the button can increase conversions dramatically.
YouTube Video Titles
If you create video content, incorporating power words into your video titles and descriptions can make your videos irresistible to those browsing the site. Nearly all major channels or channels part of major content networks use power words in their titles, to help entice more people to click the video and view it.
Powerful Words Amplify Your Message
If you are a writer or creator of web content, be it social media, blog, or any other creative position, one thing you are constantly trying to do is bring your audience to a place where they can eventually click, convert, or otherwise become a profitable lead or visitor for your site.
This helps your writing become viewed more, which drives more traffic, and in the end, hopefully, makes you more money so you can keep creating content.
Powerful words are the key to boosting traffic and improved conversion rates without months of costly A/B testing and cycling through layouts. Just by making small changes to your vocabulary, you can take your content to an entirely new level.