Power words are like a “cheat code” for boosting conversion rates. Sprinkle in a few and you can transform dull, lifeless words into persuasive words that compel readers to take action.
And the best part?
You can use them anywhere.
In this post, you’ll learn how to use power words like a kung fu master. Specifically:
- The definition of power words (and why they’re so powerful);
- The 7 types of power words proven to increase conversions;
- Examples of how bloggers, freelance writers, and businesses are using powerful words to boost conversions;
- A huge list of strong words you can use, bookmark, and reference (again and again).
Want to bring your ideas to life, to make them take up residence in the reader’s mind, lurking in the background, tugging, pulling, and cajoling their emotions until they think and feel exactly as you want?
Then you’re going to love this post.
Let’s jump in.
What are Power Words?
Power words are persuasive, descriptive words that trigger a positive or negative emotional response. They can make us feel scared, encouraged, aroused, angry, greedy, safe, or curious. Authors, freelance writers, copywriters, and content marketers use “power words” to spice up their content and compel audiences to take action.
Clear as mud?
Let’s deconstruct an example from the great Winston Churchill. All the power words are underlined:
Power Words = Emotional Words Packed with Persuasion
Smart speakers, as well as their speechwriters, sprinkle their speeches with carefully-chosen power words drenched in sensory details, drawing the audience from one emotion to another as skillfully as any novelist or screenwriter.
And it goes beyond speakers and storytellers.
Email marketing messages, copywriting, infographics, step-by-step tutorials, sales pages, inspirational quotes, content marketing, case studies, calls to action, testimonials, tweets, and other social media posts are all designed to influence the reader (and prospective customers) in some way. You want to pass along information, yes, but you also want the reader to feel a certain way about that information.
Maybe you want to impress them, get them excited, make them cautious, get them angry, encourage them to keep going, trigger curiosity, create urgency, build trust with them, or any number of emotions. The better a job you do at making them feel, the more influential you are, and the better your chances of getting what you want.
Looking for a quick way to give your writing more punch?
Maybe add a little personality or pizzazz — that extra little “oomph” that grabs your reader’s attention?
Then you need to expand your vocabulary and infuse your content with emotional power words.
The 7 Different Types of Power Words
- Fear Power Words
- Encouragement Power Words
- Lust Power Words
- Anger Power Words
- Greed Power Words
- Safety Power Words
- Forbidden Power Words
We’ve organized our power words into seven different types, which all accomplish the same goal: Each elicits emotion in your reader.
Let’s go over each type and see why these words work.
1. Fear Power Words
Let’s do a little experiment.
Just for a moment, stop reading this post, turn on the television, and go to a major news channel. Watch it for five minutes, listening for the words below.
Chances are, you’ll hear dozens of them. Here’s why:
Fear is without a doubt the most powerful emotion for grabbing and keeping an audience’s attention. To make sure you don’t change the channel, news networks load up with fear words, making you worry you might miss something important.
Granted, you can overdo it, but in my opinion, most writers don’t use these types of words nearly enough. They really do connect with people.
How to Crank Up Emotion with Fear Words
Here’s an example of a blog post headline here at Smart Blogger that utilizes three different fear words:
Open it and you’re greeted by this fear-packed introduction:
Waves of pain unimaginable shot down my spine, causing every muscle in my body to contract as if I’d been shocked with 20,000 volts of electricity. My back arched up at an unnatural angle. My arms and legs began to shake.
One moment, I was on a webinar talking to a few hundred people about traffic, walking them through exactly how to start a blog and make it popular. The next, everything went dark. I was still conscious, but just barely.
Pretty effective, right?
Here’s another one:
If I’m working from home, will I lose my sanity if I don’t read this post? There’s only one way to find out. (Click!)
Want to sprinkle fear power words into your writing? Here are a bunch to get you started:
2. Encouragement Power Words
Let’s face it.
When they’re reading, most people aren’t exactly bouncing off the walls with energy and enthusiasm. They’re probably bored, maybe a little depressed, and almost definitely tired.
And they’re looking for something, anything, that’ll wake them up and make them feel better.
The good news?
Your writing can do that for them.
How to Crank Up Emotion with Encouragement Words
Here’s an example email from Mirasee:
With two encouraging words — life-changing and magic — in one email subject line, it’s a message that stands out in most inboxes.
Want to give your readers a pep talk and get them charged up again? Want to encourage them?
Use these persuasive words and adjectives:
3. Lust Power Words
Like it or not, lust is one of the core human emotions.
Just look at the men’s and women’s magazines in the checkout aisle, and you’ll see what I mean. Nearly every headline on the cover is either blatantly or indirectly about sex.
And it works, not just for headlines in men’s and women’s magazines, but for messages to your email list, subheads in your articles, ad copy — anything.
As a writer (or marketer), you can use words that inspire lust to make almost anything intriguing.
How to Crank Up Emotion with Lust Words
See if you can spot the lust words in this headline from Cosmopolitan:
Okay, the orange underlines probably give it away, but my hunch is you didn’t need them.
Power words like captivating and love jump off the page. And if you use them properly, they can stir all sorts of emotions in your readers’ heads. (Want to see your click-through rates soar? Add a lust word or two.)
Here’s a lascivious list of descriptive words to get you started:
4. Anger Power Words
As writers, sometimes our job is to anger people.
Not for the fun of it, mind you, but because someone is doing something wrong, and the community needs to take action to correct it.
The problem is, with wrongdoing, most people are pretty apathetic — they’ll wait until the situation becomes entirely intolerable to do anything, and by then, it’s often too late.
So, we have to fan the flames.
How to Crank Up Emotion with Anger Words
The authors of this Forbes headline don’t pull any punches:
I didn’t realize some people get angry over business jargon, but apparently it’s a thing. And this headline, undoubtedly, had such people frothing at the mouth.
If you want to connect with people’s anger and slowly but surely work them into a frenzy, use the power words below.
Just be careful who you target. Lawyers can eat you alive if you pick on the wrong person. 🙂
|Barbaric||Pain in the ass|
|Force-fed||Sick and tired|
|Full of sh*t||Slander|
|High and mighty||Smug|
|Know it all||Terrorize|
|Lying||Up to here|
5. Greed Power Words
The legendary copywriter Gary Halbert once said, “If you want people to buy something, stomp on their greed glands until they bleed.” Graphic, yes, but also true.
Skim through good digital marketing campaign copy on an e-commerce site, and you’ll find a lot of power words based on vanity or greed. Many of them are so overused they’ve become cliché, but that doesn’t stop them from working.
The truth is, nearly every human being on the planet is interested in making money (or saving money).
How to Crank Up Emotion with Greed Words
Its explicit and implicit use of greed words makes this popular book from Dave Ramsey a great example:
“Money” is hard to miss — it’s probably the ultimate greed word and it’s sitting there in capital letters.
But a title like “Total Money Makeover” also implies another greed word (even though it doesn’t directly state it): money-saving.
(It also gets bonus points for using alliteration and the safety power word “proven”, which we’ll discuss in a moment.)
If you want to stomp (which is also an excellent example of onomatopoeia, by the way) on your readers’ greed glands, use these power words:
|Don’t miss out||Fast|
|Giveaway||While they last|
|Hurry||Sale ends soon|
|At the top||Attractive|
|Wealthy||Ahead of the game|
|Exclusive / Exclusivity||Frugal|
6. Safety Power Words
Greed isn’t the only emotion you want buyers to feel. You also want to make them feel safe.
They need to trust both you and your product or service. They need to have confidence you’ll deliver, and they need to believe they’ll get results.
Of course, building that kind of trust starts with having a quality brand and reputation, but the words you use to describe yourself and your product or service also matter.
How to Crank Up Emotion with Safety Words
On the landing page for one of our Smart Blogger courses, we use power words to make sure our potential customers feel safe:
In addition to “legitimate” and “guaranteed” in the screenshot above, our landing page is sprinkled with numerous safety words:
They work for us, and they can work for you.
Help your customers feel safe by using as many of these power words as possible:
|Above and beyond||Privacy|
|Fully refundable||Case study|
|No obligation||That never fails|
|No questions asked||Thorough|
|No strings attached||Try before you buy|
7. Forbidden Power Words
Remember when you were a kid, and someone told you NOT to do something? From that point on, you could think about little else, right? Curiosity always got the better of us.
The truth is, we’re all fascinated by the mysterious and forbidden. It’s like it’s programmed into our very nature.
So why not tap into that programming?
How to Crank Up Emotion with Forbidden Words
This Ahrefs article tempts you with its headline:
What’s the “secret”? Only one way to find out.
Whenever you want to create curiosity, sprinkle these powerful curiosity words throughout your writing, and readers won’t be able to help being intrigued:
|Backdoor||Never seen before|
|Banned||Off the record|
|Behind the scenes||Off-limits|
|Remote||Be the first|
|Ridiculous||Become an insider|
|Untold||On the QT|
|Cloak and dagger||Smuggled|
|Confessions||Tried to hide|
|From the vault||Unexpected|
|Under the table||Unlock|
Now that we’ve looked at the different types of power words (and gone over a few quick examples), let’s go over all the different places you can use them:
Powerful Words in Action: 14 Places Where Strong Words Can Help You
- Email Subject Lines
- Opt-In Boxes
- Business Names/Blog Names
- Product Names
- Sales Pages
- Bullet Lists
- Button Copy (Call to Action Words)
- Author Bios
- YouTube Videos
- Book Titles
1. Using Power Words in Headlines
Any writer or blogger who’s been in the game for a while knows the headline is the most important part of writing your blog post.
Its purpose, after all, is to entice the reader to read the rest of your content. If your headline fails to get attention, potential readers will ignore it when it shows up in their tweets and social media feeds.
And just one or two power words in your headline is usually enough to make it stand out.
Just look at this headline from BuzzFeed:
The word choice of “Unveiled” makes it feel like a secret is being exposed, and the word “Breathtaking” makes you curious to see what the photo looks like.
Here’s another example from BoredPanda:
People generally love anything adorable, so this headline will easily catch attention. (The fact that it refers to snakes will only make people more curious.)
The headline then drives it home by using the powerful action verb “Conquer.”
Here’s one from BrightSide:
While one or two power words are often enough, this headline proves you can use more when it fits.
This headline has four powerful words, but they feel natural in the headline, which keeps it from feeling like over-the-top clickbait.
Here’s one from Smart Blogger:
Greed (“best”) and anger (“not-so-good”) words highlight the headline for Smart Blogger’s recent review of SiteGround.
This headline from our How to Make Money Writing: 5 Ways to Get Paid to Write in 2023 post incorporates two greed words: “money” and “get paid.”
It’s one of our most popular posts, and its headline’s use of power words is a big reason why.
2. Using Power Words in Subheads
Too many writers overlook the value of subheads, which is a mistake. Once people click on your headline, most will scan the post first to see if it looks worthy of their attention.
Adding some power words to your subheads is a good way to make your post look like an interesting read.
For example, here are three subheads from our post on E-book mistakes:
See how the power words in these subheads grab your attention and make you want to read the text that follows?
Power words can help with SEO too. Adding an SEO power word to your subheads will compel readers to stick around longer, which will increase your dwell time — a big deal in Google’s eyes.
3. Using Power Words in Email Subject Lines
Having an email list is of little use if only a handful of readers bother to open your emails.
And these days, most people’s inboxes are flooded, so they’re selective in which emails they open.
You can stand out in their inbox and raise your open rates by including power words in your subject lines.
Just look at this one from Ramit Sethi:
If this subject line would’ve read “The rules of learning,” do you think it would be as appealing? The powerful word “unspoken” is what makes it interesting.
Here’s another one from Cal Fussman:
Both “Triumph” and “Tragedy” are powerful words full of emotion.
And finally, here’s a good example from AppSumo:
The power phrase “Unleash the power” makes you feel this email is hiding something incredibly powerful inside.
See how that works?
When you send out emails to your list, try to add a strong word to your subject line so it stands out in a prospect’s inbox.
4. Using Power Words in Opt-In Boxes
As a blogger, one of your main goals is to grow a large and engaged readership, and the best way to do it is by converting readers into subscribers.
That means — unless you’re using a blogging platform like Medium which doesn’t allow them — you should have opt-in forms scattered across your website.
You can place them on your homepage, at the end of your posts, in your sidebar, in a popup, or anywhere else.
But no matter where you place them, your opt-in boxes must catch people’s eye and make them want to share their email address with you. Because they won’t give it away to just anyone.
(Remember, their inboxes are already flooded, so they’re not necessarily eager to get even more emails.)
Fortunately, you can use power words to make your offer more enticing.
As an example, here’s an old popup from Cosmopolitan:
This popup had power words everywhere, but it avoided feeling like overkill. I bet it converted like crazy.
Here’s a slightly more subtle example from Betty Means Business:
It’s understated, but still quite effective.
Again, you don’t have to overdo it with the power words on these. A little can go a long way.
Here’s one final example from Renegade Planner:
If you’re not using power words in your opt-in boxes, you’re missing out.
5. Using Power Words on Your Homepage
Your homepage is the face of your website and it’s usually one of the most visited pages. Many people who visit your website will see this page first, so you want it to make a good first impression.
Some people use their homepage to promote their email list, others use it to promote one of their products, and others use it as a red carpet — welcoming new visitors and explaining what their site is all about.
In any case, your homepage is a good spot to add a few power words, as it can determine whether people stay (and take the action you want them to take) or leave (never to return).
Look at this value proposition on the homepage for Nerd Fitness:
“Nerds,” “Misfits,” and “Mutants” are unusual power words that work well for Nerd Fitness’ target audience. These words immediately separate it from all the other fitness blogs out there.
But they push it even further with “Strong,” “Healthy,” and “Permanently.”
Here’s another value proposition from MainStreetHost’s homepage:
It’s quite minimal, isn’t it? They just wrote down three power words and follow it up with a service they provide.
Of course, you don’t have to limit your use of power words to the top of your homepage.
You can use it in other parts of the homepage too, as Ramit Sethi does here in his list of what you’ll get when you sign up for his email list:
Go look at your homepage now and see if you can find any areas you can spruce up with some power words.
6. Using Power Words in Business Names/Blog Names
Having a forgettable name is poison to your website’s growth. So when you start a blog, you want to make sure you have a name people can easily recall.
If you haven’t chosen your blog name yet (or if you’re thinking about rebranding), you should use a SEO power word to give it some punch. The right word will make you stand out from all the boring, forgettable brands out there.
Just take a look at the collection of blog names below and see how well they’ve incorporated power words:
7. Using Power Words in Product Names
Just like you can use power words to spruce up your blog name, you can also use them to make your product names pack more of a punch.
It can make the difference between your potential customers thinking, “Ooh, this product sounds cool!” and them thinking, “Meh.”
Just check out this subscription product from Nerd Fitness:
It has such a powerful name that you’d almost want to sign up without learning anything else about it. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a community of rising heroes?
Here’s another good example from Pat Flynn:
It’s a powerful name for his podcasting course that instantly informs you of the benefit.
So if you’re about to launch a product (or if you’ve launched a product with a tepid name), consider giving it a power word to make it pack a punch.
8. Using Power Words on Sales Pages
You can also use power words to spruce up the copywriting on your sales pages and make them more effective at selling your e-commerce products or services.
They will grab people’s attention when they arrive on the page, they will keep their attention as they scroll down, and they’ll help seduce readers before they reach your “buy” button.
Just look at this headline on Ramit Sethi’s sales page for his product 50 Proven Email Scripts (which also has a power word in its name):
And as you scroll down, you see he keeps using power words throughout his sales page.
His headline is followed by emotion-packed subheads:
And he even uses power words in his guarantee:
9. Using Power Words in Testimonials
Power words are also tremendously effective in testimonials.
Of course, I’m not suggesting you change people’s testimonials to include power words. But you can certainly select the ones that already use them to great effect.
Just look at this example from Betty Means Business:
Or look at this one from Farideh’s blog:
And here’s another example from Renegade Planner:
All these testimonials will lend extra credibility and excitement due to their power words and phrases.
10. Using Power Words in Bullet Lists
Many sales pages include a list of benefits of the product they’re selling. Many opt-in forms include a huge list of reasons you should sign up to their email list. And many case studies use bullet lists to quickly summarize information.
You can use power words in these lists to inspire more excitement in your reader as they read through them.
Here’s one example from Ramit Sethi’s sales page for his How to Talk to Anyone course:
And here’s another example from an opt-in form on Restart Your Style:
Without these power words, these lists wouldn’t convince nearly as many prospects to buy or subscribe.
11. Using Power Words in Button Copy and CTA (Call to Action Words)
Yep, you can use power words in your button copy too — even if you only have a few words you can fit in there.
One of the most common power words used in buttons is “Free” (as in the example below):
But you can be more creative with buttons than you might think.
Takes this button from the sales page for the book The Renegade Diet:
“Immediate,” “Money Back,” and “Guarantee” are all incredibly powerful words, and the author manages to squeeze them all into one button.
Here’s an example from Tim Ferris:
He could’ve used “Send Me the List” as most people would do, but the specific word “Unlock” makes it sound a lot more intriguing — like you’re getting access to something that’s been kept hidden away.
Now take a look at the buttons on your site.
Do you see any opportunities to spruce them up with a power word?
12. Using Power Words in Author Bios
Your author bio is another extremely important part of your marketing.
When you guest post for another blog (or write a paid article as a freelancer), your author bio has the difficult job of making readers want to know more about you so they click through to your site.
That means your author bio needs to spark attention and interest. And you usually only get three sentences, so you need to carefully consider the words you use.
As an example, here’s the author bio from Henneke Duistermaat in her ultimate guide on overcoming writer’s block:
Henneke’s author bio is full of power words. It shows her uniqueness and makes her stand out from other copywriters.
You can tell she has carefully picked each perfect word for maximum impact.
Here’s another example from Sarah Peterson’s post on blog ads:
She opens strong immediately by mentioning her guides are insanely useful. And just the name of her report alone is full of power words: “Free,” “Reveal,” and “Begging.”
Makes you want to get your hands on that report, doesn’t it?
13. Using Power Words on YouTube Videos
If you’re publishing videos on YouTube and you want to get more views, you should use power words in your titles.
All the biggest YouTube channels do this.
They understand most of their views will come from their subscribers finding them in their feeds, and from people finding them in the sidebar of other videos.
In both cases, you’re competing with many other videos for their attention. If you want your video to stand out and be the one they choose to watch, your title has to be captivating.
See how Philip DeFranco does it below:
“Disgusting,” “Punishment,” and “Controversy” are all attention-grabbing words (and that’s besides the attention-grabbing names of Brock Turner, Star Wars, and Kim Kardashian).
Note also how he has capitalized “Disgusting.” It’s another smart trick many YouTube channels use to stand out more in YouTube’s lists of video suggestions.
Style vlogger Aaron Marino often does it as well:
By capitalizing the power words “Don’ts” and “Stupid,” his title catches a lot more attention (as you can see for yourself by the millions of views it’s received).
14. Using Power Words in Book Titles
If you’re interested in writing your own book, adding power words to your titles will help it sell better.
With all the competition in the book market these days, you need a title that grabs people’s attention and makes them want to peek inside.
Here are a few quick grabs from Amazon’s list of bestsellers in the self-help niche:
I’m sure you’ve seen this title before.
You might say Stephen Covey’s use of power words in his title has been highly effective. (See what I did there?)
Mark Manson’s bestselling title is packed with power.
The power word “Subtle” juxtaposes well with the F-bomb in the title, and his use of “Counterintuitive” will spark some interest as well.
Lastly, Jen Sincero’s encouraging book title makes you want to flip it open and read it in one go.
The use of “Badass” alone will make it stand out in the self-development section, but her use of “Greatness” and “Awesome” in the subtitle truly seals the deal.
Go Ahead and Tell Me. What Powerful Words Did I Miss?
They’re known by many names…
Emotion words. Good words. Strong words. Powerful words, creative words, sensory words, trigger words, persuasive words, descriptive words, impactful words, interesting words, positive words, unique words, action words, and even — yes, seriously — awesome words.
But whatever you call them; smart, attractive people such as yourself have mastered the strategic use of power words and use this valuable communication skill every day to pack their writing with emotion so they can increase conversions.
Yes, this is an enormous list of words, but with so many power words and power phrases available, you’d need a thesaurus or Word of the Day dictionary to catch every single word on the first pass. (Plus, new words seem to be added to the English language every day.)
What are some other good words that seem to have that extra little spark of emotion inside them? Do you have favorite power words? What are some other ways you can use power words that I didn’t go over (Facebook ads, a resume headline, cover letter, etc.)?
Share them in a comment below.
264 thoughts on “801+ Power Words That Pack a Punch & Convert like Crazy”
Thanks Jon, what a great resource. I’ve already tweeted it out.
Excellent as always! Thanks so much Jon for this great insight.
Love this post too. : ) Each post is detailed and, like you said, excellent.
Jules and Esther, I started putting some of these words into practice and I’m already receiving results through more traffic when I share a new post on my blog. I simply use them in Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin shares which is something you might want to try even if it’s just for practice.
Thanks again for sharing these with us Jon and while I’m here, thanks for the great webinar yesterday. I took a lot of notes from it! 🙂
Yup another post that makes your stomach churns and your mind inspired and enriched… Thank you your awesomeness…
I have to say, I find that most self-help postings are statements of the glaringly obvious at best, and utter nonsense at worst. But this is really, really good.
Thanks for the list, Jon. It definitely gives me some food for thought… but I will tell you that after glancing through the list, it seems like a lot of the words are negative.
I’m curious if anyone else noticed that, or if my scanning just grabbed the negative ones. I read someone that our brains latch onto and hold onto the negative more than the positive so maybe that’s why?
Well, I noticed the Fearmonger and Riot categories were negative but that’s for obvious reasons.
I didn’t notice that to be the case with Feel Safe or Pep Talk.. Did you?
My mind naturally goes to the outrageous with Headlines so for me the challenge is to make sure I’m not misleading.. and to deliver what the Headline promises.
The fear section is the largest one, and yes, those are definitely negative. You could argue it’s a personal bias on my part,, but my guess is we have more words to describe fear than any other emotion. Not because we’re afraid all the time, but because fear is one of those emotions that pretty much dominates everything else.
Excellent. Copy, pasted and saved in my swipe file. Thanks Jon for making life easier for the rest of us.
Julie, fear is the most powerful emotion and is so instilled in our collective conscious and we obviously lust after it because the news media keeps peddling fear every night.
Also, Hollywood is brilliant at cashing in on fear with movies like World War Z and 2012.
They say sex sells but I think fear sells more and that’s probably why we have more negative words than positive ones.
I bet Jon that if you punched every one of those 317 words into a thesaurus you will reach your 1000 word goal very quickly. You know, I think I will do just that.
Or to put it more cynically, Jon, fear sell lots of stuff. Thanks for the list. Paradoxically, sentences constructed negatively are a turn-off.
Academic research has shown that the psychological impact of a negative event is approximately twice in value/significance as a positive event. In other words, we are psychologically wired to respond — at an instinctual level — to anything that could cause harm. This is why copy/words with negative themes trigger more reaction than positive themes.
Can you point me to a source on this “academic research”? Please and thank you!
Great list Jon, thank you.
You used, what I perceive to be, a power word in your title and sub title, but I couldn’t see it in the list…
In today’s world where delayed gratification is so last season, we all want instant results, right!?
+1 brownie points for noticing that. 🙂
Can I get brownie points for noticing that one too?
On the topic of ‘fear’ appeals, research shows that 60 per cent of the population is more tuned into avoiding a ‘pain’ than making a ‘gain.’ UNLESS you’re talking to people like CEOs: 90 per cent of them are tuned into making a ‘gain.’
Love your work, Jon. Thanks for this very helpful post.
Awesome list Jon. I use your “52 Headline Hacks” guide all the time and it has really helped my blogs get read a lot more and far more social sharing. Thanks for the great information!
Awesome! Would love to see your results if there is anything in particular you’d like to share.
I love the list but some of the words also make you sound sleazy. Like backdoor. And secrets has been done to death. Okay I’ll admit that everything in the forbidden fruit section is making me feel icky 🙂
A power words is defined by its ability to make you feel. If the forbidden words are making you feel icky, that just proves their power. 🙂
Also, secrets may have been used to death, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. People continue using it because it works.
There’s a branding thing at work here, isn’t there? I find that with Jon’s Headline Hacks — some work great for me, others make me shudder and would be off-putting to my audience (but I guess I can see that they’d work for some folk!)
I like “little-known” as a slightly tamer version of a forbidden fruit word. Also “unusual” and “under-used”.
Great list, Jon, thanks for the reminders.
I’m copying and pasting this one into my permanent writing file.
This is a great list! I copied it into OneNote, and I’ll be sure to come back to check for updates.
Thanks so much for a great, extended list of power words which I will dutifully and studiously commit to memory and learn how to use.
Thank you for your excellent posts and continued professionalism.
PLEASE keep up the “Confidential, Amazing, Breathtaking and Eye-Opening” work.
Thank you so much!
I added this to my Evernote “Power Words” note; I have over 1,500 power words. Now I’ll have over 1,800 power words to use. 🙂
Oooh! We need to compare lists! 🙂
Some of my favorites from my list are:
A Cut Above
Anyone Can Do This
Approved By Major Companies
Before and After
Blown Away (also a good song by Carrie Underwood)
Don’t be Left Behind
Earn More Money!
Find the Answer to
Get Results Now!
How to (oldie but goody)
Like No Other
Master of Your Destiny
No Experience Necessary
No Experience Necessary
No Risk (on your list)
Nostalgic (I like this word)
Now is the Time!
People Helping People
Realize Your Dreams
Reap the Benefits
Stand Out from the Crowd
Stop Wasting Time!
Super (Savings) (Sale)
Unlock (oldie but goody)
Warning (an oldie but goody)
You Owe it to Yourself
Great list! I even went back to read your article and noticed the power words used in it. Thanks!
Amandah, Thanks for sharing the list of words below! Some good ones in there. And Jon, thank you for a great post. Like many here, I have copied both lists into Evernote.
Great list, Jon. It’s not technically a word, but “NSFW” could fall under lust and curiosity. That one can work under the right circumstances.
Very true. Might be interesting to start an abbreviation category.
For some reason, when I clicked on the link to this post, again, I received a “Database Error Connection” error. I just thought I’d let you know.
Thanks. Yes, we seem to be having some technical issues. Investigating.
You are so right when you say that most of us don’t tend to use such powerful words in our posts or even the daily lives because we lose touch if we don’t use them regularly, and I speak as a blogger for now.
Speaking of myself, even though I might use such words when I speak to someone, I am careful to use words that even a 5th grade student would understand or based on the kind of readers I get over at my blog. So, I do need to keep the words very simple and easy to understand. This is for the purpose of blogging, though there are always exceptions.
I don’t say that’s the case with all the words, but yes, some of them, especially those where a person might need to refer to a dictonary, may be tough for me to use on my blog. I wonder if others feel the same way about using such words in their blog posts, even though I admit they are awesome power words, which we do use otherwise.
Thanks for sharing these with us. I’mm surely bookmarking this as I’ve got my list of a few words I’d written earlier too, so, would just keep adding onto it whenever you update this one. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
Sure. You probably wouldn’t want to use “lascivious” around fifth-graders. I think they would understand about 75% of the words on this list, though. Like “breathtaking” or “hero.”
Great post. So many good words now to learn how to put the story together. Thanks Jon once again for sharing
Another great post, Jon,and a keeper along with the “52 Headline Hacks.” Thanks for sharing so generously.
A delicious literary stimulation, Jon. And your About The Author text is the icing.
You’re a legend, Jon!
This list is pure gold.
I’m certainly going to use it myself, and share it with my students.
You set a high standard for insanely useful content. We need people like you to inspire us, Jon
Oh, and do join Jon and myself for his awesome free Webinar:
How to Write Irresistible Headlines and Instantly Double Your Traffic.
Yes, everyone go sign-up for the webinar. It’s going to be stupendous. 🙂
This is one of the best posts I’ve ever read, Jon.
Very well done!
Since you asked us for our contributions, here
are a few suggestions that might make your list.
My apologies in advance if you already mentioned
Thanks for the list Michael!
Petrified a great word, and I want to add more to my list, because I forgot to add them at my post on the bottom (and again, sorry for any accidental repeats):
Crap, “Eff” (as in grow the “eff” up instead of saying “f*ck), effing (for f*cking), NMFP (not my f*cking problem), useless, lazy, menace, lethargic, r@pist, perpetrator, nuisance, leech, bloodsucker, catastrophe, trauma, terrified,
Oh…and one of my absolute favorite words…
Brinks-Truck-Safe – exceptional and one for my list! Thanks
Oh! This list is awesome! I’m going to go check out my previous posts to see how often I used these words. I know I could use more for sure. I use your headline hacks and they are amazing. I like the words suggested in the comments and will keep coming back for more!
More great advice from the inimitable Jon Morrow! Thanks for the power words–I’ve added this article to my stash of go-to writing resources.
It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut using the same boring words. I appreciate the way you have expanded our vocabularies with this post!
At the same time, I will proceed with caution. Some of the stock words like “insider” create aversion for me, and I imagine they might turn off people in my audience too.
In essence this post is about how to manipulate peoples’ emotions, which many have come to take for granted as a good way to make money. But I personally feel this is a realm in which it’s best to proceed carefully. The main takeaway for me is about enriching my vocabulary. Thanks for the kick in the right place!
Yep. If you think about it, pretty much all writers manipulate the emotions of their readers. It’s just part of what we do.
The key is doing it in a way your readers like and enjoy. That takes careful study and a lot of thought.
It’s like you mentioned above in your post, it takes ages of practice to learn to use all the different writing techniques out there, but using good vocabulary is a good starter. Just gotta be careful that it doesn’t end your career because of overuse!
One of my favourites is “explicit”. Combination of lust and forbidden fruit there. 😉
Good one, Sophie! 😉
That one is definitely going in the next version. 🙂
If you’re going to add “Explicit”, Jon, then “Taboo” deserves strong consideration as well. It’s lust and forbidden fruit all rolled into one. Thanks for the inspiration, Sophie! See what you started??!!!…:-)
I love this post. It along with your 52 Headline Hacks have given me a boatload of ideas for my content.
Here is one possible addition:
Great list, but I have taken a vow to stop using the word “amazing.” It is so overused that IMO it has lost its impact. Instead I try for something more descriptive, like “heart-stopping” or “marvelous” or “magical”… you get the picture.
Yep, heart stopping, marvelous, and magical have stronger emotional pulls too.
amazing for conjures up gordon ramsey describing food so for any food might be a good word. marvelous goes with darling and that is Joan Crawford and Joan Rivers so anything Joan or jewelry I would think…
I agree. The same goes for the word “awesome:” enough with it already! I remember when it meant something absolutely extraordinary, and now it has been demoted down to “cool.” I’ve never used the word in my life except to describe schooner sailing, writing, horseback riding, rock climbing, and camping (originally only for sailing). Though I may have slipped a few times…I’m only human, after all.
Your Royal Awesomeness – thank you for the awesome resource. The lists of power words I’ve used in the past pale in comparison to your Awesomeness. I’ve printed and added to my copywriting resource file. Mucho thanks!
I am super excited to get your mind-blowing list of wondrous power words. The post was an eye opener and such a bargain considering all you want in return is an endorsed share. 🙂 Thanks. Did I over do what I learned from your post? 🙂
Hey, at least you got the message down! 🙂
what about things like inspiring.
It would be great to see this topic in an updated headline hacks, or in its own pdf.
I have a God of Writing and his name is Jon.
Are their statues and other symbols for worshiping in your online store. I need many to adorn my home and to spread across the land to start a Morrow cult.
No need for purple Kool-Aid, just meditations where we read your posts and reach higher states of writing consciousness and eventually writing nirvana.
Thanks Jon, you are awesomely admirable.
(laughing) You’re welcome, man.
His Royal Highness, Awesomeness, Power Influencer…
Just printed out the power words to keep forever. Thanks.
Question: Would each industry/niche also have it’s own set of power words? i.e. in the disability community I think they would be: “inclusion, community, natural supports, family, jobs, friends…” –The impossible dream we are all seeking.
Your humble servant:)
I think you can use them all for pretty much all niches.
Jon, A very helpful post and especially timely for me because I’m working on a speech to give on Saturday and need some strong fear words.
Two words you might consider adding to that category are “brutal” and “exhausting” (or “exhausted”).
Super this collection!
The only problem is how to keep this resource handy? 🙂
THank you so much, can’t think of a word you missed before I compute each one you gave us here!
Be sure to give it a bookmark. Also, we are preparing a PDF version. 🙂
Hi there Jon! This one really reminds me of a report Henneke Duistermaat launched way back called “21 Easy Tips to Turbocharge Your Web Copy and Win Customers” which touches on the subject of Power Words from another scope… would you call sensory words Power Words? If so, I would put them in categories in which the senses I want to stimulate are the ones that remind me of the category’s emotion right? For example: dazzling reminds me of something shiny and new so maybe I would put it in the Greed or Pep Talk category… other examples would be chirpy, sizzling, bland, smelly and any colorful (maybe this is a Power Word too LOL) adjectives… great post!
Ha, yeah, that would be another interesting way to organize them.
I was thinking exactly the same. That’s one of my favorite categories 🙂
A few more examples:
Gloomy, shadowy, glittering, sparkling, creepy, rotten, moldy, spicy, gritty, drab, roaring, squeaky.
There’s some interesting research into the power of sensory words: http://www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/metaphor-marketing.htm
Maybe we can create another list for the five senses?
What the hell is this list jon… It’s enthralling. What about slangs, rude words?
Great List. Thanks Jon. The only thing missing is a group of words that create FUD (Fear, uncertainty and doubt).
The first group can probably help you with that.
Thanks Jon for the hard work you’ve done for us.
When I heard that I should use power words in my headlines, headings and in copy I agreed, but when I went to find them I didn’t know where to get them from. Watching news and magazine was an “a-ha” moment for me.
Stupendous post! Actually I was thinking of writing one along the same lines. There is so much content out there we have to grab the readers attention. Graphic, descriptive phrasing is a way to take them by the throat and force feed them what they need. 😉
Thanks for the eloquent reminder!
Nice idea,Jon. Synonyms are GOOD! Whee! (or Wow!) But, uh, didn’t Roget’s Thesaurus make that point – rather more comprehensively, some 100 year ago? Or am I, in my imbecility,(losing, missing, dropping, overlooking) something here? I love you truly, Jon. (I do.) But please clarify… and tell us, what in this post is truly new? 🙂
These aren’t synonyms. They are words that cause readers to feel a particular emotion.
Take a look again at the Winston Churchill example in the beginning.
Great! A list of powerful words that give much more impression when you used it. Thanks John for sharing.
Thank you very much for your lists of powerful words. You are very kind to share them with us, your readers.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
A few spur of the moment suggestions:
Big, Grand, Huge, Captivating, Rock Solid, Essential, One of a kind, Satisfying, Legendary, Full Access, Giant, Exquisite, Over the top, Thrilling, Momentuous, Bargain Basement, Free, Available, Now, Right Now, Low Ball, Ace, Prime, Primo, Diamond in the rough, Gem of a Deal, Envy of them all…
Nice list. Thanks Tzod.
Great list of words Jon. A good resource to get the creative juices flowing in telling a story and getting a point across. Thank you.
A generous post and resource thank you Jon. For me it’s a reminder to write with passion – to grab readers’ attention and engage them.
The post is an explanation for why a random post I did a long while back has always been more popular (on view count) than others – Confessions of A Recovering Adrenaline Junkie
As a therapist my work is all about power words. Thinking about recent sessions these come to mind: hunger, desperation, rage, alone, antidote, wish, dreams. Now if I can just hold on to them as move from my arm chair to my desk and write!
So true. Great insights.
Thanks Jon, I am going to love putting these words into use. I think I will even use the ones others have listed.
Senational post, Jon!
This is up there with Headline Hacks for sheer volume of awesome suggestions.
Here are a few that come to mind in no particular order:
Exclusive (can’t believe that didn’t make it into the Greed category)
Funny about the timing of this post. I was about to publish a new post tonight but I’m gojng to go through it and sprinkle a little power fairy dust on it before it goes out.
Thanks again, Jon for some truly helpful ideas!
Awesomeness. Love “diabolical.” 🙂
One of my faves.
Great list. However, the editor in me has to ask about “pommel.” I bet you intended to use, “pummel,” which means to hit someone repeatedly. “Pommel” is a knob or protruding part on a sword or a saddle.
Good catch! Fixed.
Thank you Jon! I’ll definitely file this for safekeeping! 😀
Thanks for this awesome resource! Some of my favorites:
Nice list, Jon.
If I’m learning that there’s one particular weakness in my writing then it’s probably the headline writing so making use of “power words” as you call them should help me out a little!
What an incredibly useful post. Many thanks for sharing.
I’m pleased that you have some of my favorite words on your lists. I have a short memory, so if some of these I present to you are already lists above, I apologize in advance.
Some more of my favorite words:
My #1 lately is…
Then I list these:
Scott free (as in getting away with murder, r@pe, etc.)
And also mild swear words that help me keep my blog PG-13:
Jerk (in place of @sshole)
Tail or booty (in place of @ss)
Piece of tail (instead of piece of @ss)
Boink, Bang, Screw, (instead of f*ck)
Frick (instead of f*ck)
Freaking (instead of f*cking)
Bloody freaking miracle (instead of f*cking miracle)
Sweet lies from Hell
Fresh lies from hell (or fresh hell)
Oh, and of course — last but not least —
Nice! I’ll have to add some of these.
sweet lies from hell is my new “scam” phrase…. thx
I use your headline hacks PDF all the time. In fact, I have officially made it is mandatory reading for all new members of my team. Even if they never write a headline, I think it’s super-important for them to learn good copy-writing skills and Headline Hacks is our go-to resource. Now the lists in these posts are the perfect supplement to help me and my team take our copy-writing to the next level. Awesome!
Thanks so much for continuing to create such great resources. All the best!
Headlines as mandatory reading? Hot damn. I want to come work at your company. 🙂
I think you need a list of words that evoke an image or feeling like “Gobsmacked.”
Best word ever!
impressive top of my list. thx
Thanks Jon. I do know that the power words can make a big difference. Thanks for the list. Now have it printed and good to go with more of your great help from you.
Hi Debbie, definitely some super-powerful power words in your blog title! :-]]
Glad my parents, in what I presume was a back-to-the-future move ahead of its time, got hold of your advice just in time for me … lol
I can’t take all the credit for it though. The truth is Jon pretty much came up with that one, with his blogging class I took. It sure is paying off for me.
Actually i just got an email from someone that wants to advertise on my site.
What can i say, Jon is good with the words.
Thanks again and hope you have a great day or evening.
Debbie, you have definitely utilized Jon’s lessons well! Your headings are irresistible! I challenge the young and inexperienced to stay away…lol!
Jon, a great post! Tony Robbins also refers to power words. Looking at your list, I see authentic listed under “safe”. I never thought of it that way before. Maybe having worked in the corporate world, authentic seems more audacious to me. Now, I am going to have to change the tagline for my site. 😛
I love the concept of juxtaposition and confluence. Other words I love are those that convey a transitory magical feeling – elusive, evanescent, fleeting.
I am going to have to grab your headline hacks PDF.
Being Authentic is audacious
Interacting with someone who is being authentic is safe
These are delightful (would that be a power word?), but I’m curious about one thing: there are a lot of adjectives in this list. Online marketers and copywriters keep saying it’s best to be simple while also being compelling, which means leaving out adjectives when they’re not necessary.
But it seems you’re making the case that they ARE necessary to a degree, right? Otherwise people won’t emotionally be pulled in by what you’re reading.
That’s absolutely true. 😉
Thanks! Glad to see my love of adjectives doesn’t have to be ENTIRELY thrown out the window. 🙂
I feel like I’m on a radio call in show so I’ll start by saying Long time reader, first time commentor. LOL
AWESOME and I mean AWESOME list! I’ll be using these for sure!
I have a few to add if I may:
And I seem to be using this one a lot lately:
Some great words there. Thanks for sharing!
Your Royal Awesomeness, hi … with breathtaking “Thanks!” for your sensational list.
I’ve been bombarded with devastatingly boring power word lists ever since the last millennium, but Your Royal Awesomeness’s volatile compilation of power words is strikingly different. It’s eye-openingly intelligent.
Re the staggering importance of (power) words. “In the beginning was the word”. Not only is it tantalizingly clear – “what part of ‘in the beginning’ do you not understand?” – it’s also a secret and therefore hypnotic wisdom of every sage and wisdom that ever existed, across all time, space and religions, gracefully discounting the usual few exceptions. Yet, I shamelessly admit [in truth I’m thrilled to admit], it took my genius self a revoltingly long time to a) notice, b) to believe and c) to really believe it … and experience the magic of belief in power words.
Now your evil list will quadruple the experience, no doubt about it. Hence my recession-proof thanks.
But I see Your Gifted Awesomeness by now is getting over-powered or disgustingly bored – likely both.
So let me hurriedly take quick leave … by crookedly adding the only other intelligent list of power words in my trusted hands is from Tony Robbins [Unleash the Giant Within]. He lists words in two columns: “good word” and “great word”. Cannot reproduce it here – whoppingly true – because I only have it as a guaranteed jpg file. But if anyone wants the bonanza of a copy, just holler and make sure it includes your prized email, and a power word or two :-]
Great list. My additions:
Jon, mind-blowing stuff! 🙂
How about “because”? Tony Robbins first gave me insight into the power of this word. Years later, Brian Clark reminded me. Tony Robbins suggested doing a little experiment to see how powerful “because” was …
Go to the front of any line of people waiting for something – have a really good excuse ready for why you need to be served [or whatever] first and add “because” like this … “Do you all mind if I go first because …[enter good excuse] my little girl’s lost her teddy and she thinks he might be in here.” Or ..
Other power words: Please. May I? Thank-you. You’re fired! … possibly not in that order 🙂
Great post Jon, thanks… I’ll be using it with your Headline Hacks report to juice up my headlines.
Tony Robbins has a very effective practice to change emotional states by changing our usual, self-talk vocabulary to one peppered with power words; they’re a potent influence. Fab list.
This is a really great list. I have been working on improving my writing and this should really help. Thank you for posting this
Dear “His Royal Awesomeness”!
What an impressive and powerful list of perfectly categorized word groups! I’m sending you a H-U-G !
I’m another fan of “Headline Hacks” that I originally downloaded in March 2012 — it’s been like a word bible!
Thank you Jon!
Holy Forgotten Bonanza Batman! This article has titillated my limp mind!
Wow, what else can I say that hasn’t already been said? Like all those before me, I copied this into a word doc (including most of the comment lists) for even more reference material! Thank you!
Thanks for not including curse words. They’re like that broken screwdriver you keep in the drawer. It might work, but it will probably just make someone really angry at you for using it.
Also, I like: “carnage”, “rock star”, “inevitable”, “betray”, “putrid”, “rotten”, “rat”, “patriot”, “made in America”, “Draconian” (when I can get away with it), and especially “insanity” (because it can be good or bad depending on context).
Jon, I love your article and your list of power words is incredible. I am sure I will be using it all the time. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. It’s always greatly appreciated!
Let’s face it. Everything we do in life relates to our emotions. What this list of words does is help us to communicate better as writers and capture those emotions from our readers.
I offer my sincere appreciation for this list and will be sure to keep it in a safe place along with sharing this great article.
Wishing everyone a great inspiration filled day,
Hi Jon. Another staggeringly useful post that will help us to rise to victory. Many thanks.
ideals (I wonder where I got those last 3)
I can’t see them in your list- but I may have missed them.
This list is almost as useful as Headline Hacks. Magical! Thanks again. Jane
Excellent. I am a great believer in power words and write and rewrite constantly before posting. Thanks for your list.I will add to mine. Great post.
I’m gobsmacked! (Just had to repeat that word.)
Inspired to contribute an ” Old Coots’ Cahoots” annex:
I worry about this type of guide as it lacks so much that is fundamental to the craft of good writing, such as pace, tempo and punctuation. “How to become an instantly better writer,” it says, “it’s simple: Use power words.” If it were that simple there wouldn’t be writers of the calibre we celebrate. If painting were a metaphor, it would say: “it’s simple. Use the colour red.” Picasso painted some of his most famous works in muted blue’s and grey. It goes on to cite a speech of Winston Churchill’s where he uses “power words” yet it brushes over the fact that those words were used in the context of war – a subject of power in itself. it also ignores the power of Churchill’s voice – his pace and tempo and the people who were used to imitate him (there is good evidence that his radio speeches were recorded by a voice artist imitating him). I see so many bloggers applying similar rules while ignoring the power of developing their own style and voice. It is the only way to truly stand out because too many bloggers are taking attention grabbing guides like this to heart.
I understand what you’re saying but blogging is an advanced form of communication that is entirely different than traditional styles of writing. Blogging is meant to attract readers and gain attention because of it’s intimate and quick to read format.
What Jon’s post does is it tells you how to be a better blogger, not to be a better “writer” in the traditional writing sense. Go and read any newspaper and then go read their blog. I’m sure you’ll find very quickly that they are merely curating content with the odd piece thrown in and calling it a blog. That’s not blogging. That’s Journalism.
I was surfing a writers website and looked at their guest post submission guidelines. It asked for a degree in communications and posts must be written in AP style. Since when does AP style have to do with blogging?
I think too many people (along with the so called blogging experts)seem to confuse blogging with the writing we were all taught in school. Two completely different things. Jon doesn’t do that. He has a very clear understanding of what a blog is and what traditional writing is. If you want to write a better fiction novel, screenplay, business letter or speech, take a college level writing class. If you want to learn how to blog, learn from guys who live it.
Just my two cents.
Thanks for your reply, Michael.
Writing forms the basis of blogging, as it does journalism, play writing, speech writing and so on. All of these forms employ words, which are crafted by what we all call WRITING, to attract readers or listeners and gain attention. ALL writing, not just blogging.
Even Jon’s headline states: 317 Power Words That’ll Instantly Make You a Better WRITER. Not a blogger. A WRITER.
People may believe blogging needs to be shorter and punchier to retain peoples attention, but a 2000 word long blog can retain peoples attention if it is WRITTEN well.
Using these so called power words does not make you a better writer. The power of a written piece does not come from individual words, it comes from the context the words are written in; how they relate to other words; sentences; paragraphs and the subject they are describing.
Michael, You say: “I think too many people (along with the so called blogging experts)seem to confuse blogging with the writing we were all taught in school.” This is a ridiculous assumption. The fact that bloggers can string sentences together is a direct result of that schooling. Without it, blogging would not exist.
Indeed, Anton Crone. I’m a novelist myself and come from a world where good, contextual, syntactic writing is as important as vocabulary. But vocabulary’s important too! This list may not touch on everything that makes a good writer, but it specializes in one thing. Why not take that college level writing class Michael mentioned if you want the rest of the picture? And I’m sure there are bloggers out there who specialize in other elements…
I’ve got one more word that should definitely be added to your power list.
Ben Casnocha just did an entire post on the power of the word “yet” and it’s ability to motivate.
(here’s the post he wrote: http://casnocha.com/2013/07/the-power-of-the-word-yet.html)
Pretty convincing, no?
No. It is not a “power word” in the context of the blog piece above. It is made “powerful” by its application in the sentences or phrases mentioned in the piece you reference. It is just a word, otherwise you may as well say “the” is a power word, or any other word for that matter. Looking at the words above, a great number of them require context to give them “power”. For example: gift; mother; silly, belief. Some of them aren’t even words. IRS? For crying out loud. Some are more than one word: Sick and tired; marked down?
Come on, Jon.
I know something that would make me a better writer…
Taking this article as well as some of your other awesome basic writing technique articles, and putting them to practice in a system each time I write!
Why do we fail to do what we know to do, especially when someone helps us out (gives us the answers? DOH…
I am determine to get this right….
Thanks for another great one, Jon!
Thanks very much for this post. I am always looking for descriptive words to flood my readers’ senses. Ok, maybe that was a tad too dramatic, but I think you understand what I mean.
Anyways, here is a list of words that I’ve used recently:
Thanks for the article and thanks to all those that took the time to comment. This has given me some fresh ideas.
ha! a list to be reckoned with. Great resource and a very interesting read. Great work.
Love this, thank you!
I think we should petition Microsoft to add high-lightened power words to synonyms. That way it is easy. Sorry. It is the lazy me.
Jon, I forgot to thank you. This is a lot of hard work and the comments have added more to its value. Thanks for this great work. Cheers.
Wow! Much like your former students, I have been looking for this list for years! Thanks for putting this together and now I will print it out and place it in front of me for reference in all my writing. I have also shared it with our writers so they too can benefit from your Uncensored, Mind-Blowing and Victorious list of power words. Thansk!
Jon, my hat off to you. As a former college teacher of rhetoric a Dale Carnegie instructor and writing coach, I watch people struggle to find the right words to appeal to the right emotion. Your explanations and lists are concrete, and once again, very helpful. Thanks for being there for us.
I am the same blowing my hat off to Jon. He has all the right terms to display his thoughts on emotions and all. Well organized and great post to show. Share for for more of this kind Jon. Thanks
I write about natural health and food, and I often find myself using the same old words when posting my recipes (boooring!!!). Food is very much tied in with emotion, so I am going to try some of these “new” words. Thanks so much!
Great list…I may have overlooked it, but it seems like “Insane” might be a great word…as in “Insane Offer” or “you’d be insane to miss this!” What do you think? Thanks for a terrific boost for boring blog posts!
Just thought I’d pop back in to let you know that everyone I’ve shared this with has given me nothing but Thanks so lets cheers to that and keep on rockin with words! 🙂
Jon, this post and all these words are awesome! What makes them all so rich and intense is the way they connect us to our feelings; the way they bring us to something in our lives that matters.
That is hands-down, one of the BEST, most USEFUL posts I’ve seen. I used your Headline Hacks with great success and this is now going to build upon that vision to post powerful headlines with even more powerful content. Thank you!!!!!
Just found you guys and am loving all the words. Smooches.
This list is great! Seems like it would be some good words to use in sales pages as well. Thank you!
Excellent article Jon .Thanks for sharing these power words.
Reading some of the comments makes me think some of them missed the point. These words are power words because they evoke an immediate, emotional and visceral response. That is their power! One of the most powerful words I know is not itself a power word; it does not itself have the power of the words in your blog, it is instead a word that describes them. The word is NUANCE. Why say ‘red’ when you can evoke a more emotional, visceral response by saying ‘scarlet’? The smell of blood is one thing; the smoky copper scent of blood is entirely another. Those descriptive, nuanced words are words of power. That’s what these words are. Thank you so much for adding to my store!
Favorite FB pic I saw lately: Never underestimate the seductive power of a decent vocabulary!
Great content! The “power word” in the title is what got my attention. I’ll be using this for my next e-book and optin form. Thanks!
Jon I cannot thank you enough for this killer list…and everyone else for adding even more! If I could bookmark this more than once, I would!
Pure magic right here!
This is such a helpful post, really grateful you shared. I like to throw in “potentionally award-winning” now and again.
Love it! Save as > Bookmark
Great post. This is clearly valuable information.
I loved reading this post and all of your comments. They were a real source of inspiration and a great learning opportunity, as English is not my main language. This is a great way for me to expand my vocabulary and cultivate a more distinguished communication style, so thank you everyone.
All of the above.
Incredible post and list, Jon.
Peak/peek as in summit or peaked his curiosity. The latter: Get a Special Peek into Our [goods} before [the masses]…I’ve stashed some more away and will come back and add them. Though another source is Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens.He could come up with some doozies! I’ll look through those as well.
We, as novelists, are taught not to use the $10 word when the $1 one would work (thank you, Hemingway). But, though similar, copywriting has its own rules and you are setting up to become the next Merriam Webster (and Mark Twain) of our time. Love this.
The other day I listened to a class you gave on how to make $2000 per post. In it, you talked about using ‘power words’…so I started making a list of what I assumed would be good power words.
THANK GOODNESS I came across this! Saves a lot of time and these ‘power’ words are way better than the list I had started!
Awesome stuff! Thanks.
Thanks for the list Jon. Your list is quite effective. I bookmarked this page for future use while writing new blog posts. This list of words is quite effective and easy to use. Thanks for sharing this list.
Jon… you are the most generous person, really! Sharing so much to ensure others are also successful. Pretty happy with all the word lists I got from your page and comments. I’m a month-old blogger… so just getting going and finding that yes, I love writing.. but catching the attention of a sophisticated and click-happy current social media audienceI is not about presenting a powerful book.. it’s about sound bytes and seconds of their headspace. I agree with the ‘devil’s advocate commentator” re words are really only powerful in their designated context.. but we still need WORDS! So thanks a bunch. Can’t wait to wordsmith… within the context and get myself and my audience stoked
I love words!! I could take each one and write and paragraph around it. Thanks for so many incredible ideas. It’s quite an undertaking to come up with something like this. I have used a list of words for choosing life values or inspiring a passion statement but never thought about words in this context before. Thanks to everyone for your contribution as well. Much food for thought (and pen).
As someone who has really struggled with my writing, I have found that a thesaurus is truly my strongest asset. But posts like these are a close second. Some of these are words I know, but I just never think of implementing. I’m glad I have a new resource to look back on now for my next blog post! Thanks!
This is an amazing article! with that list no article will be a dull text! I learned so many new power words. And I think I’ll go an fix my article like right now! Thanks a lot for the list!
what a great resource. I love this list, this is pure gold for me. thanks you sooo much. especially the forbidden fruit list is really awsome and great to know these words. with these lists I´m sure I can improve my marketing and especially marketing for offline. thanks again. this blog is officially bookmarked.
Wow… Here’s what I made for easy additions to the list: http://prntscr.com/2nzt5m (I can share the link for those who want it :))
This was, obviously, just for starters, considering all the contributions in the comments 😀
Yesterday I read a blog post on the Internet about powerful words and the one word I think is not included maybe supposedly not included is “viral”. I think the viral word is also a power word. I don’t want to compete with this article I’m just a beginner to blogging so if I’m wrong do let me know
A brilliant piece of work! May I post a link of this article in my blog? My friends will find it very helpful.
Coooooool ! Going to try this out for my future posts
This is an awesome list here. I have looked at it several times when trying to make a query or hook for a book I am writing and found several words that have worked for me. Although during one query I was writing I found that Vigilante worked for me better than Terrorist. I did not see that in one of the lists and do not know if anyone else has mentioned that one yet. If not there is a new word for you.
One word that never loses its power:
I have a couple to add:
Erotic (lascivious list)
Dastardly (fear monger list)
Iron clad (make ’em safe list)
And there’s one that I kinda made up “toe curler” as in Stephen King’s novels are so scary and beautifully written that they’re real toe curlers.
Was so glad I stumbled on this post from Jodie Llyewellyn’s post. Will give me food for thought as I write my next blog entry and then next 2000 words on my next books, today. Here are some power words from my writing, yesterday. I used this as an exercise to explore my writing:
Lots of good ones – i don’t remember seeing
Jon – congrats – a cracking post, that I use every week as a reference guide when creating and editing my own. It does what it says on the tin, because it absolutely HAS made me a better writer.
We have to use power words and think powerful, great post bro, keep up the good writing, I’m taking notes.
Just so you know, I liked your blog and printed it but your “Grow Your Bog to Six figures” promo blocks the upper left corner of each page so that the keywords behind it on every page I printed are completely blocked. Pretty frustrating!!
Compelling collection of words on this page! Here are a few that I think evoke a lot of emotion:
Thanks Jon, yet another beautiful one.
I have been using these now a few times, but I am struggling with how much I should emulate your style.
German audiences, besides reading a different language, have a bit of a different rhythm.
Also, you tend to hype the living gold out of your articles. Contrary to most other authors, you keep your promises of awesomeness.
But Germans are a little allergic to hype.
The last time Germans believed in hype, in particular political hype, it didn’t go over so well for them and even less for the rest of the world.
Maybe you heard about it.
Anyway, thanks again for making me a better writer and a more conscious promoter. People actually read my posts now.
The secrets of this post can skyrocket anyone’s blog to staggering heights of success. A true gift from a true genius. Thank you.
I completely Agree with some “intriguing” words that you suggest but for some it was too “extreme” so I cant use some of those words to my blog. If I want to straight “extravaganza” and try to attract peoples, I’ll probably will use some harsh words such as N-Word, F-Word, B-Word, FG-Word and many more and I will get some backlash for that.
A million dollar idea – it would be great to have a power word thesauras online.
Here are 120 more power words that I came up with for the Fear Mongering category:
Rock Solid 🙂
Great info even if you’re not a PRO writer
These are great words that I can use to get my prospects motivated to call or click on my website.
This was a very helpful article. Definitely going to be referring back to it. Thank you so much!
This will be very helpful! I’m going to print out these lists out and stick them up on the wall of my office! Thank you!!! 🙂
Great post! Thank you for making the list so detailed and organized, and sharing it for free.
I’ll definitely add many of these to my posts and make them a permanent part of my vocabulary.
We all know these words, but we often try to think of new, modern, complex ones that we think will grab attention. Eventually, we realize that simplicity is the solution to everything. The simpler, the better.
Awesome! Thank you for this! Where can I get a copy to have with me at all times?
Great piece here, and what’s more: followed by great comments. Thanks to all.
My humble contribution primarily but not exclusively for political speeches :
– (our) Children
– (our) Duty
– any term linked to physical exercise: run, rush, lift, push…
Hi Jon, Great list, great post! More ideas for your list of 1000 power words when you create it: flee, fan, flame, charge, fury, free (not in the no-cost sense, but in freeing a prisoner), glory, glorify, exuberance, guffaw, volcanic, hassle, harried, hair-tearing, genius, generous, humble, zen-like, ravenous, raging, riotous
Thanks for posting so much great content – and often!
Great List. I have now bookmarked it so that I can keep referring back to it when writing certain blog posts and articles. Thank you.
Great topic. Love the article would consider implementing soon.
thanks, these are seriously awesome words
Thank you! I’m struggling to improve my boring headlines. I appreciate the list being very long.
Good words … but they’re effective only when they’re wrapped around something that’s meaningful to your audience. The word “badass” has become so overused it now seems forced; I avoid reading anything with “badass” in the title. Love the examples from Henneke and Sarah Peterson — their personalities shine through. The words they use fit their brand.
Excellent knowledge pack article … strange only 595 words make me better writer i am really very excited and going to use this soon.
Jon, this post and all these words are awesome! What makes them all so rich and intense is the way they connect us to our feelings; the way they bring us to something in our lives that matters
Great piece of content. I’m a beginner and the list of power words was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a ton Jon.
Learned a lot from your thoughts. Your content always inspires me.Thank You for your powerful words.
Wow, this is an awesome list of words collection.
Learned a lot from your thoughts, your content is precious, easy to read and understand, Thanks for sharing.
Hi! very nice article , I am a digital marketer in a company and i need to enhance my knowledge and skills in writing and absolutely your post has very informative content, so thank you very much for sharing this post.
On the internet we can find lots of information but in the whole thing existence of the reality is very few, so this site i found which is really helped me a lot. thank you so much for sharing nice thing.
Not only is this a valuable list, but this post is a case study in how to write a great blog post.
The information you have published in your blog is really useful and I will apply this useful information to the seo studies of my own website and blog page. It’s a pleasure to take advantage of this useful information on your blog page. Thank you.
You have such a gift for practicing what you preach. Seriously, this is high value for me, and I can implement immediately. Thanks for pouring the work into making this great.
A big thanks for you
Great article, I would really thankful for share the article from the digital marketing point of view.
Thanks for sharing this article. Great post! Thank you for making the list so detailed and organized, and sharing it for free. I’ll definitely add many of these to my posts and make them a permanent part of my vocabulary. I’ll teach this strategy to my Digital Marketing students so that they can write content easefully.
Great article, I would love to use it in my writing.
Great post. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work.
Really informational. Keep posting.
Some really interesting details you have written.Aided me a lot, just what I was looking for
Good work bro and I love your all articles and love to read them.
Sir amazing work by you. loved to read this article . I am also a blogger and its a veryhelpful for a blogger like me.
This is literally the best. Thank you for taking the time to write this! I can already see the value in this article and I have shared it with my staff.
Okay. Why am I just finding you again?
This is a great resource. I’ve always noticed catchy headlines and phrases, but never really observed their power points, now you have drawn my attention to those. Thanks. You are a good writer, and this resource you provided will make many more better writers as well.🙂
Do you think these will be effective in paid ad copies as well? How do “Now” impacts? Every other ad copy uses it!
Very helpful information
Thanks, Jon Morrow for sharing with us
Awesome list Jon, this will help me to create compelling post titles. Thanks a lot for sharing. I always keep watching and reading every post of Smart Blogger and I must say you’re doing a damn good job by helping out the digital community here.
Words can be as powerful as actions if they come from the right mouth… My job demands constant writing and editing. I strive to write only high-quality content with no fluff included. Sometimes it bothers me that I have used so many popular expressions and words and I reach the writer’s block. Mr. Morrow, I would like to personally express my gratitude for the job you have made with this blog post. It can really fire up my next projects!
Language is a communication medium, the words used do the trick. The more apt
the word selected, the purpose served better.Kudos to your ingenuity and benevolence. Jon ,you are a Bruce Lee to English language as is he to marital arts.
Hey Jon !! i just started my career in writing field. my problem is i know what i want to write but when i starts writing i just cant express my feeling into words , but when i saw your post , i got more confident to write but not enough , so could you please suggest me some ideas ?
I just saw this in my email now, opened, read and it was filled with awesomeness 😀 I must confess!
I’ve been messing around with words on my blog – trying to sound too seriously lol.
But this just gave me a brand new perspective on how to write better and crank out compelling copies.
Thanks so much Jon!
I have just started to write a blog and recently I just have read your blog and it is helpfully for me to how to write a blog which word should we used to get more audience and how to connect with the audience.
`Believe me when I say this has been the best read for me as a professional writer. It has a considerable part to play in my transition from a content writer to a copywriter. Thanks for the list, Jon.
good to see you here for power that words your article to see you here. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.
Wow, I really do hear these power words subconsciously but have never really thought of using them. I’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing this article.
What a great list of powerful words, thank you Jon for this very insightful post. And I thought ‘successfully’ is included but didn’t see anywhere 🙂
Very helpful. I will apply these tips for my new blog. thanks for taking your time to come up with this awesome content
Having these power words can influence your thinking in powerful ways. Superb!
Wow, that is some list you have built there and to be honest, I have not been utilizing power words at all within the articles i have been writing at all. Do the length of an article not throw people off? I am assuming through use of power words, people would feel or be more engaged and as such, would not bounce, what are your thoughts on this?
Wow. What a list with power words 🙂
This is a very good post. Very well done, Jon!
I totally agree that most of us don’t use these kind of powerful words at all. The outcome for me is first of all about strengthening my glossary.
Thanks a lot!
I’ve just started blogging and I’m really trying to learn how to write the content to get the best value. Articles like this area really useful to me so thanks a lot.
Hey Jon, you nailed it brother. What an article!! I really enjoyed a lot. Now understood why some sales copy make millions and why some fails. Power words are really transforming words. Thanks a lot, Jon.
There are 3 power words that I love to use when describing myself, as it boosts my profile before I state what I do for a living (marketing consultant). Those 3 words are: “world-renowned”, “highly-acclaimed”, and “world-class”. Great article on power words.
Thanks for the list, Jon. It definitely gives me some food for thought… but I will tell you that after glancing through the list, it seems like a lot of the words are negative.
This is a very good post. Very well done, Jon!
I totally agree with that words are the most powerful tool humans have developed and they definitively make a big difference in someone life.
Thanks a lot!
Great post, very insightful and highly useful. Regarding power words, I totally agree they’re very powerful and make a huge difference. However, what ate your thoughts of including power words in the SEO title of your post? The common perception (mine also) is that they will increase CTR when a person sees your article in the search results. However, some big SEO guys are saying that including power words in the SEO title will actually cause a lower CTR, which doesn’t really make sense to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Many thanks!
Thanks for the great post! I have noted down many of them and will definitely use them in my writings. Also, I love the comments below that contributed to the power words list!
Fantabulous post. Power words have a great impact on CTR. Personally, I have tried different power words on my SERP title. Without a doubt, I would say they increase CTR to 200%. Keep posting more!
Your Royal Awesomeness,
I’m not quite sure whether you’re still secretly reading comments on your posts or whether now you only focus on CEO-bossing your team 😉
In any case, I just wanted to express my deepest, groupie-like (without the sex, though) admiration for your work.
Your personal, emotion-infused style succeeded to defibrillate me and inspire me. Like Jack Nicholson said in As Good As It Gets, “you make me want to be a better man”.
In his article THE BRAIN-DEAD SIMPLE BUT ASTONISHINGLY EFFECTIVE WAY TO BECOME A BETTER WRITER, Greg Digneo describes how you hand-copied for months Stephen King’s “On Writing” in order to chisel out your style (any other books or articles, too?).
I plan to hand-copy articles from you, Brian Clark and Henneke Duistermaat. Though each of you has a completely unique voice, you have in common that passionate style filled with sensory words that few other authors master.
If you might have any other suggestion on how to learn sensory writing and an emotion-packed style, please let me know.
In any case, I’ll come back here to continue worshipping (and hand-copy) your posts 🙂
Thank you so much, John, for the power words. I have downloaded the list for further reference.
Have you used Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer? What is the highest score you have received?
I am going to use these power keywords and test my headlines to get the best score. Could you share with me some insights to get the best score?
Thank You John for putting this together. I am going to implement this, I am sure it will improve the click through rate and conversion.
I find this post so fascinating. I mean I read it and I think, you are so right! I wish I could write more powerfully! It all makes sense but I feel like it is something you just have to have a gut instinct for. So much trouble to try figure out what words to use and infuse them into your writing otherwise. Or maybe that makes me sound lazy! I suppose practice would make it come more naturally.
At least we now know for certain that affiliate marketing, blogging, creative content marketing and side hustles online are here to stay. One thing I can say for sure is thought freelancing online with blogging and affiliate marketing has no financial guarantees, it’s surely more stable than going to a cushy day job. 🙂
WOW! What a list. I have this page bookmarked for future reference to help me with my blog posts. Love it!
I really appreciate that you shared a very informative list of power words. I am checking your blog too and find very informative. I would love to connect you on linkedin and twitter.
adesh from India
Pretty amazing that this was written in 2013 and I still come back to this on a frequent basis. Incredible job!
It’s an awesome article.
I will definitely implement these techniques in my blogs.
Knowing about the powerful words, I believe it will help for sure. Thanks for sharing the great post. will be sharing it with my friends as well.
Nice post! Thanks for all the power word suggestions. Will keep them at my fingertips
this is a great list of power words. I’m definitely going to use them in my blog posts.
I enrolled for the writing machine course and side by side reading these articles. Awesome work Jon. I highly admire your creativity and way of conveying the message across.
It was a great share! I am a writer too, and I am always looking to improve and leave a mark with my writing. I think adding these words will definitely make a difference. I write all of my blog posts, headlines, and captions myself, and at times I feel short of good words. I will definitely bookmark these words and try to use them in my posts. Thanks a lot for sharing this article, as a writer I acn tell you it was a great read and will be very helpful in my process.
Amazing, amazing, amazing!
Actually, this article is so much helpful for using power words in different fields like your title, domain and business name, etc.
In fact, it will work.
Thanks, John, for making such a great article and giving it a deep time.