Some writers seem to have a magic touch…
One minute you’re reading their opening, and before you know it, you’ve reached the end of their article.
Their content reads so smoothly, it’s almost impossible to stop.
So how do they do it?
Well, great writers are meticulous about making each line flow seamlessly into the next. They understand how important it is for the reader to have a smooth reading experience, and they make sure to fix anything that would cause friction.
And one powerful way they do so is by using transitional phrases.
So today you’ll learn how to use them yourself. But first, let’s examine why they’re so important.
The Little Secret That Copywriters Have Known for Ages
Copywriters have known this for a long time:
The primary purpose of every paragraph you write is not to make a point, or to build your argument, or to convey valuable information. It’s to get your reader to read the next paragraph.
Famous copywriter Maxwell Ross likened this to a “bucket brigade.” Let me explain why…
In the days before fire trucks and pressure hoses, people would put out fires by forming a human chain. They would pass a bucket of water from one person to the next until the last person finally threw it onto the fire.
In those days, it was vital the chain remained unbroken. If the bucket wasn’t passed smoothly from one person to the next, the water would spill and not make it to the fire.
Likewise, each paragraph (and really, each sentence) you write must pass the reader on to the next. And just like in a real bucket brigade, the chain must be unbroken, or you will “spill” readers along the way, which means they won’t make it to the end of your article.
And that’s where transitional phrases come in.
How Transitional Phrases “Lubricate” Your Writing So Readers Slide from Line to Line
Have you ever been with a group of friends and someone suddenly makes a random comment that doesn’t follow from anything that anyone else has said?
I bet you have — we all have.
It’s a strange moment — everyone (except the person who made the comment) just looks at each other, bewildered.
Well, writing without transitions is like that.
It causes friction in your reader’s mind and leaves them scratching their head, wondering “How do you get from this to that?”
Any piece of writing is a series of ideas, propositions, and arguments placed one after the other.
But those ideas need to be linked to each other. You need transitional words and phrases to help readers understand how ideas relate to each other. Without them, readers will feel like you’re switching from idea to idea too abruptly, and in most cases, you’ll leave them feeling confused.
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