Randy May Family in Hillsboro Oregon

August 13, 2016

The Blind Leading the Blind in Remote Computer Access and Repair

Filed under: Antivirus,Computing,How To,Linux,malware,Portable Apps,Settings — rmay4 @ 7:43 am

This is the beginning and a very rough draft of a project to explore the best ways to help anyone that is not tech savvy and when I am not so savvy myself as well keep and operate their computer and other electronics. This industry seems to have exploded since the last time I look at it and the options are many. I have started using Linux for more and more stuff and find that to be a useful tool for me in this process as well. This will cover Windows solutions,, cross platform solutions and web based solutions as well as mobile platforms under Android systems.

Trying to help the non-computer savy (i.e. parents or such) manage their computer. It becomes tough when they have issues that stop them from even logging in or connecting but here is the beginning of my search and results from my research and trials.

I started with the article found here (http://lifehacker.com/5846072/how-do-i-troubleshoot-my-parents-pc-remotely) at Lifehacker.com. It is old and dated but has some great info. Some of the options are relevant. The first one they mention is teamview which is relevant and maybe even more so as it is better than before and many of the other options are gone or costly for occasional used like this (i.e. Logmein no longer has a free option. Neither does GoToMyPC) Teamviewer also does not require much to install and set up. Specifically it does not require port fowarding and you can connect from your phone or tablet to the other PC.

Join.me – https://www.join.me/

This could be the easiest for quick attended and inpromptu assisting. It is the one I started with due to simplicity and familiarity.

Join.me is a meeting service (free and pay) from LogMeIn that also provides remote control. It’s convenient for impromptu support in that all you need on the controlling PC is a Web browser.

The process is simple:
The user with the computer that will host the meeting (and offer control) simply surfs to the Join.me site, selects Start Meeting, and downloads and executes the joinme.exe a file. After running said file, the meeting originator (computer desiring to be controlled) we see a 9 digit meeting number or pass coade. They will pass the provided passcode to the user or users on the other end, who in turn enter the passcode in the “Join Meeting” field on the Join.me homepage. The meeting originator’s desktop will appear in the browser. Once access to the originators screen is granted, remote access control can be granted as well. The host user can click on the small circle containing 3 dots at the top of the page and select “Share mouse control”or the guest can do the same to request it and then the host grant it. You can chat, send files, and more. This will give the guest who joined the ability to control the mouse and keyboard. That is it and you are in. It is simple, easy, and free requires little knowledge of computers at all to operate.

This does not require a download on the guests side, only the host who is wanting to be controlled. Easy-peasy, but note that Join.me isn’t suited for unattended remote control, which makes it only a partial replacement for LogMeIn.

I did also notice that it is not a perfect desktop share. As I was trying to install software and run programs remotely, there are things I could not see on the host PC. Pop windows asking for permission or other messages were almost never visible or accessible from the guest computer even when I had full access to share the screen and control the mouse and keyboard. This is where it shows its true colors and that it was primarily designed as a collarboration and team based tool. There was also more delay between me moving the mouse and it actually moving on the host computer. Enough that I clicked the wrong item several times.

All-in-all, it is a web based tool that does require installation and only the host computer has to download anything. It is a great tool that I am sure I will use again and reccomend for initial and light weight sharing of computers and resources. It will not however, be my goto solution. That falls to Teamviewer at this time.

TeamViewer — http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx

I used join.me to start the process repairing my parents computer but quickly moved to TeamViewer which operated in real time and responded much faster to mouse and keyboard input. As soon as I set up the short cut on the host PC, it became even easier to start up than Join.met. Believe me that easy and simple operation is important when dealing with people not that familiar with computers! I actually used join.me to download TeamViewer Portable on the host PC remotely so that I could run it with no install. They had so many isssues going on, that I was not sure their PC would install it properly anyway.

Team View is free for personal use and cross platform compatible, even the portable version I mentioned. Here are some of the other benefits of this program.

No configuration
Start and use TeamViewer instantly. TeamViewer even works behind firewalls and automatically detects any proxy configuration.

Free for testing and personal use
Test TeamViewer for free, without having to provide any personal information. Also, use the software at home for personal use free of charge.

Cross-platform PC to PC, mobile to PC, and PC to mobile connections that support Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, iOS, Android, Windows App, BlackBerry and a portable version.

Maximum compatibility
TeamViewer runs on a broad spectrum of operating systems ranging from state-of-the-art system software to older operating systems.

No configuration
Start and use TeamViewer instantly. TeamViewer even works behind firewalls and automatically detects any proxy configuration.

Easy to understand
Enjoy a state-of-the-art user interface that is clearly arranged, simple, touch-friendly, and quick to operate.

Unattended use
It can be installed and set up for unattended use.

This is now my go to software for remote access for my family members PC that I am trying to help trouble shoot or help them with.

There are many other applications that can assist with this and I have many listed after the break below. I also have links to websites that have info that I found to be helpful. There is even information and links about recovering PC that are in trouble from a remote location. I have not used most of these applications but wanted to list them for you here.

Good hunting and I hope my experience has helped.



Application Links:
RealVNC — http://www.realvnc.com/
WebEx Free — http://www.webex.com/

Website Links:












12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Haven’t Heard Of Yet

Quick Screen Share: Screen Sharing Without Client Software Or User Accounts [Cross-Platform]

Remote Desktop Roundup: TeamViewer vs. Splashtop vs. Windows RDP

How To Help Your Parents With Computers Remotely Without Freaking Out

The Best Tools to Easily Perform Remote Tech Support


Info on recovery and rebooting:

What it is dead and you need to recover or rescue it from that status. Obviously start with all the easy things like plugs, connectors, batteries, updates, security scans etc. Test the hardware if possible. If you are past all that and pretty sure it is software or can not get there becuase you are stopped by the software, you need a rescue disk of some kind.

There are several ways. First of all, is there a rescue USB drive or CD that was created on their machine when it was operating properly? If so, that is probably the place to start. Here is how to create one: http://www.techradar.com/us/news/software/operating-systems/how-to-create-a-windows-rescue-usb-stick-984726



How to Create and Use a Recovery Drive or System Repair Disc in Windows 8 or 10



Downloaded the “Media Creation Tool” and use it to create the bootable “Upgrade/Install USB” to Win10. After upgrading the systems you can wipe them out and used the same device to do a “CLEAN” install of Win10 on all of the machines in your home.

USB Windows Installation Disk:

If you are looking to create the ultimate rescue USB here is an article on that:


Linux to the rescue: How to use Ubuntu to rescue a failed PC

Ubuntu has a Live CD option that creates a bootable CD and a non logging session that installs nothing and leaves nothing but is crazy powerful and will work on older machines that will not boot from a USB drive. Here is a great article: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/31804/the-10-cleverest-ways-to-use-linux-to-fix-your-windows-pc/

You can use it to make and image of the entire hard drive: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/use-ubuntu-live-cd-to-backup-files-from-your-dead-windows-computer/


If there will boot from a thumb drive then you can create a full bootable version of Ubuntu that will allow you to install programs and save settings to the drive for future use.




Put Ubuntu on Flash Drive using Windows

Install Ubuntu On Your Computer Using a USB Flash Drive



If you do have access to your parents computer before you head off for college, you may consider setting up VNC, which is completely free remote management for Mac, Windows, and Linux, but does require that you set up port forwarding on your parents’ router (if they have one,) change the default port that VNC operates on, and lock down the connection with a username and password. Additionally, you’ll have to install the VNC server on their desktop and the client on yours. VNC is a great, completely free option that gives you a way to connect directly without a middleman in the way. Also, there are dozens of different VNC applications, so you can pick one that works on your OS and works best with your connection. However, VNC also means that if you have trouble connecting, you’re on your own figuring it out – there’s no support line to call if you or your parents have problems. If you want to go that route, here’s a guide that can help you get set up.


Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop has been included in every version of Windows from XP on.

It does require you to either do or talk the the other user through these two steps:

1) Enabling remote desktop (rt-click My Computer—>Properties—>Remote—>Allow Users to Connect Remotely…).

2) Browse to WhatIsMyIP.com to get the address you will use to connect.

If the computer to be controlled has a simple single connection from a computer to the internet modem, this should work. If it is connecting wirelessly or through a router, then port forwarding will need to be set up and that is usually too complicated to do over the phone and should be prepared in advance. For those that want to consider it, the default RDP port to forward is 3389.

RDP apps abound for computers, tablets and smartphones making it possible to easily support mom and pop from anywhere at a moments’ notice.

Nothing is more versatile and full featured than RDP, certainly nothing free.

The basic concept behind Windows Remote Desktop is to let users control their office computer remotely so that they can work from home. Hence, although all versions of Windows (Basic, Home, and so on) can establish a Remote Desktop connection and control a PC, only the Professional, Business, and Ultimate versions of Windows can be controlled.

As most office computers are one among many on a network, you need to have the office router tweaked to forward a port (3389) to the PC you want to control. You can edit the Registry to allow control of more than one PC by adding more ports, but that’s a very techie task.


Microsoft Live Mesh is a good consideration as well.  The live service lets it cut through firewalls easily. It’s also a very easy install since it is packaged in the Windows Updates in the optional catagory (simplifies the install and does so from a trusted source).

VNC comes in many flavors. Some with little to no support and require knowledge and experience to operate. It can be tricky to set up if you are trying to walk someone through it over the phone. Here is a good example.


Free for personal use

The widest platform support in the business. Control a huge range of Windows, Mac, Linux, and UNIX computers from practically any desktop, or from iOS, Android and Chrome-powered devices wherever you happen to be.

Amazingly versatile

Our customers use VNC to remotely access office computers from home, provide support to staff, customers or friends and family, collaborate on projects, demonstrate to classes, virtualize software or services, conduct automated tests, and much more. So whenever you need to connect people and devices, VNC provides the answer.

Intuitive to use

VNC is simplicity itself. There’s a VNC Server app for the computer you want to control, and a VNC Viewer app for the device you want to connect from. Connect the two, and VNC Server continuously transmits screen updates to VNC Viewer, which sends back your keyboard, mouse and touch inputs as you make them. And the user interface is available in English, French, German and Spanish.


VNC, or Virtual Network Computing, isn’t itself a product, but an open-source remote-control and display technology that’s implemented by Tight VNC (free), Ultra VNC (free) and RealVNC (free and pay), among other parties. VNC isn’t hard to use, but it’s not as simple as Join.me and TeamViewer, which don’t require user knowledge of IP addresses.

VNC is a good option if you need to control multiple PCs regularly.
To use VNC, install it on both the PCs you want to connect and then set them to listening. To control another PC, simply open the VNC viewer (client), enter the PC’s IP address, and have at it. You may also have to open port 5900 on your firewall and router, and to direct said port to the PC you want to control.

You can use VNC to connect to multiple PCs behind a public IP by opening and using more ports. Most VNC implementations install both the server and viewer software by default, so (as with TeamViewer) you can control in either direction.

Though it’s a tad difficult to set up, VNC is cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux), and it works extremely well once installed.


Another to research for the purpose is WebEx

WebEx Free: Not just for multiuser meetings.
Most users think of WebEx as a tool for multiuser boardroom meetings, but it’s also perfectly suitable for small-scale, live (not unattended) remote control and support. WebEx works a little differently from Join.me in that installing software is required at both ends, but that’s a relatively painless procedure.

Once users have joined the meeting, initially they can only view the originator’s desktop, but the originator can make another person the presenter, pass control over the mouse and keyboard, and share files, chat, and utilize webcams for face-to-face interaction. There’s a bit of a learning curve if you stray from the main features (available from the usual drop-down panel at the top of the display), but overall WebEx is quite easy to use.




September 9, 2015

Retro Arcade Linux Puppy Style

Filed under: Computing,Family,Games,Linux,Tools and Projects — rmay4 @ 7:56 am
Tags: , ,

Of the many things I find interesting in Linux is a distro devoted to classic arcade games. There are more than one but Puppy seems to have a really good one that can run from a thumb drive or on a Raspberry Pi.

I will develop this article around checking them out,






August 4, 2014

Configure Firefox to ask to save tabs on exit or not

Filed under: Computing,Settings — rmay4 @ 9:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

 photo FirefoxTabSave_zps6139ca60.jpg

Below are the instructions on how to add back the feature in Fire Fox that ask you if you want to save the open tabs on exit or not and also links to other ways to manually restore tabs after a crash or on a one time basis.. I love this feature to ask every time I close my browser and it seems every time I upgrade, it gets turned off and I have to reconfigure again.

To get back the original functionality of Firefox, that used to show a message on exit asking if we want to save the open tabs or not we need to dig a bit in Firefox’s configuration settings.

  1. Type about:config in your address bar and press enter.
  2. There are three entries we are interested in (four if you are using Firefox 12 or higher).
    • browser.tabs.warnOnClose
    • browser.warnOnQuit
    • browser.warnOnRestart
    • browser.showQuitWarning (for Firefox 12 and higher)

    Search for each one individually and make sure that their value is set to true.

  3. Restart Firefox.

Now every time you will close Firefox (assuming you have tabs open) you will get a message asking you if you want to save the current tabs or not.

Here are a couple other links to more information on similar:

Source: http://www.fluxbytes.com/software-tips/how-to-make-firefox-ask-to-save-tabs-on-exit/

Other sources:


October 20, 2013

Indian Corn Back Ground

Filed under: Backgrounds,Computing — rmay4 @ 5:48 pm


Stock Photos: Indian Corn Picture. Image: 258793
© Photographer Tammy Mcallister | Agency: Dreamstime.com

August 26, 2013

Mini Computers

I recently discovered the Raspberry Pi mini single board computer that runs on Linux fits totally into a case the size of small or medium size book but packs a lot of power for living room browsing on your TV, watching movies or other solutions.

Here is a link on Amazon to buy the hardware for the  Raspberry Pi. Here is a book that gets you on the right track as well. You can add many accessories to to add functionality and power. Wireless access is a critical one.

Here are links to other info on it.





This could be a low power option for preparedness solutions as well. Running Linux, it should run well Portable Apps as well.

One day soon I hope to be able to purchase one check it out for myself.







What to do with my antivirus software

Well, it is time to reevaluate my solutions for anti-virus software for the laptop.

I usually find one I like and use it continuously until something happens that makes me re-think that. But no matter what, I always have something.

You should too. Not even for just your own good but everyone else as well. If you get infected, the first people you will compromise are those you know and are in your contact list or that you share email or files with and the rest of the world.

I have been using AVG most recently but they have stepped up their marketing efforts to the point that it is invasive and not comfortable so it made me ask, since they are all changing, who has changed enough that it might be better? My research also reminded me that I had not given a new malware/adware solution much thought.

These are the solutions I will be considering:

AVG Free 2013
When I upgraded this last time to a new version it is very difficult to tell you are being upgraded to a new trial version instead of the new free version. When the trial ends you are only asked to purchase a license. I did find a downgrader.exe file from AVG to go back to the free version and I also heard that if you go to uninstall the program, that you get an option to go back to the free version. No matter it got me to looking at options.

Avast Free Antivirus



Trend Micro

For clean up of malware and ad-ware the next two are considered.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Comodo Cleaning Essentials 6

For ongoing malware protection I will consider

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ 10.5

PC Mag has a good article on the best protection for 2013. They have other data that offer insight as well here and here.

Another consideration that others might have that I have outgrown, or my kids have anyway, is a solution for kids with families that can watch, monitor, restrict and set time limits etc. A free solution is Norton Online Family. I discovered it after my kids were older but the people I talked to who used it with younger kids really liked it and said it worked well. The parents set up the structure and rules and the kids can manage their time. There is reporting about searches and web activity as well social media and it allows parents and kids to have a conversation about what is safe and what is acceptable. Great tool. Sure wish I had it when my family was younger.

If you are in that place where you need to evaluate your options, join me in the search!

August 25, 2013

Paper Card Modeling, making models and memories!

There is a cheap and historically interesting way to make models. It is using graphics that are printed on card stock and then cut out and folded and glued to assemble the model. These models can be of anything. It is part puzzle and all fun. It is cheap and can be done by anyone and anywhere. They are of vehicles, buildings, air and water craft as well as figurines of animals, people or more.

Some are actually considered toys as they are functional and actually fly or have moving parts.  Here are some links to sites that I like for this recreational and interesting hobby. I put these here for myself as a way to keep track of them as well as others.  Enjoy and go check them out! Many even have free samples that are really fun to start with.

Of course there is wikipedia. You have to look there.


On of the many commercial sites that I have visited is Fiddler’s Green. It is a community of modelers and designers who love the hobby have a lot of fun at it. They have a lot of interesting information on the models they have. There is usually information on the model subject and its historical and social significance and also often on the model designer as well. That part is almost more fun that the modeling.

























They are often used in other games and hobbies. Some are used in historical games, some in fantasy games and many are used to establish scenery on model railroads.









There thousands more pages and places on the internet to find information and sources of files to print and model. Some are very basic and the result of unskilled designers and some is amazing as to the detail you can get out of a piece of paper.  No matter what you are interested in, take a look. My grand daughter still has the first models we did and talks about them often!  Make a memory for someone special!

December 15, 2009

How to visit websites that sonicwall blocks

Filed under: Computing — rmay4 @ 3:21 am
Tags: , ,

(update 1.14.2010) I was blocked and I was able to have the block removed at sonic wall. It is possible. I did need the help of an IT manager who worked at a company who employs the sonic wall application. I showed him my photobucket account and that it was not bad in anyway. He contacted his support person at sonic wall. They reviewed my pages and then changed them to a non-restricted designation.

It appears a lot of people are running into photobucket accounts that are blocked or just that photobucket is blocked period. I did a little research online and compiled some good feedback as to what your options are or are not in getting access to your photobucket.com account whether is sonicwall or some other tool blocking access. In the process I found it was a lot more than photobucket. Among the many sites I found with people comlaining and with ideas or suggestions, one of the most commented on threads is found here http://chris.pirillo.com/sonicwall-content-filter-service/ . I found a huge number of people and situations that had other issues with sonicwall as well. I tried to compile many of them here in one location. Many I have tried and some worked while some did not. I left feedback recording what happened with these as well. I hope this helps.

Using a proxy is always a good first option to try. You may find these blocked as well but here are some tools to stay up with what is available.


http://TaxMe.info (blocked 12.14.09)
http://itsaplan.info (blocked 12.14.09)

I highly recommend that you and all your friends sign up to the newsletter to get proxies emailed to you weekly


I also highly recommend that everyone bookmarks the following proxy blogs that are updated daily:


You can try to go through it by a proxy server. Try Anonymouse.org. It’s quite reliable. If you can’t access that try proxy.org. That has a whole list of proxies you can use to access photobucket.

Google search for “anonymous proxy” for a possible way to surf, through a company web filter

See if you can get to proxygerm.info (blocked 12.14.09) and type your blocked url in there.

Also this one: http://unasked.com/question/view/id/959

Here are two that I tried personally to get around my photobucket account that got blocked: They are called https://kproxy.com and then there is http://www.google.com/gwt/n. It is in cache form and there is no html but atleast you get navigate your websites.

Some have said you can convert the url to an IP address and that it will work on some systems. It did not on my system but here are some options in case it works on yours:

I also tried unsuccessfully http://hidebehind.com/ , http://ninjacover.com/ and http://peacefire.org/

I did successfully try this and it did work although a little slow: Open https://www.junkblender.com
Just type in your website on the box provided. There are three boxes. You can select on either of the three boxes provided. Just try where it works. This one works fine with me. NOTE: It’s “HTTPS:” not “HTTP:”

This just worked today 12.14.09: https://kproxy.com/. This one too: https:server1.kproxy.com .

This seems to work on my system: http://safelink.awardspace.com/safelinks/

instead of http, type in https://www.facebook.com and it should work

Here is a myspace work around:
Try https:kproxy.com or https:server1.kproxy.com or whatever server number you desire, then type in myspace.com. It runs a little slow, but you can do anything as if the site is not blocked at all. Unlike vtunnel, where it is FAST but you cannot answer messages or comments, or friend requests.

Here is a tunneling process you can use to create a VPN from your home PC:
There are a few ways to get around it. You can create a VPN on your home computer and access it.

Alternatively, you could download and install TightVNC on your Home PC.
When it’s done, go to start-> All Programs -> Tight VNC-> Show user settings. Make sure to set your passwords. They should be strong and no more than 8 characters. Click apply, then ok.

Then, plug in a flash drive. Open the install file again. Click next. Click next again at the agreement. Then, when it says “Select Destination Location” click browse and select your flash drive. Click next. Put an X next to “Tight VNC Viewer” . Click next. This will install the program to your flash drive. When it’s done, remove the drive.

Open command prompt. You can do this by going to start-> Run
Type “command” in the box and click run. When command prompt opens, type “ipconfig”. Your IP information will come up. Make note of your IP address.

When you get to work or school and you want to get around the block, plug in your flash drive and run the “TightVNC Viewer” that you installed.

Type in your IP address, and click connect. Then, type your password and proceed.

This lets you access your home PC from anywhere you plug your flash drive into. Your home PC must be on for this to work!

atunnel.com, btunnel.com, ctunnel.com, dtunnel.com, vtunnel.com…try every tunnel in the alphabet…at first they blocked v,a,b, and c tunnel..but got tired of it and now we used dtunnel.com !!


Today I found out from a friend that my site is being blocked by the censorware company SonicWALL. The category they use is “Games”, which is absurd, since I’m not a gaming website, I don’t host games, and I have never linked to games.

I’m not sure why I’m being filtered, but SonicWALL does not provide people a way to appeal your label. Once it’s set, apparently it’s final.

I’ve found some other people who have had the same experience:

UPDATE – I found a link off the last posting above and was able to request a re-examination of my website. We’ll see how it goes. They promise to get me reclassified within 3-5 days. I don’t hope for much for two reasons: 1. My language and content can be kind of raw at times, and seeing how I just called Ann Coulter a tranny I’ll likely be classified as pornography, and 2. If sites that employ SonicWALL don’t install filtering updates (could happen) then my newly reclassified site is still blocked. I don’t know what their policy is for making people update, but just like all those people I know that don’t update their anti-virus after installing, this could be the same thing.

I hope some of this helps you.

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March 1, 2009

My Wife’s Favorite background, The Red Eyed Frog

Filed under: All Natural,Computing,Family,Graphics — rmay4 @ 9:58 pm
Tags: ,

Red Eye Frog from wallpapers.org

Favorite Background

She is from Brazil originally where there are tons of beautiful frogs and dangerous ones as well.  This one is her favorite.  She has had either this or a brown Labradoodle on her desk top as far back as I can remember.

Randy May

January 27, 2009

Persuasive Writing Techniques

Filed under: Computing — rmay4 @ 9:28 am

Ten Timeless Persuasive Writing Techniques

by Brian Clark


persuasive writing

Want to convince your readers to do something or agree with your point of view?

OK, that was a silly question. Of course you do.

Persuasion is generally an exercise in creating a win-win situation. You present a case that others find beneficial to agree with. You make them an offer they can’t refuse, but not in the manipulative Godfather sense.

It’s simply a good deal or a position that makes sense to that particular person.

But there are techniques that can make your job easier and your case more compelling. While this list is in no way comprehensive, these 10 strategies are used quite a bit because they work.


Talk to anyone well versed in learning psychology, and they’ll tell you repetition is crucial. It’s also critical in persuasive writing, since a person can’t agree with you if they don’t truly get what you’re saying.

Of course, there’s good repetition and bad. To stay on the good side, make your point in several different ways, such as directly, using an example, in a story, via a quote from a famous person, and once more in your summary.

Reasons Why

Remember the power of the word because. Psychological studies have shown that people are more likely to comply with a request if you simply give them a reason why… even if that reason makes no sense.

The strategy itself does make sense if you think about it. We don’t like to be told things or asked to take action without a reasonable explanation. When you need people to be receptive to your line of thinking, always give reasons why.


It’s been called the “hobgoblin of little minds,” but consistency in our thoughts and actions is a valued social trait. We don’t want to appear inconsistent, since, whether fair or not, that characteristic is associated with instability and flightiness, while consistency is associated with integrity and rational behavior.

Use this in your writing by getting the reader to agree with something up front that most people would have a hard time disagreeing with. Then rigorously make your case, with plenty of supporting evidence, all while relating your ultimate point back to the opening scenario that’s already been accepted.

Social Proof

Looking for guidance from others as to what to do and what to accept is one of the most powerful psychological forces in our lives. It can determine whether we deliver aid to a person in need, and it can determine whether we muster the courage to kill ourselves.

Obvious examples of social proof can be found in testimonials and outside referrals, and it’s the driving force behind social media. But you can also casually integrate elements of social proof in your writing, ranging from skillful alignment with outside authorities to blatant name dropping.


Metaphors, similes and analogies are the persuasive writer’s best friends. When you can relate your scenario to something that the reader already accepts as true, you’re well on your way to convincing someone to see things your way.

But comparisons work in other ways too. Sometimes you can be more persuasive by comparing apples to oranges (to use a tired but effective metaphor). Don’t compare the price of your home study course to the price of a similar course-compare it to the price of a live seminar or your hourly consulting rate.

Agitate and Solve

This is a persuasion theme that works as an overall approach to making your case. First, you identify the problem and qualify your audience. Then you agitate the reader’s pain before offering your solution as the answer that will make it all better.

The agitation phase is not about being sadistic; it’s about empathy. You want the reader to know unequivocally that you understand his problem because you’ve dealt with it and/or are experienced at eliminating it. The credibility of your solution goes way up if you demonstrate that you truly feel the prospect’s pain.


Another persuasion theme involves providing your readers with a glimpse into the future. If you can convincingly present an extrapolation of current events into likely future outcomes, you may as well have a license to print money.

This entire strategy is built on credibility. If you have no idea what you’re talking about, you’ll end up looking foolish. But if you can back up your claims with your credentials or your obvious grasp of the subject matter, this is an extremely persuasive technique.

Go Tribal

Despite our attempts to be sophisticated, evolved beings, we humans are exclusionary by nature. Give someone a chance to be a part of a group that they want to be in-whether that be wealthy, or hip, or green, or even contrarian-and they’ll hop on board whatever train you’re driving.

This is the technique used in the greatest sales letter ever written. Find out what group people want to be in, and offer them an invitation to join while seemingly excluding others.

Address Objections

If you present your case and someone is left thinking “yeah, but…”, well, you’ve lost. This is why direct marketers use long copy-it’s not that they want you to read it all, it’s that they want you to read enough until you buy.

Addressing all the potential objections of at least the majority of your readers can be tough, but if you really know your subject the arguments against you should be fairly obvious. If you think there are no reasonable objections to your position, you’re in for a shock if you have comments enabled.


Storytelling is really a catch-all technique-you can and should use it in combination with any and all of the previous nine strategies. But the reason why storytelling works so well lies at the heart of what persuasion really is.

Stories allow people to persuade themselves, and that’s what it’s really all about. You might say that we never convince anyone of anything-we simply help others independently decide that we’re right. Do everything you can to tell better stories, and you’ll find that you are a terribly persuasive person.

As I mentioned, this is in no way a complete list. What other persuasive writing strategies work for you?

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