Writing the Self-Help, How-To or Business Book: 10 Techniques to Support Your Statements to Prove Your Expert Method or Philosophy Work

Credibility is established by supporting your statements with convincing evidence. Support statements are specific, not abstract, and include details along with their relevance.

Here are 10 techniques to support your statements... 

  1. Reveal how you reached the conclusion or conclusions. Support the assertion by letting readers know what steps were taken or information was gathered to arrive at the conclusion. If you declare in an earthquake-preparedness book that “Southern California will experience a large earthquake in the next 30 years”, readers will want to know how you came to that conclusion. Did you talk to scientists or confer with a psychic? Experienced readers expect a writer to explain his or her methods.
  1. Cite statistics or research examples.
  1. Address opposing views or alternate methods and offer a counterargument. If health-guru-author’s bestselling book’s thesis is “Eating too many carbohydrates is bad for you”, and your fitness diet book is based on “Eating carbs all-the-time-everyday-as-much-as-you-can-get”, you need to address health-guru-author’s premise or risk having readers dismiss your claims.
  1. Justify the results. If the book presents a method or framework for achieving a goal, explain how and why the method works.
  1. Back-up statements with a story from your own experience or personal observation. If you declare in your social media book, “Writing articles for A-list blogs will increase traffic to your own site”, and you have experienced that in your own business, then include a story that proves your statement.
  1. Use case studies.
  1. Explain the effects. If you make the assertion that “Personal branding is essential for entrepreneurs”, you can highlight the positive effects personal branding provides a small business, and list what the negative effects might be if an entrepreneur fails to brand his or her business effectively.
  1. List the benefits and then “show” the benefits by painting a picture of what the end result or goal “looks” like.
  1. Identify similarities and differences. If your claim is “Social media marketing with Twitter is the same as old-school direct-marketing campaigns”, you can identify the similarities between the two methods. If your argument is “Old-school direct-marketing campaigns are outdated and ineffective compared to social networking strategies”, you can show the differences between the two to back up your assertion.
  1. List your credentials and experience, and those of any sources. If you’re a psychologist who has worked with at-risk children for more than 20 years, stating your experience and credentials will help establish your authority on the topic and support your statements.