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Five Tips to Emotionally Connect Readers to Your Writing

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Many bloggers produce content that is overflowing with great ideas, exciting potential, and great advice, but they don't know how to emotionally connect with readers, hold their attention, and get readers sucked into their blog posts and articles.

Here, I want to give you five easy tactics you can use to instantly transform any blog post from an ordinary piece of content into an empathetic work of art.

This article covers three main topics:

1. How to make your posts stand out
2. How to get readers sucked into whatever you write
3. How to get readers to feel connected with you and your blog

So, with that, let's get started.


1. You must be interesting

If you've ever stopped to look around at what holds our attention today, you'd conclude three things do: music, television, and books.

And what do all three have in common?

They stimulate our emotions.

If you look up the definition of "interesting" (as defined on dictionary.com), you'll find: "Arousing a feeling of interest."

That doesn't mean "You must write logically informative content" or "you need to have information that will help them move forward"; it says that you keep someone's attention by stimulating emotions.

Everything we do in our lives is to experience some sort of positive emotion, and everything we don't do is to avoid experiencing some sort of negative emotion.

But what causes emotion in the first place... and how do you write in a way that gets your reader's emotions flowing, gets them connected to your writing, and gets them drawn into you and your blog?

That's what I'm going to get into now.

2. Paint pictures in their minds

As humans, we think in pictures.

For example, if I say house, tree, ball, truck, tornado, you likely get a picture in your mind of those things, with related memories.

For example, if I use words like "abstract," "development," or "communication," what does that make you feel? Likely, nothing. Or at least nothing much.

Why?

Because we associate emotions with experiences, and we connect emotions with physical things, and we can connect with and relate to physical, tangible things in a way that we can't with vague, general concepts.

When you want to create a connection with someone, you need to make them feel connected with you. We hear "I feel connected" not "I think connected"; we connect to each other through emotions.

3. Tell a story

If you experience television, movies, or books, you'll notice there's always a story.

There's always some tension, some drama, some sort of surprise you're not expecting; there's a sense of starting out slow, then constantly building up to a climax, and ultimately the resolution... and things calm down again.

For example if I say "desert," you get an image of something, experience emotions, and your imagination kicks in visualizing everything I'm telling you; but that can only hold your attention for a moment.

If I start telling a story about two men 500 years ago who were wandering through the scorching hot desert for 60 days, with only water, and eventually found their way back to civilization, I've just built a progressive story, something you can connect with, relate to (on some level), and personalize in your mind and create a mental experience.

Telling your readers stories will connect them to you, and help forge an emotional bond between you and your readers.

4. Get them involved in the story
 
Holding your readers' attention is about getting them involved in your writing, and when you speak in physical terms, and paint a picture in their head, what you're actually doing is something much more powerful than just giving advice.

What you're doing is going from talking at your reader to communicating with them and getting them involved in your writing.

So what's the difference?

The difference is that when you're using visuals and experiences your reader can relate to emotionally, their imagination, and every part of them—their thoughts, feelings, and focus—is entirely focused on experiencing (in their head) what you're talking about.

With their imagination and their emotions involved, they begin to feel like they're part of the conversation you're having with them, because they're mentally wrapped up in it and they're actively participating and involved in the conversation you're having.

You're being interesting by relying on their imagination to arouse feelings; that holds their attention and gets them involved in what you're saying because, when they see the images you're building in their head, they see those images as their images; they feel as if it's their idea, and they feel a really connection because they're sharing it and experiencing it with you.

5. Build a relationship

The reason these techniques are so powerful is that they go well beyond just giving someone a basic piece of information, or talking to them about something they can use to benefit them in their life.

These techniques build and forge a personal connection that is based on how people have been building relationships and connecting with one another for tens of thousands of years.

* * *

People don't just want to know your content or information; as humans, they want to know a person and have someone behind the information they can connect with in terms of dreams, experiences, passions. So be interesting, paint pictures, share your stories and experiences, get them involved in those stories and experience.., and by doing so build a relationship. Do all that, and you'll have a captive audience.


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Chris Nosal blogs about marketing strategies at his marketing blog.

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  • by Kellie V Thu May 23, 2013 via web

    This article is very good. I've been struggling with coming across as too factual. The content is right on, but I've not been very successful with the connection piece. I do understand the concept of creating the visual, but didn't really put that into action when writing. Thank you for putting these very important points into a short, concise way that's easy to digest and take action on.

  • by MrBoz Thu May 23, 2013 via web

    Unfortunately this missive misses the mark in several areas. While using narrative, story and visual language are all useful, the most important thing a writer (or communicator) can do to connect with the audience is make it about them (the audience, that is).

    Basic human motivation boils down to calculations to seek pleasure or avoid pain. Given the quantity of information that we are inundated with, our filters are honed to quickly discern whether information will help us achieve either of those goals. Hence, a communicator must make the message relevant by calling out the need (in most cases, the gap between and existing state and a desired state) and then systematically outlining how the information presented resolves that need. In doing this, the message becomes relevant and captures the attention of the listener.

    The other techniques are cognitive - we tend to process, build affinity, and categorize information visually and through stories - Or about building credibility - relationships, expertise, or association to groups we have affinity for. However, if we don't first unlock the door through relevancy, we are speaking to deaf ears.

    Go back to the very simple Caple's model for copywriting - AIDA. First, get Attention (statistics, anecdote, eye catching visual ... etc.); next get their Interest by identifying the need which is being addressed; next, build Desire by introducing a solution to the problems (important to make the solution accessible to pertinent audience); and finally, call to Action by outlining next steps people can take to close the need gap.

  • by The HarlemGarage Thu May 23, 2013 via web

    Great article! I think with the overflow of information abound, people have a tendency to just force feed it with out any finesse...kinda like trying to feed the baby applesauce without doing the airplane spoon routine.

  • by Gracious store Thu May 23, 2013 via web

    These are great points. It is important to connect with your blog readers. When your readers see themselves in the story you tell, they will be moved, motivated and you will will their trust.

  • by Andrew Pasternak Fri May 24, 2013 via mobile

    @ MrBoz,

    I have to respectfully disagree with your rebuttal to Chris's post. You might have missed it but the irony is that his article not only uses those same core concepts of AIDA you mentioned, but it was also written in a way that illustrated the most effective ways to put those concepts to use (ie; give them life).

    In school, there is a significant difference between learning via first hand demonstration and textbook recital as is the case with your argument. But, then again, I might've just gotten lost somewhere in the midst of translation during that scientific explanation of the fundamental components comprising the proper adjudication of (said) theory of relativity.

  • by Richard Hussey Sat May 25, 2013 via web

    I think you have pinpointed a critical issue. There is no shortage of information and there's no reason to read your blog if you just pass on information available elsewhere. Blogs need personality and a unique viewpoint. Being disagreed with is better than being ignored. At least somebody has to engage with your content before they can disagree.
    The value of storytelling goes beyond blogging. Good website content should do the same. Get beyond features and benefits and tell stories about how the benefits of what you do will make people feel. That's how you get real engagement and real action.

  • by Shasur M Mon May 27, 2013 via web

    Great post. A picture is equal to thousand words . and it carries the message easily and swiftly. Infographics does exactly the same.

  • by Adrian Jobson Sat Jun 1, 2013 via web

    Great topic and some practical tips. As I learn more about my "emotionality" how emotions arise and the distinction between moods (which prevail) and emotions that ebb and flow I realise that we are emotional beings struggling with a rational world. I find that I am drawn to writers and articles that have earthy-ness and candour.

    We marketers should be vigilant about who we are and what we do - Once we think that we are doing something to someone, or achieving something i.e. a power over, ironically we start to lose what we wanted to do in the first place - i.e resonate with another.

    Rather than an "empathic work of art" perhaps rather a "triumph of substance over spin"

  • by Scott Coplen Fri Jun 7, 2013 via web

    Simply fabulous ideas. Righteous! These tips are not for everyone.

    Those who are on a mission to be perfect will listen and take action.

  • by Raf Echanova Sun Jun 30, 2013 via web

    It was an amazing article. That was my intention, to stimulate the minds of my readers, to create a style that will make them like they're watching a movie while reading my piece.

    This article sustained the momentum. Chris Nosal was brilliant.

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