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.
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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- A Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content: Ann Handley on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]