Channel your energy to your writing and not to outside distractions.
Fads pass through the blogosphere faster than a toe-tapping politician can talk his way out of a bathroom stall while an unamused cop rattles a pair of handcuffs.
- How do you keep a reader from leaving your site?
- By writing compelling posts.
- What is a compelling post?
- A well-written post that triggers an emotional response in a reader, which establishes a connection.
That’s why you must be passionate about what you write while keeping the content in your comfort zone. If you’re squeamish about what you write, it will be apparent to your readers. In other words, don’t write about something if your heart’s not in it because you’re worried about repercussions from friends or loved ones.
Don’t write about stuff that can come back and bite you in the ass, like your husband yelling at you because you bought expensive whipped cream cheese (on sale) instead of the more affordable (less air pockets), slab of cream cheese – a huge difference according to dairy aficionados specializing in cream cheese cuisine.
Uh, omit that last passage (or not). In all fairness to my husband of twenty-five years, sometimes while in the throes of the after-work crankies, we spew insensitive nonsensical crap before we’re able to satisfy our irascible appetites with a cream cheese smeared saltine snack. It’s all good. He apologized.
But I digressed. Back to the point on connecting with your readers.
I just revealed a marital melee, thus providing a peak into my personal life, or minutiae me, not blogger me, or avatar me.
Because the Internet is an intangible void, readers have an insatiable desire for intimacy and need to bond with the blog writer. The content must intrigue, surprise, engage, hold the reader’s attention long enough to form a connection with the brains behind the blog responsible for entertainment.
For colorless writing, readers visit websites with processed posts that feature news or “how to” and informational articles, or sites that provide solutions to problems. No emotional investment there. Just a quick information fix.
People are innate seekers of information even of the absurd. . .
Newman: I hear you’ve got some lip reader working for you. You gotta let me use her for one day. Just one day.
Jerry: Can’t do it Newman.
Newman: But Jerry, we’ve got this new supervisor down at the post office. He’s working behind this glass. I know they’re talking about me. They’re going to transfer me, I know it. Two hours, give me two hours.
Jerry: Not going to happen.
Newman: (Sinister) All right, all right. All right you go ahead. You go ahead and keep it secret. But you remember this. When you control the mail, you control… information.
Larry David is truly the master of his domain. Because of great writing and quirky memorable characters, we still quote Seinfeld episodes twelve years after the show went off the air.
We relate to Seinfeld characters because they are flawed human beings like us.
Since the Internet is devoid of humanity (and only reflects images of human souls), it is even more critical for a blogger to establish a relationship with his/her readers.
But not every blogger wants to reveal sensitive personal situations that can leave teeth marks on the ass.
So, what if you don’t want to write about your personal life? How can you still connect with your readers?
By injecting your personality into your writing or as it is called among literary types, voice.
What is voice?
In writing, voice is the way your writing ‘sounds’ on the page. It has to do with the way you write, the tone you take–friendly, formal, chatty, distant–the words you choose–everyday words or high-brow language–the pattern of your sentences, and the way these things fit in–or not–with the personality of the narrator character and the style of your story.
There you have it, the ingredients for creating your voice, the vehicle for your passion, and reader magnet.
If you’re still confused about voice, visit one of your favorite sites. Study the blogger’s style and tone inherent in each of the posts, and then analyze what attracted you to the site.
Experiment with different writing styles to see what best suits your personality and then practice, practice, practice.
If I miss one day of practice, I notice it. If I miss two days, the critics notice it. If I miss three days, the audience notices it.
Ignacy (Jan) Paderewski
Writing isn’t rocket science but it entails dedication and passion. To write compelling posts, you must enjoy the writing process, or otherwise it is torture. How can your audience possibly enjoy reading your posts if it pains you to write them?
When writing becomes torture, it’s time to take a bloggy break and refuel the creative brain cells. No self-flogging allowed. Just some chill time on the observation platform, a perfect spot to seek information for inspiration even if it’s absurd.
Embrace your voice, write your passion, and have fun doing it!