I’ll be writing a series of posts in this thread that have to do with writing in general and how to best write to connect with your blogging audience. The reason for doing this is two or three-fold; first, I love to write and by this point in my life, I feel that I need to write. It’s become somewhat of an addiction for me. By writing about writing, I’m somewhat satisfying this craving. So let it be known, most of what I do here is out of pure selfishness.
Second, while I may be selfish, I also love helping people and if I can do something for at least eight hours of every day and if I’ve gotten good enough at it to share some tidbits with you, I think I’ll do just that. Writing is one of those things that, even though I engage in it so frequently, I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning about it. I’ll never know enough. I like to learn and as I do, I’ll share my experiences with you here.
Finally, there are a great many people out there who would either love to learn about writing specifically for blogs or about writing in general. We’re unique individuals who find satisfaction in the smaller things in life. We read and write and love to share ideas. Perhaps we can start a conversation here about these types of things.
The Necessary Mindset For Connecting With Your Audience
When writing for a blog, there’s one big rule you need to follow. If you follow this rule, you’re likely to grow your audience much, much faster than if you weren’t to follow it. What is this rule? Basically, it’s that you’re not better than anyone else. As a matter of fact, you’re worse. A lot worse, but you may know something they don’t, so you’ll explain it to them in the best way you know how.
Have you ever read something that was written by someone who, you just knew, thought they were better than you? As if they were talking down to you in some way? Even if this person was an expert in their field, being pretentious through writing is almost never a good thing. Actually, it probably is never a good thing. I can’t remember the last time I’ve ever heard someone say, “Wow, I was talking with that lady for over an hour and I found her to be completely pretentious. I loved that about her.” The general public can’t stand pretentious people.
I was emailing with a friend a while ago and over a period of time, I expressed a few rants about human civilization. You know, normal, everyday things that might get on my nerves. As I apologized to my friend for going off on another one of my tangents, she told me that it was fine because I was actually kind of funny. The best part, she said, was how I was so self-deprecating. “Self-Deprecating?” I thought. Really? And it was humorous? As I pondered this outlandish claim, I sort of came around to her way of thinking. I thought back to my rants and realized that they were sort of funny. And I realized that I did put myself into them and claimed that I wasn’t any better than the people I was ranting about. Did this create some sort of a connection between my friend and me? Did my openness allow her guard to come down so she could read what I had to say without rolling her eyes? I think it may have. And honestly, I think it helped a lot.
Big Words and the Boring Factor
Have you ever read something that bored you to tears? Have you ever read something that made you ask, “What the heck did I just read?” And no matter how many times you reread what you read in the first place, you still couldn’t figure out what the author was trying to say. This type of writing is so annoying. I can’t stand it and I think it should be banished from the world. Most of the time, it’s the result of an author attempting to impress you. The issue is, they are having the opposite effect. They’re making you angry and annoyed and they’re making you not want to read anything else they’ve written. There’s only so much time in the day and we can’t be wasting it on nonsense like that.
The big word and boring factor goes hand in hand with the pretentious issue I described above. They’re one in the same and what’s worse is that these characteristics of certain writing styles make it seem like the author isn’t actually a person. I mean, who can write like that? Seriously?
So, what do we do? I’ll tell you. When blogging or writing emails or just writing for the pleasure of it, connect with your audience. Write like you mean it. Write like you’re the last person on earth, as if no one will ever read what your fingers created. Write with honesty an integrity and if you do, you’ll notice something very profound. You’ll notice that people want to write back. You’re blog comment numbers will rise. You’re email response rate will shoot through the roof. You’ll notice that your articles get shared more often and you’ll notice your popularity rise. Readers enjoy clarity, authenticity and a real person who they can attach themselves to. Basically, just be yourself. Don’t be fancy when you’re not and don’t show off when it’s not called for.
When you write with genuine integrity, good things will begin to happen.