The strongest connection you can make with people is of the emotional kind. I watched only one episode of the NBC hit show, but I was impressed very favorably. No, that’s not right, I’m talking about emotional connection –- I was smitten. By the time I realized that I had hit the TV remote button “on” (I never watch TV) I was totally into the show, advertisements and interruptions included. That is the effect you want to have on visitors of your blog.
Some may visit you by chance, just like I did by flipping the TV on, and may have never otherwise found you. Some readers may find you while surfing another site through a link to your blog in the blogroll. Or the visit may be the result of a Google search. How people find you matters, of course, and I will talk about it in another post.
Right now I want to focus on what they find when they come into contact with your blog. How can you build a blog that reflects who you are in a genuine voice, and resonates with people at a level deep enough to keep them coming back?
It’s About Them, Be Yourself
If you watched even a few minutes of Heroes, you know that each character feels authentic. But authentic is not enough. For emotional resonance and connection — ordinary, personal, and even vulnerable are better. Be one of them, you’re a person just like your readers. People sign up to support others who are like them.
And ironically, the more you are yourself, the more others will identify with you. Strong brands are built upon differentiation; I cannot think of anything more inimitable than you.
It’s Your Story, Tell it Like you Mean it
This goes hand in hand with being yourself. Use your own words and expressions to relate to your readers in the most concrete and simple ways you can. Blogs are more like online talk. But of course since they are written, check your spelling and grammar.
In Heroes you can follow the stories of many characters. And still remember where everyone was and what he or she was doing when you last saw him or her. Stories allow people to put themselves mentally in place of the protagonist. They are mental practice. And nobody can tell your stories and examples from your life as well as you do.
They are your Words: Pick Powerful Ones
I hinted at it already. Powerful and effective words do not need to be complicated. In fact, the simpler, the better. Let your passion shine through. Imagine that you’re writing about Hiro Nakamura screaming a big hurray of joy. Arms raised, big smile on his face, sheer delight in the moment. Yes! That’s how you want your reader to feel. I did it, I overcame an obstacle, I learned a new skill, I am absolutely excited at the prospect of explaining this business deal to you.
The most powerful words are those that give you that delightful jump inside. Think about the emotion you want to communicate, and find a way to do that with a story instead of explaining a process. That is if you want people to try things on, to rehearse them in their heads.
It’s only talk, yet talk can change our lives. There is magic in great storytelling, that magic is what pulls at your heartstrings and keeps you coming back for more. So there you have it: be yourself, tell it like you mean it, and use powerful words.