Writing That Develops a Personal Connection With Your Readers

Have you ever felt a personal connection with a blogger who you’ve never met and have no real reason to feel a connection with?  

You read their blog day after day and in time come to feel like you know them—as if their blog posts are almost written as private messages to you.

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This has happened to me numerous times over the years. I almost end up feeling that the blogger is my friend, even though I’ve never actually had personal contact with them.

I’ve also been on the other side of that relationship quite a few times. I regularly meet people at conferences who come up and say that they feel like they know me even though we’ve never actually met.

That personal connection can bring a blog to life!

In Today’s Episode How can you foster this personal connection with readers?

Listen to it here in the player above or over on iTunes here.

  • Tell personal stories
    • Sharing your own stories, not only shows you have knowledge, but you have experienced it too
    • Stories make you more relatable to people
  • Write as you speak
  • Use personal language
    • Incorporate language that makes the reader feel you are talking to them
    • Use the word “you” when you write
    • This moves the topic away from theory and makes it more applicable
  • Picture a person while you’re writing
    • A simple way to change the tone of your writing is to actually write your post with a person in mind.
    • Chris Garrett talks about this a lot and encourages bloggers to visualize a person as they write.
    • Similarly, I like to develop reader profiles, which I find helps me avoid writing for a nameless crowd of readers.
  • Base posts upon REAL reader needs
    • The more you write about real needs, the more you will connect
    • People feel connected if they feel you understand what they are trying to overcome
    • Get in the habit of asking your readers what their biggest challenge is
  • Write about Your Readers Feelings, Fears and Dreams
    • What really connects people is when you write about what they feel, think, fear, and dream.
    • This makes your reader feel you are speaking to them on a deeper level
    • An example of this was my last newsletter where I asked readers what their challenges were?
    • The responses were fascinating, I analyzed them in a spreadsheet and even made a word cloud on the topics
    • Strategies for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome was a topic I got from these responses
    • After the show went live, I received messages from listeners that felt I was speaking directly to them
    • This is the power of understanding your readers dreams, fears, needs, and challenges.
    • Create that kind of content!
  • Go Off Topic
    • I try to keep my blogs on topic, but I do find ways to weave in other elements of my life
    • My Instagram and Twitter accounts give glimpses into my life
    • Occasionally, I’ll blog while on holiday or from my couch with a beer
    • These things seem to show me as a real person
    • Have an outlet to share a little about your life and “humanize: yourself as you blog
  • Multi-media
    • Different forms of media can also humanize you
    • A picture puts a face with the name
    • A podcast gives you a voice
    • Video not only shows a face and voice, but body language too
  • Attend events
    • Attending events is a powerful way to build relationships
    • Online events like a Ustream chat session or a Twitter #blogchat is also an opportunity to meet and relate with readers
  • Get a reaction
    • Readers will feel a connection when they comment or participate in some other way, such as polls, competitions, emails, sharing, etc.
    • 31 Days to Build a Better Blog
  • Write from the heart
    • One of the best things I think you can do is to allow yourself to FEEL something about what you’re writing about.
    • Write on topics that mean something to you.
    • Write with passion.
    • Include how YOU feel about a topic.
    • Writing in this way takes some vulnerability but as Robert Frost says:
    • No tears in the writer – no tears in the reader
    • No surprise in the writer – no surprise in the reader.
    • If you’re not willing to go to a personal place it’s unlikely your reader will either!

What else deepens personal connection for you?

That’s enough of me talking. What has your experience been? Whether it’s your experience as a blogger reaching out to readers or as a blog reader feeling connected to other bloggers, what deepens that feeling of personal connection for you?

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  • Kevin Shoesmith

    “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” Perhaps the most succinct summation of the power of emotional connection in any art form: writing, photography, music, theatre.

  • Ryan Michelle Jacobson

    Funny you mention the music, because I usually listen to Hans Zimmer or Danny Elfman while I am writing. When I used to work in data analysis, I also had to listen to music. It really helps me. I thought I was the only one who listened to this type of music. HAH!

  • That’s a very nice advice. I would love to visit you again.
    Thanks for sharing

  • What if you don’t have personal stories, some people have a boring life, nothing exciting to share?

  • I’ve only had time to read the summary but I was blown away, it’s so full of amazing wisdom. Thank you so much for sharing this. Others might have created an extremely high quality paid product out of this. Thanks again.

  • Hi Darren. I’ve been listening to your podcasts for a while now (usually when doing the washing, watering the gardens or when walking). Thank you for your useful words of wisdom. As a Family Adventure Blogger, I feel better when using a personal tone in my posts as opposed to the “guidebook voice,” and reading blogs, I am more drawn to those using their own voice as well. Thanks again for your great podcasts!

  • A Freda

    I find it fascinating that even though I write popular science the personal articles are the most popular ones. It seems that even though some topics might be ‘interesting’ or trendy (like the processed meat WHO announcement) but nothing seems to beat MY OWN experience. Thanks for the tips,definitely worth bookmarking 🙂

  • Lup Wai

    Clear to the point. Thanks for sharing!

  • this was one of the most helpful episodes I’ve heard so far from anyone that deals with improving my blog. Thanks so much for sharing

  • My Inner Chick

    One of my favorite bloggers said: “It’s not so much about the story, content, photos, or metaphors you use. No. It’s about how you make people “FEEL.”
    This has been the best advice I’ve ever received!
    Thank you for the tips!

  • Bre

    Hi Darren, thank you so much for sharing! This has been a big struggle for me, as I’m just starting a blog. I haven’t found my “writing voice” yet, but want to make sure I stay true to myself and personal. But, that’s easier said than done. I can’t wait to apply these tips and see how it goes. 🙂