The internet has many facets, but one of its most popular ones is without a doubt blogging. People blog for many reasons, but no matter the motivation, one should be passionately interested in what he or she is creating. There is an over-saturation of information on the worldwide web, and there is simply not enough time for readers to process everything. In other words, content that is probably high-quality and informative might never make it out of the pit of anonymity, for the simple fact that it doesn’t engage with readers. When interesting and informative are no longer assets, bloggers have to come up with something else: emotional triggers.
Use Emotion to Engage with Your Readers
At its core, every personal blog regardless of what is written on it, conveys the desire of the writer to communicate with other people. Although the internet has opened many doors that once seemed impossible to unlock, it has failed to completely satisfy the most basic of human needs: social empathy. Most people open their browsers and use search engines to find what they need. And then, they leave. The average time a visitor spends on a blog is somewhere between 2 and 6 seconds. If they find something interesting, maybe they will stay for a couple more minutes. We like to call them unique visitors.
But wouldn’t it be awesome if you could make them linger a bit more or turn them into daily visitors? I believe that in order to stand out from the crowd, you should try to reach out to the target audience. Remember that awesome teacher that you had in school? The one who talked so passionately about God knows what that you felt your insides warm up? I had one, and he taught me a great lesson, as cliche as it may sound, emotions are what make the world go round. Moreover, although there are some truly excellent writers out there, writers who make excellent use of grammar, they lack that essential ingredient. Words have more power than you’d think, and in the end it is the successful manipulation of words wherein the power of a blogger lies. To understand what I am talking about, take a look at this clip: The Power of Words.
How Personal Involvement Helps Your Blog
Blogs aren’t unique. They may have been unique ten years ago, but today they are popping up everywhere. This means that in order to succeed you have to become proactively involved. Don’t be afraid to tap into the most powerful of human resources. You can be sure that sites like Wikipedia, which offer accurate information about everything look like a lot of “bla bla” for users that aren’t trying to write a 30 page essay. Here are some more tangible benefits that personalized blogs have:
1. Social Media:
Many bloggers are aware that inbound marketing is closely related to the correlation and relationship between social media and SEO. In other words, social media platforms have created the perfect environment for people to share their thoughts and become part of a community. As a matter of fact, search engine developers have also become aware of the fact that popularity is the best algorithm. Readers are more likely to share a well-written, personal and engaging article, than an impersonal 2000 word verbosity. That is the reason why social media is yet another important accelerator in marketing strategies and not a strategy itself. Every professional search engine marketing firm is aware of the tremendous power that social media has.
2. Food for Thought:
Emotional triggers will make people engage with your content. User engagement can be understood in the form of comments, shares, likes, tweets, +1s and other reactions. Give your readers something to ponder upon, and make them feel closely related to your content. In the end it is a good long-term accelerator that facilitates positive outcome.
3. Personal Branding:
The main reason to why businesses start their own blogs is closely related to the creation of a personal brand. It is no secret that there are more emotional buyers than logical ones. You can also look at blogging in a similar way.
4. Organic traffic:
Original and customized posts are better for SEO. Articles which generate natural links, lead to better organic traffic. Moreover, the Panda algorithm is focused on high-quality content which is shared on social media platforms. Penguin is interested in pages which naturally attract people.
How to Stand Out from the Crowd
Although I encourage people to become more personal in their blogging habits, you shouldn’t make it all about yourself or be overly dramatic. Be that cool teacher that you admired in your childhood. This means that you have to put your fingerprint on what already is great content. Here are a few tricks that will help you on your way to success:
1. Emotional triggers:
I was talking about emotional triggers earlier. These triggers are what bring people to your page. I like to call them incentives, because they have the power to not only attract people, but also persuade them to read the rest of the content on your site, maybe even share it. They can come in the form of catchy titles, psychology-driven hooks, or an enticing meta description.
2. Unique Content:
It is not enough to come up with an awesome title and description. The content has to be good in order to leave people wanting for more. While personal writing comes natural to some, others struggle to bring that needed twist to their stories. If you are having difficulties you should try to crack or joke, or ask a question. Every person has questions, and no matter how successful you are, it is only human to reach out to others.
3. Catchy Article Titles:
Find feel good, inspirational titles. Focus on titles that are bizarre, shocking, inspiring, awkward, hilarious, or moving. Moreover you can play with emotions like love, lust, anger, and friendship. Decide what type of blogger you want to be. If you want to be funny, will you use sarcasm or humor? Try to think what audience you are trying to attract, and develop a strategy beforehand.
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Tug at the Reader’s Heartstrings
Remember the saying “Curiosity killed the cat?”. Humans are as curious, if not more curious than cats. This is why you have to create unique titles and descriptions. Make them personal. People like to read stories. Did you know that Twitter users re-tweet a lot of “personal stories” be it success or simply a thing or two someone did to overcome their situation. For example, would you rather click an article with the title “Risks of Obesity”, or “How I managed to Overcome Obesity”? With the second title I already give hints to two things: I have a possible solution to your problem and, I am also a living example that it works. As a result the title is not only a problem solver but it is also motivational story. On the other hand the first example looks like something I took out of my Anatomy Book.
Another great title idea would be something that hints to a controversial post, for example a rhetorical question. While solution givers only show one side of the coin, How to posts accompanied by rhetorical questions exemplify both disadvantages and advantages. With such an approach you are more likely to get reactions from readers. Even disapproval is better than an empty comment box, because the whole idea is to generate a discussion. Another example of argument generators are top lists, because most people don’t have the same tastes. Yet again, you are fueling a productive
Last but not least, motivational posts are incredibly popular because they create that warm fuzzy feeling we hate and love at the same time. Nevertheless, this strategy should be approached only after you have a decent number of followers.
Adding a personal twist to your blog is only one of the many things that should be done in order to gain credibility and traffic. Sadly, it is something that most bloggers forget or fail to do. As bloggers we write a lot. Some subjects are more fascinating than others, and to be honest I don’t feel that all topics are naturally interesting for me. Nevertheless, I try to make the most of things, and enjoy topics through discovery, questions and personal experience. In the end it’s not only information that attracts readers, but also emotions.