You may already have a blog because you know that beefing up a flattering, knowledgeable presence online can help you land a job. Or maybe you’re planning on starting a blog soon for that very reason.
But does your writing feel a bit dry? Need some help reaching out to and connecting with your readers? Blog posts, especially ones you want to catch the eyes of hiring managers or job tipsters, need to be either informative or relatable—and, ideally, both.
Some people struggle with how to create new information when the Web is already so crowded. Others struggle more with the emotional connection, often because they’re afraid (legitimately!) of the personal veering into the unprofessional.
Yet even if you want to keep things clean and career-oriented, the most successful blog posts create a connection between readers and blogger, which in turn leads to a connection with the blog or website itself.
What do we mean by an emotional connection? Something that will make a reader think, “Wow, this person is just like me” or “I am going through that same situation.” You don’t have to be gooey or border on oversharing if that’s not your style (it’s probably for the best); you just have to be honest and show your human side.
If you find your blog readers heading elsewhere after only a couple of visits or see them unsubscribing from your newsletter, one of the reasons could be because you’re not creating the kind of emotional connection they crave.
Here are some tips for creating a more heartfelt relationship with your readers:
1. Include personal experiences and stories
Just about anyone can write a blog post. It takes a good writer to make you feel involved in what they’re writing—but it takes a very good writer to make you feel connected.
Readers are more likely to comment, share your blog, favorite it and return again if they feel like you’re someone they’d want to get a cup of coffee with.
Sharing a story is an important step in showing readers that you’re a real person, just like them. Try stories woven in throughout multiple posts, or keep it as simple as telling a personal tale on your blog’s About Me page.
2. Think of your writing as an audition
The best way to keep a reader engaged is to treat your writing like acting.
How? Think of it this way: if you were auditioning for a role, you’d perform the script by depicting the emotion the director needs portrayed. In the same way, write depicting the emotion you want your readers to feel. Be willing to put your all into your writing, just as a professional actor would at an audition.
3. Don’t expect the muse to come knocking
You’ll probably get some of your best writing done when inspiration and emotion are present. Readers can have great B.S. detectors, and they will know when you’re faking it.
The double-edged sword here? Writers who only write when they’re inspired don’t get very far. If you’re committed to blogging, you’ll probably want to establish a routine, and that will involve writing on days when the muse is hiding out. That’s okay; any successful, established blogger will tell you they’ve learned to write through the lulls. Often the habit of writing even when you aren’t totally feeling it unexpectedly triggers writing that leads to a great story.
Tara Hornor writes for PrintPlace.com, an online printing company that prints booklets, business cards, flyers, posters, postcards, brochures and other marketing media. Connect with her on Twitter at @TaraHornor.