It is easier to talk to someone face to face, with co workers, friends, family, and even the person you meet at the library or the bar for the first time. But communicating with someone you have never met? That is exactly what we are all doing every day via blogging, aren't we? But then why are there so many blogs that we just did not want to spend time reading after that first line?
We all write for different reasons. We might want to discuss something that inspired us at work, or we may want to share a personal feeling, emotion or we might at times want to write to get other people's opinions on some specific situation that we might be facing at the time. In these circumstances, since we are the only ones who are completely familiar with what the reasons are and what we are feeling at the time of our writing, it is very easy to fall in the trap where we sort of leave out the details and assume our readers will get our point. Think about it for a second. If after reading an otherwise good article, we are left with an impression that the article was good but was really directed at someone else, we are likely to feel alienated and may not ever feel that association with it to go back to read more…..
What is it that leaves an impression on us the first time we read someone's writing? As for me, I always look for that connection in the writing, something that is invisible but felt in the words they wrote, even in the tech blogs. Yes, blogs filled with technical jargon are sometimes more appealing than some personal blogs. Why is that? What makes some online readings pleasurable than others?
I believe its all about communication. Communication is at the heart of building relationships and I believe blogging, as a means electronic communication, should be no different than face to face conversations. With every sentence we write, we are building a quiet relationship with our readers. So it is of utmost importance that each and every post is written with the purpose of engaging our readers.
We as readers don't even know at what point in time or with which post we develop that relationship with some blogs or their writers per se. We realize this only after we have gone to read those blogs more than once and then added them to our favorites, to Technorati, to delicious, joined their social network communities, and then we want to read them more and some we even add to our homepage. We all do this don't we? I keep seeing the same people/blogs over and over in many of the online communities I have joined. That is because once we find a great blog, or a blog writer who might be authoring more than one blog, we just do not want to lose them. We want to read everything they write and learn the techniques that make them unique.
As blog writers, that is exactly what our aim should be. To learn to connect with our readers, to make them want to come back to read us more. I am still at initial stages of this journey, but following are a few points that come to mind each time I sit down to make that attempt at writing articles:
- Making your point clear to the reader at the beginning of the post will avoid his confusion. If I am not sure what I want to say, then the readers are going to feel I am simply wasting their time.
- Write as if you are talking to your readers. This is the only way I feel I can write and express myself. It makes me feel much more comfortable in saying what I want to say, a process that helps me find my voice.
- I personally find it easier to write as if I am talking to just one person, one reader, not a whole group of them! Because when I start thinking of my readers as a group of people, I get nervous and the stress starts to build up. You know how when you see a huge billboard with someone's face on it, and as you are driving by, their eyes move with you? I always find that concept fascinating. If I can have that one person, one reader make some kind of connection with what I write, I would feel I have been successful at writing.
- Write what you feel most passionate about. We have heard this before, haven't we? I have to be honest and say that I have tried to write about blogging, and about the technical stuff but that is not where my heart is. I write about improving life skills, personal development and thereby explore means to make our lives better. Whatever the subject of your writing is, you've got to love it to be able to talk more about it. If you love your topic, it'll be easier to talk about it with passion and that will show through your writing.
How can I say this? Because that is exactly what brings me back to read my favorite writers.
I am sure you have something to share on what makes for great writing and why you favorite some blogs. Would you share it with us in the comments?