Have you had the experience where you excitedly pressed your mouse – click – all ready to engage with an article, but when you got going … wah wah …
You clicked away by the second paragraph?
The content didn’t add up to the promise of the headline and overall the writing felt s t i f f. And not in the mannequin challenge or planking kind of way, but the boooring kind of way.
Stiffness happens (get your mind out of the gutter for a sec, okay?) when the life force is sucked out of the words. Meaning: there’s no personality, no heart, no connection to a universal truth or emotion. Not all writing is going to be philosophical, and that’s perfectly okay, but what will keep people reading is them sensing that there’s a real life human being on the other side of the screen.
Although robots are pretty awesome, and have gotten more human like over the years (who hasn’t yelled at Siri like she’s a real backseat driver screwing up directions?), we don’t want our writing to feel like it was written by one. As readers, we want to feel like we can connect to the writing on the page because it triggers something alive in us.
We do this by bringing our innate human-ness to the work.
Humor is a great way to do this. It breaks the ice, makes challenging or complicated topics more palatable and it helps us relax — increasing comprehension and attention.
While most people assume humor is veerrryyyy difficult, it’s actually not so hard at all. In fact, you can improve your funny factor in just a few simple steps. If you want to know more, go ahead and sign up below to get access to the Free Resource Library, where you’ll find multiple downloads on just this subject.
Adding personality is another way to ensure your readers will want to engage with you again and again. Your personality is what connects people to you in real life and it will do the same through your writing. Those little quirks, the nerdy reference, the aside – all will bring you closer to your readers and get them coming back for more.
To get a little gushy, bringing more heart into your writing is another tool at you have at your fingertips. Heart connection comes through sharing stories, taking some vulnerability risks, and finding your personal connections to the topic. Share your challenges, learnings, and growth edges as you navigate this thing called life.
And don’t be afraid to get real. Sure, we aren’t going to wade through paragraph after paragraph of FEELINGS ABOUT YOUR TERRIBLE BREAKUP. I mean, we’ve got our own sad shiz to deal with. But who doesn’t love a good human story?
Other than Stalin. One can assume he doesn’t give a fig about your troubles. But you’re not writing for him, right?
And lastly, when writing, think about the writing that you’re drawn to or the voices online that you follow. For many of us, we’re drawn to the people who we feel like we get to know through their words. Reading their work doesn’t feel like reading; rather, we can hear them saying these words as if we were sitting next to them, latte with foam heart in hand. (The foam heart is crucial.)
Really, creating connection in any context is all about humans coming into relationship with other humans. That’s what keeps us interested and curious, and what makes us engage. The same is true for our writing. Bring who you are. Bring your humanness, bring your aliveness to the work. Doing so you will constellate connection in others. This helps your words land and be remembered. That point you were trying to get across? It will be the one that sticks and leaves people hungry for more.
So don’t wait to up your connection factor and engage readers today. And if you want a little help along the way, go ahead and sign up for access to the Free Resource Library, if you haven’t already. You’ll be glad you did.
Or at least … I’ll be glad you did. Because it will mean I made all those lovely PDFs for a reason. Ur welcome.
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