The Big-Time Blogging Mistake That Will Make Readers Forget You
Your reader? She's busy, busy, busy.
She started her day with a to-do list longer than War and Peace. Then her boss dumped a new project on her desk this morning that's due at the same time she needs to duck out of the office. Not that she can afford to duck out of the office, but it's the only time she has free to pick up cupcakes from Costco to drop off at her kid's classroom Valentine's Day party. There she is, waiting in line at Costco and scrolling Facebook when she happens upon your post. And because you have a grabby headline, she clicks.
Here's the problem.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
Because it's true. If you don't connect with your reader on an emotional level, she will forget you. It'll be her turn to check out at Costco, so she'll stop reading halfway through your post and never come back.
Bonus: Get this free printable cheat sheet of the best emotions to evoke in your reader.
The Blogging Mistake That's Driving Your Readers Away
Lack of connection is the number one blogging mistake that will make your reader forget you.
But if you touch her heart? If you make her mad, or surprise her. If she cries, or smiles, or laughs. If she feels inspired or ashamed. That, she will remember.
In fact, that's the crux of the Sticky Blogging approach: How you make your reader feel.
If you don't make your reader feel something, she certainly won't share your post or leave a comment or join your mailing list. She might not even finish reading your post in the first place.
After you finish your next draft – or even before you start writing – ask yourself: How do I want the reader to feel?
- Empowered or inspired
- Ashamed or guilty
You don’t have to pick just one. Maybe you want to start out making her feel angry, but you want to lead her to a place of empowerment at the end. Or maybe you have a sad story with a happy ending.
But do make her feel something. Without that, you will most definitely not convert her to a fan who keeps coming back for more.
Get Your Free Printable
To help you during your writing process, I made a handy chart of emotions. But to be clear, this isn't just some boring chart listing 72 random human emotions. It is a beefy list, but the real value comes from the fact that I highlighted the emotions that are most likely to bring you more social media shares.
Here's a preview:
For every post, you should be able to look at this chart and pick an emotion to match what you're trying to make your reader feel.
- Download the chart. You'll get the printable, plus get my free 5-day email series on how to get more traffic with fewer posts. Just click here to download.
- Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be nice and sturdy.
- Hang the chart. Hang it by your desk, on the fridge, or wherever is most likely to remind you while you're writing.
- For each post, pick an emotion. Ask yourself: How do I want the reader to feel? Then as you're writing and editing, let that emotion shine through to the reader. Bonus points if you can evoke a dark green emotion because those are most likely to bring you social media shares.
Claim your spot in my free blogging course.
What's the last thing you read that made you feel something? Books, blog posts, or the backs of cereal boxes all count. Leave a comment and let me know!
i am finding the sticky blogging SEO course very helpful. it seems that after all these years of writing, google is finally finding me. now all i have to do is find a way for my pages on the topics i want to rank for to show up! i guess i’m being picky. hahaha!
Great article! And a great reminder for me as I step into the “blogging world.” Took your Sticky Blogging class, BTW, and have seen a considerable improvement in online engagement, so…thank you! But back to the question :-), the last thing I read that made me feel something was an email from an online influencer. She was sharing her personal struggle with confidence, fear of failure, and being visible online. Her story was so real, raw, and relatable that I was drawn in, and closed the email with a new respect and admiration for her transparency!
I was just thinking about this the other day!! How can I make my content stick out? I love humor so I try to infuse it a bit everywhere, but this is really going to help narrow down my focus. The cheatsheet is also really going to help. Thanks!!
I’m in the middle of the Blog Smarter program and feel lots of feels!
I love this! Thank you for this resource.
The last thing I read that made me feel something was an Instagram post from Kari Samuels. “If you can’t remember what you’re passionate about, it’s probably because you’ve been trying to please other people.” That hit home.
The last time something resonated with me was your free course. After completing it, I felt like a super writer. I had it open the whole time as I created my next blog post. Thank you so much, Kelly. You’re amazing.
So so true, Kelly! Love the post and the resource – thanks for sharing!
Robin, I’m so glad it resonated with you!
Great tips – thanks!
Thank you, Chandra!