So you’ve worked hard on figuring out what kind of articles you’re supposed to write. You’ve read all the literature on how to communicate with the influencers. And yet you don’t get anywhere, because you don’t connect with your audience.
And how can you get anywhere as a writer if you don’t have a connation? So how do you connect?
You’ve got to write
Writing isn’t something you’re just doing. It’s not a muscle you have that you have to start using. Writing is a talent. If you mastered it, your words are like wings, bringing your thoughts to the minds of others. But if you don’t, then your comments are prison bars, protecting your ideas and keeping them barred and sealed away from all but the most persistent.
You’ve got to put in the time, and the leg (pen?) work.
So if you don’t write, but you’re thinking about writing, then stop that. Write. Every day if it’s possible. It doesn’t have to be something that anyone can see, but writing is different from speaking. It’s slower and needs an understanding of how the written word works. And there are only two ways you can get the understanding, and that’s reading and writing.
It would help if you ideally did so as they communicate with each other. The act of writing a lot makes you read differently, and the act of reading a lot makes you write differently.
Edit your work, too, for it is only through the process of editing that you can indeed come to appreciate the more delicate inner workings of the written word. Writing is editing.
Are you not doing all of that? Then you will not link to your reader. After all, as I said at the beginning, your words will be locked under a layer of incomprehensibility, and that will make it so that no one but the most persistent will come to understand what you’re talking about.
And let’s face it; most of the readers on the internet are not very diligent.
Speak to them directly
I don’t know why most of the writers are writing in the third person. It’s not half as inclusive as the writing of the first or second. Maybe it had to do with writing being more formal in years gone by. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that books and newspapers were published only by people of wealth and status. After all, the written word was even more expensive because it had to be printed on paper.
Yeah, we’re no longer living in that age. We don’t have to be all pretentious and formal and write to the third person. We don’t have to say ‘one shouldn’t write in the third person,’ but instead, they can address each other directly, just as I do here.
This means that instead of me creating a small bubble that I’m telling my storey, apart from you and the rest of my readers, I’m making the bubble a little bigger, and I’m pulling you in with me. It feels far more cozier and much more professional. You make your friend the reader.
Even better, if you can, talk about ‘we.’ This draws the reader even more and makes the connation even deeper.
Do you know why most academic texts are so boring? Because they’re only trying to connect with their readers on an intellectual level. They’re not creating a connation with people’s needs and wants. Instead, they focus only on a mild sense of interest – and barely that. Academic authors are so captivated by their ideas that they forget about their audience.
And as a result, most students fail to read even one chapter in their expensive textbooks.
You’ve got to find a way to get in touch with the audience’s real desires and needs. In this post, I’m trying to relate to your need to relate and use it to communicate. You can tell me if it works (try the comment section below).
In reality, I could have used stronger emotions. I may have been aiming at your need to be part of, your need for self-esteem, and to think of yourself as special, sex, or status. If you can frame any article in relation to those feelings, preferably indirectly, you will be able to catch your readers ‘ attention and connect with them.
Why do you have to ask questions? And the reader draws on it. If the question is interesting and logically flows from what’s gone before, it becomes the reader’s question, and they feel like it’s not just you who asked it.
You give your readers, in other words, a more active role in the telling of your tale. You engage with them, and that’s pretty much the same thing as connecting.
Don’t leave your questions implied, though. Instead, make them clear and give them a prominent place. This would also make it easier for your audience to come back and find the point they’re searching for if they want to use what you’re writing for reference purposes (and you know you’re doing well if they’re using your text for reference purposes!).
Similes, metaphors and imagery
Similes and metaphors are great ways to reintroduce concepts that you have already used in a different light. This can help to clarify a point that might be complicated or make an argument even more convincing.
Honestly, though, these are not the primary reasons you should be using them.
The real reason you’re doing it is that it helps you to engage the senses. Most of the similarities and metaphors make use of visual elements, and the more senses you can engage, the more your audience will be drawn into your plot.
E.g., my wing-and-prison-bar metaphor under point one probably had you imagining wings of words and bars of letters. Those images, in turn, brought you further into the article and turned something from slightly fascinating into something that was engaging.
There’s no reason why you can’t do the same thing. And don’t be afraid of the simile (the ones where you use words like ‘like’ because ‘realization was like sunrise’). Yeah, maybe it’s not high literature, but high literature doesn’t connect with most audiences.
Instead, it serves to connect with a bunch of snooty literary guys who are probably too busy sticking their noses in the air to find out about your product, so let’s leave them to their Moby Dick and connect with everyone else instead.
We love stories – particularly if they tell of some hardship overcome. So they’re a fantastic way to connect with the audience. Tell stories about how you struggled as a kid before you understood something, how a friend needed to understand something before it all started to work out, or how this man at the bar never followed a particular philosophy, and now drinks himself to sleep every day.
Don’t you know these kinds of stories? Make them up, man! If your levels are scandalous, your audience won’t try to find out if they’re not real. And if that’s what you’re concerned about, tell stories about a rival, then it’s going to be impossible for them to verify the information (and they won’t want it).
In this way, you can use the power of storytelling without having to go through the trouble of having an exciting life.
And finally, if you get a little response from people, be sure to speak to them! This will create the feeling that you’re not only shouting from your Ivory Tower but that you’re genuinely interested in hearing what people think. So, when they say something, give a response. Even if all the answer is’ thank you for that suggestion! This isn’t just important to the person you’re talking to, because it’s not just the person you’re talking to who sees that you’re responding.
For every active reader out there, thousands of passive readers check the comment section without leaving a reply of their own. And your response is as much for them as it is for the person who sent you a message.
For this reason, if anyone is trying to set you on fire in your comment section, don’t just respond to them in your response, mind all the other people who are going to read the comment and your answer.
It’s not about the flamenco. You probably won’t be able to change their minds. It’s about the people who are going to read the comment and your response to that flamer. And you’ll look like somebody they’ll want to engage and connect with if you reply to a thoughtless troll in a good and constructive way.
We all hope to connect not only in writing but in every facet of life. We hope to connect to the library, the single bar and the dinner party of our friend. The relation is the prerequisite for success in some ways – undoubtedly in writing and in no small extent in life.
Interestingly, communicating in writing is the same in several respects as connecting in life. You want to drag it into your world and show it a little of what it is like. You want to show them that it’s warm and comfortable. You want to show them why they want to be there.
Pull that off, and you’re well on the way to a healthy relationship. All you have to do now is practice because you can not communicate via the cage bars.