One statistic I often share with people is that an average of 70 million new articles are being published on blogs every single month.
But another statistic is the following: most of those articles are mediocre, because the bloggers themselves spend an average of 3 hours writing, editing, and formatting their articles.
It’s overcrowded, but not ultra-competitive.
And one of the reasons for this is that mediocre bloggers write mediocre sentences.
You, I’m guessing, don’t want to be mediocre.
You want to be great. You believe your blog posts are fantastic.
But you see, everything you write … every blog post, story, article, paragraph … begins and ends with a sentence.
Truth be told, most bloggers focus on facts. Well, a sentence must contain and translate emotion as well.
There’s an emotional undertone you must become aware of, and you must truly feel what your readers feel as they read your article.
That’s why, here at the Art of Blogging, our mantra is, “Punch the damn keys!”
You must feel the weight of each word as you type it into your computer, you must truly get a sense of what each word makes one feel.
Here’s an example of probably the best six words ever written into existence:
Yeah, I know that it’s not sure Hemingway came up with this one, but this is brilliant, brilliant writing.
Six words. Just six. And our imagination fills in the blanks. Thinking about the reasons someone would sell baby shoes, if it’s a tragic story, a mundane occurrence, something much more sinister.
So, when you are trying to get people to respond to your requests, follow your blog, or donate … you need to write the kind of sentences that makes people feel.
Here’s how it’s done.
1. The Four E’s of Emotional Writing
Adding emotional appeal to a series of sentences is no easy feat, but it’s not impossible either.
That’s why I am a strong believer that before writing an article, we should have a clear set of takeaways we want to share with your readers. That way, we can entice, explain, empathize, and educate our readers.
A brilliant sentence makes us use our imagination. We must be careful not to insult our readers’ intelligence by over-explaining, and we should be equally careful not to abuse their brains by starving them of important information.
What, who, how, and why are the most powerful questions you can answer, and each of your sentences should move the action forward and provide a strong incentive for your readers to imagine.
Pro-tip: Use active verbs and concrete nouns and you will naturally create images. Use phrases like “imagine this” or “picture this” to signal to your reader you are about to paint a picture.
3. Punch the Damn Keys
I know I’ve mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth repeating.
Punch the keys.
Write your truth. Write about the things that set your soul on fire. Powerful writing is about translating into words what you care deeply about.
It’s not just about facts, about knowledge, it’s about the experience behind that knowledge, about your vision for the future, or your mission as a blogger.
Why are you writing this article? What’s in it for you, from an emotional perspective? What do you want your readers to do after they finish reading your article?
The truth is… you’ve got to write about the topics that truly interest you, about the ideas you’re passionate about. Write your truth. Always.
4. Don’t Think! Just Write!
You write your first draft with your heart. Silence the inner editor. Don’t think. Just write. Thinking comes later, when it’s time to revise, edit, and proofread your article.
But when you set out to write your first draft, you must let the emotions, the vision, guide you and inspire you.
You must also silence the inner critic, the one who worries about what readers might think or say.
Like I previously said, write your truth. With passion. With conviction.
The most powerful writing is the side-effect of those who are brave enough to take a stand.
4. Show a bit of swagger!
Seth Godin calls it “sprezzatura.”
An old Italian word that comes as the by-product of someone writing with a bit of nonchalance.
Don’t just share the facts. Inspire. Motivate. Entertain.
Make people feel something, show off your personality.
Write like yourself, with no regard for silly rules that might stifle your creativity.
That’s the trick.
Yes, it might take you a while, and you may have to write like a bunch of other people at first, but always write with the goal of developing a style that belongs to you, and the best way to do that is by writing with a certain nonchalant demeanor, as if you’re trying to make your readers fall in love with you.
Words are powerful. They really are. They can even change the world a bit. But you must write be brave enough to write your truth, and to do so with a bit of style.