Are you a newbie blogger struggling to find your voice? Have you been blogging for awhile and are discouraged? Wondering if it’s worth the effort?
Have you asked yourself:
- Am I wasting my time?
- Does anybody care?
- Is anyone listening?
- How come I don’t have more readers?
- Do I have what it takes to be a “successful blogger”? (Whatever that means.)
- Is this going to work?
These questions aren’t about education level or computer skills. Prior knowledge or experience or anything like that.
Nope. If someone’s asking if they have what it takes to be a “successful blogger,” what they’re really asking is:
Do I have empathy?
Because of all the skills you need to be good at blogging – perseverance, creativity, a unique voice – what you need most is empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. To put yourself in their shoes.
Blogging With Empathy
Blogging with empathy means understanding what your readers need and want. It means connecting with your readers.
The first step is to ask:
“Hey readers! What do you want?”
That’s how I figured out that most of my readers want to hear about books, blogging, and Kimber the Wonder Dog. (Not necessarily in that order.) It’s why I do a little of all of the above.
Once you figure this out, readers will want to read your posts because they feel like, “Hey! This blogger gets it! They know where I’m coming from!”
Empathy matters. A lot.
Are your readers fellow bloggers? Outdoor enthusiasts? Book lovers? All of the above? Maybe they’re coming home from a long day. Maybe they’re tired and cranky. Looking for some quick insights and helpful tips. A little levity. Something perky or uplifting.
They may not have the time or the energy to read through the blogging equivalent of War and Peace.
So keep your sentences short. Paragraphs pithy and on-point. Use headers and bullet points to break up text and make it easy on the eye.
See how this works?
If You Build It
Knowing and understanding where your readers are coming from and providing quality content that’s on target will work. It’s like that If You Build It scene from Field of Dreams:
Just like Ray Kinsella and his cornfield-turned baseball field, if you build empathy with your readers, they will come. It may take some time. Some patience and perseverance.
So get ready. Stick with it. And practice. The more you blog and empathize, the better you get at both. And your blog will work.
Hey readers! What do you want?
Image credit: Creative Commons License 2.0