What Makes People Remember Your Blog Posts?

How do your blog posts make people feel?

Some emoticons—Alan Klim (Flickr.com)

Would you like your readers to remember your blog posts? I imagine the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!” – provided, of course, they remember them for the right reasons.

Apart from anything else, if your content is memorable, your readers are more likely to share it around and mention it to their followers and friends.

But I presume you don’t want people remembering your blog posts because they’re spectacularly awful?

You’re unlikely to recall a very boring, tedious post – but you might remember one that makes you angry or upset.

Let’s see what we can learn about this from the movies. Have a think……

  • Which are the movies that stick in your mind?
  • And what is it that makes them so memorable?

When I gave myself this exercise, these were the ones that immediately sprang to mind:

    • Bambi – because it made me cry (and that’s all I can remember about it!)
    • The Shining – because it terrified the shit out of me.
    • Mama Mia – because it was such a joyful, feel-good movie – I was smiling nearly all the way through.
    • Airplane – because it made me laugh until my sides ached.
    • Alien – because the monster was so disgusting – yuk!

I don’t remember that much about the content of some of these movies – but I do remember how they made me feel. 

People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel. (Maya Angelou)

How Do Your Blog Posts Make People Feel?

Maybe this sounds a bit irrelevant if you run a very tech-oriented blog, full of posts about search engine optimisation, WordPress plugins, blog security and all that malarkey.

“What’s with all this emotional rubbish?” I hear you say….”I’m just giving people facts, information, advice, resources. Isn’t this touchy-feely stuff for bloggers dealing with topics like personal development and relationship issues?”

Well if that sounds like you, listen up – because you might be pressing a few more emotional buttons than you realise.

Anxiety, an unwitting victim bwahahhahahaa

Anxiety, an unwitting victim bwahahhahahaa—bark (Flickr.com)

I’ve read a few techie posts that have almost had me in tears because they’ve scared or confused the life out of me. And I’ve read some that have filled me with joy because they’ve give me a solution to problem I’ve been struggling with. When that happens, it’s not just the practical help that’s important, though of course that matters. But the biggest takeaway – what I remember most – is the fact that the blogger has removed my anxiety by helping to resolve my problem. It’s the emotional relief that’s so memorable.

Some Quick Tips to Keep Your Readers Smiling

  • Avoid frustrating and annoying them with superficial or poorly researched articles. Try to provide content that genuinely meets your readers’ needs. Always make sure you fulfil the promise in your headline – failure to do this is almost guaranteed to leave your readers feeling frustrated and let down.
  • Be sensitive to readers with different views from your own. If you’re writing a post that’s a bit of a rant about something that’s got your goat, bear in mind that some of your readers might have other opinions. Don’t be offensive or insensitive, and make it clear you’re willing to listen to other points of view.
  • Always write as if you’re addressing just one person. This will help to make your writing much more accessible and appealing. You’re more likely to generate positive feelings in your readers if they can each sense you speaking to them as an individual.
  • Try to avoid boring them to tears – do try to make your posts an entertaining, enjoyable read and, if you can, add a touch of humour. People are more likely to absorb your content properly and recall it to mind afterwards if it’s fun to read.
  • Use striking images – both visual and in the form of vivid analogies. People have very ‘visual’ memories; we love pictures, so including striking visual images in your posts is a good way to make them more memorable. But you can also make your writing more vivid by using analogies – “word pictures” – to bring your posts to life. You’ll see many examples of this in the posts on this blog, and I find it’s often the analogies and visual images I use that readers appreciate most and feel able to relate to.
  • Do your best to clear up misunderstandings. With the best will in the world, they happen, right? If a reader leaves a comment suggesting they may have misunderstood you, for goodness’ sake, respond in a way that tries to clear up the confusion. And apologise if necessary, especially if you think you might have cause offence.

Do you agree it matters how we make our readers feel? What else do you think we can do to respond to our readers’ emotional needs?

As ever, I’d love to know what you think – so please leave a comment below if you have any views or tips to share.

And, if you’re in a caring, sharing frame of mind and think others might enjoy this post, please don’t forget to share it around :)

All good wishes,

Sue Neal

Buffer

Filed under: Blogging Tips

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