I know my keyboard from top to toe. I’ve been writing professionally for ten years for a wide range of contexts and scenarios — various businesses, NGOs, communities, etc.
No matter if I was in the freelancer’s shoes or wearing the storyteller hat in my daily job, I always aimed to write genuinely. By that, I mean conveying my style and approach in stories that touch people’s hearts and give them a strong sense of feeling that is hard to forget.
Stories heal, connect, sell, endorse, repair, damage, help us feel less alone, and the impact that they can have on someone is astounding.
Learning how to express emotions through writing in the digital field is a powerful tool we all need to practice. No matter if you are a CEO, a volunteer, an activist, a creative entrepreneur, a food blogger, a marketer, or anything else, you too can explore this universe and craft your writing skills.
You can build and maintain your voice and writing style, no matter the context. To do so, you need to find out what lies underneath your words and build from there.
In this article, I walk you through one area you need to deeply understand if you are interested in conveying emotions through your writing, not just throwing empty words on the already super crowded Internet. If you learn how to manage and internalize it properly, you will notice that your writing improves severely and reaches more people.
Let’s hit the road.
Convey emotions on your website by writing the way you are talking
If you give a damn about being authentic and building healthy relationships with your readers, then there’s no doubt about the fact that you care.
Caring is a constant preoccupation that implies time, energy, feelings of all kinds, and focus. It is also a robust approach to developing stronger bonds and keeping an audience near you in the very long run since no relationship (digital or non-digital) can survive and grow without such an emotional investment.
Besides that, writing content on your website the way you are talking is crucial because that makes you-you. In a world where we are constantly pushed to be in a certain way (more popular, less anxious, more confident, less complaining, more questions, fewer answers etc.), the simple exercise of listening and transform internal thoughts into stories is already an important victory.
Maybe it sounds naive and childish, but the truth is that you can’t pretend to be someone else. Even though it may work for a while and you succeed in misleading some of your readers without them knowing it, it doesn’t last long.
People are smart, and they can feel that you are not true to yourself, and you are not writing out of your expertise or experience; you just pretend. When this happens, they are gone forever, and you have no chance to reclaim the lost trust. It’s done.
Nobody wants to stay around frivolous folks who are trying to be something else just for the sake of grabbing attention and interest. In the digital world, these often equal more traffic, more clicks, maybe even a better SEO ranking, but does it really matter when they are not aligned with who you are? If you’re in this particular scenario, then maybe you are fighting the wrong battle.
Sleep on it: Would you like to write just for the sake of popularity and traffic, or would you prefer to express your personality and get together people with similar values with whom you can build greater things?
There’s no right or wrong answer, and it just takes you on different paths.
Furthermore, the reason why you need to dig deeper and achieve this balance is that folks get in touch with you on several communication channels. They read your website, the blog, they follow you on social media, they come across interviews you gave, they enjoy your newsletters, maybe they even meet you in the offline world.
Sooner or later, if you are not authentic, they will find the corners you cut and get disappointed. You need to be you no matter the topic you are writing about and gather people who resonate with your inner-why and appreciate this clarity.
“What I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while.” — Jocelyn K. Glei
I’m aware that we live in a world where recipes are the new mantra. However, there are no instructions out there about how to be you. You just need to follow your inner whispers, live in harmony with them, and translate everything in behaviors and attitudes.
You can’t be Seth Godin, Jocelyn K. Glei, Jason Fried, Swiss Miss, Austin Kleon, Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin, or anyone else. They are they, and you are you. Just accept the simple yet challenging to grasp the fact that you are more than enough, you have something to say, you matter, and you will get a precise clarity in how you approach writing on your website.
Read further to understand why being vulnerable and authentic enables more dialogue, which leads you to a loyal audience and better content.
Good writing on your website implies getting personal
I’ll be straightforward and say it out loud that I don’t have a framework or a blueprint, but I guess you can easily find an ultimate-resource out there. Take a look if you want, but yet again, the answer is much more intimate then you may think or like to believe.
This doesn’t mean that it is easier, not even close, but it does imply that once you embraced this self-discovery path, the road does only go high from there.
What works for me every single time is to keep in mind that I only write for one person. Someone I care about, with whom I would gladly have a coffee and chat about those particular ideas because they genuinely interest me. This scenario helps me get rid of a bunch of anxieties and get my hands dirty. I feel relaxed, filled with good energy, and able to highlight my personality.
“The more I want to write something, the better I write it. I’ve realized that if my writing is shit, it’s because I don’t care about the topic. Right now, I’m writing something I’m fired up about, and the words, phrases, and angles are flowing.” — Jason Fried
Moreover, similar to Jason Fried, Basecamp’s CEO, I can write the way I talk when the topic I am covering means something to me, and I feel the need to put my thoughts out there and share them with the world. If I’m not open to chat about it in the offline world or if it doesn’t suit my interests, it will surely not be handy in putting together the piece of the puzzle for a piece of writing on the website.
This is how good writing gets personal — you put your skin in the game and craft words out of your experiences, no matter how good or bad they were at that time. The simple fact that you learned some lessons which can be valuable for your readers is enough to convince you to start writing and publish a new article on your website or your blog. By doing this more often, it will start to feel like a reasonable thing to do, where you enjoy your flow and let words fly.
For instance, I wrote a piece about how collaboration with publishers within the WordPress community brought a lot of frustrations and a waste of time, energy, and money. I did that after almost four years of working with them on multiple levels and gathering lots of valuable insights. I did not try to find an empty spot in terms of keywords and write an article just to be popular.
In fact, I didn’t even imagine that it will get traction, and more people from the open-source shared the same perspective. It was a bonus, not a goal to accomplish — an effect of being authentic and providing thoughtful takeaways.
Conveying emotions through writing can’t be forced. It’s just the outcome you can get on your website if you assume what you are writing about and how you approach those specific ideas. However, you too can do that because no matter where you live, your background, what is your current experience, and stories to share with others. It’s more a matter of bravery and being vulnerable than a game that only a few of us can join.
📸 Photo credits: Katerina Nedelcu