Whether you’re blogging about the latest social media craze, drafting a flyer for a block party or tapping out a message to that college buddy you just rediscovered on Facebook, put some passion into it. Whatever you’re writing about, you don’t have to be the world’s living expert on the subject, but you do have to care. As every good speech-maker knows, people don’t react to your words, they react to how you react to your words.
Passion in writing becomes even more important in print or online, where the reader can’t be influenced by your tone, eye contact, or body language.
Michael Stelzner, who writes for the online magazine Social Media Examiner, is flat-out crazy about social media. It’s not just his business; he’s in love with it, and it shows. Contrast the corporate blog of Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, with that of Bill Marriott of the eponymous hotel chain and decide who loves his job more.
Some tips for writing with passion…
Write about something you understand. It’s not likely you’re going to have strong feelings about something you’re not familiar with.
Know who you’re writing for. This should always be the case, but it will be helpful if you know what you have in common with the reader. If you’re a 55-year-old man writing for mommies about toys, you’re going to have to think about what experiences you share.
Don’t load up your writing with facts and stats. Unless you’re writing a blog for engineers, most people would rather know the meaning of the data and how it can help them. If you’re writing about homelessness, describe one homeless family’s experience and leave out the chart.
Find your indignation. There’s nothing like a little righteous anger to get the juices flowing.
Tell a story. Relate not only what happened, but how you felt about it. Be vulnerable: people will consider it brave, and they will come with you.
Admit that you don’t have a clue. That happens so rarely that the reader will be intrigued.
Be yourself. You have a unique point of view and a voice that is not exactly like anyone else; that’s interesting. Are you edgy? Self-deprecating? Thoughtful? Irreverently funny? The local curmudgeon? Then be that.
If you want to engage people, get them on your side. If you don’t care, why should they?