28Apr'14

How To Gain Your Reader’s Empathy

how to gain your readers empathyMost successful blogs have one thing in common. They offer information, ideas, and tips that readers can implement. Bloggers who have been there and done that and who can put themselves in the reader’s shoes win over the confidence of their audience. Establish empathy, be a problem solver and you’ll acquire not just traffic but dedicated readers.

Here are seven ideas to strike a chord with your readers:

  1. Back your assertions with facts and figures. Numbers speak louder than words. Figures are objective and can be corroborated. Elements of education and trust are introduced into content that carry verifiable figures.

  2. Link to respectable content. This is another activity that helps foster trust with the reader. Articles with links to established sources get shared and bookmarked more. There’s also a subconscious benefit to being associated, even loosely, to big names and brands. Relevant external links give search engines a clearer picture about the nature of your content as well.

  3. Write about what you know. Or in other words, choose the subject of your blog after considering your knowledge and interest in the topic. Words flow that much more easily when you know what you’re writing about and especially if you enjoy doing it. Most importantly, you can provide insightful content and not just information that is already floating around on the internet in one form or the other. You build on ideas and processes that add value with your content.

  4. Keep learning. There is no end to the learning process. And if you wish to acquire and maintain a reputation of being a subject matter authority, you have to endeavor to stay at the leading edge of your chosen subject. Keep aside time to interact with other opinion influencers and participate in forums. It will allow you to understand the readers’ needs and also the stakes involved. Higher the stakes, more valuable is an informational article and greater the incentive for you to create researched content.

  5. Know what your readers are looking for by studying analytics data. Does your blog provide answers to subject-related questions floating around on the internet? Does your content attract comments and inputs from interested readers? Search for breaking news, events, and questions about your niche. Forums, Google News, Social Media, Quora and keyword tools that use Google Autocomplete can help with ideas.

  6. Communicate in a tone that your reader can relate to. Remember, it’s about empathy. Reach out through your choice of words. Use a conversational tone and be one of them. Ask questions, it will get your readers to think and encourage them to share their perspective with you.

  7. Share your learnings. Clearly written posts on how you acquired a skill, how steep was the learning curve, how long did it take, did you have any moments of epiphanies, etc always make for great reading and present you as a knowledgeable well-wisher to the readers. How-to videos, descriptive podcasts are options to consider as well. Let them know that you have gone through similar challenges and come out the other side successfully. Inspire them to do the same.

Creating reader empathy is more than a technique to be implemented. Every blogger is expected to do this. In return, empathy leads to trust and stronger relationships with those you aim to serve. What experiences have you had with empathy? Do you find it natural or difficult to convey? I want to hear your stories and learn from your experiences as well. Please share them below.

 

About Brett Relander

Brett is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder with specialties in mobile marketing (apps & sites) and social media marketing. He is a featured contributor to Entrepreneur.com and SocialMediaToday.com as well as a speaker and small business advocate.