How To Write A Blog Post That Makes Your Readers Gasp

Why evoking emotion is key to optimal writing

According to research, there are over 2 million blog posts posted every single day.

That's right.

Every 👏 Single 👏 Day!

What does that mean for you?

It means that you really need to bring everything you've got as a digital scribe in order to get your readers to be interested, click and actually read your posts. We live in an age of overly sensational headlines that are blended with subpar, gatorade-brained (I'm coining that as a synonym to "mediocre") posts.

As a blogger, you've taken one step past the casual writer. You've figured out by this point that you wear multiple hats.

  • First and foremost you're a writer.
  • You're also a marketer.
  • You're a reader.
  • You're a researcher.

The responsibility of these roles tend to cloud our priorities. As you have probably heard, "content is king." With that, you emphasize the importance of publishing over the content itself.

Hell I get it, I've been there before too (and it sometimes creeps up every now and then). We tend to spend 80% of our time publishing and 20% on the actual content.

We writers suffer.

Our readers suffer.

Heck, I bet your little Jack Russell Terrier, Spunky suffers.

Something's gotta give…

In order to navigate through the mud and reach the writer and blogger's "promised land" there are different skills, tactics, and practices that can take your blog posting to levels that have your audience salivating for more.


Make it a marathon — not a hackathon

Let's be honest with one another, bloggers are expert hackers. If you're on the web for hours a day, you scroll through the archives of rich information. That rich information offers you "secrets" in getting ahead. Maybe there are SEO hacks, maybe it's research on headlines that work.

Like stated earlier, bloggers believe in investing just 20% of our time creating content and 80% of our time with marketing.

What does this give us? The gatorade-brained, hand-me-down, garbage content that no one gives a damn about.

This strategy just doesn't work. Author and marketer Ryan Holiday in his bestseller “The Perennial Seller” notes, “writers are supposed to invest 80% of their time writing content and just 20% of their time marketing their craft.” That’s how you generate meatier posts that attract eyeballs.

This isn't to say that marketing and using specific avenues and tools to take your content and spread it don't matter. Holiday further goes on with, “Advertising can add fuel to a fire, but rarely is it sufficient to start one.”

The idea of your content is where it all starts. If you aren't willing to let that idea blossom and grow into an article or piece that truly inspires and adds value — the efforts are futile.

Spend an extra 15 minutes on a rework for your next piece. That's all you need to start out with. Take another look and see where you can improve the message.


Captivate audiences' emotions with powerful storylines

The most impactful book I've ever read was Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I've read it multiple times. I find every time I'm "stuck" I need to reread the book and I connect with a different part of the protagonist's story every time I read it.

You probably have your own book that evokes a similar soulful connection. There are few books that are undoubtedly transformational.

To put it simply, a strong story will do much of the heavy lifting for your post.

My most successful article to date (measured in terms of engagement and viewership) had a compelling story written into it. Of course, while I was living through it, things were very confusing. But like any good writer and story, sharing it with the world helps with the transformational impact.

If my own anecdotal account doesn't convince you, take Jon Morrow for example.

In reading his post, you can see from opening headline, all the way through the conclusion how he used the power of narrative to grip you as a reader and pull at your heart-strings.

Think about it. Have you ever thought of weaving in such great story ideas to your blog post? Sure, it requires a lot of work. But then, only if you could put in that kind of effort, your blog could manage to garner those elusive gasps and cries.


Be the Devil's advocate

Sometimes you're out of ammo. You're deep in the trenches taking on heavy artillery. It seems like no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to beat the enemy back.

The enemy of course here is writer's block.

Sometimes, it's just so frickin' hard to find the right ideas to write about.

When that happens, why not write about the opposite of what everyone is talking about?

People love controversy.

Be the dissenting opinion in your writing.

  • Is there another way of thinking about the problem that you've uncovered?
  • Do you have an unpopular opinion that you're willing to share?

One of my other successful articles was completely taking the "devil's advocate" approach to starting a blog.

I had heard and read countless times why people should start a blog.

So many people fail and so many people don't know what they're doing on a strategic level.

Worst of all, so many people are putting out garbage content into the ether of the internet.

I finally had enough. I wrote about why you shouldn't start a blog — a positive response came from the article, to say the least.

Medium blogger Burak Bilgin has a great piece on how he comes up with counterintuitive posts


Consider adding various forms of media to your posts

Writing is King.

It has been here way before many of the modern technologies and will be here long after some of the technologies die off (RIP Vine…).

That being said, readers are connecting with your content not only through your text but through your images as well. As per a study conducted by Blog Pros, of the 100 highest ranking blogs on the internet, there’s at least one image for every 350 words.

Can you incorporate a fantastic video in the opening of your post (take cues from the excellent Tom Kuegler and he uses great video content).

I personally love using gifs — I feel it's a great way to include a bit of my sense of humor into the content I create.

Your own dash of personality

If you are at a loss in where to get great free photos to enhance your content use Unsplash (if you haven't heard of Unsplash, you've probably been living under a rock…).

The Mission incorporates their podcast and audio forms of media in a lot of their posts.

There really is no limit.


So there you have it.

Here's a handful of resources to help you create content that will get readers to keep coming back to your posts, begging for more.

Hopefully you can find ways to incorporate all the methods. If not, even incorporating one is going to help you increase your ROI on every word you type.


👋🏻Hey there — I’m Jon

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