HowTo: Attract an Audience by Writing with Style

The sheer number of blogs in existence makes a writer’s most difficult task distinguishing themselves from the pack. From an informational standpoint, this is practically impossible. Somebody, somewhere, is sharing the same knowledge you are, and odds are they’ve been doing it longer and have more authority. How then, can a beginning writer break through the wall of anonymity and attract a large audience?

The answer is style. Writing is an art form, and although it can’t be taught, it can be learned. Understanding the principals of this article will help you channel your inner author and attract a devoted following.

1. It’s All About You

Blogging is constantly referred to as the pinnacle of narcissism. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The driving force behind all great blogs is personality. There are thousands of sites posting marketing advice, but why does everyone read Seth’s Blog? It isn’t because we couldn’t find the information elsewhere, it’s because of Seth Godin. We trust Seth, but more importantly, we like Seth. That’s why we keep coming back.

Your personal charisma is the only unique aspect of your writing. Don’t hold back. Display your intelligence. Let your readers know who you are. Be brash, be funny, be controversial, but above all be yourself. Attracting an audience is about forming thousands of individual connections, one reader at a time.

2. Never Take the Conventional Angle

Unless you’re lucky enough to break a fantastic news story, the subject of your writing has already been covered. If you’re not going to say something different, don’t bother. People will read your redundant post and think, “Been there, seen that, not interesting, why bother reading again?” Summarizing what everyone already knows provides zero value to readers.

It’s always possible to take a different angle. Instead of agreeing with what’s right, find an aspect of conventional opinion you know is wrong and show everyone why. Use tangible examples from personal experience. Instead of taking the seller’s perspective, write as if you were a customer. It takes effort and creative thinking, but writing with a fresh perspective is the only way to create a user experience worth repeating.

3. Write With an Edge

Writing with an edge requires a degree of talent and courage few people possess. Don’t hold yourself back for fear of coming off as arrogant or aggressive. You may offend people but you’ll also gain admirers. At the very least, people will remember you. The worst possible reaction is no reaction at all.

Writing with an edge means writing with wit and eloquence. It means writing with fire and authority. It’s the only writing that leaves readers awestruck, eagerly awaiting every word. Don’t be afraid of your passion. Embrace it, nourish it, and your writing will leap off the page.

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  • http://www.netfrontiermarketing.com Alex Goad

    All good advice. The trouble is, it’s easier said than done. Everything can be learned to some degree. Captivating a large audience by the feat of your wit alone is not necessarily one of them…

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    I completely agree, Alex. Writing with style certainly isn’t easy, but it’s down right impossible without confidence in your own intellect.

    • http://www.themagnoliadiaries.com magnolia

      Yep. Same here. I amuse and amaze myself with my ability to communicate well in my day to day life. I’ve even been known to do pretty well on paper occasionally, but this blogging thing has me speechless for once in my life.

      I sit down and stare at the computer screen. What the hell do I say? How do I keep it witty and interesting each and every day? I’m stumped.

  • http://www.steve-olson.com Steve Olson

    John,

    Your writing just keeps getting better! This is the great advice on blogging… there is an element of danger in it, and to write with passion is to expose yourself.

    Thanks man.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Thanks a lot, Steve. That means a lot coming from someone who writes as passionately as you do.

  • http://daraho.wordpress.com David Raho

    I am so glad that you have learned so much from me. Please feel free to be inspired again when you visit my blog.

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  • http://www.essentiallifeskills.net ZHereford

    Hey John, great article!

    Where and when did you acquire such wisdom and writing style for one so young? Your day job doesn’t suggest your requiring the writing skills you possess.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    I don’t know, ZHereford. I still have a long way to go. The thing that I think has helped the most is reading a lot, ever since I was a kid. All the best stuff was absorbed unintentionally.

  • http://www.onlinemarketerz.com ZaifulZin

    Its not easy to maintain and write with good stylish. Sometimes it tooks more then 2 hours to finish one articles . However good info for me to improve my wrting skills

  • Quixote

    I suggest the process begins with thinking clearly, then expressing it honestly and I agree, with style. Style without content would be a wet petard – a pretty one, but a fizzle nonetheless. But good content badly written wouldn’t have much of a bang either – so, you’re right and your own blog shows it.
    Peter K

  • http://successfromthenest.com/ Tony D. Clark

    I think you nailed some really great points here, John.

    Finding your voice and style is often the most difficult obstacles for new writers.

    It does come. It just takes time. And a lot of sounding like other people :)

  • http://www.zoomstart.com Shane

    Style counts for a lot. It’s your voice. It’s your brand.

    The best way to learn it is to read it and absorb it. It’s that collection of your favorite writers that are the base ingredients that form your own style.

  • http://www.MotivationalSpeakerSource.com Dave

    Nice tips.
    I agree with the list. People will more likely read articles of the author whom they know best. First impression is an important factor in convincing the readers to read the article.

  • http://dweezeljazzart.com/blog/ DweezelJazz

    Thanks for the great article. There are many articles and books about writing and yet I found your post very interesting and inspiring. You’re doing what you advise. Cheers!

  • http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?www.jollygreengirl.blogspot.com Susie

    Great Post… have you ever read the Tipping Point? I think ideas are contagious like virus… and you have to know how to make it sticky.. great writing achieves that. I enjoy reading your blog.. Feel free to check mine out sometime.. Cheers

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    I’ve never read the Tipping Point, but I’m familiar with the concept behind it. I agree, ideas a very much like viruses. Have you read Seth Godin’s ebook “Unleashing the Ideavirus”?

  • http://www.60in3.com 60 in 3

    I’ve noticed that the blogs I like the most are the ones that combine personal viewpoint/experience with useful information. For example, you didn’t just tell me about a diet you heard about, you actually told me about your experience with it. That’s the kind of article I like the most.

    These blogs all have a certain style which is halfway between story telling and advice giving. Not quite sure how to quantify it, but it’s what keeps me coming back to a blog.

    Gal

  • Sjefke

    “Somebody, somewhere, is sharing the same knowledge you are, and odds are they’ve been doing it longer and have more authority.”

    So, where did you pick up the idea for this post – blogging about blogging LOL

    Sorry John, just giving you a hard time – you are right and it makes sense – good reminder (although I’m not blogging myself). More bloggers should read this….

    Thanks for sharing it!

  • http://www.BusinessAndKeynoteSpeakers.com Ellen

    Great article. I’m with you on those tips, although i think it needs some time to establish it before succeeding with it completely. We should start slow and be aware of the things that might happen.

  • http://www.BusinessAndKeynoteSpeakers.com Ellen

    Great article. I’m with you on those tips, although I think that it will take time before we will achieve success. We need to slow things down and avoid hasty decision.

  • http://www.secretofunlimitedprosperity.com karenlim

    Great post

    Currently I am blogging about how law of attraction can help people to improve their life:-
    http://www.secretofunlimitedprosperity.com

    I am going to try out tip 2 and see if it works.

    Cheers, karen

  • http://www.johnon.com john andrews

    This article and the phrase “just do it” are really all any one needs. Thanks for pointing out the obvious… again. We’re all human, and so we need to hear it over and over and over and over and over again.

    Thx for the blog.

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  • http://www.socialnatural.com/blog Gabriel

    Fantastic article! Developing a voice that nobody else can imitate will distinguish you from the crowd of voices, who are all the same.

  • http://bhls.wordpress.com BVG Janaka das

    Dear Editor, Pick The Brain.

    Thank You for shearing with us so openly Your Support, Love, Care for our Supreme Success. You so lovingly was write “it can’t be taught, it can be learned.” Many of us lose this feeling and encouragement: “I can learned it.”

    We are really need Your encouragement and support to reawaken in our natural position: “Live Balances and Healthy life full of happiness, blissfulness and knowledge forever.” — “it can’t be taught, it can be learned.”

    Thank You so much.
    I will also try use these writing advices from You in our services. :-)

  • http://chinesetools.org/ Jasonf

    hope to read more.

  • http://pamelakennard.com pamela kennard

    thank you! i recently started blogging and it has been an intimidating process. it has been many years since writing anything creative. so i am very insecure about my writing, but realise that this is part of the process.
    your advice is dead on, i do believe it really comes down to the writers voice and whether or not the reader can connect.

  • Leonardo

    Nice words. Helped a lot.

  • http://customizedfatlossreview.com/ Jack Leak

    I think it’s the combination of having interesting posts + good graphics + personal humor that attracts an audience. Whatever it is, I think you’re doing a great job! :)

    - Jack Leak
    Customized Fat Loss Review

  • Robin

    I think you’re doing a wonderful job with this blog – truly wonderful. I try to keep my blog (www.nitwitseattle.com) fresh and clean-smelling with relevant content, like you, and hope I do half as good a job!

  • anon

    principles, not principals

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  • mark

    its some nice of information you’ve shared. Thanx.

  • Emma Blakley

    oh…do any of you guys know how to lure an audience in when they’re reading your speech???or like, any good quotes about growing up or moving on and who said them…
    thanks so much:)

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  • Emma Blakley

    oh…do any of you guys know how to lure an audience in when they’re reading your speech???or like, any good quotes about growing up or moving on and who said them…
    thanks so much:)

  • Jini

    nice…i hope i can write a book too 

  • L SE

    I think getting the core issues right and getting to the point are the most useful tips. That’s at least how I justify BBC’s unfaltering popularity.

  • http://www.mobiers.com/ Mobiers.com

    Knowing your target audience is one of the most important part of your writing and engaging your readers. Always write attractive headlines and have awesome and meaningful content.

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