Rage Against the Machine has a song called “Freedom” in which they say, “Anger is a gift.” I’ve been a fan of theirs since the nineties, and these four words have always inspired me to see my pain a different way. But is there a way we can leverage that feeling to make our blog posts more impactful?
Emotional Writing Grabs Attention
Whether we’re reading to learn, laugh, or distract ourselves, we’re constantly looking for reasons to trust and believe in the author of the content we’re consuming. Sometimes that’s done through digesting content we can’t find anywhere else, but other times, a piece of content might resonate with us because of the person who wrote it. Every author and blogger has their own style and way of communicating their opinions and expertise; we call this their voice. If someone’s “voice” is dry and uninspiring, it often lands like we’re reading a blank page of paper. Nothing gets through to us if we don’t connect with the content.
But how do we connect with readers if we’re writing about topics that don’t necessarily inspire passion or motivated action? We do this through emotion.
Emotional writing goes beyond teaching a reader how to bake a cake or change a flat tire. It makes readers feel something powerful, leaving a lasting impression on them. This is incredibly effective for topics most people consider dry because your readers can go on thousands of websites to learn how to do something. But adding an emotional element to your blog post about training a puppy to shake hands, as an example, gives the reader an entire experience they can’t get anywhere else.
When you write a blog post with emotion, you leave an indelible mark on site visitors that brings them returning to your website time and time again.
They’ll remember your story—they’ll remember you.
Let’s Explore How Anger Motivates People
When somebody gets mad about something, they get overcome with anger, and anger can inspire us to do irrational things if we don’t think through how it affects us. People use the term “seeing red” quite often because it gives the emotion a visual symbol that represents exactly what it does to us. And, when someone sees red, it’s almost like they’re blinded to rational thinking or acting.
This back and forth between acting angry and thinking angry reminds me of a metaphor Marilyn Manson once talked about on a television show I was watching a few years ago. (I don’t remember the exact show, but it was probably a talk show.) He used a pencil as a representation of anger. With the pencil as a tool to react to a situation, he said, you have two choices: you can either write your suicide note, or you can kill the person who hurt you. (Remember: this is a metaphor, not an actual recommendation to murder or self-harm.)
His point was this: if you internalize your anger, your emotion has the ability to seriously harm you. However, if you express that rage outwardly, you have a tool you can use to help you through your negative feelings.
Think Deeply to Find Your Productive Anger
Not all anger is useful, so we might have to dig beneath the surface to find those things that merge well with our content. For instance, if a teacher is writing an opinion blog about the state of teaching, they could use their anger about low wages to persuade people to think differently about the topic. Not only could they use personal examples of what they have to do to make a living or ensure their students have all the resources they need, but they could also include little anecdotes about their life as a teacher to add even more emotion to their blog post. That brings me to the key point of writing with emotion . . .
When you write with emotion, you tell powerful stories from your perspective that motivate people to engage with you and your content.
Anger Is Only an Example
Obviously, there are other emotions you can use to inspire your blog posts. I only use anger as an example because it is one of the most powerful ones we can feel. However, if you write your content well, other emotions—like love, happiness, nostalgia, etc.—can be just as impactful. Use those emotional experience to make your content even stronger, and you’ll be well on your way to writing more blog posts with impact.