Empathy connects you to your audience.
You want to be an influential blogger.
You need to be one because you have important ideas.
You are as intelligent as other bloggers, and you have a lot to share with the world.
You are smart, innovative, and sociable, and you convey this through the language you carefully write.
You have these great qualities, but they won't do any good if you do not connect with your audience.
Without an audience, your writing only benefits you.
The way to develop a faithful blog community is to know your readers and empathize with them.
Empathy is the highest evolved human skill, allowing us to think and feel as other people do.
It requires the capacity to imagine yourself inside the mind of other humans.
You speculate about what others feel, andthe emotional centers of your brain experience the same feelings as the people you observe.
For example, you have a close friend (who happens to be a reader of your blog).
You love this person.
Your friend has an excellent relationship with her mother. They are close, like best friends. They are intimately connected, mother and daughter.
The mother develops breast cancer, and dies just a few months.
When she passes, you observe your friend closely. You see the anguish she experiences because of her loss.
You feel bad for your friend, but it's more intense than that.
Your brain experiences the pain and loss. Neurons in your brain mimic the emotions that overcome your friend.
You cry with her because you feel the same loss.
Psychologists call this empathy, and many humans experience it intensely, like they are able to jump into the minds of others and detect what they think and feel.
Luckily, empathy is a skill that can be practiced and improved, like learning to play the piano.
You refine your skills through practice as you pay attention to other people's feelings and your own reaction to them.
Your highest capacity as a human and a writer is the ability to empathize with other people and then act on your feelings.
"The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling."
How well do you know your blog audience?
Most likely you have a vague understanding of who your audience is.
To bond with your blog community, you have to overcome this narrow knowledge.
And, you can do it.
The process isn't easy.
But, you've already taken the first step. You are conscious of the need for empathy.
You must become better acquainted with your readers yourself to practice empathy.
This requires that you:
You have some studying to do, but the knowledge you gain will benefit you and those around you. Most importantly, the information will help you act with empathy to connect to your reader.
"If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far."
How to stalk your audience in order to act on empathy in writing your blog.
Of course I am referring to harmless stalking from a distance to become familiar with your reader.
Not only do you need to know your reader, but you need to take action to enhance your empathic skills in connecting with your audience:
Check Out the FREE downloads of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index and The Ideal Reader Profile
I would love to hear and learn from your experiences and ideas. Please share with us in the comment section below. How do you make use of empathy?
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