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How to Write Posts People Will Remember

I am fortunate enough to meet quite a few of my blog’s readers face-to-face at conferences. It’s always a surreal and enlightening experience.

One of the most interesting parts of the experience is having readers share with you the posts that you’ve written that they remember most. On some occasions they remember things you’ve written years in the past!

Funnily enough, though, these often are not the posts that you want them to remember.

What people don’t remember about your blog

As a blogger who focuses mainly upon how-to and informational posts, I find it fascinating that people rarely tell me that the post they remember most fits into that category. It’s rare that anyone comes up to me at a conference and says:

“I remember that post on dPS from 2009 when you taught us how to use longer shutter speeds to create motion blur! I loved it!”

Or

“I’ll always remember that post on ProBlogger when you listed ten ways to use images on posts. What a great post!”

It’s not the how-to or informational posts that people remember.

What people do remember about your blog

Writing a post

Image copyright Christopher Nuzzaco - Fotolia.com

The posts that people come up to me at conferences and remind me about are:

  • stories
  • playful posts (humor, or writing in a different voice)
  • rants and emotive posts
  • inspirational posts
  • opinion pieces
  • posts about failures, problems, and needs people have

While informational posts are important as they help people on a day-to-day basis, it’s the more heartfelt posts that create memories for people, and make them feel a connection to you as a blogger.

What posts do you remember?

What is your most-remembered post by readers?

What posts do you remember that others wrote long after they were written?

What others said on this topic

I had a discussion on this topic on Google+ (connect with me here) recently. Here’s some of what my smart network there said:

“People appreciate helpful posts, but they bond over what you put some of your guts into. That’s where an emotional connection is formed.” Dixie Vogel

“Thinking back to the memorable posts by bloggers that I follow… They are often the ones that connect me as a person to that blogger.” Brett Morrison

“Posts where my opinion is clear.” Gary Hayes

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. tushar says:

    i remember the posts where the author, instead of beating around the bush, talked straight about the topic itself. The relevant posts are what i like and remember

  2. I remember the posts that give me some useful actionable information that I am still using. Lots of wonderful posts, but if I am finding some tool or process incredibly useful, chances are I will remember the post that put me on to it.

  3. Giving your posts charisma and personality will help to make them more enjoyable. Consider adding a little humor, slang, or any other type of personal touch that is appropriate for your reader base.

    or else write a post on how to write posts people will remember ;-) Actually I remember reading on problogger itself about 2 years ago, a post on writing sticky, memorable blog posts :-)

  4. I agree with what Dixie said, it’s the emotional posts that get remembered, good or bad.

    The informational posts will get you visitors and maybe even convert better because people are looking for information and/or products, but the emotional ones will get you remembered.

  5. Dean Saliba says:

    Obviously I have not had the opportunity to go to events and meet readers yet but I do get emails about old posts they have remembered and it does give me a nice feeling. :)

  6. I remember posts where the author invites me int his/her world and lets me see that behind all the successful cloak is a real life person with everyday struggles. I find myself rooting for that person and taking what they say seriously.

  7. Chad says:

    “It’s always a surreal and enlightening experience.”

    Surreal and enlightening as in you meet someone and your initial thought was, “Wow, I never imagined that you had a face for radio?” ;-)

  8. Michael says:

    I agree with this directly I think it is important to be able to reveal the real you instead of hiding. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Muhammad says:

    I always prefer to visit sites that contain some tips either for blogging or for natural remedies or recipes etc so these can be good practices when writing blogs

  10. Jay Schwartz says:

    I remember posts that touch me in some personal way. Those are the ones that give me something to think about and reflect on … long after I’ve read the last word.

  11. I’m not sold on ranting in a blog. Rants can end up making you look very unprofessional!

  12. The posts that I remember the most are ones that have an informative and valueable lesson as well as the emotive and involving personal experiences. Then you have something to connect what you have learnt to and its easier to remember.

  13. fricknfrack says:

    Fantastic Website! I have just recently started blogging, and there is SO much out there to learn. And here you have it in one spot. Thank you and Write On~

  14. I think it’s at the point of convergence between heartfelt storytelling and actionable problem solving that the real magic takes place. If you can show readers ‘how to’ while also drawing them in with humour and inspiration, you’ve found the holy grail!

  15. Jenny Shih says:

    I’ve been thinking about this topic quite a bit lately. My readers tend to remember the inspirational posts and the ones where I tell stories. I get excited to also write technical how-to posts, but they don’t result in the same emotional reaction. Fair enough–I remember the inspirational ones best, too.

    What I do wonder is what is the right balance between the two, providing how-to information versus providing inspiration (something they’ll remember)? On provides something tangible a reader can act on and the other is more likely to connect with them at a deep level (and be shared via social media).

    I don’t have an answer to this question (YET), but I would be curious to hear other’ opinions.

  16. Marko says:

    Unfortunately we don’t have blogger events where I live, but I would love to meet some people from the blogosphere. Articles that I remember the most are usually those written in a humorous way.

  17. RJ says:

    I have found that posts with character catch my readers attention. If the post is too academic sounding or lacks any flavor there is not as much interest. I have been trying to be more creative and adding more humor to make an impact.

    If the post hits the right note with a reader then they can make a connection and begin to paint a picture with their mind.

  18. The posts I remember are real, and strike an emotional chord with me. Usually, they are from people that are going through situations that I am going through, or from people who have done what I am trying to do.

  19. Jen Brown says:

    Talk about perfect timing!

    Your post confirmed a conclusion I reached last week after sitting down to look back through the results of my first 9 months of blogging. I blog about endurance sports like triathlon & running. But the personal posts (about my own experience as a personal trainer who had gained weight or my fears) always produced more engagement than the technical ones about improving sporting performance. Mind you, I find them much harder to write!

    So I now have a plan of my posts for the next 3 months to make sure that there is going to be a good scattering of ‘personal’ posts in between the technical ones.

    Regards
    Jen

  20. YES! Oh man, I want STORIES in my blog posts. I don’t want some how-to list. I remember a great journey some blogger took or an accomplishment. If I want a how-to or news I’ll write some non fiction book or the paper. The thing that separates bloggers from other writers is the authenticity (there’s that word again) and window into their lives.

  21. This is exactly the same point I keep on making. Internet is full of sites producing information. How is your blog different? It has to offer something more meaningful than factual information only. It needs to form a bond, create a sense of connection. Hence blogs like zen habits and passive life income are so huge as well as loved. Because of the people behind them. Every post should be an opportunity to connect with your readers. I have written about this in this post: PEOPLE DON’T FOLLOW BLOGS, THEY FOLLOW OTHER PEOPLE

    http://writinghappiness.com/people-do-not-follow-blogs-they-follow-other-people/

    This is my philosophy. That’s why I follow problogger because I want to hear from Darren in the first place. But because this is a ‘resource’ blog, I appreciate other voices as well. Anythoughts?

    Marya

  22. Veehcirra says:

    I remember blogs that made me cry, smile, angry the ones that got me emotional can never be forgotten, when the blogger gives of themselves in their writing that’s just priceless.

  23. naijadotcom says:

    A highly educative post.

  24. Hi.. Darren, I want to tell you that inspirational stories have a lasting impact on my mind and I read them more than once. Specially the field in which I want to grow, success stories of that field inspires me a lot and compels me to read and learn as much as I can. Thanks for nice post.

  25. James Greg says:

    Great titles also will make you remember what the talk was all about. I remember reading a great title “The Pimp, the Grocer and the Hit Man: Magnetise Your Headings Using the Power of the Unexpected” here on problogger which made me come back and read it again and again and this also got me addicted to problogger and I realized how rich in information and guidance this site is. sometimes titles can do wonders for your site. I as an example got hooked to here all because of a great title.

  26. iskandarX says:

    How could I write something to make everyone remembering my blog, such a great idea and hard to think about it :).

  27. Great tip!! Thanks!

  28. Dixie Vogel says:

    Wow, I feel like a celebrity, being quoted in a ProBlogger post! :) And it’s all quite true. People remember stuff that hits them emotionally, the human side. In the bigger picture, I am a human who tries to be helpful. So they get the priority right.

    Thanks, Darren.

  29. Maria Blogs says:

    This is great information i will put this to use. I am starting my blogs and i am looking around the internet for tips like this. I now know people need to get attached on the blogs more than being informed.

  30. Ana says:

    I’ve seen this in action in myself:

    There are a few art blogs I follow.
    The authors share some tastes so there is bound to be a certain amount of repetition.

    I’ll check them all, but I remember, connect to and love those that:
    1. Say something about the featured art, and
    2. Say it so I see they enjoy it and that they are human.
    (If they answer comments, even better.)

    Otherwise it ends up being “Oh, look, pretty pictures. … What’s on the telly?”

    I come back to blog that offer me a person behind the blog repeatedly, link to them, praise them.

  31. Iam so glad i read this because i own a fitness website and i am taking a different approach to fitness blogging. The reason is beause if you look at other fitness sites they will give you stats and figures about everything but no one wants to read about that … just give them the workout and how to do it and they are good. So what i do is make a video of the workout routine and break it down in the post and before you even get to the video there is a motivational post about staying inspired by my own personal stories … glad to read this and thanks/

  32. I just believe it is heart related. When someone truly speaks from the heart with honesty it strikes a cord with the reader. One’s passion and conviction can really be felt through the written word whether in a book or on a blog. To me this is what makes it so memorable. I don’t have to agree with everything written, I just really want to know where you are coming from. Who are are? Why do you think that way? I don’t have to agree, I just want to know where you are coming from. Like you mentioned, a personal connection.

    Chris

  33. Bougie Girl says:

    Inspirational posts definitely stick out in my mind. I have been reading Problogger.net for a very short time however, a majority of the posts on here have inspired me. In fact, they have spurred me into much needed action regarding my own blog. Keep the inspiring posts coming!

  34. Daphne Gledhill says:

    As an avid blog reader, I can definitely say that the blog posts that stick out in my mind are the ones I can relate to. Also, I think it’s great when authors put some of their own personality and personal experiences into their posts.

    Daphne Gledhill
    Free Email Marketing