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How to Engage and Delight Your Readers (So They’re Begging for More)

How to Engage and Delight Your ReadersOnce upon a time there was a 42-year old girl.

She was stuck in her job. She was fed up with her 2-hour commute. And above all, she hated her boss.

Secretly, she started planning her escape.

She decided to learn how to write. She mastered the basics of WordPress. And she learned how to pitch guest posts and build an email list.

The odds were stacked against her. She’d never been a good writer. She hated writing essays, and English was her worst subject at school.

Eye-brows were raised when she handed in her notice. How could she set up her own business?

She wasn’t sure either. But she was going to give it her best. The idea of building a popular blog seemed as attractive as it sounded ridiculous.

Fast forward to January 2016 … and that crazy Dutch girl has found her tribe. She’s made friends online. She has an active community of readers, who comment and share her posts. She’d never say it herself, but some even call her a popular blogger.

What happened?

Before Christmas I had an email conversation with reader Hans. He asked me how I engage my readers. Why does my writing feel like a conversation? Our emails went back and forth, and we agreed that true engagement is about more than the tone of your writing.

When I look back on my online journey so far, I’ve stumbled on various tactics that helped me build an engaged audience. Often by coincidence.

Generosity

Readers possess a super-sensitive radar.

They know whether you’re in it for money only. They feel it when you’re only sharing content hoping to sell your books and courses so you can get rich while you sleep.

But they also notice it when you truly care.

Building a blog community starts with putting your readers first. For me this was easy. I had no clear monetization plan. I was simply testing whether I could write well enough to get people interested.

Stop trying to be liked

Trying to be liked can damage your blog and your business.

Why?

It muffles your voice. You water down your messages. You tiptoe around, trying not to upset anyone.

Watery messages may not offend anyone, but they don’t create a strong bond either. To pull loyal readers closer to you, you need a strong message to appeal to them.

Some people clearly don’t like my content. They call it superficial, childish, boring, or repetitive. One person even accused me of talking only about myself.

Feedback like that can sting, but it’s better to shrug my shoulders.

Trying to be liked by everyone doesn’t work.

Connect on multiple levels

We like people who are like us.

In his book Influence, Robert Cialdini dedicates a whole chapter to likeability. He explains, for instance, how friends at a Tupperware party feel obliged to buy containers because they like the party host (even when they don’t need more containers).

Cialdini also tells us how car salesmen look for similarities between themselves and potential buyers. A car salesman might mention how much he loves the outdoors if he sees your hiking boots in your trunk. Even such trivial similarities can increase likeability and sales.

You might have joined Enchanting Marketing to learn how to become a better writer. But by reading my blog posts on a regular basis, you’ve peeked into my life. You might experience the same struggles with self-doubt, stress and perfectionism as me. Or you might like my stories about traveling.

Once I started weaving metaphors into my writing, I could connect with you on more levels. People who love cooking send me emails about food. Readers who love cycling share pictures of their bikes and stories about their cycling trips. We talk about the weather or discuss how I learned to draw.

We probably share a similar view on life. We want to have a good life, but we don’t need to get rich quick. We’d like to find a sense of meaning in our work. We’re looking for freedom and creativity. We enjoy meeting and helping others. We’re curious. We want to learn.

Be vulnerable

I’m an intensely private person. I don’t like sharing my personal life on social media. That’s one of the reasons I don’t even have a Facebook account.

But in my blogging journey, I’ve learned that sharing only tips isn’t enough. Everyone is sharing tips. We can’t hide ourselves if we want to build a loyal readership and a warm community.

It’s deeply poignant that we should expend so much effort on trying to look strong before the world — when, all the while, it’s really only ever the revelation of the somewhat embarrassing, sad, melancholy and anxious bits of us that are what makes us endearing to others, and can transform strangers into friends.
~ The Book of Life

Popularity, authority, knowledge, skills, intelligence, a sense of fun, a strong voice—these may attract people to our blog.

But showing our vulnerability turns readers into friends.

A consistent conversational tone

A corporate tone creates a distance between the writer and his audience. An academic tone puts the writer on a pedestal, looking down on his readers.

To truly engage your readers, start a conversation. Write as if you’re writing to your favorite reader only.

Have you seen my email designs?

Right. There’s no design. That’s on purpose. Because I like my emails to look and feel like they’re coming from a friend.

Whether I’m writing emails, blog posts or sales pages, I use exactly the same conversational tone. I don’t change the way I engage you. I ask questions. I might share tips or offer a product. But whatever I write, you recognize my voice.

Authenticity is a much hyped concept

But it doesn’t mean you have to reveal everything.

What’s important is to be honest and consistent.

To be human and real.

To write with a purpose.

And to try to make a difference to your readers—no matter how small.

Enjoyed this? Check out more articles about voice in writing.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing that Henneke. Your blog in my opinion always has the most engaged audience. Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks, Alex. And why do you keep reading? I’m curious!

      • Your posts are.. easy and a pleasure to read (I love your writing style). Your writing makes it seem like you are talking right in front of me. (Best writing voice I’ve read on the net!). Many of your posts are not just about writing but about personal struggles that I can relate with as a copywriter. It shows you’re vulnerable and human. Not perfect and flawless all the time. And best of all, they’re useful. Really use your About page blog post alot for my own copywriting projects. Thanks Henneke!

        • I’m definitely not perfect and flawless! 🙂

          We all struggle from time to time. Nice to know you’re a fellow copywriter, Alex. Thank you for explaining!

  2. Hello Henneke,

    Here is my personal answer to why I read your blog: I think you are interesting as a person. I am interested in everything you create, even if it’s not my field, because I trust your ability to judge based on things yoy have previously written and then I trust whatever you think is important. I guess this proves many of your points in this article.

    In the end, all we do is trust human beings-offline and online. Many people who read my blog for example, don’t care about the technical aspects of architecture, but they trust my ability to judge a building. So, if I recommend somebody to visit a certain place, because they trust me, they would visit it.

    The same happens with your blog. As you mention, it’s important to be true, to write with an authentic voice and to be vunerable and show part of who you are. That’s how we get to know people and like them.

    Keep up the good work, I have high hopes for you!
    Virginia recently posted…12 Countries in 12 MonthsMy Profile

    • You’ve been reading and commenting for quite a long time, too, Virginia. Thank you.

      I find it fascinating that you think I’m an interesting person because that’s how I’ve never seen myself. I always thought I was UNinteresting because I often couldn’t talk about the topics other people wanted to talk about. For instance, I hardly ever watch TV; and that surely is a popular topic for chatting. I guess my readers here don’t mind I never watch TV 😉

      I like that you’re touching on trust and being human. I think one-person blogs can still compete with the mega-blogs run by a small army of editors because we can be more human (and sometimes flawed).

      • You’ve definitely inspired me! I don’t have a TV either and don’t have topics to contribute. So I’ll have to try to add more personal stuff.

        I think another reason is that you are very consistent in what you write about – copywriting – and you present really good material, not copy-catting. And as you say, people can tell when you write from the heart, not the wallet.

      • I rarely watch TV. I guess like attracts like 😉

  3. Wow, Henneke.
    You really did it.
    That’s really what has me coming back each time. I get the feeling that you are talking ‘to’ me not ‘at’ me.
    I really need to learn that. It takes a whole lot to be vulnerable, but it’s worth the effort.
    Thanks a lot for this.
    Ruth

    • Thank you, Ruth. I appreciate your comment.

      It takes some practice to get to that conversational tone. But the key elements are shorter sentences, lots of questions, and simple words.

  4. That was a great read.
    Yes I always loved the personal touch.
    I loved your course and learned a ton, even though it was very demanding for some one who had no idea, even, how to use her lap top properly.
    It was to me like with my little Mini Cooper on our first drive, putting down my right foot, hanging onto the steering wheel shouting, “hey hang on I am coming too.” Thanks for this article “Blog” Love and Blessings Annamarie

    • You did a great job, Annamarie, especially considering you had so many issues with wifi and your laptop. Looking forward to seeing your blog soon!

  5. I’ve been a member of your Tribe for some time now, Henneke, and I honestly cannot remember who introduced your blog to me but I am grateful that they did. 🙂

    What I do remember is having a good laugh while I read that first post and thinking, okay, this lady can make serious stuff fun and I stayed. More power to your pen!

    Vulnerability is one area where many of us have to step out of our comfort zone because we are conditioned to keep quiet. Yet, the blog posts where I have shared stories from my childhood or featured my pet Miss Coco as the teacher, are the posts that are read (even if the reader has not left a comment – courtesy Google Analytics) and seem to stay popular even if they are old posts and there are other informational posts that were better written.

    I try to listen to my reader because without them, my blog has no inspiration. Incidentally, Miss Coco appeared in my Top 3 posts for 2015. I guess my reader demographic includes animal lovers. 🙂
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…Top Secret: Your Little Habits create Big SavingsMy Profile

    • Yes, you’ve been around for a while and it’s always good to “see” you again, Vatsala. I still remember your comment about koftas last year 🙂

      I don’t have pets, but I know pet lovers enjoy connecting with other pet owners, so that’s a great topic for storytelling or to use as a metaphor.

  6. Henneke, I love your voice – and am enjoying learning from you. I also have to ask:
    1. Learning to draw? Do you do those blog graphics here and on your books? They are very cool!
    2. Can you share the CSS you use to create your quotes? They look great and I’d like to use them for my own blog (if yu don’t mind sharing)

    Thanks,
    Dave

    • Yep, all drawings on my blog are made by me. I started learning how to draw in July 2013, and published my first own blog illustration in January 2014 (I was dead-nervous!). The graphics in my Kindle books, however, were done by professional illustrators as I was writing the books before I started my drawing journey.

      This is the code for my block quote:

      #content blockquote p {
      color: #000000;
      font-style: italic;
      }

      #content blockquote {
      background: url(/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/purple-quotation-marks-width-54px.gif) no-repeat 20px 10px #f0f0f0;
      margin: 0 0 20px -10px;
      padding: 30px 20px 10px 90px;
      border: 0px !important;
      }

      //***//

      The large purple quotation mark is a picture. You can download it from my page, or probably better to create your own so you can match your color scheme: use the same background color as use for the quote and create a quotation mark in a big font. You can do this with a free tool like pixlr.com.

  7. Hey Henneke. I really loved this post.

    Your personal but professional content, because your stuff is Premium, makes you unique. Ane people don’t buy copies. Plus, your posts are little class sesions in a bar chat. Both instructive and funny.

    Great!

  8. Hi Henneke,

    I’ve told you before that your writing and blogging tips have done wonders for me as a blogger, and that’s true. But the reason I engage with your blog is because of your honesty and vulnerability. When I read your blog I feel like there’s a real person on the other end. You deserve to be called a ‘popular blogger’ because you took a chance on yourself, worked hard, and found your tribe.

    Thanks for this post this morning, I really enjoyed it.

    Eric

    P.S. Was English really your worst subject in school??!!

    • Yep, that’s true. Initially, English was my worst subject at school, but then I fell out with my Dutch teacher, and Dutch became my worst subject. And my essays were always very average.

      I’m pretty good with English grammar, but I struggled with pronunciation. I still find pronunciation tricky and feel self-conscious when speaking in English. I’d rather write 🙂

  9. Thanks for your posts, they brighten up my Tuesday mornings and make me think that I could actually create a good and engaging blog.

    Is your course really that far off?…. nine months is a long time to wait.

    All the best, John

    • Oops. That’s a mistake. It should be February. The course starts again next month.

      Sometimes the wires in my brain don’t seem to connect in the right way and I don’t even see my mistakes. Thank you for pointing that out (and for your lovely comment!).

  10. Thank you for another great post. Can you tell us how you promoted your blog after you started writing it?

    • Mainly through guest posting. I started guest blogging even before I started my own blog and used guest posts to build an email list.

      • Could you break down your process for getting on guest blogs even when you weren’t a blogger yet? I have clients that want to blog and I’d love to have that information from a “beginner’s” perspective to share with them.

        • I got in through the back door. I’ve done an early version of Jon Morrow’s guest blogging course and he introduced me to Copyblogger (in his current course that’s not an option anymore if I understand it correctly). My first guest post was on Copyblogger, and after that it was easy to approach other blogs and pitch guest posts.

          The key to a good pitch is showing that you understand a blog’s audience so that the editor / host blogger is confident you’ll write a useful post. The more time people put in researching a blog, the higher their chances are to get accepted.

  11. Hi, Henneke,

    I read your blog because your posts are always engaging and inspiring. I particularly appreciate your guest post on Boost Blog Traffic about building an online career (can’t figure the headline now. Sorry).

    It helped me get started on launching into my freelancing business. I always refer to the post for motivation.

    Additionally, I read your blog because, well, all those great metaphors are can’t-do-withouts. You simply would imagine the words playing in your head and you can almost feel the lines on your *tongue* like you’re really tasting those stuff you describe. (Okay, crazy comment, I admit. But I have to speak the truth, right?)

    And I also never had the chance to thank you for the loads of freebies you included in the Snackable course. They were immensely helpful.

    So, here’s me saying I love your blog, I love what you do and I read your blog because it is making a better writer out of me.

    Best regards.

    Yusuff Busayo
    Yusuff Busayo recently posted…Break From The Noise (The Hustler’s Guide to Becoming an Online Iconoclast)My Profile

    • Wow, you keep referring back to it for motivation? That’s lovely to hear! I put a lot of energy in writing that post.

      In case others want to read it: the title is How to Catapult Yourself from Diddly Squat to a Booming Online Career (http://boostblogtraffic.com/online-career/).

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Yussuff. Good to know you’re still reading 🙂

  12. Hey Henneke,

    To answer your question: because it always feels like a close friend is giving me useful advice. Or sharing their thoughts with me. I’m extremely interested in your stories and what you’ll have to say. It’s like when Tuesday comes around, I can’t wait to have a great conversation with a friend.

    I don’t know exactly when I started to read your blog, but it was 2 years ago though. And ever since then, I was hooked. The words you use to describe things. The feeling that you’re specifically talking to me and only me. Your honesty. It all hooked me. And I’m glad it did because I’ll be loyal for life.

    And regarding stop trying to be liked, that’s good advice. You can’t appease everyone. It’s true that not everyone is going to like the content you write, but it certainly is a blessing that they shared that because they raised their hand and said “I’m not you target audience”.

    Great stuff as always , Henneke.

    And lastly, I read your stuff because you’re constantly an inspiration. I hope to be as successful online as you someday.

    Take care.

    – Andrew

    • You’ve been certainly extremely loyal for quite a long time, Andrew. And I still remember you emailing me whether I was okay when I skipped publishing a blog post two weeks in a row.

      Initially, I found unsubscribers are hard, especially if they left comments belittling my efforts. However, I’ve learned it’s much more relaxing to write for people who want to hear from me. So, if my emails are simply clogging up someone’s inbox, then it’s better they unsubscribe. It also makes it cheaper to run my email list. 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by, Andrew, as always.

  13. Thank-you for providing practical and inspiring blog posts! I like your posts as they are well written and easy to understand. Your blog illustrates the points you describe in your posts. Your use of metaphors in telling a story is excellent. I think you are one of the best blog writers that I have come across and I always look forward to receiving your emails.

    Well Done! Diana

  14. All of the above. Keep up the good work. groetjes Sabine

    • Nice to “see” you again, Sabine. You’ve been a loyal reader for long time, too. I remember some email conversations between us in the early days 🙂

  15. Henneke, I couldn’t tell you a time when you didn’t nail it. You’ve taught me so much about blogging. And in such a fun way that I consider you a friend. So yes, you connect on many levels and your vulnerability allows me in. I am grateful to you and to the power of your pen.

  16. Mel Wicks says:

    You are certainly a popular blogger in my book. You have an amazing ability to connect and I am in awe of your writing style. I am just at the beginning of my blogging journey and whether you know it or not, you inspire me to keep going every time I think it’s all too hard.
    Thank you for engaging and delighting this reader.
    Cheers, Mel

    • I’m glad to have you around and stopping by, Mel!

      But I might continue to refuse seeing myself as a popular blogger. I prefer just being Henneke 😉

  17. Hi Henneke,
    You are right, all the things you mention are the ones that make me read your blog, but you forget one crucial element. You always make it sound as if I could write… And that is what keeps me coming back.
    Thanks for all the inspiration!
    Nancy

    • That’s a lovely addition, Nancy. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but it’s certainly true. If I can learn how to write, then everyone else can, too (as long as they’re wanting to put in the effort).

      Thank you for stopping by, Nancy!

  18. Stella Schwidder says:

    Dear Henneke,
    Mission accomplished Henneke. You make a difference. I continued reading your posts because I could feel you and believe you. I never felt stupid or hopeless. Your posts inspire me to take action. Reading your posts is a delight and lures me out of the shadow and I am grateful for that. The drawings makes it fun for just looking at your posts. I have REALLY learned. Not only has my writing improved, my selftrust has increaed and I dare to be more visible. So Henneke write on!
    With joy, Stella

    • Wow, that’s such a lovely comment, Stella. I’m especially pleased to hear your confidence has increased. Thank you for letting me know.

  19. As I shared previously, I only recently discovered your blog. I have some catching up to do. 😉 Your point about finding a sense of meaning in our work… looking for freedom and creativity is what attracted me. Plus, I very much like the “irreverent” reference. 🙂

    As a middle child of seven, I hate following a crowd and appreciate the uniqueness we each possess. One of my favorite mantras is there is no right or wrong – just different. Thank you for being different, Henneke.
    Cathy Miller recently posted…Business Communication Basics: The Who, What, Did You?My Profile

    • I’m a middle child, too! I have two sisters, and like you I’ve always struggled with following the crowd, preferring to find my own way. Even as a kid, I had this fierce wish of being independent.

      It’s kind of strange that setting up my own business never seemed an option for me – I simply didn’t think I had the genes for entrepreneurship. But I’m so glad I’ve jumped and found my own freedom.

      Thank you so much for stopping by again, Cathy!

  20. Lisa Biehle Files says:

    I read you for advice simply-stated, humility, and humor–and to see your delightful illustrations!

  21. Tine Weis says:

    Hi Henneke,
    I read your blog, because ..
    – first of all you have really helpful and informative informations.
    – you are funny, but yet precise (and short).
    – you are personal and write in a way where I feel .. this could be me!
    – most of all I enjoy that you write like “by telling a story” with lots of metaphors. I’m an artist, so I see, tell and experience best through pictures. And you “paint” those pictures with your words .. and with your great drawings.
    – on top of that you are always very generous with helping and sharing your knowledge.
    Thank you for blogging. I always look forward to your posts.
    Best wishes, Tine

    • I’m still getting used to people thinking that I’m funny. I’ve never thought of myself as funny until blog readers started mentioning it (in fact, my husband has said many times that I have no active sense of humor).

      I think most people experience through pictures (even if they’re not artists). That’s exactly why metaphors work so well. It’s a pity so few people dare to use them. But I’m on a mission 🙂

      Good to “see” you again, Tine!

  22. Henneke,
    All of the above and more. I’ve appreciated the very practical and clear tips, advice and examples you share.

    Several have mentioned the consistency you have and that is so much a factor. You stay focused and know your tribe well. Guess that’s because you are one of us, just a little further down the road than most perhaps, but beckoning us to catch up!

    Keep being Henneke! We love your work and you!

    Blessings, Kelly

    • Yesss, I love that: “because you are one of us.”

      That’s how it feels to me, too, but I wasn’t able to formulate it so well. This is probably why I resist this idea of being a “popular blogger” because I just want to part of the team 🙂

      Thank you, Kelly!

  23. Dave Gonynor says:

    Hi Henneke:
    Every time I receive your emails I find myself reading the entire post. As a person selling copywriting courses you practice what you preach. Your posts are engaging, authentic and packed with useful tips. I have told many people about you.
    Thanks for your amazing posts!
    Dave

    • Thank you for spreading the word, Dave. I appreciate it!

      And yes, I try hard to practice what I preach (without sounding preach-y 😉 )

  24. Georgina R says:

    Snackable, bite sized blogs. Keep them coming!

  25. Hi Henneke,

    1. You make me feel as though I’m not alone. Sharing your challenges and victories in an intimate conversational language provides practical advice and moral support.
    2. You help me get unstuck by showing how you got unstuck. My business isn’t based on a blog. But communicating through writing is important to my work. Your writing advice is simple, usable and timely. I save your posts and revisit them whenever I feel stuck.
    3. You’re on the same journey I am—although I’ve been self-employed longer than you have, there are clearly some tricks I can learn from you. In the area of writing and dealing with complexity, you’ve become a practical tutor and adviser.
    4. You make me smile. And I look froward to hearing from you.

    So thanks!

    • Your point #4 made me smile, too. 🙂

      I’ve seen your name popping up on this blog for quite a long time, too. It’s reassuring for me when people keep reading as I find it easier to write for people who know me.

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Jon.

  26. Fresh, personal, memorable … and you make it sound so easy. Because the conversational tone makes it sound like we’re just having a chat, and then the idea of communication via a blog is not so intimidating. You are showing me the way to achieve truly personal communication with prospective customers – it’s a lesson in how to create customer-centric communications. I’ve been following you for a while now, and I’m so glad I’ve found you!
    From Colleen in South Africa

    • Hi Colleen, Nice to “meet” you. Isn’t it lovely that we can all connect from all around the world?

      And yep, my writing always starts with the reader and never with me. I do believe strongly that this is the only way to build a good business and a popular blog.

      Thank you for stopping by!

  27. Hello Hennneke,
    I’m new here but as I delete all the trash emails I get I always read yours because they are a pleasure to read and have good content. I don’t remember how I got here but I’m glad that I did, every time I see your name I smile!

  28. I love that quote from the Book of Life that you listed above. It is so strange that we spend so much time trying to appear strong when it is our vulnerabilities that bring us into community, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

    I find the bloggers, like you, Henneke, who have built such strong dedicated communities absolutely fascinating. The tips you mention here are a good reminder on what it is to be human and why we need to remember that as a first form of promotion, not an afterthought.

    Thanks, Henneke!

    • The Book of Life is a great site to browse around. It feels like a sensible place in a crazy internet world. It grounds me.

      It took me a long time to find the courage to share my vulnerabilities, but you’re absolutely right – it’s what brings communities together. So we should get over our fear of being judged.

      Thank you for stopping by again, Lucy!

  29. David Kim says:

    Dear Henneke,

    I am immensely grateful of you for sending your regular email messages and blog posts.
    I don’t skip literally a word from your messages every time since I started the subscription several month ago.
    It’s the single series of email messages and blog posts that I don’t skip or skim over.
    You are my precious applied English teacher the most suitable for my current level as second tongue, above all else.
    I am obliged to reciprocate a bit of the enormous benefits I received when suitable occasion comes.

    • Great to have you as part of the community, David.

      I’m grateful that you’re reading every single email from me. Thank you.

  30. Irina Bengtson says:

    Hi Henneke,
    Beside all grate stuff written above that I totally support:
    The point about not trying to be liked by everyone i find very important. Writing about things that you believe in makes your voice stronger.
    You are always friendly, personal and honest in your posts. Connection with you feels real and warm. The tone of your posts are freandly, supportive and engaging. Very much so. You don’t put yourself on pedestal like many others do. I see and feel a real person behind those lines. In many regards just like me.
    Seeing your success is inspiring and gives hope.
    And many thanks for sharing your personal experiences with us. You are really generous and interested in people you are writing for.
    And I just love your drawings! So much humor and kindness in them! They are a wonderful contribution to the uniqueness of yours.
    Last thing to mention – your blog is digestible. It doesn’t make me overwhelmed and confused. I can follow and learn.
    That’s why I got hooked up with your blog.
    And if I one day will be just half as good as you are online, I will be proud of myself.

    Warmly,

    • Yes, it’s important not trying to be liked by everyone, but it can be difficult to adhere, too.

      We just have to push ourselves a little. Make our statements a little stronger. Stop being afraid that others might say we’re crazy because of the things we say (or because of the way we say it). And, of course, not worry about the comments coming from people who don’t fit our target audience.

      And I’m glad you enjoy my drawings. I was quietly proud of the little scene I’d drawn today. I don’t often draw different people 😉

      Thank you for stopping by again, Irina!

      • Irina Bengtson says:

        They are cute! I’m sure they have been recognized ?

        Yes, it is difficult for people like me, who were told by their caretakers to be nice, always smile and please the others. But we can learn and get stronger.

        Not to worry too much. About what other think or say. How things will go. In general. That’s the tough one! … I’ve never (almost never) been writing comments before. Guess why ?

        Have a great day, Henneke!

        Waiting for your new posts,
        Irina

  31. Dearest Henneke,

    I always open your posts right away. There is usually a smile on my face within a few seconds. Why? Because you are a joy to read and deliver great information in a style that makes me wish I could buy you a drink and chat.

    This is engagement on a personal level.

    • Well, you never know. One day you might buy me a green tea, and we can chat in a nice cafe. 🙂

      Thank you, Robert. I appreciate your comment – it put a smile on my face!

  32. I love following you, your story and your growth. I love the clarity of your voice and your writing style. I’ve learned about business principles-not just blogging. Many bloggers don’t realize, such as you’ve stated, that blogging and writing is about building relationships. I rarely comment anymore, but I do visit and feel better after reading your posts.

    • Yep, so true – building relationships with readers is key to blogging and to any type of writing (and now I’m thinking about it – to building a business, too!).

      So many people get focused on growing website traffic and making money rather than on engaging their readers and turning them into fans and friends. But building an audience or business is not about numbers, it’s about people.

      Thank you for stopping by again, Sandy!

  33. Hey Henneke,

    That was simply well put!

    If you want to attract readers then being transparent by talking in a conversational mode does the trick. You want to be open enough to not only share tips but some of your personal life as well.

    It keeps the blog posts much more interesting and people can easily relate to you. You definitely do a great job of this!

    Speaking of relating to your readers, showing your vulnerability demostrates how human you are. No oNE is “perfect” and your audience will also be able to relate and less self conscious which makes you even more approachable.

    Thanks for sharing Henneke! Have a great week!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Commit, Connect, Convert (3 Tricks To Becoming An Online Heavyweight)My Profile

    • Thank you so much, Sherman, for your kind words (and for sharing!).

      Good to see you’re still popping in from time to time 🙂

  34. You are consistently, hands down, my most favorite marketing blog to read. It’s always a completely enjoyable and helpful experience. I always takeaway SOMETHING. And it changes my work for the better. And actually, your tone brightens my day. You feel like a friend. Thank you, sweet Henneke.

  35. A great post, Henneke. You were brave to take that leap and look where it got you! How wonderful to do what you love. As a blogger, I always have a tension between needing to share and fear of judgment. I think that goes with any artist and I believe bloggers are part of that group. What can we do but keep going?
    Laurie Stone recently posted…Can a Husband and Wife Survive in the Same House Day After Day?My Profile

    • Yes, fear of judgment is difficult to deal with. It helps me to think about my readers as a small group of people who care and who know me. I don’t like the idea that complete strangers might pop in and start reading. Of course I know that happens, but I don’t think about it.

  36. Funny, hard-working Henneke,
    Reading your work is always a pleasure and truly, miss, you are the comment queen…oh to have the engagement of Henneke—something to strive for!

    But, what really spoke to me this time, is when you mention being a private person as I have no FB and no interest, either. It was like pulling teeth to even find one pic to use for a headshot for a Gravatar or social profile for me!! Really difficult since I am not in any of a zillion photos we have, to find even one head!!

    The point is, you are right, if you don’t put yourself out there, maybe even get a little uncomfortable, no one will ever see or read your work! It turns out that I went crazy (for the sake of my writing career) and find I am learning a lot and stop-the-presses, even enjoying some of the great business/social contact that’s been happening, by trying Twitter, and getting “social” (against my will, in a way, still) to share work.

    It is nice to know a pro like you went through so much of what I am finding difficult, in this writing journey. The other thing I think makes you special and comment-worthy is you interact with people who read you and I think that’s so important. A comment to you is read, replied to, and well, meaningful. I feel like that makes a huge difference.

    Best in the New Year, Henneke, with all your endeavors, bike rides and recipes:) Sue-Ann

    • You’re not on Facebook either?

      I find social media quickly overwhelming, so I try to keep it small. I’m sure being more active on social media could be fun and it could support my business, but we can’t do everything. Focusing on building an email list and guest blogging like you’ve been doing seems a smarter strategy to me.

      And yep, I always take time to reply to comments. If people have taken the time to write an in-depth comment, I’d like to provide a meaningful reply. 🙂

      Thank you, Sue-Ann!

  37. I read your posts for the same reason I bought your book. Your writing is always compelling. Always inspiring.
    Here’s the review I just wrote regarding the book. Five stars.

    If you a business owner. You have to market. It’s market or die. Especially on the web. But, you outsource your marketing. So what. You need this book too. Why? Because you need to know what good copy looks like. This book shows you just that. What good copy looks like. And how to write it too!

    This book is what your marketing should be –

    Interesting
    Have a clear message
    A headline that draws you in
    Every sentence get a reader to say yes
    Great call to action
    Colorful stories along the way
    Seductive. Just like the title says.

    If you write copy or hire people who do, pick up a copy today.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to write and post a review on Amazon, Dave. I much appreciate it.

      It’s a wonderful review, and I’m grateful for the 5 stars (of course!).

  38. Dear Henneke,

    I don’t know what happened in your school years that made you perform low in English 🙂 Maybe you were too focused on other topics such as Math or Science? Glad you gave it a second chance later in life because you are truly a gifted writer with a smart mind and a good heart. You’re right that readers have a super-sensitive radar -yes, we smell it like hunting doggies 🙂 I am fully convinced you enjoy helping your audience and always give honest feedbacks. I enjoyed every step of your Copywriting Course and feel lucky to come across your name and enrolled in. Today’s article is an excellent summary of your well deserved success. We should thank to your ex-boss who made you quit your corporate job 🙂

    • Yep, you’re right. I should thank my ex-boss. If my corporate life hadn’t become so miserable, I probably would never have picked up the courage to start my own business. And look at me now … I’m having so much more fun, I don’t have to commute, I can plan my own days, and I don’t need to fight with a boss about taking vacation. 🙂

      After I finished school, I couldn’t escape the English language. At university, many text books were in English. Then I ended up working in Hong Kong. And later I moved to the UK. So, somehow I had to master it. I still have a strong Dutch accent despite having lived here for nearly 14 years. But you can’t really hear that when I write 😉

      Thank you for stopping by, June!

  39. Hi Henneke,

    Thank you for sharing your tactics to build an engaged audience.
    I am returning to blogging after a brief hiatus and this post is a great refresher of the valuable lessons you taught us in your blogging class.

    • Hey Marie,

      It’s so nice to see your smiling face again!

      Good luck with restarting your blog. Let me know how you get on?

  40. I love reading your posts, Henneke.

    “We probably share a similar view on life. We want to have a good life, but we don’t need to get rich quick. We’d like to find a sense of meaning in our work. We’re looking for freedom and creativity. We enjoy meeting and helping others. We’re curious. We want to learn.”

    This is my exact viewpoint on my work and business.

    Your writing makes me view you as, clearly, an authority, but also as a friend. I’m your target audience! And you’ve made that apparent in how every word was written just for me. 😉

    Thanks, Henneke.

    Always,
    Sara Eatherton-Goff

    • And you know, I’d rather be a friend than an authority 😉

      Good to hear that our viewpoints match so much, Sara. That’s why I write my blog posts just for you 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by again!

  41. Henneke your blog is like a soft summer breeze on a hot humid day. I receive a lot of ‘gimme gimme’ mail and when your email pops up I immediately open it to get some fresh air. Your warmth, honesty, sense of humour and cycling references are just the break I need. I am learning a lot about writing too but that almost seems like a by-product of what you offer. I would love to sound more fun in my posts, I tend to sound a bit bossy and need to work on that.

    • Yes, many emails are gimme, gimme. Some people are only thinking about marketing and getting rich, and they don’t think about making a difference for their readers.

      It’s fascinating to read that learning about writing is almost a by-product. I take that as a big compliment. Thank you!

      By the way, if you want to tone down bossiness, then try to add more questions using the word “you” in your writing. But be careful, you don’t want to use the type of questions that make you sound like a teacher testing someone’s knowledge. Instead, add questions that make readers feel they’re part of a real conversation and you’re interested in them.

  42. Hi Henneke

    The other day I read a blog and it sort of mentioned the concept of writing for your ideal reader. And that’s the difference. It “sort of” spoke about it whereas you speak more specifically and get the message across. As I have mentioned previously you build skills and confidence.
    Cheers
    Roger

    • It often seems that simple ideas like writing for your ideal reader can be dealt with in one or two sentences, but the truth is that it’s a lot harder to implement such ideas than it seems. Someone could probably write a whole book about writing for your ideal reader (but I’m not sure anyone would buy it).

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Roger. I appreciate it!

  43. I found your blog through your guest posting over at Copyblogger. I’m a fan and have purchased an item or two because of what you say above plus the fact that you have a lovely sense of humour and fun illustrations:) It’s always a pleasure to refer others as I know they’ll enjoy your site too AND learn how to write! Keep up the fab content! Carmen (Ontario, Canada)

    • Quite a lot of people find me via Copyblogger 🙂

      Nice to “meet” you, Carmen. Thank you for your lovely comment. I’ll keep writing (and drawing!).

  44. Hi Henneke,
    I read every new blog post that you published and re-read old ones whenever I have time. I love your writing style. It is engaging, to the point, and hypnotic. Reading your blog posts have certainly improved my writing skill by 1000%.

    Thanks again for generously sharing everything that you know. Keep it up!

    • Improved your writing by one thousand per cent? That sounds like a lot, Peter. 😉 I’m pleased to hear it.

      Thank you for your lovely comment and for the encouragement to keep it up.

  45. Wow. There’s been such an uptick in the last few . . . and I’m so glad for you! 😉
    I came at first because I was awed at your skill in English as a Second Language (I teach it, here in the US.) I think anyone who takes on English is brave; anyone who succeeds as well as you is a hero in my eyes.
    Ik heb geprobeerd om Nederlandse taal te leren, maar dat mislukte! (That was google translate, probably laughable! Ha!)
    But I kept coming probably mostly after that story about the bicycle ride to a hotel that had no one there to greet you. I don’t know why that resonated with me, but it did. We are so dissimilar, yet I saw in you someone I greatly admired.
    Now days, it’s easy–I feel like a friend, as if I’ve known you for ages (mostly true) and have never been disappointed (totally true) and you always have something kind to say, which not everyone I know does.
    So largely, I guess it’s about staying power and generosity and kindness. Incredible kindness. <3 K
    Katharine recently posted…Have You Ever Been Kidnapped?My Profile

    • OH! And the art! I cannot believe I almost forgot about the art! You gained my heart with it!
      Katharine recently posted…Wives and Lovers?My Profile

      • Your Dutch is perfect, Katharine. I wouldn’t have guessed that it was translated by Google. Usually Google translate comes up with wonky sentences, but this one was perfect.

        But why would you learn Dutch? Hardly anyone speaks it, and most Dutch people speak English anyway.

        You’ve been reading and commenting for quite a long time it seems. Even we might be quite different, we still enjoy each other’s company. You’re like a friend who pops over for a cup of tea now and then. And I always appreciate your encouragement for my drawing. It really helps!

        • Why learn Dutch…hmm.
          I guess I thought it would be somewhat easy for me, since my mother was bi-lingual in German, and I heard her and her mother speaking in German most of my life. Also, because I’ve studied Spanish and Russian, I wondered how hard could it be–I really love language study.
          However, a hobby should be fun, and Dutch was breaking my brain! Ha! Maybe I’m growing too old for new tricks? 🙂
          And I do not come over only for the tea. It’s more like a transfusion of courage I need. Thanks for always being here. <3 K
          Katharine recently posted…Don’t Worry…My Profile

  46. Hi Henneke and All

    I’m a newcomer. My original connection came because someone suggested I should read your email series on copywriting. I did that and subscribed to your blog. I came here today because I read your email about writing blog posts. Someone else suggested that I do. I can’t remember who now but I thanks them anyway.

    I’m presently building a shiny new blog and (hopefully) a few sales pages for related products. So this post seems as if it was written just for me. I was having some doubts about how to go about writing my blog posts. Voice, story, etc. Your comments are gold for me. So thanks Henneke.

    I’m not going to mention my blog in any detail.But may I say that it is in a niche that I didn’t ever consider before. I come from a business background and had thought I would stay there. Until someone sent me a link to products in a certain niche. When I read the sales letter for that , I had a lightbulb moment. Aha! I thought. I am really interested in this topic. I will start a blog about it. And so my shiny new blog was born. Such is the power of great advertising copy.
    John Harmer recently posted…Well Look Who’s Here!My Profile

    • Welcome, John. Nice to “meet” you! It’s always good to see newcomers leaving a comment 🙂

      It sounds like you have lots of great plans for your new site and blog! I hope it all goes well. Let me know if you have any specific questions?

  47. Hey Henneke.

    I read your blog because you write clearly. I love clarity in writing. Be it marketing copy, literature (ever read Kafka? He wrote as clearly as it gets) … or even the birthday card to your grandma.

    And you give actionable advice. Problem for some people surely is, that just by READING your blog posts their writing doesn’t improve. They’d have to take the action themselves. Shame on you 😉

    And what critics say about your blog posts being repetitive: They surely are. So are mine. And everyone else’s who write about (more or less) a single topic. That’s a good thing actually. As Gary Halbert said: “I’d rather be redundant than remiss”.

    All in all, your blog is a great resource on how to write better AND it has personality. What more can you ask for …?

    Till next time
    Chris 🙂
    Christian Krauß recently posted…Auch große Unternehmen schreiben schlechte Werbetexte (mit Beispiel)My Profile

    • Well, yes, that’s true. I can’t do the work for people; they still have to write themselves. But I do my best to make it as easy as possible!

      And you’re probably right about repetition. It’s good to repeat the same message from time to time as long as we say it in a different way. Metaphors are useful for that 😉

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Chris. (And yes, I’ve read Kafka, but it’s a long time ago. I think I might have even read one of his books in German. I probably should re-read it, but I might go for a Dutch or English translation instead. My German is very rusty.)

  48. Dear Henneke,

    Your drawing skills add feather to your crown as like the kohinoor diamond on your crown.
    Please keep writing like the the Thames river flowing through London.
    We are all getting benefited through your lovely words which are magical and makes us love more.

    • I’m a little surprised how many people mention my illustrations. A couple of people have said before that they don’t look professional enough (but I think that’s what makes them more fun – there’s enough slick photography already available on the web).

      Thank you for stopping by again!

  49. Bamboo Ilana says:

    Hi Henneke,
    I’m relatively new to your tribe. Your writing style is delightful, light filled, alive, succinct, humorous, filled with gems of writing wisdom, and enjoyable. I love how real you are in your writing. While it is personal and vulnerable, it’s out there in the present moment with a grounded power and depth. Thank you for your generosity and your amusement with life.

    • Hi Bamboo

      I love it when “newcomers” comment. And especially if it’s such a lovely comment as yours, Bamboo. Thank you.

  50. Dear Henneke,

    I read your blogs because I enjoy your story-telling techniques.

    I also love your caricatures.

    This has helped me to become a better communicator.

  51. Hi Henneke,

    First of all, I don’t watch much tv either. I see a pattern here…

    I like to read your posts because you write ‘normal’ language whereas many bloggers write ‘academic’ language. Their language creates such a distance between reader & writer, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

    So when I am blogging, I try to write like I am talking to my reader. And your tips help me a lot to achieve that result. You show me mostly what mistakes to avoid and what helps to enhance the ‘readability’ of my blogs. Thank you for that!

    Olga

    • Yes, there’s a few of us who con’t watch much TV. So I’m less eccentric than I thought 😉

      I love Art Nouveau, too, although I’m not an expert like you! (Your Gravatar image made me curious to click through).

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Olga.

  52. Hi Again,

    Being honest, consistent and an actual person is great. Surprisingly for me this is harder than it sounds at times. I have a tendency of trying to impress when I write. You know, look how smart I am.

    You really come through as genuine in your writing. That’s probably because you are. Maybe I should examine my motivations. Thanks again I always learn when I read your posts.

    Barry

    • Hi again, Barry,

      I agree with you, it’s not always easy; and I don’t always get it right either. For instance, sometimes I think about a topic because it would be useful for SEO. Then I try to think about whether it would be useful for my readers and what they’d really be interested in. Sometimes that reality check is difficult; it can be hard to change perspective.

      I also find that many people writing company blogs are struggling with writing for their reader and being helpful because they’re so focused on promoting their business.

      It’s worth the effort. A blog written for its readers will do so much better than a blog written for the blogger’s business. You can see it here. I hardly need to promote my business.

  53. I read your blog because I learn things and I want to become a better writer. I have three books published and working on number four. And although they do well, I’m never satisfied with what I write. I have two blogs and they don’t do well at all. So I keep reading what you say to find out how I can do better.
    I have bought your book Blog to Win Business, and it’s on my iPad. Have only read a small part so far, so I need to read more.
    Your blog is easy to read and understand, and it is of great interest to me
    Thank you Henneke
    Alan

    • I think it’s inherent in creative work that we’re never satisfied. We always want to do better. But that’s also a good thing, because it keeps us learning, experimenting, and improving.

      I hope you’ll enjoy the book Blog to Win Business, Alan. Once you’ve had a chance to read it, will you let me know whether it was useful? Or what’s missing?!

  54. I started reading your blog because I’m interested in good copywriting, which I have to do frequently even though that’s not my main “job” in my business. I’ve read a lot of internet marketing, and, even when it works (and I buy something), I’m jaded by it. Don’t like it.

    Your voice has been a refreshing change. You give good stuff. I like how it makes me feel. Not jaded. Hopeful. Excited. And yes, I’ve bought a couple things from you, and they are good, too.

    Your teaching has changed the way I write—for the better, I’m sure. So thank you!

    • Yes, I often feel the same. A lot of internet marketing stuff makes me feel jaded and tired. (They also make me often feel like I’m not doing enough.) So I’ve unsubscribed from almost all lists, and just do my own thing.

      It makes me happy when you say my blog helps you become a better writer.

      Thank you, Linda, for your lovely comment (and for buying my products)!

  55. ‘The idea of building a popular blog seemed as attractive as it sounded ridiculous.’
    😉

  56. Hi Henneke,

    You’re an inspiration to me! I read your posts and sometimes think that I should give up because I’ll never write as well as you do. Not only do you write posts that are enjoyable to read, they match the audience so well. I’ve read a lot of your content and wonder how you do it.

    People tell me they like my conversational style and my openess about my failure online. Your points about opening up, even just little and finding connections with readers in what you write is something I’m going to practice. Of course, it works only if its natural, as you say.

    Your point about being genuine strikes a chord with me. So much cut-and-paste niceness out there!

    You also work hard to achieve what you do. Your individualism stands out, from your cartoon to your turns of phrase. Here’s to more of these – and you.

    Here’s to your success! Cheers!

    Tom
    Tom Southern recently posted…Why Nobody Reads Your Blog Posts (and What To Do About It)My Profile

    • Oh no!! Don’t give up. We all have our own voice, writing in our own way, sharing our own experiences.

      And yes, you’re right about being natural. When you try to create an authentic persona, it doesn’t work. But you can choose which parts of your own authentic persona you want to share and which ones you’d prefer keeping to yourself.

      We all find our own way!

      Thank you for stopping by again, Tom.

  57. Hi Henneke,

    All of that and you have the inviable capacity to take the prosaic and mundane, i.e. grammar and recast it in terms of the necessary and important which it is. You put yourself into ever sentence. Your blog is a conversation with you. You clearly like people in general. But your blog reads like you’re talking to each individual reader. Your ideas and concepts are never void of your person. Makes all the difference. You give ideas heart and soul.

    Thank you,
    Curtis

    • Hi Curtis

      Yes, that’s an astute observation. I do like people. And I guess there’s another point missing in this list, and that’s the interaction with people like you. The Enchanting Marketing blog has been influenced so much by the encouragement, comments, suggestions and questions from readers. I feel lucky with my readers. The blog is not just mine. It’s a little bit from all of us.

      Thank you!

  58. Dear Henneke, I keep reading because I like to read good posts, learn by observing, because I need the guidance in my writing. I enjoy reading your posts because they have a great combination of information, humour and a down to earth human voice.
    As far as I see it, you share enough vulnerability to be real but not so much that makes you too personal.
    I really appreciate what you do.
    Dankje well (I hope I spelt that right)

  59. davis b ochieng says:

    Henneke, only a poem could do it for me. Hope you enjoy it.
    Yours,
    Davis B Ochieng
    (Enchanted Junkie -Kenya)

    ENCHANTED JUNKIE
    How, I wonder, did I become an Enchanted JunkiE,
    Eager weekly to get my injectioN?
    Now I can confess, my addiction is epiC.
    Now and then, I seek an enchanted HigH,
    Every article I read makes me go gagA.
    Keenly prepared, the shackable got me smokiN,
    Enchanted tips in there, assured the habiT.

    Duistermaat! What have you done to I?
    Unfettered you are, when grabbing my attentioN.
    I wonder who else draws every pic on their bloG?
    See how you make cooking and writing sound glaM?
    To say nothing of your writings’ warm aurA.
    Every time I see mail from you oh peddleR,
    Rainbow skies light up and my mind goes honK.
    Metaphors, and Nifty Formula you peddlE,
    Adverbs and Seductive tips served by the toT.
    All said and done, confirmation you have from I,
    That an enchanted Junkie I will always remaiN
    . and my drug of choice-your BloG

    • Oh my, a poem! From a junkie!

      Thank you so much for your poem, Davis. I feel like I’m failing miserably by not writing a poem in reply. Maybe once I grow up, I can learn how to write poems, too 😉

      • davis b ochieng says:

        The paces you moved me forward through the snackable course and the weekly articles deserved at least a poem. All the best, and looking forward to more from you.

  60. Wow! I’m stuck posting after the guy who wrote the fabby poem!

    I think the proof is right here Henneke. Your consistent message to us is to always be engaging in our content. You’re not only engaging in your email and blog content, you take the time to respond to every comment with graciousness and caring. Something that can’t be faked.

    Thank you for what you do.

    • I appreciate each comment – whether it’s poetry or prose 🙂

      Thank you for lovely comment, Shannon (and for mustering the courage to comment after the poem!)

  61. Hi Henneke you strike a perfect pitch between personal and professional in your posts – not falling into the trap of over-sharing but still personable, not starchy stiff but smooth. You are without a doubt an authority in your niche but you are not ‘show-offy’ or arrogant in your prose.
    I am a big fan of your coach-in-a-post style – the way you generously share tips and insight which are practical and easy to customise to help your readers hone their own writing style – is 24K gold. This is ‘give more – get more’ in action.
    You are an unapologetic wordsmith – the way you make words dazzle and dance may not be to everyone’s taste and they may not be able to keep up with the intricate steps BUT it is enchanting and inspiring all at the same time.
    Keep doing what you do – and keep rocking the rule-breaker vibe
    I’m inspired.

    • It’s always such a pleasure to read your comments, Nicole. You warm my heart 🙂

      I like how you describe my writing: professional, but also personal; authoritative, yet not show-offy. Feels like a good summary.

      Thank you for all your encouragement and support!

  62. Melissa Weir says:

    Hi Henneke. As you can tell I am still catching up on my reading. I assure you that your blog posts are at the top of the pile!

    Yes, yes yes and yes for all the reasons you give. Plus one other.

    For all of us that feel the urgent need for a hot bath when reading some other marketing blog posts, your posts are a refreshing change. I’m not slick and I’m not pushy. I get no satisfaction from blogging as if I am. You give your readers hope that it’s ok to be genuine — whatever that means.

    And I thank you for that.

    Melissa

    • Hi Melissa, I’m grateful to people reading my posts whenever they can find the time. Please don’t ever worry about not keeping up!

      I love what you’re saying: it’s ok to be genuine, and we don’t have to be slick and pushy to run an online business. I agree.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  63. Henneke, I’ve been saving your email for when a moment arose to finally make a comment. I stumbled across your blog and have been a fan ever since. Your conversational style, no-drama clarity and compelling use of images, plus your direct way of teaching lots of grammar that I somehow missed, keep me reading and smiling. I experiment and apply bits of what I learn from you in my own writings and blog. Thank you for who you are and a what you do.

    • Hi Fiona, It makes me happy to read that you’re applying tips to your own writing. Thank you so much for stopping by to leave a lovely comment. I like your phrase “no-drama clarity.” 🙂

  64. mike wilson says:

    Henneke, two words describing my vision of you?

    Naturally pretty.

    your writing voice and enchanting looks
    ( I so wanted to use an exclamation point just now)

  65. Hello Henneke,

    I love how you started your article by sharing a bit of your personal story, I know many people are currently in that exact situation.

    Thankfully you decided to do it. We wouldn’t have been enjoying your impeccable writing right now!

    The tactics you described are all important because this truly is a people business.

    Personally I don’t like it if a blogger is bluntly selling me something in their articles without providing value or not putting heart into their content. My radar does pick up on it.

    It does go the other way around. I noticed how generous you we’re with sharing your knowledge and I learned from your free e-mail course. That’s part of the reason why I bought 2 of your books.

    You can’t please everyone. I like your writing style. Judging by the amount of comments before me, plenty of people do ;-).

    Influence is a fantastic book. I should re-read it again. Some books are too good to read just once.

    Metaphors are so powerful that therapists even use them to get a patient to see something in a different light. It only makes sense to weave them into your writing. I don’t particularly like cooking or cycling, but I still find it enjoyable when you make metaphors related to them 🙂

    Being vulnerable also helped me. If you aren’t, people can’t relate to you. They think you are doing something they’d never be able to do, until you show the human side and it’s imperfections.

    What I like most about your writing? It’s tightly written and vivid.

    Thanks for sharing this Henneke, I appreciate you. Enjoy what’s left of your week!

    – Jasper

    • Yes, you’re so right. There’s enough people who like my writing style, so why worry about those who don’t?

      Influence is a good book. I think Cialdini has a newer book, too, but I’ve not read that yet. Sometimes I get tired of reading business books. Not my kind of writing style 😉

      I’m glad you’re still enjoying my metaphors even though you don’t like cooking and cycling! At least we do share our love for language 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by again, Jasper. I appreciate it!

  66. Susan Robinson says:

    Hi Henneke,
    We ‘met’ on Sean’s cartooning course, didn’t know you had a blog at that time and not sure how I connected with it eventually. I enjoy seeing what you are doing with Henrietta. I finished my book, haven’t done much since then, just practice. Mara posted you on my facebook page, so I have shared that with a writing group I belong to. I look forward to your emails.

    • Hi Susan,
      How nice to hear from you! My blog keeps me drawing at least once a week. I’m enjoying it.
      Henrietta says hello to the twins 🙂

  67. Hello, 42 year old girl!

    Today i learnt something no one has ever taught me; risk to achieve your dreams, don’t expect everyone to like you, and don’t look down on yourself because there is only one of your kind, and that’s myself.

    Thank you, and i got your email earlier today.

  68. Hi Henneke,
    This is one of the most inspiring posts I’ve read this day! Writing is not my passion but reading how you started to post blogs makes me feel that I can also write.

  69. Hi Henneke,

    I read your blog because I get tips that I can use immediately. Your post on pronouns helped me be more precise in my writing, immediately. This is just one example.

    This post lets me know it’s ok to share with my readers, both of them :-), that I am not superman. That I have insecurities, struggles and pain as we all do.

    I have recently completed a Guest Post Course and I have submitted some ideas to a few popular blogs. Part of me is hoping I get turned down. Insecurities.

    I can’t pin point why, but your posts stick with me. The last post I wrote some of your tips came to mind as I was writing. I used the tips on the spot and the post was made better

    In the sentence above I used the words the tips instead of them. That’s because I read your post on Pronouns.

    I also come for your drawings. I really enjoy them. I could keep listing reasons why I like your blog but I better get to work. Both of my adoring fans are waiting.

    Barry

    • Every blog starts with one adoring fan. Better have one or two adoring fans than 100 hardly interested “readers” who skim through your post.

      I hope you get your guest post pitches accepted, Barry. Go for it!

  70. I started reading your blog about 3 weeks ago and subscribe to your newsletter. I like it because you seem genuinely interested in helping people learn/succeed rather than focusing primarily on a money-making enterprise for yourself. I also find you to be completely relatable and personable. Regarding Facebook, I hope you change your mind and get an account there. You dont have to reveal any more personal info on FB than you do at your blog. It can be strictly for business purposes only.

    • Hi Angel – Nice to meet you 🙂

      I guess, with Facebook, I’m also nervous about it becoming a time suck. But I might set up an account one day. I won’t rule it out!

  71. Now you have become my favourite writes. I want to learn “you” and “steal” you. 🙂

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