Underlying a lot of what makes Seth's Blog appealing is that he makes a very strong connection with his reader.
What makes this work is what I wrote about at the tail end of Part 3 - his expansive notions of how creativity and work can have a profound impact on the world. This is easy to identify with and get excited about.
This has intellectual components, but is largely an emotional appeal.
I don't agree with all of his blog posts, which is to say, intellectually some of them don't connect with me. However, I do keep reading his blog because of the connection I feel with the core themes: I also want to be a person doing important, creative work and changing the world.
Here is where theme selection probably matters most. To use my earlier example of desk chairs - it will be much harder to write an emotionally engaging, attention grabbing blog on the subject of desk chairs than on the subject of 'creativity at work'.
Here's a blog that makes a strong point:
The logic of this doesn't hold up great if you spend too much time reading into his analogy. After all, are we going to seek to have gravity banned? No, we aren't.
But because it's short and because paragraph 2 packs such a punch against the backdrop of paragraph 1 - you feel a deep connection to it and its theme of 'focus on what your trying to accomplish, not on the forces you need to overcome.'
It rings true on an emotional level. We can all say 'ah, yes' and think of times or places when we ourselves or others got too focused on the wrong (usually negative) thing and wasted a lot of time and energy.
There aren't a lot of words here to get hung up on. Just the message and a strong emotional message in the last sentence that reveals why we shouldn't waste our time on the other stuff.
On the emotional appeal (which most of us want and need to have with our reader) you have some key points to think about:
- Choosing a theme that lends itself to this sort of broad connection.
- Making emotional appeals to those themes with our readers in addition to intellectual appeals.
- An element of build up or revelation is useful to make that connection.
That's it. I will probably write a short conclusion to all this with what I've learned. But after that I will leave Seth alone.
I work for Exadel, Inc. Exadel is a great company, with great people all around the world. I currently lead the Boulder, CO, USA office.