The idea of blogging is something you’re familiar with, but if you’re reading this post that means you’re probably experiencing varying levels of success.
Or, as is the case with most bloggers, you’re not enjoying anything like success online.
It leaves you feeling like your blog is just another silent entry in the blogosphere, read only by you and your family — which is probably the case.
You’ve tried social bookmarking and backlinking and lots of other promotional techniques, but the reality is that you’re not doing the one single thing every blogger needs to do: be yourself.
Now I know that’s an incredibly clichéd thing to say. It sounds like the kind of advice your mother gave you when you were struggling to make friends at school or talk to a potential date in your teens. But that doesn’t make it any less true.
Are You Boring Your Readers to Death?
Most bloggers have a habit of trying to be somebody they’re not, usually in an attempt to impress their readers with their vast vocabulary and mastery of the English language. The problem here (well, there are a few problems, but the main one) is that your content is booooooring, and so dry it gives your readers no reason to bookmark it or bother sharing it with their friends on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
Blogging is a lot like dating, believe it or not. You could tell your next date you’re an eccentric millionaire with your own island in the Maldives. It won’t take them very long to see through your story and realize that you’re not quite telling the truth.
The exact same is true of blogging, folks. If you’re pretending to be somebody you’re not then it won’t take long for your readers to figure that out and find another blogger with something interesting to say.
So when it comes to actually creating content for your blog, try to inject as much of your personality into your posts as makes sense. People are looking for the human element in everything they read, and the more real you they find in your content the more of your stuff they’ll want to read.
Sell Yourself Without Selling Out
You see, what you’re actually “selling” on your blog is you — despite the fact that you might be promoting other products or services, or maybe just educating people. In the end, it doesn’t really matter what you might happen to be promoting (or not, for that matter); people will only keep reading your blog if they love how you write and what you write about.
A perfect example of this in the offline world is Dan Brown, author of The DaVinci Code. Here’s an author who’s absolutely despised by Oxford-educated grammar Nazis, but his writing style and how he actually tells his story has found a massive audience — like, ma-HOO-sive audience.
In years to come, Dan Brown will never, ever be remembered for creating works of literacy amazingness, but he will be remembered for being an author of some mildly interesting books who amassed a fortune of US$100 million by the age of 49.
So it comes down to a choice: which would you rather be?
- The blogger who writes prose perfection but has a following you could count on one hand, or
- A blogger who writes hugely enjoyable content that’s enjoyed and shared by thousands of readers, meaning you can earn a full-time living from it?
Be controversial. Be funny. Be outrageous. Hell, you can even try being f**king offensive if it works for you!
Whatever you do just don’t try to be the same as every other blogger out there — that’s the sure path to failure.
Image: JD Hancock