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5 Reasons Your Blog Is Definitely About You, No Matter What It’s Topic Is

Posted by on May 29, 2012
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Let me get this out of the way. I love Marcus Sheridan’s blog The Sales Lion. I like the way he writes, and in general I like the way he thinks. And yet, there are times when he says something that’s sounds like it’s supposed to be gospel that I disagree with so much that I usually can’t stop myself and comment against his position. In this case I decided to write a blog post of my own instead because I have my own point to make, and I don’t want to write a long comment. So Marcus, I’m inspired by your post (you’ll probably never notice this anyway) and here’s my response to it.


by Eddie Van 3000 via Flickr

Marcus recently wrote a post titled It’s Called a BLOG, Not a BRAG. His point is that many blogs are written more with the person writing the blog in mind than the readers. His postulation is that no one is interested in reading about you, the blog owner; they want to know what you have to offer them, or what you can do for them.

He does make a good point, but one I can’t totally agree with because it comes across as a blanket statement that’s not true. If every post that’s written comes across as “I, I, I” and offers nothing else, it’s possible that at some point some readers might not want to visit anymore.

I’ll counter that point by asking a few questions. One, what if the blog is a collection of personal stories by someone like our friend Charles Gulotta writes on Mostly Bright Ideas? What about like my business blog, Mitch’s Blog, where I often lead into my points of view by telling true stories of things I’ve encountered to help people identify with the lesson of the day? For that matter, what about this blog, where often even if I’m giving a tutorial or lesson on something it’s usually based on something that happened to me, which I tell so that people know what prompted me to give them details on how to do something?

Those are the questions; time for the 5 reasons why your blog is definitely about you.

1. Blogs with personality make for a better read. If you read Marcus’ post literally, it’s almost saying that you should just sell or market and not do anything else. Of course he’s not saying that, nor does he do that. What’s great about his blog is that he’s very personable. What’s also interesting about his blog is that, though he wrote this particular piece, he writes a lot of posts about himself, telling stories of what happened and what brought him to the place he is today. I don’t have to pick one out specifically; just go look for yourself (his stuff is great to read).

2. We want to feel we know the person writing the blog, no matter what type of blog it is. Think about this one for a bit. If someone is writing a “make money” blog, which a lot of people do, what is it that separates them from everyone else? Why are there only a few people making it big with those types of blogs and so many others are failing? For that matter, what separates those blogs that make money, regardless of niche, from all the others?

It’s that we get to know these people, and through their writing we start to trust them. But you can’t learn anything about a person that won’t share themselves with you, and thus you won’t buy from them either.

3. How else can you convince people to buy anything from you without talking about yourself from time to time? Our friend Sire talks about himself all the time when he’s pushing the latest product on his blog. He’s not telling you what’s going on in his life, per se, but what brought him to this new product, why he likes it, and why he thinks you’ll like it as well. In between those posts, he tells some stories here and there, including his popular Friday Funnies series. That’s because you can’t sell all the time; do that and people will stay away because no one wants to be sold to 24/7.

4. Why shouldn’t you be proud of your accomplishments? In Peggy Klaus’ book Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing Iticon, she talks about the importance of talking about yourself and your accomplishments because if you don’t, no one else will, and sometimes those are the things that separate you from someone else. So if you’ve won some kind of award, mention it. If you’ve done an interview somewhere, or had a guest post published somewhere, mention it. You’d better talk about yourself sometimes because very few of us have someone else who’ll talk for us; trust me on this one.

5. It’s your blog. That means you’re responsible for every aspect of it. Why did you create your blog to begin with? If it has no personality, who will care about it but you? It’s up to you to promote, to talk to people, to write at least a portion of the content, and if there’s nothing of you in it then what’s the point? You’d better talk about yourself from time to time, or at least allude to yourself, to let people know there’s a real person with real feelings, real personality and real talent writing that blog. Without that, who cares?

There you have it, my opinion on this topic, and now it’s your turn.
 

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20 Comments »

I have no doubts whatsoever that your blog represents your personality as I believe does my blog mine. Why would we blog otherwise as so rightly asked by you?
Rummuser recently posted…The Magnet.My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Rummuser. I do the same on at least 4 of my blogs, which I think is what helps people identify with me.

May 29th, 2012 | 10:19 AM

Mitch, I smiled the whole time reading this bud.

Actually, I really don’t disagree with your points here. I love personal, but I don’t mix “personal” with “bragging”, and I feel there is a big difference.

Like the book you mentioned above about the art of bragging without tooting your own horn– now that’s the great key.

Also, my article was very slanted towards “business blogs”, and not personal blogs, as most businesses still don’t get the concept of teach first, brag second. They just yap, yap, yap about their awesome sauce and it doesn’t give an ounce of value to what is a new visitor– thus a prospect is gone, never to return.

Anyway, I loved your take here Mitch and appreciate your thoughtfulness and readership very, very much.

Marcus
Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion recently posted…Why the Goal of Blogging is NOT a Bunch of “Yes Puppets”My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Marcus, and thanks for the inspiration for this post. I have the same style on my business blogs as well, mainly because I think highlighting a story to get a point across works well. It’s all about storytelling, and I think people respond to things like that. At least I hope they do. :-)

May 29th, 2012 | 10:46 AM
Laura:

I truly like your blogging style cause as you blog you actually share you own feeling for tat stuff and that represents you …

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I certainly try Laura.

May 29th, 2012 | 1:22 PM

I love everything you shared here Mitch but I can also see Marcus’ point. His post was geared more toward business blogs and once that LOVE to toot their own horns. Boring!!!

Like for you and I, I would consider mine a business blog in the sense that it’s about building relationships so I can help people with their business yet it sure has a personal touch. I can’t help but write about my own experiences and I often get requests to talk more about me. Boring!!!

In all honesty though, you’ve definitely said it all here. Just don’t sell sell sell and make that connection with your readers.

Awesome post Mitch, as always!

~Adrienne
Adrienne recently posted…A Day Of CelebrationMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Adrienne, I think that’s the balance part, because there are those blogs that only sell and we get tired of them pretty quickly. But those are the types of blogs that don’t give us any personality either, and that’s kind of where I was coming from in my rebuttal. I certainly understood Marcus’ point, but you know me and how I like to respond to absolutes when they kind of don’t exist. :-) And I’m the same guy on my business blogs; at least I try to be.

May 29th, 2012 | 5:06 PM
Allan:

When you write, you leave something that came from you. There are your ideas, your brand of humor, your writing style. So it is almost impossible to say that a blog has no personality. Not unless it uses spun content.
Allan recently posted…blu electronic cigarette reviewMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Good stuff Allan, and I agree with that. I don’t think Marcus was saying don’t show personality. What he was saying was never talk about yourself, and that’s what I dispute, even though I know what he means and, if that’s all you did, then I’d agree with it. Don’t ever be a legend in your own mind. lol

May 30th, 2012 | 4:00 AM
Carl:

I agree with your points, Mitch and I have always say that even business blogs need a personal touch and statement. On the other hand I don’t really think that the majority of blogs are written with personal perspective, probably 20% a copycats, 40% are blogging for money, another 30% business blogs and just probably 10% are personal blogs and I can tell you why I think that, I personally don’t know a blogger that manage only 1 blog, usually 2-3 at least.
Carl recently posted…When You Are Looking At Patios, Rochester NY Professionals Can Help You ChooseMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Not sure what you mean by “manage only one blog”. Are you saying you believe most people write in more than one place, own more than one blog, or can’t handle more than one blog? As to the other point I’m glad we agree on that one because without personality, it’s a textbook. lol

Carl Reply:

I mean writing in more than one blog. I personally own many, I know that you own at least 3 blogs. I have few friends that write on few blogs that are even in the same business niche.
Carl recently posted…How to Use White Ink on a Digital PressMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Carl, I actually have 5 blogs; I might be certifiably crazy at this point. lol

May 30th, 2012 | 4:23 AM

I remember that post on Sales Lion. I actually agreed with it for the most part. I tune out when bloggers always write about how awesome they are and all their accomplishments. NOT because you shouldn’t be proud or should never mention those things, but because it doesn’t feel real. Nobody is awesome 24/7 and portraying yourself as such isn’t very convincing… like, I’m not buying it.

But, you make good points about balance. And I DO like to know the writer behind the words, so I enjoy reading personal stories.. it helps build rapport and helps build a common ground with the reader.
Denise recently posted…Why Turning Pro Means Adjusting the Fan MindsetMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks for your perspective Denise. Actually, I think I get when people who write on services they provide rather than products they sell talk about their successes more often than failures or stories in general that might not have anything to do with them. No one wants to be seen as someone who’s less than perfect, even if none of us are perfect.

May 30th, 2012 | 8:33 AM

Mitch,
I liked this article. I too follow Marcus and have talked with him several times at events. He’s a great guy. As you mentioned, even great guys may have mixed thoughts on topics. I do agree with the thoughts Marcus was sharing about teach first and brag second. I think in order to create remarkable content we need to add value. That being said, by no means does this content need to be dull and boring with no personality. The more personality you can share in your articles and remarkable content, the better in my opinion. Personality and bragging however are not one in the same. I think as with any form of marketing it is important to ask what’s in it for the reader before we publish. If you do this and add value then you will be fine no matter what style of writing you do. Telling stories is a great way to share your value. Great article Mitch, thanks for sharing!
Dale Berkebile recently posted…Learn the #1 branding problem with writers and designersMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks for your perspective Dale. I just like to bring balance to some things when I see them here and there. If you read the book Blog that I mentioned, the main takeaway from that book is that no one remembers when you do great things and if you have to remind people every once in awhile what you did and it helps you to progress in some fashion, do it. I like to think that people will be happy for you when you have some success than upset with you for talking about it. And truthfully, I think it works in getting business here and there; Tony Robbins made himself a millionaire by talking about the high profile people he coached after all. :-)

May 30th, 2012 | 3:56 PM

It’s so weird to start reading a post and suddenly see your name there in the middle of it. Thank you for the mention, Mitch. For me, blogging has been about building relationships with readers and other writers. The only way to do that is to talk about things that are personal and specific enough to be interesting, but also general enough that others can relate to it, at least to some degree. Even after two years, I’m still figuring it out, but when I seem to be writing about me, I’m also hoping the reader will say, “Me, too!” And that requires my visiting their blogs and learning more about who they are. It really is a two-way street. Which is good, because those one-way streets always seem to be going the wrong way.
Charles Gulotta recently posted…On Being Neurotic (Part 1) (Will I Have Enough for Two Parts?) (Who Am I Kidding?)My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

That’s how I keep people reading Charles, because they never know if their name will show up in a post. lol The point of course is that we talk about ourselves and sometimes have a point in mind by doing so. And yet there still have to be some self promotion, you to write books, me to market services, and if neither of us ever happens to mention something positive that happened to us, what convinces anyone that maybe we have what it takes to do business with us?

May 31st, 2012 | 10:14 AM