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 It, 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.