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When Failings, Mistakes and Half Finished Thoughts can Help Grow Your Blog

200612112158Another way to make yourself more relatable to readers is to highlight your humanity by showing when you’re less than perfect.

One of the problems of blogging is that it can create (intentionally or unintentionally) ‘spin’ around a person that gives readers the impression of ‘super hero’ status.

Ask yourself - when was the last time you wrote about a mistake you made?

I find it very easy to write about my successes and strengths – but quite naturally avoid sharing my short fallings. The problem is – that I regularly mess up and make mistakes. If I never mention these and only highlight the good stuff the image that I portray to others becomes quite one dimensional and eventually un-relatable.

Share your some of your (relevant) short comings and the lessons that you’ve learned from your mistakes and you not only present readers with a great case study – but you show them that you’re actually similar to them also.

You might want to have some balance with this strategy of course – posting everyday about a mistake you’ve made might not be the best way of showing your expertise on a topic or build credibility but the occasional story of a lesson learnt through falling on your face can be well worth posting. The key is to not just highlight the mistake but to show what you’ve learned and how others might avoid it too.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. graydon says:

    Of course, posting everyday about your screwup could make for an interesting comedy blog.

    Make it a “what not to do” blog…

    i.e. Today the wife asked if these pants make her look fat… I said yes. Don’t do that.

    Today my bank sent me an email saying they had issues with my account… I clicked the link and after entereing in my account information I only heard some maniacal laughing sound… I’m thinking that’s a bad thing.

    I found this neat trick where you change the text color on part of your posting to match the background and then write out 500 times the keyword you want to score for… oh yeah, I made the font like 4 so that it wouldn’t show up a big blank space. We’ll see how this works.

  2. Hi Darren & All,

    I completely agree with this article. Again, as a reader, I have experienced this while reading someone elses blog. Showing a mistake or speaking about something they wished they had done differently only helps to show that they are a ‘real’ person and makes them easier to relate to often.

    Take Care : )

  3. Shannon says:

    Hah.. I totally live by this rule. See, I run a food blog and I am by no means Julia Childs-ish like some other bloggers out there. I post my greatness as well as my disasters. Just sprinkle a little humor in there to make it not so painful.

  4. Cyndi L says:

    You said: “Ask yourself – when was the last time you wrote about a mistake you made?”

    My answer: “Wednesday, the 13th!”

  5. Marti says:

    Last week – LOL

    I ran a really stupid contest…too hard, too lame, nobody cared, nobody entered. I fessed up and said I was sorry.

  6. Griffin says:

    To err is human…people love vulnerability and to show our readers that we makes mistakes sometimes…okay…most of the times, helps us to take off the Superman facade and be real.

  7. Great reminder that a little ego-smackdown never hurt anyone.

  8. Couldn’t agree more. I just posted a review of the past 18 months on my personal blog (peterflaschner.com), and nearly fell out of my chair when I read your post Darren. It’s high time we take the veil off making mistakes.

  9. Dustin says:

    Well that is good to know cuz a make a ton of mistakes

  10. I love how I have been given lots of compliments and received comments on my radio shows for being vunerable recently and sharing my mistakes and what I did when they happened.

    People are tired of hearing how perfect or smart or evolved people are, they want to know you are just like them, you just have another answer how to move forward.

    Thanks for putting a spotlight on this topic. It really helps you to be more authentic, transparent valuable. Build that know, like and trust factor – shazam!

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