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The Importance of Your Essence in Blogging Success

This guest post is by Alden Tan of Alden-Tan.com.

So you got your blog started up. It’s time to put everything in place.

You start to study the market and conduct all the research needed. You read up on other blogs, scout forums, and buy an ebook that’s supposed to help you succeed.

Having bought into the hype, you actually force yourself to apply all the tactics you learnt, even though you don’t have a good feeling about them.

You’re basically basing your work on others’ success!

Already you’ve fallen into the category of tired bloggers who’ve tried everything and yet not seen any success. And then you’re attracted by other “gurus” who advertise “the real deal”. It’s a vicious cycle.

What’s lacking? What is that one, invisible quality that the top bloggers all seem to have? You may be spending too much time doing what others are doing, when the real problem is this:

Your blog lacks your “why”

How much energy are you expending on your blog? I don’t just mean writing, designing, optimizing SEO, or using social media.

I mean how much of yourself are you putting into your blog?

The power of your self, injected in your blog, can take you far. It’s about bringing forth your beliefs to the world and sharing your vision with people.

And it all fuses together to create your “why”.

The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”—Simon Sinek, Start with Why

This attitude goes beyond merely following your passion and showing people you’re doing what you love. It’s also a step ahead of putting personality in your writing.

It’s the belief and vision you need to create your purpose. And with purpose, you’ll never be lost again.

How to find and express your blog’s essence

1. Find your own purpose in person

In order to find your blog’s essence, you’ve first got to find your own purpose in life.

Remember, your blog is you. You aren’t a ball of marketing tactics and business strategies. You need to continually express yourself in your blog to get all that essence out there.

I found and fine-tuned my purpose with this little exercise I did at RyzeOnline. This powerful exercise can help you to zoom in on your very being, building the strong roots needed for both yourself and your blog.

Furthermore, one of the things the exercise teaches is to be fully proud of your essence and loudly proclaim it to the world. You can easily do that by writing and portraying that on your About Me page, and in all your articles.

Ever since I completed this exercise, I’ve only written with purpose. To put it another way, I don’t write if I’m not inspired. I stopped churning out content just for the sake of having an update for my blog. Not only does it feel a lot better, but my articles have been receiving greater response in terms of comments.

Do the exercise now to create your blog’s roots.

2. Find your one person

Now, with your purpose and essence found, you need to as yourself: who will I bring this to?

Forget about finding a target audience or a demographic. Ask yourself this:

“Are you being completely you when having an intimate conversation with someone or when you’re addressing a large group?” You should be.

There is a fantastic article on finding your one person (or customer) over at Firepole Marketing, complete with a free worksheet.

Finding your one person makes it a lot easier for you and your blog to communicate your essence. It relieves the pressure of marketing and managing your entire blog.

For me now, when I write, everything is directed to my one person. And combining it with the first point—my why—I know for sure I’m on the right track.

So find your one person now, and write, blog, and talk to them.

3. Find your blog’s one true design

Every blog has a layout and design—otherwise it’s just a wall of words.

But does your blog visually scream your essence?

Good marketing for a blog would mean readers would know what you’re all about within just three seconds of landing on your page.

Your content and writing definitely plays a big role, but the fact is, people’s attention span fluctuate a lot, so you definitely have to get your blog’s look alone to grab attention. And when you do grab it, make sure the right messages are going through.

Zenhabits has a minimalist look and it works wonderfully. Firepole Marketing, with its tagline, “Marketing that works” easily tells us of the brand’s speciality in marketing.

I just went through a blog revamp myself. When I started out, I thought of taking pretty pictures of myself with a good camera, thinking that it would look good anyway. Now, the pictures of me easily tell of my life. Let me know if you get that.

Does your blog visually tell your story? If not, tweak it!

People will recognize your blog for you

When I started my own blog, I just thought I’d write and see what comes along, because I knew I was a good writer. But I ended up writing random articles that were at most entertaining.

It was only when I dug deeper into myself and find out why I wanted to blog that I found real purpose in blogging.

Not only does it feel good doing what I do everyday, but people eventually recognized me for that. I got personal emails from readers asking me for real advice. And all my “winning” strategic platforms thrive on their own—now I have more Twitter followers, more Facebook likes and more opt-ins.

Are you a little sceptical in the importance of essence? Essence is not some magical, cosmic energy at work in which the universe rewards you for the passion you have. It’s just building a strong foundation in your blog or business.

Remember, with strong roots, your blog will bear great fruit. And what better way to build your roots than by being yourself, being passionate, and being original?

Alden Tan is a rock star blogger who writes about personal development, passion and inspiration. He gets most of his essence from doing what he loves despite what others think of him. If you want to learn how to get your own essence out, check out his email series on learning how to stop caring about what others think and start living!

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Comments

  1. The Write Like Freddy program at work :) Nice to see your name up there, Alden! As usual, you make great, helpful, and motivating points.

    • Alden says:

      Oh yes for real Jonathan haha. Danny Iny is a genius in both marketing and writing.

      Thanks so much for dropping by!

  2. Hey Alden,

    Nice post. I think all the successful blogs have a special essence like you described. I’m trying to build mine out at the moment. I think your writing style is definitely part of your essence. I can always tell who the writer is without looking lol.

    • Alden says:

      Hey Jamie!

      Yes I think writing style is part of your essence too.

      Some call it magic, I call it essence. It takes time to build though!

  3. Graham Lutz says:

    It sounds like its all about actually being you in your posts. I have a hard time when I try to be the person I feel like I’m supposed to be as opposed the who I am. When I write the way I talk, I see more interaction from readers and the posts are much more successful.

    • Alden says:

      That’s great Graham.

      When I started out and felt rather lost, I realized too, my more personal posts had a better reaction.

  4. Jeanette says:

    Great post! The hardest part about finding out who you are, is to figure out if you should try to single out only one interest/trait to draw upon on one blog, or if you should set up different categories. For me, it’s kinda hard to separate my “fields”, as they all overlap in my overall life philosophy, but it’s still a question I keep asking myself.

    • Alden says:

      Hey Jeanette,

      I think at the end of the day your opinions and thoughts are all you, so whatever topic it is, lead it back to your one topic, through your opinions and thoughts.

      What is your life philosophy?

      • Jeanette says:

        My life philosophy is that spirituality should be reflected in every part of your life, so you can see how I’m struggling with the categories, hehe. But I think it comes together anyhow, as both creativity and making money from it ties in rather nicely in with the Goddess concept and the feminist theme of that, right along with connecting with nature and living a natural life. So I’m experimenting to see how this works out for me, and which category is best appreciated by the readers. That should give me a clue, I guess. :)

  5. Asher says:

    I just made the move from a personal blog to something more targeted, and I can really identify with what you mean by essence. Looking through all my older posts, I really got down to what mattered the most for me and focused on that instead of writing about everything at once. Great advice!

    • Alden says:

      Hey Asher,

      That’s great! Yeah focus on one thing, and helping people solve that one problem.

  6. Ryan Scott says:

    Your blog is you; I like that point. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to tell people this for a long time but couldn’t find the words. Your blog is the version of you that is always in people’s homes and offices.

    Picture a technology that, anytime someone thinks of you they turn around and you’re standing right behind them. And sometimes, when they subscribe to you, at intervals throughout the day you just appear next to them.

    Blogging is you that is always accessible. This can be good or bad for you. It’s up to you to decide which by what and how you blog.

    • Alden says:

      Hey Ryan,

      I love how you put it! Great technology indeed.

      I think blogging is a great platform to express yourself and get yourself out there. And with the ability to influence people, it’s definitely a great way to do business.

      Influence, doing business, marketing outreach or just plain talking to others, blogging with your essence on is the way to go.

  7. I just recently discovered your blog Alden and I can say this article is really helpful for someone like me who’ still starting to learn. I also like your style of writing, very unique!

    • Alden says:

      Thanks so much lucid,

      You definitely have a targeted topic for your blog already. So go for it and bring it out for us.

  8. Estuary says:

    Many people blog for the sake of blogging. I think the author got it right!

  9. Alden! Dude! Fantastic article. Really.

    You nail some of the most important foundations of a great blog (or any great expression).

    I also appreciate the link to my Ryze Purpose Exercise, and Danny’s One-Person. I know these all help bloggers in a big way. Simon Sinek’s Start With Why is *super* important in our complex world.

    And it looks good on ProBlogger too, as many new bloggers swing by here and are totally ready for this stuff.

    You’re an awesome guy, great friend, and fantastic writer. Keep shinin’.

    • Alden says:

      Thanks man!

      You’re a great friend and teacher yourself man.

      Yep I think readers will be able appreciate this article, especially on finding your why as a younger blogger!

  10. Aditi Datta says:

    Hi Alen!!
    Your blog is really very interesting to read.Nowadays, blogging is an important discussion area and we all are engaged to any blogging sites. These tips would definitely be a great help and also a good guide for us. Thanks for the share!!

    • Alden says:

      Hey Adita!

      Thanks so much.

      I’m glad this helped. So what is your own blog’s why?

      Blogging is really huge indeed. There are many Hows out there, but the Why is all up to you.

  11. Ayaz says:

    Great post and I agree with you on the point how many time you spend on your blog and that’s how you can judge your blog progress and as well as can focus on the betterment of your blog.

    I think spending few minutes or hours on these points rather than writing or designing and comparison with the pro bloggers sometimes works better to improve your blog compatibility.

    • Alden says:

      Indeed!

      I do this especially when I feel uninspired or just a plain drag.

      I step back, reflect and remember why I’m doing what I’m doing :)

  12. Carolyn says:

    Writing in your own style and blogging as you is what makes you stand out from everyone else. It’s the reason people sign up to your blog and follow you . When people like and trust someone, it’s for the person they are, and not for a fabricated character designed to convey the beliefs of someone else.

    • Alden says:

      Nicely said Carolyn.

      That goes the same for the topics you write about.

      I used to write about random stuff I thought people would like, and I didn’t care for those topics.

      Needless to say, I didn’t feel good writing them and the results weren’t great at all.

  13. Brad Dalton says:

    Good stuff Alen.

    I think your blog posts should be based on your own experience.

    Conducting research isn’t your own experience.

    I think its important to create a blog which is unique and a reflection of you.

    I’ve also found video’s in a post with audio add real personality and help rank higher as well.

    • Alden says:

      Nice!

      I think research is cool, but they’re just there to back up your own experience.

  14. Francesco says:

    This is true. But since I am an eternally evolving personality, ever-changing, my vehicles of expressions will change as well. This means that the topics of my Blog may vary a lot over time.Yet, I believe that success in business is 100% a function of your consistency in the long run. This means that you have to stick with your project, but you can change it and re-define it along the way as much as you want to. The key is to always re-create and refresh yourself along the path, so to speak.

    • Alden says:

      I love how you put it!

      Yes I think evolution is inevitable in everyone, be it in business or whatever you want to pursue.

      I wouldn’t say you HAVE to evolve and change, but it just happens somehow anyway.

      Boy, looking back, I think no one would be able to know how I could write up an article like this on ProBlogger lol.

  15. Phil says:

    Yep, all the tips, secrets and advice we read online shouldn’t stop us from being ourselves. We should not stop being creative because we think someone has already done the job for us.

    Until we add a little bit of ourselves in the content we produce, our blogs won’t be a 100% ours.

  16. Very nice post, finding your true voice when you post on your blog is key. Thanks for the wonderful advice!

  17. Heather says:

    This is so true. It’s so easy to read everything and try to follow all of the advice out there and think you are being productive.

    This follow the crowd mentality may be a stage many of us need to go through to learn the ropes, but the true magic starts to happen when you add your own voice, break a few of the “rules” and start to really be you — no matter what your blog is about.

    • Alden says:

      Hey Heather!

      That’s an awesome analogy! “The follow the crowd mentality may be a stage”

      I love the advice. Thanks!

  18. Louise Myers says:

    A unique design defines the Blog’s identity. Problogger.net itself is a great example for that. Thanks for the great tips.

  19. Raysolve says:

    Great professional design to your site and very informative content. I am very glad your content is well structured and not re-spun content found on many other sites.

  20. Jan O'Hara says:

    In writing we call it “voice”, which influences the medium, the message, and everything in between.

  21. Norbert says:

    your point on finding your own person is spot on.I think a blog without a personality loses the true essence of blogging.

  22. Sonia says:

    Great post Alden. I too caught that line from Simon and that man is brilliant. Your why has to mean everything or you end up coming off as fake. Ever since we started networking, I have learned allot from you myself.

    Your style, and your essence screams all you from the moment I read your post on Jason’s blog. I am revamping my blog too and tweaking your blog is a good thing to keep up and stay on top of your game. I don’t want my message to become stale and neither would anyone else. I love what your doing Alden…keep it up!

    • Alden says:

      Sonia!

      As usual, thanks for dropping by! Love you!

      I love it that we’ve been networking too.

      I can’t wait to see the revamp! LogAllot is awesome for business bloggers and I’m sure you will be the next big hub!

  23. Dee J Kumar says:

    Finding one voice is such a valid point. When I first started blogging I tried to be everything to everyone. Trying different voices to app lease a wider audience. What happens is that you simply confuse the reader and they never know which ‘you’ they will get.

    I only found success when I accepted who I was and wrote consistently in that style. Readers began to identify with my style and over time they began to love me for it.

    I may not have a huge following, but I do have one and that counts for a lot.

    • Alden says:

      I used to write anything I thought was cool or tending at the start. I just followed news affair and stuff, and I realized it felt unoriginal and nobody was reacting.

      That’s awesome to hear Dee J, keep at it!

  24. Alden says:

    Thanks Norbert!

    And yet, “adding personality” to your writing is a very common advice.

    Go beyond! Find your why!

  25. Lauren says:

    this just made me sigh with relief! relief that maybe i’m on the right track!! i have gotten completely overwhelmed by all the ‘advice’ and do’s and don’ts of the blogging world that it made my head swirl! the suggestions in this article have made me feel refocussed to continue on the path i believe i was already heading. thanks a bunch!

    • Alden says:

      No prob Lauren!

      Yes there’s plenty of information out there on the internet. It’s up to you to find out what works best for you.

      If you ask me, simply try anything, and see what clicks with you.

  26. annisa says:

    Nice post. I think you can start blogging by sharing your thoughts and expertise whatsoever.

  27. Tehmina says:

    Thank you for writing such an excellent and honest article Alden. It really resonated with me, and articulated why I started blogging in the first place – to find my voice and connect with a like-minded community. If you build a blog based on authentic self-expression, then the right people will most definitely find you!

    • Alden says:

      Nicely said Tehmina.

      I agree with you completely.

      “Somehow”, as with the “magic” or natural charisma or some people, people do get them, and they look up to them.

  28. With the blogosphere so saturated, I’m amazed and puzzled by how many sites feel sterile and disingenuous. Journalism surges through my veins so I love the personal stories and, as you’ve mentioned, the essence, of each unique ‘you’. I hope more writers will find the courage to put forth their true authentic voices without apologizing -someone has all ready been there and done that, anyway, it’s all regurgitated, quoting onto itself, so what is there to lose? I tell writers: let’s hear YOUR unique story because that is the soul, and what engages me.

    • Alden says:

      Nicely said Jennifer.

      Maybe it takes a little courage, maybe it takes some knowledge. But it will probably all lead to the same place, which is being your truest self in your blog, which is you.

      Broke Ass Mummy, I love that! Definitely standing out.

  29. Desmond Ong says:

    Great advice on how to write the perfect blog posts.
    I’m definitely going to test out these tips on my blog posts.
    And the most important thing ive learned about blogging, is be accurate.
    You want to make sure that whatever you are telling your audience is factual.