This week, we’ve got a couple of intriguing blog posts coming up that deal with bloggers’ personal stories.
Obviously, personal stories tend to do well with blog readers. But look around, and you’ll see that personal stories have become a mainstay of the media more generally.
We have reality t.v.—real stories about real people (admittedly in some pretty outlandish situations!). We have the social media explosion, where anyone and everyone has the opportunity to “go viral” and enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame. We even have a whole generation of people who are reputedly more self-assured—and self—promoting—than ever before.
Personal stories are big—and not just online, or among bloggers. So if you’re yet to experiment with the power of personal on your blog, now’s the time to commit to it across the board.
But blogging is inherently personal, right?
Blogging might have started as online journaling, but I think we’d probably all agree that it’s come a long way since then.
If you’re blogging as an employee for a company, you may not consider what you do to be very personal. If you’re running a news-style blog, you may feel that your job is to report facts objectively, not tell stories.
So, depending on the kind of blog you run, you may find it difficult to inject a personal element into what you do.
Personal isn’t always about you
What if you are writing blog posts for a corporation? Or what if you’re just shy about revealing too much of yourself?
How can you get personal without making it about you?
Simple: put the personal focus onto others:
- Your readers and commenters: by doing regular Q&A posts, highlighting their contributions to your blog and niche, and so on. Even a reader poll can produce information for a post that really resonates with readers and generates discussion.
- Industry leaders: quoting them is a good start, but why not interview them yourself, add commentary or opinion on their comments, and include publicly usable photos and videos of them? As a first step in this direction, you could simply include the photos and bios of guest posters and contributing authors to your blog. They’re industry experts too—we hope!
- Those you’re connected to: whether they’re family, friends, industry contacts, colleagues, or social media connections, relating the stories, experiences, and perspectives of those around you can give a really personal feel to a post. As an unusual example, I really love how Heather Armstrong does this with her daily photo posts of her dog Chuck.
Personality-rich post formats
Personal posts don’t just have to revolve around topics—certain post formats seem to do a lot to help us create a personal connection.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- The personality roundup: A roundup of personalities within your niche—with images and links—is a great way to give a human feel to any blog.
- The interview: I mentioned this above, but your interview could use video and audio too—and be the better for it.
- The image post: Images do speak a thousand words. The great thing about them is that a good image will elicit emotions from your readers, so often you can say less about yourself and more about your niche—and still create that personal connection.
- The irreverent post: Reporting the facts in chatty language is another good way to create a personal feel—provided it fits with the tone and thrust of your blog.
Are you using the power of personal?
Are you confidently creating a sense of personal connection through your blog, or is it something you struggle with? what techniques do you use? Share your tips and advice with us in the comments.