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The Power of Personal

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.

Personal

Personal stories are big

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:

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.

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. I am using the power of personal, but I am not using all the power.

    I will try to work on the tips in the post and use it, to be more and more personal.

    Thanks for this post Darren, waiting for more from you.

    • Yes this is a great reminder. True we may not be using all the power of using personal stories. I try to be so transparent in my blog though.

  2. frynki.com says:

    Great interaction will make our personal brand getting higher. Blogging is one of many tools to create personal branding. But it needs good communication and strategy to reach that goal

  3. Samuel says:

    Hi Darren, thanks for pushing once more in my mind to consider this approach.

    Adding your personal touch is the most important factor in this part of the game.

  4. ziew says:

    thanks for sharing,… :)

  5. Anna Rydne says:

    I believe in emotional communication, as long as it is well-balanced and not turns into a personal dairy.
    To really get a message through today I think we have to connect with our readers on an emotional level as well, connecting the personal with the professional.

    I plan to write more about this subject on my blog, and I’m more than happy to start a discussion on the subject. What is the best way to create emotinal comms?

  6. The main reason I frequent blogs is for the personal (every site has a unique flavor to it and, as a journalist at heart, I just live to soak in it.) “Drier” blogs where personality is lacking, swiftly fall off my radar, and those bursting with the author are more apt to gain my readership.

  7. Jeff Goins says:

    “Personal isn’t always about you.” So true.

  8. Laura says:

    My entire blog is around the power of personal I am one of a handful of bloggers on the net who write from a first hand account about life with cerebral palsy (CP). There are probably several hundred blogs on the net about cp but there often written by the parent who has a child with it. Knowing this, I realized early that sharing my life with cerebral palsy helps parents better understand their child now and what to expect in the future! http://lifeofthedifferentlyabled.com for several examples of what I mean

    • I found the matierial on your site very interesting and will be interested to see whether wordpress.org is better for me. Thank you.

  9. Isn’t there should be space between the words ‘a whole generation’ and ‘of’? (Third paragraph’s last sentence).

    Anyways Darren thanks for the post. Honestly you are my source of inspiration!

    Keep up the good work.

  10. Scott G. says:

    Good post! I think the personal aspect of blogging is at the heart of its appeal. And you’re so right about this being an age in which people want writers to be “real.” (I’m not a big fan of reality TV, though. :-) I think most of the media “mystique” went away with the advent of the Internet, blogging, and social media. I’m a relatively new blogger, and am excited by the possibilities. I say that I love the idea of “sharing my journey” with others. Each of us has a unique perspective–and personality–that others can benefit from if we keep the blogging going! Cheers!

  11. Michelle says:

    I love my personal blog, but struggle to find ways to build a blog when it is a personal blog. A lot of the advice doesn’t seem to apply, especially if you aren’t writing about one set topic. I do love putting images in my blog..it seems like it takes what I am saying and makes it even more personal.

  12. MissVindicat says:

    I love personal! My favorite blogger, The Bloggess, can’t even be placed in a category. Being personal is about all she is and I love it.

    I just started out a blog for myself, which is personal too. I’ve been around on YouTube for more than two years now. I’m part of the whisper community on there, which consists of people making whisper videos for relaxation and tingles. Since I love to write I decided to start a blog about whispering also. But mostly, the things I plan on sharing are personal stories too.

  13. It’s something I’ve never done yet, but it is an interesting idea that I feel I could use on one of my other blogs.

    ie, how I started blogging in an attempt to take control of my finances and ultimately my life again. Start about where I am now, etc.

  14. Jon Loomer says:

    I go back and forth on this. I occasionally inject personal stories, but the pieces of content that generate the most traffic for me are those that are helpful and factual. That said, those who reach out to work with me often mention connecting with my personal stories.

    I’ve heard suggestions from both sides: 1) Be human and tell your story; and 2) No one cares about you.

    In the end, I guess you just have to go with your gut, write how you want to write and react to your readers… right?

    • Glynis Jolly says:

      I’m getting the same reactions, Jon. I’m really not sure which way to go either. I find it easier to write when I inject a little about me but if no one is going to want to read it, there’s no point in writing it.

  15. Wes says:

    Hi Darren,
    Creating a personal connection on the sites I run is definitely something I’m not very good at. I think it’s partially because I never feel like I’m caught up on the back-end stuff, so I tend to hide from anything else that could get me distracted.

    It’s definitely something I”m working on… I know it would be better for my own health, and help me improve our user content.

  16. rakesh says:

    nice posts.I could use on one of my other blogs.

  17. Gamer says:

    This site never lets me down. By the way I found this post very useful.

  18. I think personality is the power of blogging since the world is shaped by mainstream media —a type of media with full of commercial interest.

    • Ben Troy says:

      A value is a belief, a mission, or a philosophy that is meaningful. Whether we are consciously aware of them or not, every individual has a core set of personal values. Values can range from the commonplace, such as the belief in hard work and punctuality, to the more psychological, such as self-reliance, concern for others, and harmony of purpose.

  19. Thomas says:

    Yeah so true. Personal is not just about ‘You’

  20. I love the idea of adding more personal photos surrounding your life. I often find myself scanning through Tim Ferriss’ flickr or Michael Hyatt’s Twitter images. I may start letting readers into my life more on my blog.

  21. Vygintas says:

    World is so big, but when you actually live in it, it seems so small. You can’t be everywhere at the same time, but you can blog and be seen anywhere at the same time.

  22. Fazi Khan says:

    It’s something I’ve never done yet, but it is an interesting idea that I feel I could use on one of my other blogs.

  23. I’ve been blogging about my search to find my grandfather, my feelings about family, and the legacy of slavery from the South and it turned into a documentary film, I’m working with a high-powered literary agent to sell my book, and I’m in talks now with an established Hollywood director for the film rights on my book. I think personal works!

  24. MJ Monaghan says:

    There has to be that personal connection for readers to identify, trust, and respond to what you’re message is, regardless of the message.

  25. Richard Ng says:

    I do share personal stuff/experiences regularly in my blogs. It is a great way to get more upclose and personal with the visitors. I am of the view that readers will be more open when they are reading something real/personal.

    Cheers!

  26. I’ve struggled so much with this! I want to remain professional but still personal. Thank you for this post!

  27. Hi Darren,

    Personal has such a big power of attracting and keeping readers. Even big corporations know this and that’s why they have a face to represent them. It’ always about connecting with people and engaging in meaningful or not so meaningful conversation.

  28. Krista says:

    I highly believe in the power of personal stories. In fact, that’s a part of my career…telling stories…whether it’s mine or one of my team members. As social media continues to grow and the world continues to become smaller and smaller…more and more businesses will have to use the power of personal storytelling to really engage with current customers and new customers.

  29. Dave . L says:

    I have always felt that by sharing personal posts, stories or anything on that personal nature, you build a trusting relationship with your fellow blog readers and or subscribers.

    I have been blogging now for over 7 years and absolutely love being personable with others. if all of my articles and posts could be more personable in nature then they would be but i do understand they all cannot.
    I actually get a “good feeling” when i share anything personal about myself (not in an egotistical way).
    I love to help people in all categories of life NOT just blogging and making money with it.
    Thank You for this very helpful article.
    I got a lot of information out of it both good and great! :)