Which bloggers do you really admire?
When you think about the qualities of the top five blogs you follow religiously every week, what attributes do they share?
I suspect that they all have one single thing in common – the ability to bring in just enough of themselves to keep you engaged, while managing to weave in information about their products, services and industries that you are looking for, to develop your own knowledge.
Blogging can be tough, and no tougher than when you are trying to find your own voice to cement your online brand.
It can be daunting to approach the vast space of the World Wide Web and know how much of yourself to conceal or reveal when you write.
Some of the best bloggers out there have managed to make an income just from revealing the personal secrets of their everyday life – think of Dooce.
We were – and continue to be – enthralled at the power of blogging to enable people to write frankly about every aspect of their personal life, just as millions of viewers flock to the television every year to watch the residents of Big Brother pick their noses on live airtime.
Blogging has opened up the gates for a huge outpouring of confessions, revelations and personal writing that has never before had such an outstanding platform for people to express themselves in new and unique ways.
However, as business bloggers, how much of ourselves do we really want to reveal when we write online?
You’ll have heard me say before that I often think of our blogs as working like shop fronts for our customers – that people come to our blogs to find out a little about who we are, and what we do, before signing up for our products and services.
I think the analogy works for finding out how much of the personal things we want to share through our blogs.
Just as you wouldn’t walk in to your local shop and listen to the greengrocer discussing what a great night he had over the weekend with his wife, so we don’t want to go and visit a blog about search engine optimization to hear about the shade of pants the author is wearing that day.
That said, there is plenty of room for storytelling on our blogs.
We can weave in details about how we came about finding a new product, or what we got up to the day we decided we wanted to set up our own business.
This kind of story is ideal for letting your customers know more about you before making a purchasing decision.
Blogging is about fusing the personal and professional with just the right amount of both to make a fantastic read for your followers, without revealing too much.
If you ever get stuck with how much to share, imagine whether what you are about to write would make a great anecdote in your local shop?
How much of your personal things do you share?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.