Whether or not people keep returning to your blog depends not just on your content, but also on your personality and how well you express it.
In my last post, I shared with you 23 “Bad” Blogging Habits. Following from that, I want to talk a bit about the traits I keep seeing in well-liked bloggers.
By well-liked, I mean a blogger who is followed, Liked, and shared, and whose posts always leave us feeling that we’ve gained something from them.
Nurturing these traits can make us all not just better bloggers, but better writers – an invaluable lifelong skill.
So, what traits am I talking about?
Authenticity means being you. It doesn’t mean being obnoxiously personal or narcissistic.
It means blogging in a voice that comes naturally to you. A voice that’s not made up, but which isn’t as rough as pure speech or pure thought either.
We don’t blog like we speak or like we think. We blog like we are. That’s what I mean by authenticity.
Example: One of the most authentic bloggers I follow is Susie Lindau from Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride. Read her posts, and you will understand what I mean by being authentic.
Being fresh doesn’t have to mean avoiding general topics. Rather, it’s a question of how you tackle a topic.
Let’s jump in time to one of my most popular posts – Are You a Handwriter or a Typer?
The topic wasn’t at all new at the time, but the opening is unlike that of any other Handwriting versus Typing post under the sun. And it drew people in.
If you’re new to blogging, ask yourself before you post something: Is this fresh? Does it smell a bit like the wind blowing through the leaves on a bright morning?
If the answer is yes, people will want to read it.
Example: Kirsten Lamb’s latest post is titled “Thirteen Reasons Writers are Mistaken for Serial Killers.” A fresh topic, don’t you think?
To be honest with your audience, you first have to be honest with yourself. It’s okay to assume a blogging persona. Boy with a Hat is to some extent my blogging persona.
(I don’t wear that hat all the time. What’s more, I’ve been told that I look better without it.)
But if you create a blogging persona, it should match you like a glove and outline your personality. Your About page should be a truthful reflection of who you are.
Being honest also means allowing yourself to be vulnerable. It’s not easy, but that’s what blogging often is for many of us – a painfully personal exploration of your true self..
Example: A great example that springs to mind is fellow Romanian Cristian Mihai. His posts are frank, and so is his message, whether he talks literature, blogging, failure, or life in general.
Warmth is all about inviting people to join you on your journey. It’s not about being super informal or tossing out “yous” every few sentences.
It’s not so much the language you use as the overall effect of your writing.
It means more than being friendly. It means liking something so much that you can explain it to others warmly and get them interested in it.
Example: An Historian About Town is a nice example of how history (even that of a different culture from your own) can be made interesting when the historian connects right away with her readers.
You don’t have to publish how-to guides or tutorials to be useful, though those are not bad either.
Being useful in this context means creating posts that leave those who read them feeling that they’ve learned or discovered something worthwhile.
Or that they can now look at something they know – such as a painting – with more precision than before, relishing the small details they may have neglected before.
Example: An apt example is a blog I’ve only recently discovered – The Eclectic Light Company. Its author, Howard Oakley, combines delightful posts on painting with practical Macs & macOS news and tips.
So, in the end,
will take you a long way in the world of blogging.
I’ll leave you now to explore the interesting blogs I’ve shared with you.
Until next post!
PS: None of the bloggers mentioned in this post are paying me to promote them. I don’t even know most of them other than through their blogs.