“People are watching you, whether you realize it or not. The question is: what are you showing them?” ~ Jeff Goins
You can’t love blogging and not love communication. If you’re going to blog, you have to embrace the fact that you are entering a world of fluid conversation and community. Neither of those aspects work too well without a sense of relationship.
There are different types of successful blogs and the relationships behind their success. Blogging for larger businesses is of course different from blogging for individuals.
If you subscribe to a blog owned by a company, it is likely you do so because you like what they have to sell and perhaps want to know when they have new information, releases or sales, etc.. And as a reader/fan, you likely hope the said business will listen to your opinion when you comment.
It behooves the business to communicate directly with their customers. You are, after all, their greatest asset, the established customer. If they want to keep you as a customer, then they should invest in your experience.
When you are an individual, the relationship takes on a more personal pitch. And make no mistake, successful blogging is about developing a successful relationship. To create a successful relationship with readers, as with any kind of relationship, your blog must court.
There are of course all kinds of relationships in the world. The relationship between life-partners, between co-workers, between mother and child and best friends. They all have variations on their rules. But they all have a period of getting to know each other.
What are you going to say and how?
Successful blogging is a casual communication skill that rides a balance somewhere between traditional writing skills and effective public performance, whether we’re talking about public speaking, or something less stuffy like the art of story-telling.
So what experiences are your readers having?
If blogging is a conversation, do you do all the talking? Or do you listen too? If blogging is about community, how do you fit in? Are you an active and contributing member? Or are you the quiet one in the corner who never gets involved or helps with anything? Or worse yet, the arm-chair warrior who always complains, but never has anything to positive to give? Or the pyramid scheme salesman of the family?
If blogging is like a performance, what is your purpose? What information and message are you trying to get across? And can you keep it succinct? What emotions and experience do you wish to invoke? What memories will your reader walk away with?
If blogging is a courtship, what kind of date are you? Always talking about yourself? The gossip? Or concerned with things that don’t matter much to anyone else? Are you careful about your appearance, manners, behavior? Are you articulate and a good conversationalist? Or are you shy and hope someone else makes the first move and then feel disappointed when things don’t turn out as envisioned?
And most of all, are you true to yourself? (Don’t be a fake.)
If a blog was the perfect date (or best friend), what attributes would it have?
As you ponder on these things, here’s an interesting article I found about the value of blogs vs. traditional print in science.