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Blogging Personality

© December 2005 Tony Lawrence

Over at Business Week, columnist Rob Hof suggests that bloggers need to ask questions that invite comments. The purpose, of course, is to build interactivity and reader loyalty: keep 'em coming back.

Actually, I think there's a larger factor here: personality

For example, here's a site that provides answers: https://www.sco.com/ta.

It's corporate driven, I'm sure it gets a lot of traffic, but there's no personality. Nobody is going to go back there every day to see what's being said, because there's no personality to care about. Of course it isn't meant to be a blog either; I'm just using that as an example of how information can be cold and colorless.

Real people have doubts, concerns, confusion. Real people interject opinion, their feelings, their emotions. It's those things that make their blog interesting and attractive, and it's mostly those things that will cause interaction from the readers.

For some bloggers, that just comes naturally. For some, you couldn't take the personality out of their posts if you tried: they are just naturally going to spill it all out. If they are angry, you know it. If something bewilders them, they tell you. Their posts have emotional content.

Other bloggers seem reluctant to expose their psyche. It's "Just the facts, ma'am". There no color to their writing, nothing to invite a conversation. It's flat, corporate, sanitized: it's safe.

Don't write like that. Sure, some subjects require less emotional involvement than others, but you need to let the "you" into your blog. It doesn't necessarily require asking questions as Rob Hof suggests (though if you honestly have questions, do put those in). What is necessary is making yourself approachable, friendly, somebody your reader wants to say something to. Let them know there is a real human being behind the blog, a person like them. That's how you build interactivity and community.

I know it's not always easy. Maybe you are afraid that baring some of your soul implies weakness. Well, are you a comic book hero or a real person? Real people have weaknesses, foibles, quirks. As for being unprofessional, go take a look at the really popular blogs, the biggest guns of the big guns - do you see the personality there? You bet you do.

Let it out. Let your readers see what makes you tick. I know you'll have a better blog if you do.

Got something to add? Send me email.

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Sat Jun 10 14:58:42 2006: 2101   anonymous

I agree! there is a web site who I have been still on since I have been in the internet world on 2000 or so, It's soo a regular web site, but it webmaster is a nice person, and a big fan of what he is writing in, he is not writing for traffic or money [it's clear, there are no ads, no topsites, even the affiliates are just friends], the site is unique in it's way of writing, it has a very clear personality.


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