It seems that just about all of us get a nostalgic and reflective this time of year and I’m not immune. I love me some reflection, look back and ponder the future time too!
As we wrap up this year, I want to share with you my big a-ha that has changed my blogging and ask you what insights you’ve found along that way too.
Own, Embrace and Share Who You Are
Bloggers have a unique advantage online that companies, corporations and traditional media just don’t have.
We have ourselves and our stories. We can teach, enlighten and empower with a greater personal connection because it’s easier to share who we are with our readers than it is for those “big guys.”
A blogger can share the same message, sentiment or tip as a corporate, nameless, faceless website but we’re so much more engaged with the blogger that we learn more, feel more and ultimately get way more out of that interaction. Then we naturally visit that blogger more.
Even though doing this is technically easier because we don’t have to pass through 3 editors, a legal department and a million other hoops to post, being open, honest and authentic can be really, really hard for a lot of us.
What if people don’t like me?
What if no one reads my blog?
What if I’m just full of crap and people find out?
This year, bringing more me to my blog was the mission.
I felt a big wall between my regular interactions with clients, many of whom I’ve become really close with over the years and have seen them go through marriages, babies, job loses, new businesses, you name it and the ease of those interactions versus how I wrote on the blog. If you read any email from me and a blog post it was almost like 2 entirely different people were talking.
And because of that separation between who I really was and how I presented myself in posts, I had a really hard time writing content. It felt super forced, uninspired and boring. Moving into my more authentic voice has been a slow progression over the year and I look forward to seeing how develops in the years to come.
I started to work on more authenticity in posting by recording my thoughts on a certain topic and then listening back to the audio.
Some of the better rants I had transcribed to get a real side by side comparison of how I normally write and how I speak when I’m really jazzed about something.
Sometimes, I think we edit ourselves right out of our own posts by worrying too much about what other people will think. Any audience worth having, just wants the real you.
Through this exercise I was able to see certain speak patterns (like heaven help me I say “So” a lot!) that are very “me” but I dull way down when I write. Sure, some of that is good because you can edit stuff to sound better, but I think sometimes we edit ourselves right out of our own posts.
After seeing those transcripts and how much me was missing from my posts, I was able to step into them a bit more and little by little get more comfortable sharing the information people wanted to hear, but doing it my way.
There are a lot of different ways to pull more of your style, favour and vibe into your writing. This way worked for me but if you fell like you’re hiding behind endless editing and that your posts don’t capture the real you, start investigating ways to pull more of your authentic self into your blog. That’s a huge reason people will come back!
I’m going to wrap up this last post of the year with a quote that I tell my daughter all the time and this year, finally started listening to myself:
“You just do you, no one does it better.”
Soooo, what’s your big lesson learned this year? Any blogging a-ha’s rock your world? Are you like me and needing to bring more you into your blog?