5 Ways to Inject Personality into Your Blog
'Personality is a point of differentiation no one can copy'
- Yaro Starak
Do you want to reach a wider audience? Speak to your readers in a unique, personal way? Do you want to engage your audience over time and keep them coming back to your blog? It’s all in the personality. It’s something that’s unique to you, that can’t be copied by your competitors. And, as you’ll see in this article, it’s even great for SEO!
Write As You Speak
The long-standing WAYS principle in copywriting is long-standing for a reason: it really does work, and it works over time and across cultures. For blogging especially, this principle is the way to get your target audience engaged with you. Blog readers want to see who you are, what you stand for, not what you’re selling. To build trust and foster an organic following, try to write your posts so that they sound the way you talk. Imagine you are addressing someone you know. Some blog-writers advocate writing for your best friend.
A good way of applying the WAYS principle to your blog posts is to get into the habit of reading them out loud: either to yourself or to a trusted friend/colleague. Honestly assess. Does it sound forced/unnatural/not like you?
If so, change it until it’s easy.
Easy to read, and easy to hear.
Make sure you sound welcoming rather than clever (but don’t rule out clever, if it fits). Make sure you sound like honest and genuine rather than overbearingly intellectual and distant.
Use Your Own Unique Experiences and Tell Stories
Readers are more likely to relate to what you’re saying if you put it in the context of a story or scenario. Paint a picture in their mind, give detail, give names (they don’t have to be real). Keep it simple. Set the scene and use this as a way to convey your meaning. It’s the oldest trick in the book (and one used many times in religious texts and folk tales to convey deeper meaning, in the guise of allegories/parables).
Though you are using your own unique experiences, because this is a blog, widen this experience to include your readers and their experience. Make obvious the point at which your experience (unique) meets theirs (equally unique). Converge your story with their story and show how they relate. In this way, your readers will identify with you and your message. If your readers can clearly see themselves in the picture you are painting, they are more likely to carry on reading.
Don’t fall into the trap of just talking about yourself. It is possible (and necessary) to inject your personality without being egocentric. If you’re using the words ‘I’ and ‘me’ more often than the words ‘you’ or ‘your,’ you’re going wrong! Remember, this is a dialogue not a monologue.
Use the ‘Find’ tool on Word (or equivalent) to count how many times these key words appear in your draft blog post!
Don't Be Afraid to Use Your Sense of Humour
'Life is too important to take seriously'
- Corky Siegal
Humour can be a great leveller. A social cement. A way for us to connect and learn. But it can also be tricky.
Sense of humour is so subjective, and it’s hard to know what people will find funny and what they might find offensive or inappropriate. The best way to gauge this is to test your blog posts out on trusted friends or colleagues. Obviously, they won’t be completely objective because they know you, but they will have some idea of when you might have gone too far.
Keep it simple. You don’t have to be a comic genius to be light-hearted.
Keep it kind. Don’t attempt satire unless you’re sure how well it will go down with your target audience. Humour is great for bringing people together, for showing your unique personality, and people will love you for it, but there is a fine line. You can turn people off if it looks like you’re trying too hard, or your humour is at someone else’s expense.
Use Unique Photographs and Images
You don’t have to be a seasoned artist to create interesting, captivating images to use on your blog. Using your own photographs and images can help your readers to see your personality, and people respond well to visual stimuli. As a minimum, have a good quality profile photograph of yourself on your blog. People are more likely to engage with you when they can visualise you. Smile openly and look friendly. People want to see someone they can engage with, not an oblique, distant genius in their ivory tower.
This is huge, and it is growing in popularity all of the time.
Last year in the UK, 80% of internet users watched video online.
Dr. James McQuivey asserts that one minute of video= 1.8 million words online.
Think about it and it makes sense.
When you can see someone on video talk, move, see their gestures, their smile, hear the way they talk and gauge their body language, you are more likely to engage with them. There is the opportunity, even though you can ‘see’ them and they can’t ‘see’ you, for a personal connection, a human interaction.
This form of communication online beats any other: ‘Our brains respond more effectively to communication which combines visual and audio stimuli’ ( threemotion.co.uk ).
On video, you can’t help but show your personality. People love to see out-takes: you don’t have to be perfect: in fact, people prefer it and trust you more if you’re not! Video is the most shared content on Facebook and other social media platforms (particularly if it is funny). Featuring video on your blog helps you to stand out: not many bloggers use video, so you’re more likely to show up in page 1 of Google searches if you have one.
So, not only is it great for your following and your SEO, showing your unique personality on your blog will keep your readers engaged over time as they get to know and trust you.
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