At the ProBlogger conference last month, I’d have to say that the session presented by Geraldine DeRuiter from the blog The Everywhereist on how to make your blog audience fall in love with you was my absolute favourite. I actually snuck out of a session and into this one and I’m glad I did because Geraldine spoke about a lot of things that I really needed to hear.
As a blogger, one of the biggest challenges we can sometimes face is worrying about if our readers actually like what we write about. I know that I’ve hit this road block a number of times, even recently.
Going through the session notes has really made me take stock about exactly why I blog and it’s also made me recall the many positive responses I’ve received from my readers over the past two and a bit years. I know there are many of you that would be going through the same and so I wanted to share with you some of the key points that I took from the session.
Let your guard down
This is the most important point I heard in this session and actually, I heard similar statements in many of the sessions. No one is perfect and it’s so exhausting trying to be (and people can tell). Just be yourself and those people that appreciate the way you write and your interests will be the ones that stay, and the ones that don’t, well that’s their loss, isn’t it?
Use a conversational tone
One thing that I have always tried to make sure of is that I write my blogs just like I was sitting down talking to you (do you feel it?). It’s about being transparent, you want people to trust you and feel like they know you. When people feel that way, it’s much more likely that they’ll return to your blog and follow your story. And that’s the next thing….share stories about yourself, be real so people can relate. The beauty of being transparent like this is that you can ask more of your audience and it’s highly likely that they will give back.
Don’t write for the audience you have
Now this is one that really threw me because it’s sort of what I had been doing for a a while. Geraldine actually suggested that you should instead be writing for the audience you will have which makes so much sense and it’s so much easier that way!
Geraldine explained this by using one of her posts as an example. She was to undergo brain surgery and before she underwent this surgery she could find absolutely no information about what it’s actually like to have brain surgery. So during her recovery she wrote a blog post about it. And guess what? It is one of her top posts simply because it hadn’t been written about before.
Don’t let people get you down
In the blogging business, personal attacks and negative comments are almost inevitable and it’s harder than it sounds to just brush it off. Geraldine experienced this first hand after simply being herself and managed to brush it off and I know many other bigger bloggers who deal with it daily. I will always remember a tweet I received from Chantelle Ellem of Fat Mum Slim last month in response to my tweet airing my frustration at losing page likes immediately after I posted a personal photograph. She tweeted to me ‘I decided I don’t care. Hope you don’t either x.’ And that’s just it, worrying about it isn’t important, what’s important is that you are always yourself, write and share what you love and the genuine people will follow.
And don’t forget, it’s not just about being yourself on your blog, but showing a bit of you throughout your social media platforms too. Whether you’re a blogger or a business selling a product or service, most people actually like seeing the ‘real’ person behind everything, it’s easier for people to relate and form a connection.
Do you find it hard to let your guard down when it comes to blogging?
Image by greyerbaby on morguefile.com
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