Having a big personality can actually work to your advantage if you’re a blogger. Wallflowers have a hard time standing out in any niche, both online and at conferences like BlogWorld. For some bloggers, though, it’s a fine line between being a blogger with presence…and the drunken sorority sister.
We’ve all seen them – the girls at the party who’ve had just a little too much to drink. They’re saying things that are outrageous, they’re taking off their tops, they’re making out with guys in a dark corner, they’re jumping in the pool…and they’re throwing up in the bathroom. If you’ve never seen anything like this, just watch an episode or two of Jersey Shore.
Worst of all, they’re laughing and having fun, thinking that they look sexy and cool…but in reality almost everyone else is embarrassed on their behalf.
The blog equivalent to this involves less puke (hopefully…though I’ve seen some bloggers who’ve had too much at conferences, so it can be a problem). The result is the same, though. You’re being outrageous and think you’re cool, but everyone else is just embarrassed on your behalf. This comes from not being able to reel in your personality to give readers a composed, thoughtful version of you.
This manifests itself in a number of ways:
- You write posts about things that you really care about, but which have no relevance to your niche, leaving your audience saying, “Um…what was that?”
- You get involved with some kind of blogging feud, not posting your opinion, but posting something that turns into a back and forth routed in name calling or false statements, not fact or logic.
- You get defensive about a comment because you’re unable to take the criticism and grow as a blogger.
- You ramble, getting way off topic and never actually coming to a clear point in your post, but rather just ranting or raving about the topic.
As you can see, there’s one common factor in the ways your drunken sorority sister blogging personality can come out – emotion.
Emotion is a good thing. I personally believe that the best blogs out there, regardless of niche, are ones written by people who are emotionally invested in their topics. There’s a fine line, though. When you find yourself getting emotional, it’s easy to write posts or leave comments that don’t show yourself in the best light.
So what can you do to find the strength to write about emotional topics without making a fool of yourself?
- Outline your posts. Have an intro, some supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. This will help you stay on topic. Remember, you don’t have to post about every single thought you have relating to the topic. You can do multiple posts or address issues at a later time. Focus on a specific point you want to make and edit out anything that doesn’t fit.
- Write a post, but wait a day before hitting the publish button. Sometimes, something that makes us really emotional in the moment isn’t as big of a deal when we go back and think about it at a later date. Tap into your emotions while they are happening, but reread your post the next day to ensure you’re saying what you want to say in a classy, dignified way.
- Ask a friend to read your post. I’ve done this multiple times in the past, to ensure that what I’m saying is clear without being too offensive. When you’re dealing with a topic that you’re passionate about, offending people is bound to happen, but you don’t want to do so because what you’re saying is unclear or mean.
- Do your research. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is posting about an emotional topic, but having your facts wrong. Read what other people are saying, but find direct sources to confirm the story. You come off looking foolish if you’re passionate about the wrong facts.
- Don’t have too much to drink at BlogWorld.
Ok, that last tip might not fit well at the rest, but it is certainly relevant. We’re all hoping to have a fun time, but make sure you’re 1) safe and 2) able to remember the good time you’ve had. After all, if you’re a drunken sorority sister (or frat brother) at BlogWorld, you aren’t doing your blog justice.