… by Scott Ginsberg
Your blog is a living, breathing thing.
As such, you owe to yourself and your readers to make your blog as friendly as possible.
Here’s a list of fifteen ways to do so:
- Be more quotable. Stop quoting Einstein, Rumi, Jesus and Seneca. Quote you. If you want to position yourself as a Thought Leader, you need to quote yourself, or else nobody else will. Are your words worth repeating?
- Boring is the enemy of friendly. Figure out which unique attribute of your personality, life experience and expertise you can leverage in a remarkable way. That means: Values before vocation, individuality before industry and personality before profession. After all, people buy people first. How are you leading with your person and following with your profession?
- Dance with language. Give yourself permission to spice it up. Don’t worry, your English teacher will never find out. Are you willing to do a little verbal jitterbugging?
- Don’t be one-dimensional. Some people maintain such a limited worldview and openness for activities and experiences outside of their scope of interest that is mars their ability to relate to their readers in a healthy way. How many readers is being boring costing you?
- Don’t use humor – just be funny. It’s not a tool or a thing or a trick or a technique or shtick. It’s a way and a style. You don’t use humor like you use hair gel. Humor is something you embody. Are you trying to use humor or allowing your natural funniness to shine?
- Insert your passion into everything. Embed your passion into the page. You will engage, excite and inspire readers because that’s what passion does. Do your readers know what you’re passionate about?
- Know when the cost of disclosure is too high. Like anything, transparency requires balance. And you don’t want to become a victim of your own approachability. Because if you don’t set boundaries for yourself – other people will set them for you. And then they will violate them. And then they will tell all their little friends that it’s okay to do the same. All because you never set a precedent of no. Will your transparency degrade into invisibility?
- Let them comment. Some blogs don’t allow comments from readers unless they’re registered users. I think this is a stupid strategy. So you get a few spam comments. Who cares?
- Let them read. Some blogs require readers to subscribe before they’re able to read full posts. I think this is a dumb, reader-alienating strategy. If you’re good, they’ll be back. If you’re really good, they’ll be back with their friends. If you’re really, really good, they’ll be back with their friends and their wallets. Who are you excluding?
- Make fun of yourself. It makes your writing more approachable. Self-deprecating humor neutralizes conflict. It’s a key indicator of emotional intelligence. It defuses an otherwise tense or difficult situation. It combines modesty and likeability, while at the same time demonstrating that confidence and self-assurance. If you’re anything like me, there’s probably an endless river of material. Are you making fun of yourself enough?
- Make your own words up. Go into the preferences section of Microsoft Word and click on “Custom Dictionary.” Then, click on “Edit.” It will formulate a list of every word you’ve right-clicked on and added to the dictionary while writing. Are you branding your own language?
- Pamper people’s memories. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from wearing a nametag twenty-four seven for the past ten years, it’s that most people suck at remembering. Do everything you can to accommodate that deficiency. Make it easy for people to organize and remember material. The friendliness of their user experience will skyrocket. Even if they don’t realize it. Do your users’ brains love you?
- Talk to your readers. Literally. Act as if you were in the cubicle right next to them. Have a conversation. How many readers are you losing because they don’t feel like you’re talking directly to them?
- Undress for success. Offer unprecedented access to information. Privacy is so last century. Even if you don’t lay your cards out on the table. People are still going to learn what they need to know about you on their own. May as show ‘em your goods. Besides, opacity breeds mistrust. Be unusually honest, radically transparent and highly respectful to the organizations and individuals with which you connect. How could you magnify what you can’t hide anyway?
- Write like you talk. People will listen. Make it sound natural. No need to give your thesaurus a workout just for the sake of sounding smart. If it’s not a word you use regularly, trash it. Does your blog engage or broadcast?
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
If your blog had a Facebook page, would people friend it?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “72 Way to Take Your Blog from Anonymous to Award-Winning,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
Scott Ginsberg is the World Record Holder of Wearing Nametags. He’s the author of twelve books, an award-winning blogger, professional speaker and creator of NametagTV.com. He specializes in approachability, identity and execution, and for more info about books, speaking engagements, customized online training programs or to rent Scott’s brain for a one-on- one session, email firstname.lastname@example.org.