By Elissa Stern, of Dress With Courage
At this time a few months ago, I was reeling after receiving a mean-spirited comment on my blog. Though it was left by an anonymous reader, I felt vulnerable, attacked, and angry. The comment had made me reconsider my personal style and appearance, and led me to question whether publishing a blog was the right decision for me at all. While responding to the commenter would have clearly been a waste of time and energy, I felt unsure as to how I could process what had happened. The next day, I opened my laptop and wrote a blog post describing my experience dealing with the negative comment. That post has received the most traffic, and the most comments, of any published on my blog since.
Something special happens when you share information about your personal life in a post. Personal details humanize you as a blogger. They allow your readers to get a deeper feel for who you are as a person, let them see what makes you tick, and illuminate issues that challenge or complete you. Including personal details gives your posts dimension, as the richness and honesty contained within is hard to discredit. A personal blog post is unafraid to share your real personality, not just your writing style or opinions of your blog focus. It is much like a conversation with a friend. It's a lovely and effective element if you're looking to build relationships with your readers, and can go beyond simple text on a page.
How personal you choose to get on your blog is up to you. However, it seems obvious that you should include only as much information that you are comfortable revealing, and leave off what might embarrass you in the future.
How can you get personal on your blog? Here are a few suggestions:
- Think about including video: Whether you’re providing a tutorial, describing a purchase, or comparing products, video is an excellent way of reaching out to readers in a personal way.
- Include more detail: If your blogging typically consists of outfit posts, expand beyond what you’re wearing. How has your personal style changed? Where did your outfit inspiration come from? What memories are associated with each piece?
- Describe what challenges you: Readers tend to be more loyal to bloggers who show their vulnerabilities. What obstacles have you overcome? What issues are you struggling with? Is there anything you’d like to work on? Communicating these challenges with your readers is not only a way to establish intimacy, but might also generate advice that could lead to tremendous growth.
- Expand beyond your blog topic: While I publish a personal style blog, I also post about body image, thrifting and women’s issues. The variety of topics I post about gives my blog depth and reach.
What do you think about getting personal on your blog? Leave a note in the comments below!
You can follow Elissa on Twitter here.