Once upon a time, I went on a few dates with a smart, handsome guy who worked in real estate. I was basically unemployed at the time, and on our first date I told him (rather shyly) that I spent much of my time writing a personal style and fashion blog. On our second date, he looked me in the eyes as we waited for a table in a hip Brooklyn restaurant: “Can I tell you something?” he asked.
I nodded, eyebrows perked in curiosity – unsure of what kind of confession he had to make so early on.
“I read your blog last night.” he grinned.
Suddenly my mind was racing back to my most recent posts – Were they intelligent? What did I talk about? Was I funny?
Now usually, I'll tell just about anyone who will listen that I write a fashion blog and that I absolutely love it. For some reason though, knowing this very accomplished, fully-employed guy I was romantically interested in was reading my personal ranting and raving about fashion – made me incredibly self-conscious.
Clearly, things with this guy didn't work out, or this post wouldn't be titled “A Single Girl's Guide to Blogging.” However, this failed romance was a catalyst for me to look at my blog in a whole new way. Long after we stopped seeing each other, as I wrote my posts, I thought about whether or not I'd want him to read them.
The specific him quickly morphed into the royal him: The dream guy, the perfect specimen whom I admire and respect, who admires, respects and adores me. Would I proudly show him every blog post?
Throughout my various flings, trysts and flirtations, as these men wine, dine, waltz, tweet and Facebook-stalk in and out of my life, their critical opinion is always on my mind. I want to be smart for them. I want them to be impressed, proud and maybe even a little turned on when they read my blog – if not totally bewildered by my love for print mixing.
How does this so-called man-fluence affect my blog?
Well, to be sure, dressing for a man and writing for a man are two very different things. I find that I blog my best when I write as if Ryan Gosling (or some other manifestation of intelligence and charm) were reading my every post. Here are the ways I tweak my content for “the royal him,” but never my sense of self or my sense of style:
- I tinker with my vocabulary. There are more adjectives than cute, adorbs and totes amaze.
- I write with humor.
- I never take myself or my reflections on style too seriously.
- I proofread.
- I ask myself if I would say aloud to him, what I have just written.
- I mind my tweets and Facebook updates in the same way. (Whether or not someone follows you, they can certainly Google search you and your blog name!)
Before you go banging the gong for feminism and writing your blog for you – hear me out. I always put myself first when it comes to my blog content (and you should too). No one is blogging in a vacuum, and to ignore your audience (and potential audience) is to totally miss the beauty of being an online self-publisher. The thrill of imagining who could be clicking on your posts can be powerful motivation to display the best version of yourself and your writing.
Blog to impress someone.
Whether it's a romantic interest, a professor, a potential employer, your parents, Anna Wintour – think about how you would feel if the most amazing person you could think of, the person you would most want to dazzle in the whole world – read your post about floral jeans. While this person might not be passionate about denim trends, they should be passionate about you. Invite that passionate attraction to your blog through engaging, smart and sexy content. After all, with the magic of social media, you never know who might be reading every word you write.
Who do you blog for? Has your content evolved as your readership has grown? Who influences you and motivates you to blog well? Let us know in the comments!
[Image credit: Be Frassy.]