Yesterday I talked about whether personal style bloggers had more success than non personal style. I probably should have opened with my own experience having a personal style blog (The Coveted) and a non-personal style blog (IFB), while I had more attention from brands on The Coveted, it didn't quite mean that I was able to live off that attention. With IFB, I've been able to create products and services that enable me to pay the rent (and the contributors, and developers, and server….).
That said, if you decide not to go down the “personal style” route, you're in good company. Many successful blogs like, Snob Essentials, Fashion Bomb Daily, HonestlyWTF, Curvy Fashionista, PS I Made This, Lingerie Addict, all have their own spin on content that doesn't revolve around outfit posts. However, the people behind the blogs each have a personal presence that the readers can get to know.
Determine how visible you'd like to be on your blog
I have found this isn't as easy as it sounds. There have been times when I did not want a personal presence on my blog (and people would literally be surprised I founded IFB). But this is changing. I'm starting to feel like I should have more of a presence especially since The Coveted is on hiatus. Even so, when it comes to your blog, do you want people to know your name? To recognize your face? Do you want to be anonymous? Determining how visible you want to be will help you lay out the groundwork for developing that presence. Everyone has their own comfort levels, so be sure to be honest with yourself. IF you're a private person don't feel pressure to become public because you think everyone wants that.
Be honest about your motivations for your visibility
It may sound out of place here, but I've always loved this quote from Eisenhower, “Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.” What are your motivations for being visible? Do you want validation? Do you want to be internet famous? Do you want respect? Do you want credit? Your motivations are what powers you through the tough times. If you aren't honest about why you want visibility, you'll get frustrated and possibly burn out.
Have an unique take on your posts as much as possible
Even if you can't take photos, find a way to make your posts visually unique. Collage, write, have quirky takes. The fashion blog, Textbooks was unique because it dressed fictional characters, now it does crazy collages. Go Fug Yourself uses humor. Blogs like Fashionista publish news as fast as they can. Determine what your “thing” is and develop that.
Make appearances on your blog
Whether it be for a DIY, or reporting an event, you can make personal appearances on your blog even if your blog is not personal. You can develop your brand any way you like, so if it means making appearances when you do showroom visits or events, or doing haul posts, even using photos of yourself to illustrate more abstract posts (which I do from time to time on IFB). The sky is the limit!
Create a clear “About” page
I need to take my own advice on this one…. but I do love reading OTHER people's “About” pages. It's much easier to get to know someone if they have an about page. Make it easy for your readers to find it!
Write how you talk
If you write how you talk (and if you're friendly) you'll develop a more personal relationship with your readers than by using a more formal tone.
Use Social Media as a way to give readers access to you
I see bloggers like Tina Craig and Clare Sulmners on their Instagrams alll the time. They do a great job of showing behind the scenes using social media while being less visible on their actual blogs.
Attend events, make personal contact with other bloggers and brands
What better way to let people get to know you, than letting people get to know you. It's easier to make a presence when you build real life relationships. Get out there, and meet people!
Host Google Hangouts, Twitter Chats or Live Events
If you live far away from everyone… like, say the North Pole. You can host virtual events to get people involved. Yesterday we did a fun Twitter Chat talking about cats and fashion. I got to know several new bloggers, and we all had a great time!
Make sure it feels like there is a human running your blog
This is one of those last tips that are the most important.. Obviously a human writes posts since artificial intelligence is still science fiction for the most part. If you want to make a personal presence on your blog, make sure it feels like there is a human writing the posts. Engage with your readers, respond, add a personal story here and there. Be human. It's not only ok, it's what we want.