There can be a myriad of reasons why you might want to start a blog. Maybe you want a 'make money blog', or you want a blog that reviews affiliate products, or perhaps you want to setup a corporate blog to promote your business. Or maybe you just want the adoring attention of a blog community that hangs on your every post, a devoted group of blog readers who will defend you to the death.
Irrespective of your reasons for starting a blog, there is one thing you must have if you are to avoid spiraling into the pits of blog oblivion. That one thing is personality. Your blog must have a personality. I would type that in caps if it wasn't viewed as rude in the online world. A blog without a personality is about as inspiring as reading a manual about PABX phone systems and will likely end up in the same place – on the shelf collecting dust.
So what does it mean for a blog to have personality and what sort of personality should your blog have?
Maybe the easiest way to explain this is if you think back to your school days. Which kids do you remember the most? The copycats or the kids brave enough to go out on a limb and be a little different? Maybe it was the school bully, the goggle-eyed geek, the sports jock or the rebellious kid with the blue hair. They weren't necessarily the most popular kids but you remember them because they were prepared to be themselves and to let their own unique personality shine through.
Fast forward to today and think about your own personality. Likely you've moved on from your school days and the associated fears of being outed as different (if not, you might want to get some help with that). Now you have the confidence to express your own individuality – your blog needs to mirror that same confidence and individuality. Otherwise you risk being as forgettable as the copycats and followers from school.
Now we're not suggesting that you go crazy here. Bullying your readers might help you become memorable but it can also make your readers turn on their heels and walk away in protest. A guest blogger we had a few months back reminded us of the need to balance personality with pleasantness. Her post, while technically accurate, ruffled a few feathers with some of our readers finding her comments offensive (if you knew her you'd realize she's like that with everyone, in fact it's her well-known blogging personality).
If you feel your blogging personality is a little limp don't stress there's no time like the present to start developing it.
How can I develop my blog personality?
Personalities take time to develop but something is better than nothing so get started injecting more life into your lyrics. Here are a few ideas to breathe gusto into a wimpish web log.
- Don't be afraid to share personal feelings, thoughts and ideas when you write – it's what makes you human.
- Don't try to be all things to all people – be true to your personality (without being rude).
- Make your readers feel like they're having a conversation with a real person.
- Keep up with the blogging superstars in your niche; take notes but don't copy them.
- Feel free to break with tradition, be unconventional or even controversial. Sometimes people will disagree with you. That's OK.
- Encourage open dialog with your readers, making sure that you reply to comments where appropriate.
Picked your personality yet?
What personality your blog ends up having is entirely up to you. Sometimes it will depend on your audience or your niche. For example, if you're trying to target readers in the dog training niche then your personality will most likely reflect someone who loves dogs, is outspoken on cruel training methods and is passionate about well-behaved dogs. Or if you run a fitness blog then your personality may be more about enthusiasm and a goal-oriented, a 'never-say-die' attitude.
Sure your blog's personality may not mirror your own. That's fine. In fact some successful blogs have been built around a fictitious character, such as Tightwad Tony. The key is that your blog has a personality to make it stand out. Sure, not everyone will like it, but the ones who do will like it a lot more because you spiced it up with personality.
How do you make your blog stand out? Have you experimented with blogging personalities? Are there any blogs you love to read because they have personality? If you're not blogging yet, you might be interested in learning more about how to start a blog or how to write a blog post.