How many times have you heard it said that on the web, content is king? Probably thousands. When we say content is king, what do we really mean? Is it the subject of a post? Is it a measure of how useful, educational, or instructional a post is? Is it a measure of how entertaining a post is? All of the above?
And yet, there are millions of blogs, written by competent, knowledgeable people. Supposedly, there is tons of good content online. So, what is it that separates one blogger’s hopefully link-worthy post from another’s? What makes one blogger get linked to or Stumbled, but not another?
I think it’s personality.
Content may be king, but personality is queen. In chess, the queen is a more powerful piece than the king. Yet without the king, there is no game, since the objective of chess is to capture your opponent’s king. But in blogging, there’s really no clear separation between content and personality.
The more of your personality you inject into your blogging, the more it’s going to alter and evolve your content. You can’t really separate them. Content the king and personality the queen are really two sides of yourself. The more personality you can convey in your blogging, the more unique your content will be. It will stand out, be remarkable–be bookmarkable and shareable via social media.
But people get all weird about how they feel about themselves. It takes guts to really put your personality out there. You risk getting slapped down or just ignored, and that’s a blow to the ego. But I’ll tell you what, I’m far more likely to ignore you if you don’t show me some personality, than if you do. Personality gets noticed, and then the content will have attention paid to it. Just as the flamboyantly powerful queen steals the show and takes all the attention in chess, personality is what attracts attention in blogging, as well. I would say it’s more important for people to like you personally than it is for you to write “killer content.” If chess had no queen, the king would be both more vulnerable to attack, and yet harder to attack, since the queen is the most powerful piece for both defense and offense.
So, how do you get more personality into your blogging, exactly? Here are some tips:
- Start video blogging. With video, your face, voice, and body language create a powerful personality impression on people… much more so than the written word alone.
- Write like how you talk, even if that means your grammar will not be perfect. I can write perfect English if I want to (I majored in it) but to me it’s more important my personality comes through. I want to write in a conversational, natural tone. I want to write like I sound. That means I’ll use “ain’t” (horrors!), sentence fragments, and otherwise break all manner of rules. Whatevs, I don’t care.
- Make it personal. I don’t mean tell us about your love life or your gastrointestinal status. I mean use examples out of your own life and experiences, let your opinions fly, let your audience know what you stand for. Here’s a secret: you don’t want everybody to like you. In fact, it’s best if some people disagree with you. If you try to get everyone to like you, you will be boring.
- Forget about what you think you should do. Do what you want. Do what matters to you. Do what means something to you. Be yourself strongly (if that makes any sense). Nobody wants to follow another follower. They want to follow a leader.
If you’re interested in creating better content, there only about eighty billion blog posts out there to help you with that, so good luck. I think it’s much more interesting and effective to consider how to inject more personality into your blog. Try it and see where it takes you.
Photo by Mark Coggins
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