Two months ago my wife, Vanessa, started to blog.
It is something she’s been planning for some time and with a little encouragement and some design help from Shayne, we set up at Style and Shenanigans.
The blog is in its very early days and Vanessa is still finding her voice but I think she’s a natural. I’ve been excited to see her experiment with a variety of kinds of blog posts.
Two days ago saw a new type of blog post on Style and Shenanigans – a post that I watched Vanessa put a lot of thought into. It was the first time she’d shown herself on the blog in a picture with a post called Everyday Style @ Shenanigans Central.
The post included a montage of humble selfie shots of an outfit she wore and a description of the different elements in the outfit.
I totally understand V’s hesitation with the post.
Putting a picture of yourself ‘out there’ for all to see is something I remember pondering for a few days, before I did when I started blogging back in 2002.
Back then, I had to go and get an image scanned to be able to put my photo up so it wasn’t something I could do on the spur of the moment. I also worried about doing it. I was concerned about privacy but I also felt weird about having my face ‘out there’.
I think I’ve gotten over that… as a quick search on Google Images will show (although I didn’t post all of these shots myself and at least one have been ‘doctored’).
While we live in an age of the ‘selfie’ – when people constantly photograph and share pictures of themselves – many new bloggers do worry about their first time.
It won’t be for everyone and you will want to consider issues around privacy and safety however, there are some definite benefits. You can see some of those benefits with Vanessa’s post this week.
V’s blog post statistics were notable for three reasons:
- Firstly, it was a record day of traffic. While it didn’t go viral it was the best day of traffic so far on the blog and around 7 times the traffic of a normal day.
- Secondly, the post got shared more than a normal post. Again, it wasn’t a viral post but a greater number of people shared it around.
- Thirdly, the post had more comments than she’d had previously. I think this was related to more than the increase in traffic.
My reflection upon V’s post was that it was a post that people connected to, a lot more than previous posts. Because of that, it generated more interest and more engagement.
People relate to people. We’re wired to be drawn to others and respond to their faces and stories. It’s no wonder that by injecting some personal touches into a blog – it has a positive impact.
I noticed this same thing when I first started posting images and videos of myself in my early blogging. It felt weird at first – but it helped my readers connect to me.
A Surprise Benefit of Being Personal
I also think that it had another benefit for my blog. It made ME feel more connected too. I noticed this in particular when I started posting videos of myself, here on ProBlogger. The same was true when I first did video streaming chats and webinars.
There is something about creating content that is more personal that makes ME feel more engaged with my readers. Perhaps having been seen and heard by my readers – I feel a little more accountable to them.
Whatever it is, I feel like by putting myself out there and over the years my blogging has improved.
Have you posted pictures of yourself on your blog?
I’d love to hear about your experience of this. Have you posted more personal content on your blog? Pictures, video, stories etc?
Was it something you struggled with or just did? What impact did it have?