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How to Personalise Your Blog Like These 10 Top Bloggers

Posted By Darren Rowse 31st of May 2017 Writing Content 0 Comments

personalise-your-blog

Lots of bloggers seem to do everything right, yet they don’t see much success.

They write well-structured posts, they pay attention to SEO, they know the ins and outs of their blogging software … but something’s lacking.

That missing “something” can often be personality. It’s the difference between a blog that readers come across and instantly forget … and a blog that makes a connection and an impact.

Does your blog need a bit of extra personalisation? Here’s how ten top bloggers make their blogs stand out:

#1: Include Great Photos, like Caz and Craig from YTravel

Blog: YTravel

Some blogging topics pretty much demand great photos. Travel is one of those (and others include food, craft and fashion blogging).

Caz and Craig post gorgeous, smiley photos of their family. Some of these are simple candid snapshots, like in 17 Tips for Flying With Kids to Keep You Calm and Happy, and others are a little more posed, like the photos in Getting Settled in the USA + Where to Next.

Lessons learned:

#2: Add Some Flair, like Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income

Blog: Smart Passive Income

As soon as you visit Pat’s blog, Smart Passive Income, you see a huge photo of him, plus his signature:

He adds flair in other ways too: his 404 page is inspired by on Back to the Future – his favourite movie, as noted on his bold, eye catching About page.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t be afraid to go big! That might mean a huge photo of yourself, a bold statement, or an About page that’s filled with images.
  • Talk about who you are beyond blogging: Pat lists his favourite book, movie and game, and writes about his family on his About page.

#3: Develop a Strong, Identifiable Tone, like Shannon from Shannon’s Kitchen [language warning]

Blog: Shannon’s Kitchen

Salty language tends to polarise readers: some love it and find it a big part of a blog’s appeal; others will be put off and won’t return. Shannon swears – frequently and enthusiastically – on her blog (even in her tagline and navigation menu):

Lessons learned:

#4: Get Custom Illustrations, like Ramsey from Blog Tyrant

Blog: Blog Tyrant

As soon as you visit Blog Tyrant, you’ll see Ramsey’s red-shirted avatar: this illustration features in the banner image on the home page, and in the feature images for several of his posts:

It’s also on the front cover of his free report.

Lessons learned:

  • Custom illustrations can create a sense of consistency across your blog. Ramsey’s not the only blogger who uses them in this way: Social Media Examiner have their little jungle explorer in their header and at the start of each post.
  • If you’re not comfortable including personal photos, a cartoon version of you can be a great alternative.

#5: Include an Eye-Catching Sidebar Profile, like Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess

Blog: A Beautiful Mess

New readers may land on any post on your blog … and it can help to give them a quick glimpse into who you are and what you’re all about. Sisters Elsie and Emma do this stylishly with a bright, bold photo and handwritten names in their blog’s sidebar:

Lessons learned:

  • An “About me” widget in your sidebar is a great place to create an instant connection with your reader. Include a link to your full About page too.
  • Happy, smiley photos of you are always a great draw. Some bloggers include these in the header, but the sidebar is a great alternative.

#6: Be Consistent With Your Branding Across Platforms, like Chris Ducker

Blog: Chris Ducker

Chris Ducker uses the same (smiling) headshot on his About page, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, creating a consistent brand across multiple platforms:

Lessons learned:

  • If you’ve gone to the time and expense of getting a professional headshot done, use it – not just in your banner image, but on social media too.
  • You may want to have variations on your headshot, from the same shoot (compare Chris’s front page image with his About page headshot, for instance).

#7: Use Colour to Boost Your Brand, like Jadah Sellner

Blog: Jadah Sellner

When you visit Jadah’s site, your eyes are instantly drawn to her bright, colourful banner:

The colours of her clothes tie in with the colours of the newsletter sign up: it feels like everything fits together seamlessly. (The tagline above the banner picks up on the same deep pink colour, too.)

Lessons learned:

  • Colour matters! Perhaps bright colours aren’t quite right for your blog, but you can still create a similar banner image that takes colours from a photo of you and uses them for text and other elements.
  • Use colour consistently across your site: check out Jadah’s contact page for some examples.

#8: Use “I” in Your Content, like James Schramko from SuperFastBusiness

Blog: SuperFastBusiness

The first words of James’s homepage are a bold “I” statement: instantly, it’s clear what he’s all about and what he does, and – crucially –how he can help the reader.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t be afraid to write in the first person. Some bloggers are reluctant to do this, but using “I” and “you” can help you connect to readers and show your personality.
  • Make sure, though, your focus isn’t just on yourself and your own story but on how you can have an impact on readers’ lives.

#9: Have a Tagline that Instantly Lets Readers Know if They’re in the Right Place, like Kelly Exeter

Blog: Kelly Exeter

Taglines can be really tricky to get right, and some bloggers choose not to use them at all. A great tagline, though, is a huge asset: in just a few words, you can tell your ideal readers that your blog is exactly the right place for them.

Here’s Kelly’s:

Lessons learned:

  • Think about who you serve (“compulsive strivers”) and what your blog will help those people do (“lead a less frantic life”).
  • Spend some time honing your tagline, so that it sounds just right – you might want to read it aloud.

#10: Create a “Start Here” Page That Explains What You’re All About, like Emilie Wapnick from Puttylike

Blog: Puttylike

Lots of blogs use a “Start Here” page, but having one is particularly important if – like Emilie – you’ve combined several different passions or strands into one blog. Emilie has different sections on the page to bring together her most popular posts in different categories.

Lessons learned:

  • You can blog about more than one topic, but make sure you’re clear about what you cover so that new readers can get a good sense of your scope.
  • Bringing together your best posts in one place make it easy to showcase your work and draw in new readers who share your interests.

How are you currently showing your personality on your blog? Did anything resonate with you as you looked at the above examples … and what will you try next?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Hey, Darren!

    I loved how they are doing with their blogs… And prospering!

    I personally loved how Pat Flynn, BlogTyrant, and Chris Ducker are doing.

    And exactly can feel how the other 7 bloggers would be doing; simply awesome!

    Greatly expressed!

    ~ Adeel

  • Barnali Ray

    Very informative post. Great suggestions. Apart from SEO and content quality, these things also matter. Thanks for sharing

  • Hey Darren!

    What an awesome blog post on blogs!

    I have never heard of a bunch of these bloggers before. Thank you for sharing this list!

    I like the value. I like to put a lot of personality in the way I write for my blog. Being yourself through written words can help you connect with your readers a lot better.

    Thanks for sharing once again1

    Cheers! :)

  • Norton Tech

    Bunch of Valuable information was brought together in such a way that it would definitely enhance the blogging skills for writers who are new to blogging including me..Really thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Thanks so much for the feature Darren! Posting the right photos is so important for what we do! I’m very conscious with my photo selection when representing our brand and message across all our channels and others as well, including speaking presentations. It makes a huge storytelling difference. I love the other selections in this post as well!

  • twotraveltheworld

    Very informative, specially as we are working on our travel blog – twotraveltheworld – right now. So thanks for sharing!

  • Why nobody mentioned Seth Godin – he has the best blog with simple design – the problem is for me at least – people over customize their blogs, ad popups to convert – Seth does non of that.

    Real blog can be simple as Seth’s.

    I won’t subscribe if the blog is sux – į don’t need your free ebooks.

    If your blog is good i will come for more.

  • Hi Darren,

    Great roundup of bloggers who know how to show their personality. That’s always been one of my biggest issues, is trying to be someone else.

    I figure why would someone really want to follow me, I don’t have any special talents. My blog is brand new, why would they follow me?

    However, since working on myself and really getting involved with personal development, I realize that it’s important for us to put ourselves out there.

    Everyone who starts a blog, starts from zero and they grow it to the point where it is now. The only way that is done is by working hard and putting themselves out there.

    So it’s important to personalize your blog and let people know you. True some people will love you and some won’t. But that’s okay, we’re not meant to get everyone’s attention.

    I love Jadah’s colors on her blog. I am a huge fan of bright colors. I use a green color on my blog and I picked it because I loved it. Although, I admit I could do better on making my colors match like she does.

    I love how the color of her clothes match the colors of her website.

    Some of these bloggers are new to me, and I’ll have to check out some of their blogs. Thanks for taking the time to share this and now I see how I can make some improvements to my own blog.

    Have a great day :)

    Susan

    • Well…fwiw…I think older style blogs that show calmer, more cerebral, less visual personalities are much much much more appealing. Ozarque, Making Light, Scott Adams…I like blogs I can actually *read*. Print out on paper and just read words, with an occasional relevant picture or chart, like a real book. *That* shows a personality I might actually enjoy knowing!

  • Hey Darren,

    Thanks for sharing such a great piece of information. Personalizing your blog is a very essential step for building trust with the readers. It reflects your style and attitude. It is also very crucial step for building your blog as a brand.

    Keep sharing,
    Cheers.

  • Wow thank you Darren! you are super kind.

  • Great, detailed examples of how bloggers weave their personalities into their content and site design. Lots of great ideas and inspiration. Thanks Darren.

  • Ryn Shell

    The advertisements express personality as much as the content, so choose them to suit the customer you want to stay.
    With some of those blogs the first thing I noticed was the advertisements. I stay or leave fast, depending on if the ads are classy, intelligent, in which instance I believe the content will be worth reading, or trashy-click bait for some, none of my business, private lives of “Kate and William, or foods I must never eat with a photo of a heathy food,” in which case I expect the blog content to be frivolous and not worth opening to read, and I click out.

    • It’s unfortunate that Amazon, Google, Taboola, and other sites that promise to monetize your site with ads, often befoul decent articles with tacky ads. I recognize those ads and don’t hold them against the people who are desperate enough to work with those companies.

      Actually, although my Amazon Associate blog contains only nice, genuinely relevant links to Amazon pages, and I’ve learned to build those links fast, that’s been a matter of desperation. When I launched the site I *wanted* Google Adsense; Google wouldn’t work with me because my blog partner had tried to use Godaddy, which does not work in our part of the world. I would probably have accepted Amazon Native (stalk-the-reader) or Taboola ads if those had worked in our part of the world. I have ads that actually contribute to my blog posts, like graphic footnotes, mainly because the local server automatically ruins “i-frames.”

  • Jane Rucker

    Hi Darren,
    Thanks for sharing this information! While a few of these bloggers are known to me, most of them are new. Your list of ten along with the real life examples is very helpful! Much to glean, think about, and incorporate here!

  • As a my point of view this is very useful information. Thanks for sharing.

  • article constants quite useful information related to blog creation. in addition to content and S E O related things there are several points which needs to be taken care off thank you for sharing…

  • Well…I can see at a glance that these are blogs I wouldn’t want to read.

    I often think we need two distinct formats for the Internet–one with lots of memory-hog graphics and bells and whistles and blah blah for the people who’d really rather be watching TV, and one with an Automatic Graphic Blocker for those of us who want to print out and use the words and numbers.

    I do enjoy pictures that actually show how to recognize or use something, if they’re not too big, if they load fast, if they’re either beside the text they illustrate or at the end of the document, and if they hold still…but I’m totally turned off by toothy face pictures. Can’t close a page that opens a big picture, or scroll past the picture to scan the words, fast enough.

  • Gaurav Sharma

    This is really an interesting article for all of us.
    Thanks….