Perhaps one of the simplest ways of adding a personal touch to your blog is to share a little more of yourself than just your knowledge on your topic.
It is probably not appropriate to share every small detail of your offline life (boundaries are important) I find that readers respond very well to the occasional mention of the things you’re doing outside your blog.
I generally only mention these types of things in passing or use them of illustrations of a point I’m trying to make (example) but am constantly amazed by the numbers of comments and emails that I get when I do from readers who have had similar experiences or from readers at a similar life stage.
For example – simply posting that I’d become a Dad has had a significant impact upon the interactions that I’ve had with many readers. The day I did a whole new type of reader (mainly blogging dads) seemed to appear almost over night (I suspect most were already readers but somehow in sharing part of my journey they stopped lurking and made themselves known. In response to me sharing something more they too began to share more (both personally but also on the topics I was writing about).
While I’m sure I’d get complaints if I shared this type of thing in every post – the occasional (and appropriate) glimpse into your life can somehow add to your credibility, relatability and trust as a blogger.
How much of your real life do you share on your blog?
Hi Darren & All :)
As of now I haven’t shared much personally on my blogs because they
aren’t structured for that type of information.
But speaking for others who do – it greatly interests ME to read what they
add. Finding out that you (Darren) had became a father recently made
me view you in a different light (a positive one). It was a positive view before
also ;) but knowing now that you are also a father of a new born child brings
a feeling that you can be trusted more !
Now that is a personal perception for myself. I’m just being honest.
Great topic as always,
Take Care !
I like to sprinkle my posts about my niche category with a little bit of what is going on with my life, what I find around the Internet, and how things are going with the blog.
My readers have commented that they like that I spread it around.
I find with my blog I have to write some very personal posts. I’m writing about trying to save enough money to retire at 45 so I have to share a lot of personal details around money and emotions around money.
The other side of the coin is I have to be very careful about how much information I put out there and keeping my personal life on some levels completely private. I don’t mention to anyone other than my wife that I blog at all to keep those worlds apart.
Becoming a parent is a life-altering event! We’d have thought you were a robot if you didn’t mention it – LOL (Congratulations again, btw)
A blogger’s personality is going to be seen, even if they are discussing very non-personal information. Through the choice of information to pass along, the style of their writing, including spelling and grammar, even the design of their blog, they are showing the world who they are. So injecting a bit of real life in the post isn’t going to be seen as outside the boundaries (does blogging have boundaries? lol) I think it makes the blog more interesting and appealing.
A constant reference to one of the blogger’s intimate connections (see Columbo’s wife)
can lend a good narrative form to a post and organize them together.
My blog is mainly personal, so that is what I write about. I try to be careful not to reveal too much information due to privacy issues. But, above that, I think that when you personalize yourself, it brings the reader into your world and creates a level where they can maybe relate to you. I’m restructuring my blog to be mainly about finances, and I want my readers to know that I’m right there with them!
This is really interesting..
Its like when the reporter cant stop to laugh in the tv news.
Its like humanizing the midia, making a great connections betwin who write and who read.
hugs from Brazil!
I am a relatively new blogger and recently I mentioned my kids in a post. I think it’s especially important for parents to be careful when bloging about their kid. That’s because, as a parent, you think your kids are the most wonderful things ever to walk (or crawl) the earth and naturally you want to share that with others. Big mistake! People are usually fed up with “the other day, my kid…” stories.
So think twice before you blog about your kids.
My blog is mainly about sailing and I try and stay on topic as much as possible. Of course anything that I do personally related to sailing is fair game for the blog too. I don’t generally write about other personal matters such as family relationships, finances, political or religious views, the weather (except as it relates to sailing), shopping, eating, entertainment, TV shows, books I have read (unless they are sailing books), selling and buying houses, medical matters (unless they are sailing injuries), or travel (unless related to sailing).
However I have been known to break my own rules and post the occasional photo of the cutest granddaughter in the world – like I did today.
The really tricky part is trying to figure out where the line must be drawn!
I often blog about my experiences with gadgets, services and the things I do at home that are tech or science-related. So that’s where I could bring in occasional references to my personal life. Up to now, I find that many of my visitors could easily relate to those situations and share their own through a comment.
Great post Darren.
I think personalising your blog is the best way to engage your readers.
I feel like I have a connection with all of my favourite bloggers even though I’ve never met them.
I say. Let is all hang out!
Keep up the great work Darren.
I shared my wedding vows. Actually, there’s more to it than that. We were the first people to ever marry (legally) via trackbacks. An obscure texas law made it legal. In general tho, people seem to like the more personal posts.
I’m big on the personalization factor. If I don’t feel like I can related the the writer, I just can’t keep my attentions focused for very long.
I don’t like sterile environments and when I can’t relate to, or get to know the writer, it’s kind of like going into surgery where everyone has their face covered. You’ll never know who they are, but they may know some pretty intimate things about you.
I don’t think there’s any point to blogging if you don’t bring some element of the personal into it. That’s the power of blogs! :)
It’s hard to keep readers coming back without giving them something of your story. If there’s no sense of the person behind the blog, the information conveyed tends to take on the tone of a dictionary; it’s great for occasional reference, but not much fun to read.
[…] Reference to the Real Life Activities on Your Blog […]
[…] It was nice that Ken followed up and posted an epilogue to his experiences on both his “highly visible” blogs. While Ken may be struggling with the privacy implications, problogger.net’s Darren Rowse suggests this helps build credibility as a blogger. Not that Ken needs more credibility in my book. […]