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The Beauty of Imperfection

Posted By Darren Rowse 9th of July 2008 Writing Content 0 Comments

Today Chris Brogan shares with us one of the secrets of his blogging.

I’m not sure what it is about Darren’s blog that makes me confess my blogging secrets. I did it once before when I discussed how I promote my blog using Twitter, and here I am back to give away another of my secrets to what powers my blog: imperfection.

ImperfectionImage by quinn anya

I Can’t Add to That

One way people accidentally cut down on active commenting on their blogs is by writing a post so complete and thorough in its presentation that the audience doesn’t really know what to add, or how to contribute. Comments like, “Great post,” and “Couldn’t have said it better myself,” aren’t really what most of us want to leave, so instead, we’ll choose not to engage. It’s the old instant cake mix story.

The story goes that instant cake mix went from requiring the cook to add a few eggs, some milk, some water, and a little butter, to just adding water. Sales dropped immediately. But why? Wouldn’t it be even easier on the homemaker to just add water to make a cake? It turned out that our man or woman of the house wanted the sense that they were contributing to the act of making the cake. And thus, producers of such mix have backed it out to allow for adding in the eggs, and some of the other simpler ingredients.

Make Your Blog Posts Imperfect

It’s tricky, because you can’t exactly make them horrible and unreadable, but the point is that maybe you can write them in such a way as to allow your audience and community to add in their level of expertise. I do this all the time over at my site. I end posts with questions. I thread the blog post with the sense that YOU are the expert on several points, and that maybe you can help me better understand things in the comments section. Linking works this way, too. If someone else has said it better, cite it with a nice link.

The things you do to build a little bit of participation into your blog posts is what will bring more community experience together, and give people a sense that they matter. Helping that sentiment grow builds a robust commenting community, which in turn, gives you a great reason to pour more time and attention into the care and feeding of a community that you’re hoping will help sustain you in one way or another.

Did I Miss Anything?

Most of you in Darren’s community are experts at creating excellent content that drives passionate relationships. Some of you do this to become Six Figure Bloggers yourselves. Others just like learning how to make your blog more sticky as a destination site. What do you think I’m missing on this idea? Have you tried it already? Does it work for you?

Chris Brogan advises businesses about emerging technologies and social media tools at ChrisBrogan.com.

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. Thats a good tip for some reader engagement. Imperfection works well in many cases and this is a classic. Thanks for sharing.

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