To Be or Not To Be: Personal On Your Business Blog
Yeah yeah. All the rage in blogging is being “authentic”, telling your truth, sharing your voice. These are the buzz words for the decade for sure! And they are also wise advice for every business – for within these over-buzzed ideas is the anchor for your brand. BRAND authenticity for most small businesses starts with YOUR unique flava flave!
But Kim, how do I be personal on my blog without telling my secrets?
Nobody needs to know what’s in your junk drawer or the junk in your life. The junk is part of your truth, but it is yours and yours alone. Telling your truth and being authentic does NOT mean dumping every little seedy or sad or silly detail of your life in your business blog. Unless that is the core of your business or serves a purpose to support your brand.
Yeah, I did spill a few times in the past few months that I have PMDD. This is a very personal detail. Why do I think it fits on my business blog? Because I know MY audience. And my audience is mostly high-achieving, highly-motivated women who have a hard time being honest with themselves that perfection in business is not necessary, and that being human is not a weakness. So I share my life as a marketer and entrepreneur while also being a human being with flaws and fabulous all at the same time. It’s what I need to do to try to inspire and motivate. But that’s not what you need to do for your business most likely.
You do NOT need to write about your marriage, partner, kids, dogs, diseases, breakfast to be personal. You need to write WITH YOUR PERSONALITY to be personal.
Ask yourself this one question before you post anything to your blog:
Does telling this to my audience lift up my brand and what my brand stands for?
If not, delete and re-write.
If yes, take careful read of your tone and your intent with what you write.
Everything you write for your blog should aim to do three things:
- Teach or make a point.
- Support Search Engine Optimization to your site (using keywords that connect to your brand).
- Have a purpose related to your business goals.
Anything less than this fragments your brand.
If you have something to say that does not support these three things, then perhaps you need to re-address your brand or write a book! There will be times when you really want to get something off your chest and onto your blog. This is fine. There are no RULES, but there are guidelines and a framework to strengthening a business by using your blog, so just think it through before you hit the ‘publish’ button.
How to find “your voice”
Your voice on your blog is pretty much a literal concept. If you read your blog out loud, does it sound like how you talk?
You aren’t in school when you blog. Your Business Writing 201 teacher is not breathing down your neck to ensure you have eliminated the personality from your writing. In fact, it’s just the opposite. You need to INFUSE your blog with all the magnificent things about you.
When you speak to your closest friends, what emotional response do they have to you?
- laughing with tears in their eyes?
- deep awe at your intelligence?
- comfort like you are a great big warm hug?
- a sense of ease and relief?
- sarcastic verbal jousting?
- provocative conversation?
Unless you bore them to sleep, this is the voice you are striving for in your blog. The way you are to your friends is what will make you interesting on your blog to your business audience. Seriously. Don’t you want to do business and have readers who actually “get” you? Then write like your friends hear you.
What tone are you known for?
- dry wit?
- being silly?
- tear jerking?
- extreme though-provocation?
- being serious?
- being calm in the storm?
- being direct?
Whatever “tone” you take with your friends is also the tone you want to deliver on your blog to a degree. You must remember you aren’t a one-dimensional person, but the person you are certainly is unique to you. Writing how you talk and how you actually think and feel takes practice, but it is a practice that pays off.
If your blog is YOUR blog and your business is YOUR personal business – regardless of your name being in it or not – there is a place for your personality to shine in your writing. This is what makes your blog interesting. This is what your readers want and deserve.
Whatever you do, serve a purpose
When we start blogging, we need to just jump in and write for the sake of writing. But as soon as you can, you need to outline some goals for your blog related to growing your brand and building your business.
Your blog must serve a purpose and that purpose must create a marriage between creating response to the sales-side of your business and the demands or wishes of your reading audience.
Tap into YOUR purpose and that marriage is easy to make.