I had an interesting conversation with my wife a few days ago. She is starting up a new blog, but she wanted to maintain her anonymity. She wasn’t going to hide her name, but she didn’t want to be herself. She wanted to put forth an image that wasn’t really her.
It got me thinking about this one thing that I believe wholeheartedly:
People follow and do business with PEOPLE, not businesses.
In other words, people want to deal with real people, not a big corporation or something that is fake or artificial.
And taken back to the idea of blogging, people are more likely to want to follow you if (a) they’re interested in what you’re saying and (b) they LIKE you.
That means you gotta be a real person. You want to show personality. You want to let people into your daily life – at least somewhat. You want people to know who you really are. Because it is that person – you – who your readers are going to develop a compassion for.
A lot of people have the instinct of clamming up. They don’t want to share details of their lives. They want to remain super private. They want to hide. If that’s you, fine! But don’t try to be a big-time blogger.
You will see on this site that I do post things about my life. Not everything I do is focused around blogging. I have a family. We do things offline. I bring my Flickr pictures into this website. I participate in Twitter. I even do videos of things that I do while offline. These things let you guys – my readers – into my personal life so you can get to know who I am. I have control over how far things go. There are things you’ll never see me put on the Internet. But, I’m not hiding and I don’t have a problem with people getting to know me like that.
You’ll find that when you, as a blogger, let your personality hang out there that you will get more readers. People can sense whether you’re real or not. And, in the same way that reality TV attracts the audience, your life can also attract an audience. Not in a stalker way, but in a way that people come to admire you and they may identify with you. Sure, you may piss somebody off sometimes for being a little too real for their tastes, but whatever. You probably cannot grow your blog without pissing off somebody.
My wife is a beautiful person and she has literally no reason to want to clam up and be super private about her personality or her life. Obviously, like me, there are things she probably wouldn’t share (and for the sake of my reputation, that’s probably best ), but I hope that she’ll get over that initial fear about strangers knowing her better and open up.
And you do the same if you want to develop a reader base on the Internet.