Do you have a dry, vapid blog that doesn’t seem to get any kind of community involvement; think of how fun it is to be in a the same room when someone rips one – that lingering fart, yeah, that’s your blog. It may not be your content, maybe it’s just you; and not specifically you, it’s that you’re not adding personality.
Personality goes a long way online; it’s what helps people become attached to your brand, build authority and gives a face behind all that content you produce for the web. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll be on your way to implement a few of the following ways to add a little spice to your blog.
1. Add yourself to the sidebar
Here’s a simple trick that immediately makes an impact: add a picture and about me blurb to your sidebar. I do it here on Murlu even though, in the beginning, I was a bit hesitant because I’ve always been a bit awkward about showing myself online – I got over it, you should to.
When people land on your blog they’re not going to immediately know who you are unless you’re right out there. Throw a small widget in your sidebar, place a nice picture of yourself, write (essentially) an elevator pitch/mission statement and then link over to your about me page – simple!
2. Create a compelling “about me” page
I’ve wrote before on how to create a great about me page but let me tell you again: even though you may not look through about me pages, others do. I find myself reading people’s stories all the time when I find a blog I’m interested in, I want to know more about the person behind the blog.
That’s what we do as humans, we connect, we bond, we want to know more. The about me will not only be great to help build your brand but it lets people entwine themselves within your story; they become fans because they see you’re just like them, the underdog or someone they can trust and follow.
3. Snag a pic and use it everywhere
Every once in a while you’ll get that message from someone and be absolutely confused on who it’s coming from; why? they changed their picture. Think of your picture a lot like a brand’s logo (hell, look what happened to Gap recently). If you’re going to use a picture on your blog – stick with it because you’ll be using it across your other social profiles.
(Somewhat) perfect example: I have my picture in the sidebar, about me page and also use it on multiple accounts – it’s over a year old, I don’t even have hair that messy anymore; but I keep it anyway because people are used to that. Yes, you can change it over time but you’ll also need to let people know. The point: snag a picture you’d be proud to plaster on the net; people are going to associate you with it so make sure it’s ace.
4. Throw in some personal opinions/insights
Stop being this dry, cookie-cutter blogger that talks endlessly about how to do X but then doesn’t bother to add their opinion; if we wanted that, we’d just look elsewhere – we came to your blog because we’re expecting to find some unique spin on a technique, review or whatever you’re talking about.
It took me nearly 5 months over here on Murlu before I realized I sounded like a stuck-up ass. It didn’t make sense because my older blog I was very vocal with my opinions; started Murlu put me into this “professional” mindset because I read it on other blogs – this was horseshit. I began to write in my own voice which is sometimes crude but it speaks – there was a shift: more comments, more interaction and more connection.
Do this for your blog, tell us why you chose the topic, how you approached it, rant, rave, say something other than what can be spit out by some bot that aggregates data. Here’s a kick-in-the-ass for you to add your voice: if you’re not adding your opinion, I don’t come back to your blog – plain and simple. And guess what, others don’t either so get started now.
5. Treat your community like a group of friends
This one’s a biggie. It’s far too common to see blogger’s out there that create great content but there’s little to no personality behind their interaction with the community.
How many times have you left a comment on a blog you’ve found just to receive some canned response? You probably didn’t go back after that, did you?
When people take the time to interact with your blog, pull them in as if you were talking at a bar. Keep it simple and relax; don’t create tension between you and your visitors. Respond to people ffs. The web has always been social since the beginning (BBS’s – Google it), it’s fundamental that when you’re dealing with others you have to realize there’s humans on the other end; they want to connect so give it to them.
What are YOU doing to make your blog special?
*Image: Hostile Takeover by Marek Okon