Updated: September 16, 2016
Before we begin, answer this question:
Do you like to hang out with people that you don’t have a good time with?
Chances are that is what you want people to do with your site, though. You want them to think of the blandest site around (yours) and decide to visit it because it will make their day.
You’ve spent the past couple of weeks, months, or years sitting around wondering why everybody else’s site is blossoming while yours is stuck in the mud. You’ve read all the e-books, watched all the courses, and even attended some webinars, but nothing seems to be working.
You are an SEO guru due to all of the material you’ve covered. Your site can’t get anymore optimized and yet people come to it, but don’t stick around.
People subscribe to your mailing list and promptly unsubscribe even though you spent a month creating the perfect autoresponders and lead magnets.
You’re about to give up, but you shouldn’t.
Instead, go back and read some of your posts and ask yourself if they are both entertaining and enlightening. Do they trigger an emotion in you? Do they sound like something you would want to read?
If someone read your posts to you in a bar as if you were having a conversation, would you be watching the TV or looking for a way out?
If so, that’s a sign your site lacks personality.
You’ve tried so hard to create a professional site that you took all of the personality out of it.
Sure you have some nice frills in your design, but that only goes so far. Your writing has to draw people in or else everything extra that you do is a complete waste.
You’ve decided to blog because you want to create a new lifestyle for yourself so why are you not putting yourself into it?
Writing Is Hard
If you’re going to write about the 7 incredible ways someone can boost their Instagram followers you better throw some spice in there or else your post isn’t going to be any different than the 13 other ones they read before telling them the exact same information.
We all like to think our blog is unique, but to the normal visitor, our blog is just like the other 10 they ignored today.
Fear You’ll Chase People Away
Building product-based businesses over the years I’ve learned something very important:
If you spend your time trying to please everybody you will end up pleasing nobody.
The same thing applies to your site. Your site is a product. Your writing is a product. You are probably writing hoping that you make everyone happy.
Let me tell you something right now, everybody doesn’t matter.
Only one person matters and that is the one person you are talking to right now. The one person that is on your page right now nodding their head to whatever you are saying because they agree with everything. You are talking to the one person where your message resonates the greatest with.
Your goal is to reach your True Fans. The people that will buy anything you sell. The people that will open every single email you write. The people that can’t stop telling the world about you.
Not the casual passerby that doesn’t give two shits if you’re selling a course for the low price of $19.
This doesn’t mean that you need to be mean like I am being right now, it just means you need to be true to yourself. Trust me, I’ve played the game of trying to be someone I’m not online. You begin to hate what you are doing and eventually you give up because you think it isn’t what you thought it would be.
The crazy thing is, you control the experience. Sure there are some boring parts to running a business, but that doesn’t mean there should be parts that you hate. Writing definitely shouldn’t be one of them.
If you don’t think you can make some good money by being yourself take a look at this:
Look at that opening copy on By Regina.
For Infopreneurs. For Bloggers.
Okay, nothing too fancy.
Monetize Your Epicness.
Hm, okay, seems like she is boosting me up. I like that.
You are legendary. I’m just here to make sure other people find out how epic you are, how valuable your information is, and why they should buy from you. Also, I’m a ninja.
Wow, okay. She is my personal cheerleader. I like that. She isn’t a business trying to sell me something, although she sells a ton of stuff. She is someone, like me, that wants to help me out.
Also, I’m a ninja.
Shieeeeeeeeeeeeet. That’s what I’m talking about! If someone tells you that you’re a ninja you are going to listen to them!
Just that small space of copy pulls you into the site and the brand. You’re now hooked.
You Are Having Thousands of One-On-One Conversations
Imagine sitting down at your computer with an idea for a post and getting excited to write it because you know that one person, your True Fan, is going to love it and they are going to tell you how much they love it.
Doesn’t that sound awesome?
It’s how I feel writing this post right now. I know there is someone out there wondering why their site isn’t growing even though they are doing everything by the book. This person is called the Restless Pathfinder.
They are searching for a way to go from Point A to Point B and they need a guide. You are their guide, but they don’t want you to be their guide if you are boring.
Ever been on a city tour or museum tour? What makes or breaks the tour isn’t the stuff that you see, but how the tour guide presents everything. A funny tour guide makes the tour memorable, while the boring tour guide makes you wish you just read the brochure ten more times.
A lot of the information that you are presenting isn’t anything new. Everything is a remix in a way so don’t think it comes down to writing original things. It comes down to how you present them.
To think of it another way, you are making a basic salad. Every other blog in your niche knows how to make the same salad and they do make the same salad. You aren’t going to find special tomatoes that nobody else can find.
So you need a way to make your salad stand out from the rest. What do you do?
You create an awesome dressing. Nobody can copy this dressing. They try, but they fail. This dressing is your voice. It is your brand.
We are all making the same salad with one exception: the dressing.
Your personality is the dressing. It’s the best part of the salad. Your audience doesn’t give two flying fricks about the lettuce. They get a choice of the dressing and that choice is personal for them.
So yeah, you will chase some people away because your dressing isn’t the one they like. What are you going to do? Try to create a dressing that everyone in the world likes? Go for it. It’ll taste like shit. You’ll see.
Own your unique dressing.
Share it with the world and be okay with the fact that some people won’t like it. You actually want some people to dislike it because that increases your chances of others liking it.
People like to do opposite things. They are weird like that.
You know what you don’t want? For people to have zero feelings towards your content. You either love coffee or your hate it. Water? It’s just there.
Don’t be water.
How to Unbore Your Site
If you’re just getting started with this blogging thing then it might take a while to find your voice, but you are in a good position because you don’t have months or years of bad habits to get rid of. It won’t be easy because even though people say you should write the way you talk, you know that wouldn’t fly too well.
If it did then this post would be filled with a ton of “like”s, “ummm”s, “whatever”s, and “I think…”s.
What you wanna do is find the right combination of your voice and writing that shows you at least got past 5th grade.
You might’ve learned in school that paragraphs are a minimum of 3-5 sentences, but in the real world if you talk that much you end up losing the person.
Instead, why don’t you break up your paragraphs so that they seem to have a more natural flow.
Pretend you are doing nice pauses to assess if your listener is actually listening. Or you can pretend that you got distracted by a dog riding a unicycle and you need to get back on track.
The best blogging is a conversation. It can be too easy to equate professionalism with quality. You need to stand out and your voice is one of the unique things that nobody else can copy. They can copy your material, they can copy your design, and they can copy your tactics. But they can never copy your voice.
That is yours and yours alone. Own it.
Readers Have Attention Quotas
Readers have enough trash distracting them throughout the day so when they sit down to actually learn they only have a limited amount of attention quota to offer. I totally made this term up, but roll with me here.
If you want to learn something after a long day at work you know that you only have 90 minutes before your body starts to collapse on you. Do you want to waste that time reading boring material that will tire you out quicker or do you want to read stuff that is entertaining and enlightening?
You want to read stuff that is engaging and keeps you interested. You did enough boring learning in school. Why do you have to do in adulthood as well?
If someone wants to read something dry they will go to Wikipedia. Instead, they are coming to you because they connect with you and your voice.
When you are engaged in a wonderful conversation with someone you can feel a connection building. That is what you’re writing should be doing, building connections.
One of the important aspects of growing a tribe is being able to connect with people. You can’t do that if you don’t speak their language. Let’s take a look at two examples.
Learn how to grow your tribe.
Everyone says something like this, right? Now let’s look at something else.
You know what sucks? Writing for an audience of one. Don’t be a lame brain. Learn how to attract a tribe like Yogi Bear to a picnic basket.
This second message is not much different from the first one, but it injects some personality. It doesn’t come across as a corporation trying to sell me something. It comes across as something my friends would say to me and I would chuckle, slap them on the back of the head, and then ask them how much?
Are you the door-to-door salesman trying to have a conversation or are you at a bar during happy hour living it up with good people?
People connect with like-minded people. It’s hard to believe someone is like-minded if they don’t speak your language. Your writing makes you personable and personable allows people to build a connection with you.
They have enough faceless corporations spouting bullshit messages their way, they don’t need a blogger talking the same way.
All of this sounds great, right? But how do you do a better job of writing in a voice that does you and your brand justice? Try saying your post instead of writing it.
Speak Your Post
If you are supposed to write like you talk then why don’t you actually say your post out loud before writing it? There are plenty of apps for your phone that you can use to record your voice. You can either speak your post before writing it or read your post after you are done.
Either way, it gives you a chance to hear your post and you can decide if you like what you are hearing. If you don’t like what you are hearing, how is someone else going to like reading it?
Check out this post by Melyssa Griffin. She offers an audio version of her post which is really awesome. If you listen to the audio you can tell that none of it is robotic. It comes across clear and personable.
And guess what?
So does the written version of the content!
Melyssa does a great job of filling her posts with her quirky personality which allows her audience to feel a connection with her. Now that she does audio versions of her posts it helps to bring people in even closer.
Your personality can extend beyond just your writing. The design of your site also plays a huge role in helping people connect with you.
Design Your Experience
Picking a theme or designing a site yourself goes way beyond just liking the colors. Your theme needs to be a representation of your personality.
Check out the design of Wonderlass.
In that small little image, don’t you feel personality oozing out of it? In two simple columns, Allison is able to inject more personality than most bloggers do on a full page.
You get an image of her in an outrageous outfit laughing it up. That lets you know she is here to have fun. Then you have the bright colors which reinforce that attitude. Finally, look at the copy.
Hey there buttercup! You know what I REALLY want today? Ice cream. But that’s beside the point.
The copy reinforces the design and the design reinforces the copy. They all play a role in ensuring that her personality comes out of every facet of the site.
Most importantly, you gain something from reading her site. She wants you to have a good time, but she also wants you to learn. I don’t know if the term edutainment is still around, but that is what the best teachers do; they edutain you.
Injecting Personality Into Your Site
Okay, you get it. Personality is important to add to your site. You finally understand it can be what separates your site from the rest, but how do you add personality to your site?
We’ve already discussed a couple of ways:
- Your writing needs to come across as a conversation, not a lecture.
- Your design should reflect your personality with color and font choices.
- You can add audio versions of your posts to your site.
What else can you do? Toss up images of things that you like and images of yourself. When people can see a face then the writing on the site immediately becomes more personable. They know that there is an actual person writing this awesome stuff.
You can add a video of yourself. I’m going to run back to Melyssa Griffin who has a quirky video at the footer of every page. Seriously, this thing is oozing personality.
Your site doesn’t have to scream you. It just has to show some authenticity and there is no better way to do that than to leak your personality throughout your site.
The best bloggers are ones that open up and allow connections to be made with their audience. Some people will gravitate towards those that are successful and others will gravitate towards those that are similar to them. It can be hard to find out if someone is similar to you if they hide behind a wall.
There is no wall on your blog and if there is, then it is graffitied with your face all over it.
No blog has ever failed because someone showed too much personality and wasn’t boring enough.
Think of a celebrity you are drawn to and ask yourself if they are boring. They probably aren’t. They show their quirks to the world and that draws you even closer to them.
Your goal as a blogger isn’t to come off as a stodgy business person. You can maintain professionalism in your actions while still showcasing that wonderful personality that your friends and family love.
You definitely have personality and now it is time to make sure your blog does as well.
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