How to be authentic and memorable with your blog when you’re an introvert
As a slightly older introvert blogger you may be wondering how to be authentic and memorable with your blog at the same time. It is really important to us to make sure that our blog readers remember us for the right reasons. I know this not only from our own early forays into blogging. These questions invariably come up in mentoring sessions with clients.
Let me get this out of the way: true authenticity will always be memorable! Being authentic in your blog is about taking a wholehearted approach to writing. Sharing from your heart will make a meaningful connection with the right reader. We love it when we see our clients achieve that and more – when their reader signs up or wants to buy a book, some art, a course or a 1-to-1 service.
It goes without saying that good content presented in your unique voice, will add value to a reader’s life. We have written about this many times before. Whether this value is educational, practical, thought provoking or entertaining doesn’t matter. Each blog is different. The right things happen when your content hits that sweet spot. Readers feel confident that spending more time with you will be worth their while.
Is your content completely relevant to your reader? Of course you may have views on all kinds of topics. But they may not engage your reader when you don’t know what’s going on with them. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lifestyle blogger or an author wanting to promote your books. Sooner or later everyone gets to a point when they want to share their message further afield.
The best way to increase authority and visibility
Without this awareness being authentic and memorable with your blog is so much harder. When readers don’t come (or don’t stay!) it is easy to think that blogging must be passé. Think again.
I see a lot of amazing blogs that are thriving. Blogs where the writer understands their reader and pays close attention to their needs and challenges.
How many magazines do you know of that are aimed at both men and women between 18 and 80, that don’t specialise in any way? You want to be a focused as you can, whether it’s on their gender, age, phase of life, the kind of work they do, the interests they have.
How to find out what readers want
To offer content readers appreciate, you want to watch how they engage with your blog or social media. Better still, talk to them. And if that’s not easy you could always create a little survey via email or social media.
When we brainstorm content ideas with clients, they often say things like “I had no idea people want to know more about this!” Or “Now I understand why I’m the best person to talk about this online.”
Just because you know how to do something doesn’t mean that your reader knows it too. Also, there is nothing as powerful as speaking from personal experience. When you have been where your reader is now, you must tell your story. Or at least small parts of it.
You definitely don’t need to be the world’s greatest expert to help others.
Create a link with what is going on in the world
Do you write about topical news or events to create a link with the key message in your blog or social media?
The pandemic isn’t the only topic that provides us with so much food for thought.
One year, during the Olympic games, I wrote about the mindsets athletes use to win or cope with defeat. That’s because these strategies can be so helpful when you want to thrive in a competitive world!
Another time, talking about a scary storm on holiday in Mallorca became a metaphor for how to cope when something bad happens in your life. Lessons from nature and the change of seasons can be very powerful.
Would you say you are in a certain frame of mind when winter changes to spring, for example? For me spring is the most exciting season because it symbolises growth and looking forward. Autumn, on the other hand, feels like a time to wind down, prepare for winter and look inward.
But my interpretation isn’t the only one. Yours could be very different and it may vary in different contexts.
Yoko Ono’s once said, “Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence, summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance, winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” I love that too.
Nature, topical events or developments could be a great way to create a link with what goes on in your reader’s life.
By taking an editorial view of what’s happening, you have an opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions. The more you do it, the better and more confident you get. You may be amazed by the wonderful stuff you can produce! It will certainly help you to be both authentic and memorable with your blog.
Visual ways to be authentic and memorable with your blog
The first thing a reader sees as your page opens is the overall look. Does your site (or your post) look inviting? It is important to create a consistent look, from the theme to the fonts and the layout of your pages and posts. From the logo and images to the photo of you on your About page.
At Attract Readers we love nature related images. We try to have an element of nature in every single photo, even if it’s just a single flower. The colour green also features in fonts and headers on our site. This is all part of our brand.
One of my colleagues likes to tell the story of how in pre-pandemic times people she had never met before come up to her at conferences. She was easily recognisable from her photo and people connected with her as if they already knew her! We may not always blend our online and offline presence enough because to be remembered like this is important when you want to grow your authority online.
What if you are camera shy or hate drawing attention to yourself?
Some people feel uncomfortable with putting photos or other personal information of themselves online. Some bloggers and authors even write under an alias and they may have valid reasons for doing so.
It may be tempting to upload a logo and leave it at that. It’s perfectly OK when you’re building a bigger business and want to make it exist independently of you. But most bloggers, authors or one-woman businesses represent themselves. Having an authentic personal brand matters a great deal nowadays. And of course, you do want to be authentic AND memorable with your blog at the same time!
We have mentored quite a few bloggers who wished to increase their visibility whilst maintaining a high degree of privacy online. Apart from a name, these blogs showed little personal information. And this made it harder for the reader to relate to the writer, the person behind the blog.
Even a business focused blog benefits from a personal touch. Because blogging is by its nature a relaxed and friendly medium. The last thing you want is to come across as aloof and not attract your particular audience because of it.
What to do when you’re a little camera shy
We always try to help our publicity shy clients find a compromise they feel comfortable with. One of our bloggers decided to publish an image in which she turns away from the camera to draw attention to her very distinctive hair. It works really well! Another with a passion for hats chose a photo that focuses more on the hat and less on her face.
We all know the online world can be intrusive. So if you really don’t want to show your full face, have a think about a safe alternative. People will respect your desire for privacy as long as you are willing to show you’re a real person. Then readers will remember you for the right reasons.
This is where your About Page plays an important role too. Don’t underestimate the power of your personal story to set you apart and keep readers interested. It is possible to give away some (safely) without revealing it all!
It is always easier to build a relationship with a person than an impersonal brand.
Let your personality shine
You can show your personality in your blog writing and on social media through story telling. It all helps to get you noticed and build your brand so readers will remember you.
When I first started blogging 15 years ago, there was little competition. So my voice or the look of my site didn’t seem to matter much. But the busier the blogging world became the harder I found it to stand out amongst new readers.
I needed to be more distinctive in every possible way, from the content I wrote to my voice, my photos and even the photo I used of myself. It was just as well that I got a bit bored with my topics and tried to make my writing more personal.
Once I added more personality to my posts, e.g. by opening the blog with something that might have just happened to me, writing became much more enjoyable. I also realised that using little stories and metaphors create a valuable connection with the reader.
I knew because people started to tell me. Not always on the blog (my ideal reader is often too busy to do that) but via a dm online or even email. That’s how I knew they remember the message.
There are different ways to give your content the personal touch. A little vulnerability can work really well, for example. It’s always good to show you are not superhuman and have made mistakes too. It builds trust and could help you to make a far greater impact than by elevating yourself above you audience and preaching from a pedestal!
Using social media to be both authentic and memorable
Once you’ve pressed publish you need to share your post widely. No matter how good your SEO you can’t just rely on search engines to show your content to interested readers. It does require some effort on your part as the days of letting the internet work for you are long gone.
Promotion has become a hugely important aspect of blogging. But this might not sit well with authentic heart-centred writers who also dislike the process of selling.
Think of it this way… by being in places where your readers hang out you give your post wings to fly. Once you’re in the right place it’s more about helping and less about promotion.
So you’ll need to know whether your readers are on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. You may have followers already in some places, in others you might have to start from scratch. And that will take time and patience.
Which is often why we suggest to bloggers to engage on social media BEFORE they start a blog. And, crucially, before you want to promote each post. Followers may not like it if you only appear to share your content and then disappear.
Other social ways to be authentic and memorable with your blog
You don’t always need your own blog to build your authority. Whilst it’s important to have a home for your content, as social media can be fickle, building a social following goes hand in hand with writing.
A few examples of what you can do:
- If you want to raise your profile on Linkedin because that’s where your readers are, your key actions are to use it consistently, engage in posts and consider blogging on the platform. Hashtags are important if you want to reach readers outside your network. As on Instagram, you can browse through hashtag feeds to see what other people are saying. It’s also great for when you need a little inspiration!
- If readers hang out on Instagram, why not the stories function to send readers to your blog? And make sure the link to your latest post is always in your bio! Another great way to be authentic and memorable here is to write micro-blogs directly in your updates. Longer posts have become very popular there. Story telling is an important part of your brand messages and being authentic. Good quality photos (preferably your own) matter too and hashtags are a must, if you want your content to be found.
- On Facebook, the easiest way to reach the right people is via special interest groups – unless you wish to pay to reach the right readers. There you can start to build relationships with your potential readers. Groups can be great places to share your content. Just check when it’s appropriate and focus on being engaged first.
Ok I hear you… your time is precious and you have more important things to do. Paying to spread your content might seem a quicker way to get noticed. But it’s still up to you to help readers remember you after that.
Building relationships is a major part of the process – with the ultimate aim to attract your readers to you and your site.
One way to speed up the process is to collaborate with people who know and trust you already. They might be able to spread the word for you, if you offer to do the same for them! When they trust you, their followers should trust you too. And this means they may act sooner to sign up to your blog or newsletter, or buy something from your site.
Are you giving readers a compelling reason to subscribe? What benefits are they missing out on if they don’t join you?
Helping people who know and trust you is so much easier and feels more rewarding too!
You don’t have to be perfect
It’s OK to make mistakes sometimes. My readers are very forgiving on the whole, because they know I’m not a native English speaker so I can get away with the odd little mishap or the occasional ultra-long sentence.
But sometimes when you write consistently, and that’s another really important point for me as well, the consistency that you have with your posts will help you to make a greater impact. Because there will come a point quite quickly when your readers start to expect a post from you. It’s a bit like the newspaper that gets delivered to your door, or a magazine that you pick up regularly every month.
So you want to be in front of your reader rather than worry about getting everything 100% perfect. Showing up, in my opinion, is more important than perfectionism. Your blog, and the impact of your blog, is down to your combined content, rather than one single post.
Trust is really, really important – our clients trust us trust is a mega, mega word in social media , and trust in blogging is just as important.