How to be authentic and memorable with your blog when you’re an introvert
As a slightly older introvert blogger you may be wondering about the perils of online visibility. Or rather, how to be authentic and memorable with your blog without having to sell your soul. You know you will need to spend your energy wisely online so blogging (and all the marketing around it) won’t feel draining. I know this not only from my own early forays into blogging. These concerns 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. And you may already be doing that.
There’s no need to host a podcast or live videos if that is not your thing. Writing from your heart will always 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, a piece of art, a course or 1-to-1 session.
The best way to gain (authentic) visibility
So it goes without saying that good content presented in your unique voice, will add value to a reader’s life. Whether this value is educational, practical, thought provoking or entertaining doesn’t matter.
But when readers don’t come (or don’t stay!), as so often happens, it is easy for doubts to set is. Maybe you are not good enough as a writer? Perhaps blogging is actually passé? Please think again.
I see a lot of amazing blogs that are thriving. Blogs where the writer stays true to their own voice but relates to their reader at the same time. They don’t have to sell their soul in an attempt to please their reader. They just understand their problems and expectations. And they honour them.
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? Most focus on a specific gender, age group, phase of life, or interest.
Do you know what your readers want?
To offer topics and views that 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 check blogs on a similar theme to yours. You can gain a lot of information from reading other people’s content.
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 what you know doesn’t mean that your reader knows it too. When you have been where your reader is now, you must talk about it. It is all part of building credibility and trust online.
You definitely don’t need to be the world’s greatest expert, or even to be all over social media 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, politics, draughts, wildfires, wars or the cost of living crisis may not be the only topics on your reader’s mind. 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 feel confident in any challenging situation.
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.
Nature – what an amazing teacher
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.
There’s plenty of food for thought here. 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.”
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. And a few personal stories. 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.
One of my colleagues likes to tell the story of how in pre-pandemic times people she had never met before would come up to her at events. She was easily recognisable by the photo on her blog and the colour she was wearing. There was nothing contrived about it, her brand colour happened to be her favourite colour. And people who knew her blog 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 be both authentic and memorable.
A consistent look and feel that represents the “true you” on all your social channels is important. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, it helps people to make an important connection with you.
What if you hate drawing attention to yourself?
We have mentored quite a few bloggers who wished to increase their visibility whilst maintaining privacy online. Apart from a name, these blogs showed little personal information. This made it harder for the reader to relate to the writer, the person behind the blog.
Many writers feel uncomfortable putting photos or other personal information of themselves online. Some even write under an alias and they may have valid reasons for doing so.
So it may be tempting to upload a logo and leave it at that. This is 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.
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 if you’re feeling self-conscious
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. But the busier the blogging world became the harder I found it to stand out amongst new readers. I knew I needed to be more distinctive and personal, from the content I wrote to my voice, my images and even the photo I used of myself.
Once you add more personality to your posts, e.g. by opening the blog with something that might have just happened to you, writing will also become more enjoyable. Little stories and metaphors create a valuable connection with the reader.
I know it works because people 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.
There is one important way to give your content the personal touch. A little vulnerability works really well because it’s 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! (Which luckily you won’t be doing anyway as an introvert)
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 themselves’.
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. You don’t need to be everywhere for a start.
Once you know whether your readers are on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter, just go to one or two places that resonate with you. You may have followers already in some places, in others you might have to start from scratch. But that will take time and patience and that can make it harder to stay engaged.
Which is often why we suggest to bloggers to engage on social media with potential readers 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 (and remember you don’t need to be everywhere!)
- If you want to raise your profile on Linkedin because that’s where your readers are, your key actions are to use it consistently and engage in posts. Perhaps even 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 your readers can be found on Instagram, why not use the stories function to talk about 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, where business pages have become hard work due to pesky algorithms the easiest way to reach the right people is via special interest groups. That’s unless you wish to pay to reach the right readers. Specialist groups allow you to build relationships with potential readers. They 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. Maybe it helps to look at it simply as building relationships? Because that’s what introverts are inherently good at, especially when it comes to engaging with people on a 1-to-1 basis.
Another 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 will trust you 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.
It is more important to write consistently as that too can make you more memorable. Readers who will like you for who you are. Because there will come a point quite quickly when loyal 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 it is better to get in front of your reader and be authentic than worry about being perfect. Especially if you honour your reader too. It is the best way to be authentic AND memorable with your blog at the same time!