If you ever want to start a blog, it can be LOTS of fun. Blogging can be an outlet, it can be a venue for many different things. It can even, in some rare cases, make you some money! I’ve been actively running websites and blogs now for nearly 4 years and so I thought I’d write a 10 part series on what I’ve learned!! This week, it’s all about getting personal.
I struggled with this topic for a long time. How personal should I get, and who would really want to know me, ya know? Seriously, I’m pretty boring. I get up, I walk ten steps to my office, Hannah, my 20 month old, sits on my lap and demands to watch an episode of Frugal TV (my biggest fan LOL). Thirty seconds into the video she’s bored and is climbing down. I eat lunch, play with her outside, chat with Lacy, go shopping, hang out with my friends and head to church. I mean really what would people want to know about ME?
What I have learned these past few years is that readers and users truly LOVE people. They love to get to know your heart and your passions. They love getting to know YOU. I consider the users on WeUseCoupons and the readers of the blog my friends. I long have given up on leading a ‘private life.’ Partly due to the media we have done and partly because it’s boring and lonely being private! I had a blogger at a conference tell me once that it’s irresponsible to put pictures of your children on your site. So I struggled with that for a long time. How do I protect my daughter from the creeps and still share myself and my family. She is such a big part of that, and after praying and thinking about it for a long time we decided that we would share her pictures and experiences. We refuse to live in fear. I make sure we have reasonable safeguards, but I won’t live in a world where I’m fearful and timid. I love blogging, and I love sharing myself and my family is a big part of that!
So what should you share? Well let me tell you the number one thing about getting personal, PICTURES!! Pictures speak louder than any article you can write, they speak louder than and song you can sing. Readers will see YOU, not just imagine you. Have an about page and post your picture. Videos are another great way to get personal. I have some very personal videos on YouTube about me, my struggles and my triumphs! Write articles about your family, about your life. When my daughter was born my wife and I went through a very terrifying time. A nurse at one point told me my wife was dying and that I needed to abandon my 5 day old child to be with her. Many of the WUC members know this and remember this. When I see them in real life at meet-ups every so often that comes up. It was a scary time, but by sharing it I was supported. My wife and little one are both healthy and happy now but my point is SHARE. Don’t be afraid to give part of yourself to others.
What shouldn’t you share? Well look at it this way, I don’t share things that are private. If you have a disagreement with a spouse, don’t share it. I also don’t share political opinions because I’m not a political writer. I love politics, don’t get me wrong, but users and readers on WeUseCoupons don’t come to the site to read my musings on what Obama is or isn’t doing, so I don’t share my opinions. That may seem strange but I maintain a very strict personal policy, I rarely will stray into controversial areas. Writing about hot topics and taking a position can and will isolate a segment of your readers. Why do that when the opinion is unnecessary. Often times the controversy will result in a short term traffic gain, but a long term loss.
Getting personal is important when blogging but be careful not to get to personal. There is a line, learn where it is and don’t cross it!!
Lessons I’ve Learned While Blogging is a 10 Part series. Next week’s article is about Learning to Love Yourself.