As I confessed in my last post, I have become a bit of a blog snob (click here if you missed my confession). And when you are a blog snob, you become pretty passionate about the blogs you love.
Do you ever feel like a voyeur? Do you find yourself being pulled into the blogs that give you a glimpse of the author’s personal life? Business and life have jumped in bed and are in a pretty serious relationship these days. Separating the two is just not natural.
Making It Personal
When one of my favorite bloggers use their personal life experiences as a launching pad to craft posts full of great advice, facts, tips and strategy, I’m in love. I’m in love because their lessons and advice make more sense to me when they put it in the context of real life (vs. marketing speak that I may understand, but is void of raw emotion.)
Many of my clients don’t yet understand the art of marrying the personal and the professional. The best way I can teach anything is by showing examples. As I mention in my last blog post, my favorite blogs include those from Jonathan Fields, Jay Baer, Melani Ward, Chris Brogan, Marie Forleo, Scott Stratten (unMarketing) and Naomi Dunford (IttyBiz).
Jonathan Fields is a natural at mixing it up. Check out this post on how Jonathan helped his daughter gain more confidence (and a shiny new iPod). http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/goals-concrete/
Marketing 101: People do business with those they like and trust; blogging is a fantastic platform to let others get to know all sides of who you are and what you are about.
Scott Stratton is also a master at this. On his blog site, he has a post titled “25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me” and the night I discovered this page, I was hooked. Hooked on Scott’s blog, his message, his mission…and Scott himself. Getting to know Scott via his list made me want to eat up anything he put out there. It all comes down to being real…and completely vulnerable (especially #28).
Crackin’ Us Up
Humor also plays a big part in making a blog stand out above the rest. I can give you a million examples of humor from my favorite blogs, but here’s a current one from Jay Baer about his little girl.
Too funny :-)
Add Value…And Then Add Some More
I think we can all agree that valuable blogs offer useful tips and strategy. I read blogs mainly to stay current in my niche and to gain insight into what’s new in marketing and new media. I take what I learn and apply it when helping clients or working on new programs. Here are three very recent blog posts that offer solid advice for your marketing efforts and overall business endeavors:
Soul of a New Business by Chris Brogan
Here’s a highlight: “Business doesn’t have to have a soul. It truly doesn’t. But should you want to be passionate about what you do, either as an employee or as the owner, you might consider this question more closely. The purpose of any business, at some level, is revenue. If not, then it’s not really a business. It’s a pursuit, a hobby, a passion, a charity, or something other than a business. But seeking revenue doesn’t preclude having a soul, so let’s banish that thought.”
Here’s a highlight: “The fundamental truth is that your personal life is almost undoubtedly more interesting than your business life. Period. And, associating some sort of noteworthy character trait to your personal brand makes you more memorable in social media. The fact that you run a PR firm? Meh. The fact that run a PR firm, but also grow prize-winning roses? I’ll remember that.”
Here’s a highlight: “Most people will never admit that being comfortable is far more important to them than following through on their resolution because that doesn’t sound very good but that’s really what’s going on. And when I finally understood that, I discovered the reason I had failed so many times myself when it came to following through on my resolutions.”
Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
And another thing: “Edgy” is essential. I love a blog that is edgy, even controversial, because edgy and controversial are two things I am not by nature (and work hard to bring it out in myself). It’s important to express all emotions, and not just the “nice” ones. Emotion can break or make a blog. Naomi Dunford is a true warrior in this area. Just look at a few of her blog headlines:
Headlines are almost more important than the actual post (in terms of grabbing attention) and edgy headlines scream “READ ME NOW!”
Expand Your Repertoire
I will leave you with this: Great bloggers don’t only write about their niche. For example, Chris Brogan is a new media marketing expert, but that does not stop him from posting about topics outside this scope. This is what makes him most intriguing. Take for instance his latest post. It’s not about marketing, social media, business, etc. It’s about HAVING MORE FUN: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/are-you-ready-for-fun/ (But it’s easy to connect the dots and see how having more fun can easily play a part in your next marketing strategy, too.)
Give A Shout Out
I want to do something a little different here. I would love your comments, so please post them below. But I would also love you to post a link to one of your favorite blogs. Give a shout out to someone you think is writing a blog that rocks . . . and share it with all of us. I “talked” too much here…and I really want to hear from you!