You know it when you see it. That blog you just keep returning for new posts every week. You may do this because the blogger often has something unique to say, but, more often than not, you’ll also be influenced by the blogger’s personality.
How many blogs are online today? Around 350 million? That figure only represents blogs on Tumblr, as of July 2017. WordPress says that around 410 million people view about 23 billion blog pages per month, just using the WordPress platform.
This is only a couple of slices of the blogging cake. With so much being said and so much inevitable repetition, how do you beat off the competition and get more fans?
You may have heard the term content shock, referring to exponentially increasing volumes of content versus our inability to consume it all. There is a proliferation of information. You can get information and data from multiple sources. An attractive, engaging style, however, is far rarer.
It doesn't matter what type of blogger you are or what your subject matter is, adding personality and having a relatable writing style can make your blog stand out and make each post more engaging. People connect with stories, points of view, or a struggle they can identify with.
5 Blogs with Personalities to Learn From
1. The Simplifier (Seth Godin)
As you can see, Seth's blog spells it out for you simply. Expect lists, punchy advice, and simple sentences. The posts are concise, with no fluff. Despite there being few images, the posts are digestible and beg to be read. They get in and out in the time it takes other bloggers to craft an introduction. They are also personal. Seth’s experience, opinions, and observations are evident every time.
And note that he posts something every day, even if it’s a single sentence or a few lines that read like poetry.
2. The Extrovert. (Gary Vaynerchuk )
On the other hand, you have Gary Vaynerchuk. His blog is very different to look at. Big, bold, black headlines tell you what's what. You’ll see lots of images. And the posts are more in-depth than Seth’s, with a quick announcement at the head of each post to tell readers how long they will take to read.
Like Seth, however, he seems to write with a clear person in mind. He sounds as if he is talking to you. With Gary, in particular, it’s possible to hear his voice and think: “Yep, this is how this guy speaks.”
He is opinionated and unafraid to share those opinions. He also shares his experiences.
The experience of being on Gary Vaynerchuk’s blog is to absorb some of his energy and drive, not only his information.
3. The Informant (Neil Patel)
Neil is all about growing your traffic. You know this within a second of landing on the website. His posts are direct and full of information that fulfills his promise to help you grow traffic.
Everything from learning SEO to growing your Facebook traffic is there, and his information is very detailed and spot on. Check the blog out for an example of how to keep your paragraphs short! Many paragraphs are just one sentence long. This style makes consuming a lot of information much easier than assailing a wall of text.
Neil is excellent at making complex ideas simple. More than that, however, he writes with his core values always in mind. His posts are full of integrity, creativity, and self-mastery.
4. The Charmer. (Honest Mum, Vicki Psarias)
Vicki is a mom, blogger, vlogger, film-maker, and author of Mumboss. She certainly has the magic touch with her mom-blog.
There are many such blogs, but while most are heavily layered with ads and scanty content, Vicki has posts on everything from life, food and drink, travel, style and more. With unique imagery, she writes thoughtful and happy posts.
Again, she has the magic quality of authenticity. She practices what she preaches and lets you know it. Her style gives you an insight not only into her thoughts, but her world. Whether she is writing about handling criticism or blogging tips, you know that her advice is tried and tested, by her, which makes it all the more valuable and inspirational.
5. The Creative (Atlantic Pacific, Blair Eadie)
Blair is a fashion designer with her eye on personal branding. Her blog is filled with beautiful images of her favorite places and her connection to the world of fashion and how it shapes our lives. Her posts are long but not rambling. And you'll find some of the prettiest pictures this side of a photography studio.
Thinking of Blair, the words “creative outpouring” come to mind. Visually, her writing is already very different to that of the other bloggers we’ve looked at. Her long passages are mainly broken up by the use of images. Her blocks of text are dense, with sparse use of the return key. Her writing, however, reflects her enthusiasm for and immersion in the subject.
A successful blog is a LOT of hard work by the blogger who runs it. Its success depends on its style, its content, its focus, and marketing know-how.
Arguably, a successful blog becomes memorable because of its voice. Who you are, and how you say the things you say, will touch readers and attract many more. This means that you must find your voice; not copy someone else’s.
6 Tips for Bringing Personality to Your Blog
1. Be Yourself
More than anything, readers want to trust a blogger and all he or she has to say. If they believe that you are authentic and you are consistent with your blogging, they will show up for more, over and over again.
You can gain people's trust by being personable and relating your true opinions and experiences. It's not all about the information you impart, although that is important; if what you say is not anchored in who you are and what you stand for, people can more easily gravitate to another blog site.
Connect with people through your personality.
2. Begin With a Story
Everyone loves a story. Consider telling your readers something that has been going on in your life this week. What one big thing happened to you that you can pass along? And how does that relate to your key messages and values?
Stories, told well, remain in reader's minds. They have the benefit of creating memorable mental images, making you seem more three-dimensional, and imparting your lesson or message at the same time.
Become one of those bloggers who always has a story to tell.
3. Write Like You Talk
If you see your blog as going out to hundreds or thousands of nameless, faceless people, stop. Put one face in front of you when you write and write to that person only.
Is there a co-worker or a store employee you get along with better than most others? Ideally, it should be someone interested or needing what you have to say. Imagine they are sitting right there with you at the table or desk and begin communicating with them. Write the words you would use if you were speaking. Keep your tone conversational.
You might want to use the voice recorder on your phone and spend a few minutes just talking into it. Talk about a topic you really want to write about. Then, you can transcribe your 'conversation' and edit it to be part of your new blog post.
The more you blog, the easier it gets. Your distinct voice will keep rising to the surface.
4. Add Your Personality
Once you've written a blog post, go back to the beginning and read it out loud. You're likely to find awkward sentences or boring parts. Get rid of those right now.
Then, do a second read-through. Find those sentences that sound alright, but could use some spice. Then, sprinkle personality accordingly.
Share your feelings. How they were at the time and how they are at the time of writing. If you were scared of something, say so. If you are delighted about something, share your joy.
5. Have a Point of View
Decide what you want your role as a blogger to be in the conversation you are bringing up in your blog post. Everyone has an opinion and you, as a blogger, are encouraged to share yours.
Write about things you are passionate about. Convey heartfelt sentiments to your readers. If you are reviewing a product or service, only review those things you have used.
Be honest, be intentional, and say what you believe. Readers can tell if someone is authentic or not, so don't be tempted to says things just to gain popularity. Build yourself as an expert in/ your field by being authentic, not by following the crowd or trying to blend in.
6. Be Consistent
No one likes looking at a blog where the content hasn't been updated in a year. It’s like walking through an abandoned mining town.
Not everyone can put out a new blog post every day. And this level of productivity may even be counterproductive, depending on your genre, your goals, and your audience. You can be consistent, thought, whatever that means to you, by setting a blogging schedule for yourself and, most importantly, by sticking to it.
It's easy to make excuses for why you have no time to write that blog post today. It may be true, but if you give in to it, the same thing will happen tomorrow. If you are passionate about your blog and all you are trying to accomplish with it, find time to write. If you can’t find time, you’ll have to make it. Run home instead of walking. Shower instead of bathing. Record your favorite TV show. Boost the priority of your blog and you’ll be rewarded for your consistent posting.
By being authentic and keeping your ideal reader in mind, you can make your blog more compelling and differentiate it from others like you. Stay true to yourself, enjoy watching your blog personality come to the fore, and keep on writing.