Blogging is Not About You

Filed as Editorial, Features on May 5, 2008 10:17 pm

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Wendy Piersall - SOBCon Conference PhotographOne of the loudest messages shouted from the rooftops in Chicago at Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCon) was: It’s not about you.

This came through on many levels. Let’s examine a few.

Your blog is not about you.

Your blog is not about you. Sure, it starts out about being about what you want. About what messages you want to send. About how you want to frame and publish content. About who you want to reach and what you want to get out of your blog.

But once you hit the publish button, it no longer is about you and what you want. It’s about the readers. It’s about what they want. It’s about what they need. It’s about giving them what they want and need in order to keep them, and attract new readers.

Your blog conversation isn’t about you.

When a commenter leaves a comment, sometimes they are talking to you, but the experienced blog reader and commenter know that they are leaving a comment for posterity, and it may or may not be directed to you, the blogger, as much as directed to the other readers and commenters.

Some commenters respond to other comments, not your comments. There is a whole interaction and conversation that can happen in the blog comment box without your intervention or participation. Don’t rush in to answer every comment. You may be strangling the conversation. Let others respond and direct the conversation. Let there be room for everyone.

Your blog’s purpose isn’t about you.

When you come up with a business plan, purpose, and mission statement, even the title and tagline of their blog, they think it’s about you, right? It’s not. You forgot who you are publishing and blogging for.

For example, one blogger said their blog’s tagline is “Finding Financial Freedom.” I asked, “For who?” For others, of course, they said. Other who? Is it about your story of finding financial freedom? Is it about helping poor single women about finding financial freedom? Is it young married couples finding their way to financial freedom? Is it about older people, learning to cope with years of building towards retirement only to find out that they can’t afford the house they live in?

Who are you talking to? Who are you blogging for? It’s not about you and your needs but connecting with others, so define the others so they will know they’ve find the right place.

What you do isn’t about you.

When you meet someone, the first question usually asked is “What do you do?” What do you say? And do you include your target audience when you answer? Do you take into account your listener when you respond?

“I help people find financial freedom” is nice as a tagline but at a party, it doesn’t say anything. You have to be more specific if you want to encourage a conversation.

The words you use are not about you. It’s about your audience. What will they understand in how you present your blog and its purpose? Will you use jargon? Are they familiar with the jargon? What words will work to connect directly to them so they understand what you do with your blog.

We get so caught up in me and mine, we forget that the reason we are doing this is to connect with others. When we connect, the relationship can start. Until then, if they don’t understand what we do, why, and for whom, it’s not a good starting place for a conversation.

SOBCon wasn’t about you, either.

There were a lot of amazing experiences, lessons learned, and connections made at this weekend. What you didn’t hear was “What do you do?” in the greetings. There wasn’t the grasping quality of “I’ll tell you what I do so you will want to help me make money and get something.” What you saw were hugs and then people getting past the surface stuff immediately to say, “Tell me more about you.”

The connections made in blogging breakdown many barriers. Wendy Piersall of Spark Plugging said it best for me:

It was like walking into a room filled with your best friends that you haven’t met.

That’s the power of blogging. It’s not about you. It’s about us. It’s about inclusion.

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  1. By caTcode posted on May 6, 2008 at 1:04 am
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    its true, a great blogger is begin from this point. now lets think about what peoples want, about what peoples love..

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  2. By Barbara Ling posted on May 6, 2008 at 4:07 am
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    Morning,

    I respectfully disagree. Blogging is about me, because without me, MY personal blog wouldn’t exist and no impact would be made upon any reader at all.

    That being said, I think I would say instead, blogging is about Me Making A Difference.

    It could be that like others, I freely share information to help others. Ergo, I’ve made a difference in their lives.

    It could be that I blog about a personal cause and generate a ton of publicity to help out a friend or community etc. My blog makes a difference there too.

    It could be that I blog about how my kid rather unwisely chose to punch his brother (but Mom! He told me too!) so I researched particular ways of dealing with this…and then shared my findings with my community. Should they encounter the same situation, they’ll have resources at their fingertips – again, I’ve made a difference. And when readers share the tips with their friends, they’re helping grow the knowledgebase of the community; doesn’t matter then WHO started the sharing; it’s the good turns that count.

    Without ME, MY blog wouldn’t exist.

    I think it’s all about making a difference instead. And from THAT arises the community, for we all support one another in helping make each other’s personal goals become reality.

    And in re-reading this, I guess I now do agreew ith the closing line:

    >> That’s the power of blogging. It’s not about you. It’s about us. *It’s about inclusion.* <<

    Respectfully,

    Barbara

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  3. By OldSailor posted on May 6, 2008 at 8:06 am
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    Blogging is about me,you and us.

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  4. By Student Logic posted on May 6, 2008 at 9:13 pm
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    Exactly, blogging is not about you. It’s about opening the floor to everybody else and forming an interactive discussion on the topic at hand. It is purely a form of what Habermas determined to be the ‘public sphere’ since “the function of this socail domain is to give expression to public opinion by allowing people to openly and equally express their views” (Habermas, 1997).

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  5. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on May 7, 2008 at 9:32 am
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    @Barbara Ling:

    Ah, there is the point. “Blogging is about me making a difference” which means it is about changing the world, or at least a few people in the world, which means your blogging is about them. If you make a difference in their lives, your blogging is about them, otherwise, you wouldn’t care about anyone or anything else except about you.

    Yes, blogging gives you something. It has to reward you or it isn’t worth doing. That’s not the point. The point is about the responsibility that occurs when you hit the Publish button. Then, it’s about them and how you can influence your readers and connect with them.

    When you blog for you, it’s only about connecting you and your needs with you and your needs. You don’t give a rip about anyone else. Altruism isn’t in your vocabulary. It sounds like it is your whole purpose.

    So I agree with you. Your blog is about you, which is should be, but the purpose of your blogging is not about you. It is about all the words you use: sharing, caring, finding, helping, making a difference.

    And it looks like you got it at the bottom of your comment. It is about inclusion, and it looks like you got the point.

    When bloggers say, “my blog is all about me” I’m not interested in reading you. When bloggers say, “my blog is not about me but my readers” then I know they care about me and what I think, not just about them talking for the sake of wasting air. It means the blogger wants a connection, and I’m open and paying attention because they are talking to ME not AT me.

    Thanks for helping me make my point. :D

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  6. By Loraleigh Vance posted on May 7, 2008 at 7:41 pm
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    Thank you.

    I am new at this and appreciate the sharing of your experience and viewpoint.

    This is something I will keep in mind with each blog.

    Reply

  7. By Dorothy t posted on May 8, 2008 at 9:19 pm
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    I am not sure that there is a specific definition for blogging but I am interested to read what other people think. It may be that I shall eventually “connect” with blogging. any ideas?

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  8. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on May 8, 2008 at 11:44 pm
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    @Dorothy t:

    I’m not sure what you are asking, but there is a specific definition of blogging. It’s self-publishing. From there, it can be anything. What you make of it is up to you.

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  9. By Dawud Miracle posted on May 9, 2008 at 9:16 am
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    Right on. Nothing is really about you when it comes to business or blogging – that is after you can clearly articulate what you do. Then it’s a matter of finding the right niche for your offerings.

    Nowhere is this more visible then at SOBCon where Terry and Liz did went out of their way to make this another dynamic, rich and moving event. Seats are limited for next year, so plan early.

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