One 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 SOBCon08 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.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.