Most professionals that take up blogging never seem to be at a loss for words. I guess that’s why they love blogging and newsletters; they are both great ways to communicate and express what’s in your head and on your heart.
Last night in our Conversations with Experts telecall (every Wed. at 8:30 pm ET), Priya Shah, a savvy Internet professional with about 10 blogs under her belt, mentioned "blog-block." Never heard the expression before, but I believe she’s put her finger on what makes professionals create blogs that fizzle out after a few weeks or months.
We can all write well when we have a fresh, exciting idea…but to be that jazzed every day, or every 2-3 days, well, you’d be a little hyper or full of yourself if you maintain such a level of passion all the time. But there are ways to get around blog block, such as using other people’s content and linking to them.
She also mentioned the need to create dialogue with readers, and one should be a little controversial. But what is appropriate and valuable? To my surprise, one of the topics that triggered the most comments among my small readership, was the posting on hyphens and em dashes! People get emotional about their confusion over punctuation! (Well, okay, not everyone, maybe I just attract those readers!)
A Writer’s Conundrum
In my journalism training, I learned to always keep the reader in mind, deliver information that they should want to know in the simplest, clearest, most compelling way.
Now, along come blogs – and the idea here is to be personable, letting people get to know you, and share your personal stories with them. This is a little different from writing an article for a magazine, or for your own ezine or newsletter.
Here’s my dilemma: Do I tell you I just got back from Asia? (possibly of interest to you…)
Do I tell you about the trip, the Chinese investors in my husband’s computer hardware company (he makes the Razer gaming mouse)? (really fascinating to me, and probably to others doing business in Asia or with computers…)
Do I tell you about the boring 52 hour air travel home? (Really boring!)
Do I tell you about the heart problem I had the next day, the 18 hours in the hospital, atrial fibrillation, and the cute doctors? (Only interesting if you’ve had similar problems, or a morbid interest in my health, which is just fine now…)
Do I share with you how much I missed being online 10 hours a day, and how an hour email fix a day no longer ‘does it’ for me?
I personally dislike blogs that are too personal. I always tell the writers I work with that to create a good newsletter or blog, there must be a reason to tell your personal story, that there must be some important point to it, a WIIFM, something that the readers will go away with that they can use in their business or life.
Now, if you notice, the category for this posting, is "writing better ezines."
So here’s my point, my take-away: Start making your articles and postings a little more personable, sharing stories that may not be business related, but more human-condition related.
Even if you have no interest in my trip to Asia, my travels, my husband’s line of work, my health hiccups, you have to admit, that a little diversion into personal stories has some value and interest.
You see, no more blog-block!
Stay tuned for more of a mix of the personal & tips for ezines and blogs.
Please comment, let me know what your ‘writer’s conundrums’ are…!