There are millions upon millions of blogs on the internet, covering every topic imaginable (and most of them several times over). On the one hand, this can be an encouraging thing to think of, as it shows you that there are doubtless people like you who have thought about a given idea, put it into action, and seen it through to becoming a successful project. On the other hand, it makes the field very competitive.
There are a lot of things you can do to try to stand out in whatever field of blogging you’re in, but one that’s fairly universal is to make the site more personable. Because there are so many platforms across the web, most of us are used to stumbling on sites that are lazily maintained, or appear to be run in a more robotic manner. Showing a personal touch can eliminate these problems and be one of your strongest marketing tools, making your blog more inviting overall.
These are a few ways to do it.
Interact With Other Blogs
In researching this piece a little bit we came across a handy list of ways to bring more traffic to your blog. That, incidentally, is something just about everyone with a website ought to read through (though of course there are other lists like it). One thing that stood out specifically with regard to making things more personable though was the idea of leaving thoughtful comments on other blogs. If you post on other sites covering similar topics or themes to your own – and you post as a writer or administrator for your own site – you establish the sense that you truly care about the subject matter and you’re out there reading about it, as well as writing it. It deepens the sense that there’s a very real person behind your blog, and this is something that readers tend to appreciate.
Provide Video Content
Unless it ties in specifically to what you do on your blog, this is a slightly unusual suggestion. We’re actually getting the idea from online gaming sites of all things, but video content has certainly helped to make these kinds of sites more personable. Specifically, casino platforms have introduced video feeds to live dealers, sometimes even with live news reels in the background. This helps ensure that games are authentic, live, and not recordings. You probably don’t need to stress the “live” bit on your blog, but posting video content of any kind can still provide that sense of authenticity. Just as a live dealer goes a step beyond an animated one, posting the occasional video update takes things further than just a byline or author bio, and makes you a very real person to your readers.
Keep An “About” Diary
This isn’t really a specific concept or established term, but bear with us here. As you may have noticed with the first two ideas, the concept of making your blog more personable is rooted largely in establishing yourself as a real, active person behind the content. You want to be transparent to some degree, so that readers can get to you know you and not just your blog. Another way to do this is to update your “About Me” section (or the closest thing to it) as a sort of diary. That is to say no matter what kind of site or blog you’re running, keep a personal blog section to update your readers. If you’re an amateur restaurant reviewer, update this section with some of the places you’re hoping to try in the coming week, or some of the latest cravings you’ve had; if you’re writing about film and television, talk a little bit about your thoughts beyond specific reviews. It’s just another personal touch for the platform.
Do A Mailbag
As long as you have a regular readership of some kind a mailbag is perhaps the best way to interact with readers. Sure, you can respond to comments now and then, or accept emails, but answering reader questions or delving into their suggested conversation topics is a great way to keep things interpersonal. One of the better examples of the effectiveness of this kind of interaction is Bill Simmons, who’s really one of the more successful blogging stories on the internet. Once the operator of a sort of niche sports site in Boston, Simmons became arguably the most famous sportswriter in the world at ESPN before launching his own site, The Ringer – and one of his most enduring features has been his reader mailbag (which he’s updated regularly, right up through this year’s Super Bowl). That’s not to say running a mailbag will catapult you to fame and riches, but it’s a wonderful tradition to establish as you look to rise in the blogging world.