When I try to wrap my mind around blogging, content creation, journalism, websites, social platforms, photo sharing tools, etc. etc., it can be overwhelming. Even more overwhelming is the amount of individuals constantly sharing their thoughts, ideas, questions, memories, and food or cat pictures at an alarming rate. The increase of mobile technology, and free wifi at Starbucks, means humans can share whenever and however we want. For Example:
- There are over 500 million tweets per day.
- Every 20 minutes on Facebook, there are 1 million links shared.
- LinkedIn has over 300 million users.
The daunting question: Isn’t this just a HUGE dose of lackluster information? Nope. This is a powerful chance to share your unique voice, your fascinating experiences, and your professional opinions. The information becomes lackluster when it lacks the most important thing: You.
Fellow LexBloggers, Jared, Kristina and I had the pleasure of attending a #MozTalk led by Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz, and Geraldine DeRuiter, Wizardess (perhaps) of The Everywhereist. We laughed, we cried, and we learned a lot. Especially about blogging and SEO and falling in love with a blog. But I want to focus on what I am still feeling many days later – the impact of Rand and Geraldine’s personalities showcased throughout the talk and what I’ve learned from them since.
1. Be Relatable – Know who your audience is and how you can connect with them. I’d recommend setting up an RSS Reader like Feedly with not only your target audience, but also their influencers as well. Doing a little up-front work will allow you to view what your audience is reading, sharing, writing, and liking. Write on these key topics to engage in the conversation and always answer the question your target audience is asking.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself in blogging, there is someone waiting to love you – Geraldine.
2. Don’t be Afraid of Humor – Humor is a beautiful thing! We connect with others using laughter and humor and the same goes for the online medium.
One of my favorite blogs is Trademarkology because they share their professional ideas and thoughts while using humor to break up the reporting. (Can we all get that “Paws” shirt please?) Update: got it thanks to Bill Ferrell! While I enjoyed the humor throughout the #MozTalk – afterward I read the About page of The Everywhereist which, oftentimes is filled with professional headshots and bios, included a life story, a mention of cupcakes, and a rejection letter.
3. Use Your Authentic Voice – I think this is the hardest concept to grasp when writing and coincidently the most important. If I am writing it, aren’t I already being authentic? Well, yes and no.
No – Your voice is not authentic when you are writing the words you think you’re supposed to be writing. When you have a blog subject, or even a small 140 character tweet – if someone else is telling you to write it, or to write in a certain way – I wouldn’t consider it authentic.
Yes – Your voice is authentic when you are writing the words you know you’re supposed to be writing. These are the words that encompass your personality. These are the words that highlight your experiences. These are the words that add to the conversation that everyone else is already having online. The only difference with these words is that they are coming directly from you.
Rand and Geraldine encompassed all of these points throughout their “offline” presentation as well as “online” blogs and social media profiles. I use quotes for the sole reason of online/offline separation here but I encourage you to think of them as the same thing – just different mediums for connecting with other individuals. How do you want them to remember you?