All right (ha! Switched it up on ya!), so we've been talking about how to build a better blog. I told you what I've done to attract more readers to my blog.
But really, it all comes down to one thing: authenticity. The ability to make your blog unlike the fifty thousand others that are out there--which I might point out, is something you must do with your writing too.
So let's go.
I've seen some people asking other people for what they'd like to see on Person A's blog. Yeah, that makes sense. Let me clarify. Person A blogs. Asks Persons B - Z what they'd like to see on Person A's blog.
Disclaimer: This is not bad. Remember that it's not all about you.
However, when I see this, little alarms start going off in my head.
A) YOU should know who your audience is.
B) Once you know who your audience is, YOU should be able to come up with content to please that audience. You shouldn't have to ask.
Disclaimer #2: That doesn't mean you can't, of course. If just means that maybe I think I already know what you want to read here, and so I just do it. Or I figure that if you don't like what you read here, you'll maybe stick around because of my fabulous hair and eventually find something you do like. *wink*
I also think you shouldn't have to ask because of:
1) Confidence. I am insanely confident, this I know (unless you've emailed with me recently, in which case, shutty). I don't have to ask what you guys want to see on my blog, because I'm confident I already know. (And I suppose that if I'm wrong--gasp!--I just figure maybe tomorrow will be the day I'm right. Who knows?)
2) Authenticity. I know who I am. There is no one else like me, and there is no way on this planet that someone could write their blog (or a novel) the way I do.
These two areas are where you need to focus to breed authenticity into your blog (and your writing).
Now before you start bowing down and proclaiming that I'm all that and a bag of chips (which I'm so not), let me relate a story.
About 16 months ago, me and a group of friends started writing for the QueryTracker blog. It was epic. Awesomesauce. But inside I had a swarm of bees stinging me with these words, "You're different. You're no expert. What do you know?"
*sting sting sting*
I'm sure I bored my blog co-authors (who are DOCTORS and LAWYERS) with my whiny emails about how I was nothing.
But really, it came down to this: I am different. And I do know stuff (boy, that sounds so...smart. Ha!).
And the stinging faded into the distance. I can say, "I was nothing," in the past tense. Because I am something now.
I am Elana Johnson.
Who are you? Do you know who you are? Do you have confidence that what you say can NOT be said by someone else? If not, how do you think you gain that confidence? How do you find out who you are? And once you have these two things, does that influence the way you write? (I totally think so, by the way. But maybe that's another post...??)