I used to tell bloggers to get to the point – your readers don’t really care what you had for breakfast. But you know what? On some blogs the hot topic of the day is … what the blogger had for breakfast. How much personal information should you share with your readers? That depends. Let’s take a look.
What Are You Blogging About?
If you’re running a recipe blog and you tried a new recipe for breakfast this morning then by all means, share your personal experience with your readers. Anytime you can personalize your content you’ll make a stronger connection.
If your personal experience is relevant to the theme of your blog, then in most cases your readers will appreciate your personal stories. Anyone can spout facts all day long, but to be able to make those facts relevant on a personal level for your readers makes them even more meaningful.
Be careful, though. Your stories should be used to highlight the facts or information you’re presenting, not overwhelm or replace them. They should be used as examples, to help your readers better understand the point you’re trying to make.
When Should You Stick To The Facts?
Don’t make excuses: If you haven’t blogged for two weeks it’s not necessary to apologize and tell your readers where you’ve been. Most of your readers don’t care. They come to your blog for information. If they’re really that concerned about your disappearance they’ll send you an email. No emails? What’s that tell you?
Don’t steal the limelight: If you’re blogging about a wedding or some other type of celebration don’t break off in the middle and start reminiscing about your own wedding. Your readers don’t care, that’s not whey they’re here, and it’s bad manners to steal the limelight.
Sensitive Situations: If you’re blogging about a horrific newsworthy event, such as an earthquake, stick to the facts. It’s very poor form to start talking about your own tragic personal experience in the midst of someone else’s suffering.
How Much Do You Want Your Readers To Know?
Many bloggers assume that because we’re all conversing online they’re immune from any sort of attack and they’re emboldened by the anonymity. They publish all kinds of personal information on their blogs, and worse, they publish inflammatory personal opinions. As the saying goes, “You can please some of the people, all of the time” so these bloggers are always going to get traffic and followers. But at what cost?
At the very least you can attract some pretty aggressive and vile trolls and flamers to your blog. Right now your attitude might be, “Sticks and stones…” but these people, once they start, don’t stop until they’ve ruined you and/or your blog.
More than one female blogger has been forced to abandon her high-profile blog because she’d attracted a stalker. Some bloggers have even received death threats. It’s important to understand that even though you’re working online, at the very least you’re jeopardizing your virtual security, but if someone wants to physically attack you there are people out there who are very capable of tracking you down.
How much you share with your readers is entirely up to you and your readers. Be aware that different types of content attract different audiences. If the audience you’re targeting prefers lots of personal insights, then go for it, but keep it relevant. And by all means – let’s be careful out there.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!