Sunday, July 19, 2009

Blog like it's Sunday afternoon

I'm writing this post from outside. Actually I'm making notes for this post on a legal pad outside. If you've ever lived in or visited the South in the summer, you know how brutal the weather can be. Normally, the temperature for mid-July is around 95-100 for north Alabama, with very high humidity. Think of walking through a sauna, and that gives you a good idea of how miserable it can be.

But today and for the past few days, the weather has been absolutely gawgeous. Today it is about 75 degrees, sunny with almost no humidity. So I'm taking advantage of the weather even if it's just to write a blog post. And I got to thinking about how I've always enjoyed Sunday afternoons. They've always seemed peaceful and relaxing, a chance to catch my breath before the week starts.

And I think there's a lesson to be learned here for many bloggers. Too often, our blogs can be too 'professional' and focused more on the information than the people we want to be connecting with. Without becoming too 'zen', I think we can do a few simple things to make our blogs more welcoming and relaxing for our readers:

1 - Add pictures, pictures everywhere. We are visual creatures, and despite what Amy thinks, I do get this ;) And not just pictures for your posts, but pictures of YOU. We are visual creatures, but we can also more easily trust people if we can see what they look like. Add pictures of yourself, your writers, and even your customers if you can! Smiling, happy faces are much easier to connect with and trust than no pics and posts written by 'Admin' ;)

2 - Don't be afraid to show some personality. Got a favorite hobby that you occasionally want to work into your posts? Why not? Pulling back the curtain a little bit and showing us what your interests are is a great way to make yourself more interesting to your readers. And it gives more people an opening to interact with you. I even do this on Twitter, even though I normally talk about social media there, I will occasionally talk about my favorite music, or movies, or other off-the-wall topics. What I've noticed is that I always get replies from people I never talk social media with. By picking a new topic, I am giving these people a way to connect with me where maybe they didn't have a chance to before! You can do the same thing on your blog.

3 - Promote someone else's posts! Most of us read other blogs and sites, why not save your favorite articles and repost them once a week on the blog? Sure, it doesn't do anything to directly promote your business, but you're still creating value for your readers, and they'll appreciate that. And it also increases the likelihood that the blogs/sites you link to will start reading your blog, and link back to it! Which means more incoming links for you!

These are just some quick thoughts I had on how you can make your blog more inviting for your readers, please add your own tips in the comments.

BTW the above pic from crowt59 probably has nothing to do with relaxing Sundays (or blogging like one), but it was too cool not to use!


Eight Women Dream said...

Just an FYI - your blog takes a long time to load - esp your right sidebar.

lisa kribs said...

Mack you make things sound so easy:

Tim Jahn said...

Can't get much more inspirational than the good old outdoors. So much wonder in nature, you'll have posts to write for years to come! :)

Beth Harte said...

Mack, I am with you on Sunday's seeming to be more relaxing. I think I need to implement a rule of no running around, no errands, just relaxing blog writing. ;-)

"Easy like Sunday mornin'..." (or afternoon. Heh.)

As always, you're an inspiration for us bloggers that need it!

Beth Harte
Community Manager, MarketingProfs

Mack Collier said...

EWD, thanks for the feedback, I probably do have too many widgets on here, when I move to Wordpress, I will definitely address this.

Lisa I love you, you know this, right? ;)

Tim and Beth, I think we forget to blog and write as the people we are trying to reach. Don't get bogged down in 'corporate speak', just talk. We respond better to conversations rather than directives ;)

alyce said...

"Sunday relaxing" ?! but isn't your blogchat on Sundays? maybe you should rethink that timing :-)