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Less About You – More About Them – But Still About You

“I don’t care about you – I don’t want to hear about your life – all I care about is how your story applies to  me. Stop promoting yourself and start promoting the benefit.”

We hear this pretty often in the world of Markteting, PR, Social Media, and blogging – that people really aren’t all that interested in what you have to say – but are instead focused purely on the “WIIFM” (What’s in it for me?) factor.

I agree. Sort of.

For the most part  I’m not all that interested in reading anyone’s personal journey – except, you know, if you’re someone like Nicole Antionette who has an entirely more exciting and interesting life than I do and draws me in with promises of midgets, dry humping, and beef brisket (not neccesarily to be grouped together – although it wouldn’t surprise me if they were).

Reading about someone’s day to day life isn’t (typically) all that compelling – there’s no takeaway – it might be entertaining but we don’t walk away with much. We aren’t given anything tangible. Marketing/Advertising is all about leaving an impression on people, but that impression needs to get people thinking, talking, and running up to their friends, family, and co-workers to say, “Hey, you’ve got to go check this out”!

So in your ploy to take over the world – instead of focusing on “me, me, me” you should focus on “we” – the overall community and the perceived beneft, right?

Yes – but don’t forget that your personal opinion is valuable.

We are impacted by ad campaigns, marketing tactics, and effective writing that makes us say “Wow!” – As human beings, we inherently want to make that personal connection with another human. We don’t want to be sold to by a company, we want to be talked to by someone who is genuinely interested in forging that relationship and establishing a connection.

So as you’re marketing the community benefit – don’t forget that your personal perspective is what makes it unique – it’s what humanizes your brand. Your personal story is what people are going to walk away with, saying “I know exactly what he was talking about – I’ve been there”.

I talk to people all the time who have questions about what direction they should go with their writing and how they can best maintain their focus. And I tell them, time and time again, you have to OWN your place on the web – you need to make a name for yourself and establish a voice that people come to expect. But at the end of the day – you have to write about yourself – relate it to the masses – but ultimately, still make it about you.

Make sense? Easier said than done, right?

What do you think? How are you able to connect your personal stories to ideas that will relate to your community?

Add Your Voice

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106 Comments

  1. I don’t take my life too seriously so I tend to take a very light-hearted approach to most matters in my blog. I think of it in this aspect: If I were to blog about my day to day activities, such as what I had for breakfast or when I went to bed, would I want to look back and read it in a couple of years?

    Doubtful.

    So I guess I write for the future me. The one that will look back at my writings and say “Wow, you said something completely ridiculous. But you made me laugh.” It will remind me of how much joy I can bring to my life, as well as others, and ensure I don’t change.

    • I’ll add something to your point – instead of writing for just the “future me” write for the “future we” – make an effort to write things that are timeless – that even a couple years from now, people will be searching for and Googling. Putting together timeless content is the best way to continuously build community without a whole lot of effort on your part. The more people you can have looking back and saying “Wow”…the better!

  2. I don’t take my life too seriously so I tend to take a very light-hearted approach to most matters in my blog. I think of it in this aspect: If I were to blog about my day to day activities, such as what I had for breakfast or when I went to bed, would I want to look back and read it in a couple of years?

    Doubtful.

    So I guess I write for the future me. The one that will look back at my writings and say “Wow, you said something completely ridiculous. But you made me laugh.” It will remind me of how much joy I can bring to my life, as well as others, and ensure I don’t change.

    • I’ll add something to your point – instead of writing for just the “future me” write for the “future we” – make an effort to write things that are timeless – that even a couple years from now, people will be searching for and Googling. Putting together timeless content is the best way to continuously build community without a whole lot of effort on your part. The more people you can have looking back and saying “Wow”…the better!

  3. I love starting my day by reading posts like this. Finding your voice is so important. It gives your audience an idea of what to expect. But your overall point is right on the money– whatever you write about, you have to tie it in somehow to your audience. Your way of doing it is often ending your posts with questions, and it prompts a response from your community (like how I’m responding right now). Even if a blog is about someone’s day to day life, there is a way to include your readers in the discussion. You just have to get creative. It’s all about engagement.

    • Exactly – I thrive in that engagement piece, and you have clearly picked up on one of my strategies – objectively asking questions throughout and at the end of my posts. 1) It encourages people to respond and 2) It combats the “skimmers” who pass through quickly – may not read the full post – but have something to respond to at the end (although I always prefer if people actually read the whole thing – and you can usually tell when they don’t). It’s all about finding your voice, setting expectations, and then meeting and exceeding them – that could be said for a lot of what we do in life.

  4. I love starting my day by reading posts like this. Finding your voice is so important. It gives your audience an idea of what to expect. But your overall point is right on the money– whatever you write about, you have to tie it in somehow to your audience. Your way of doing it is often ending your posts with questions, and it prompts a response from your community (like how I’m responding right now). Even if a blog is about someone’s day to day life, there is a way to include your readers in the discussion. You just have to get creative. It’s all about engagement.

    • Exactly – I thrive in that engagement piece, and you have clearly picked up on one of my strategies – objectively asking questions throughout and at the end of my posts. 1) It encourages people to respond and 2) It combats the “skimmers” who pass through quickly – may not read the full post – but have something to respond to at the end (although I always prefer if people actually read the whole thing – and you can usually tell when they don’t). It’s all about finding your voice, setting expectations, and then meeting and exceeding them – that could be said for a lot of what we do in life.

  5. Moving from them “Me” to the “We” is definitely a difficult transition. I work for a company that creates online communities. Our days are spent finding new ways for people to connect via the web. There can never be a time where we are focused on the “Me” which can create tension (especially when your talking time management).

    Yet, I completely agree with keeping your voice in the mix. No one wants to deal with computers all the time- Why? Because they don’t have personality, they don’t respond the way a human would. So what’s the answer- Build communities with personality. This personality can’t be just yours either. It needs to be for your audience.

    Great post Matt.

    • OK so full disclosure – I wasn’t subscribed to your blog somehow – but I am now, 100% positive! As to your point – Personality is the ONE key to the marketing mix that can really “separate the men from the boys” – check out my upcoming guest post for more on that one. You have to be able to find a balance between personal and professional in your approach. Cheers!

  6. Moving from them “Me” to the “We” is definitely a difficult transition. I work for a company that creates online communities. Our days are spent finding new ways for people to connect via the web. There can never be a time where we are focused on the “Me” which can create tension (especially when your talking time management).

    Yet, I completely agree with keeping your voice in the mix. No one wants to deal with computers all the time- Why? Because they don’t have personality, they don’t respond the way a human would. So what’s the answer- Build communities with personality. This personality can’t be just yours either. It needs to be for your audience.

    Great post Matt.

    • OK so full disclosure – I wasn’t subscribed to your blog somehow – but I am now, 100% positive! As to your point – Personality is the ONE key to the marketing mix that can really “separate the men from the boys” – check out my upcoming guest post for more on that one. You have to be able to find a balance between personal and professional in your approach. Cheers!

  7. I agree, especially when using social media; you have to find the right tone that balances casual yet professionally informative, and something that can be said to a large group as well as to a single person. And that crosses over from the “me” to the “we” as you suggested. As a writer, I may be getting ahead of myself.

    When I’m posting things online for the restaurants I work for, I might post something like “Which of our micro brews is your favorite? The Red Ale has my vote.” It gives that personal opinion, and also opens up the dialogue for people to say “Red Ale, that’s my favorite too,” or disagree. The discussion and information is about THEIR opinion of how OUR product appeals to/benefits them. More about them, but still about us.

    • Exactly – focus on them, but still keep the brand in the background – let people know where it’s coming from, who’s sponsoring it, etc. Simply “selling” online is old school and barely works nowadays – you have to get much more creative in your approach and introduce a little “YOU” into the mix.

  8. I agree, especially when using social media; you have to find the right tone that balances casual yet professionally informative, and something that can be said to a large group as well as to a single person. And that crosses over from the “me” to the “we” as you suggested. As a writer, I may be getting ahead of myself.

    When I’m posting things online for the restaurants I work for, I might post something like “Which of our micro brews is your favorite? The Red Ale has my vote.” It gives that personal opinion, and also opens up the dialogue for people to say “Red Ale, that’s my favorite too,” or disagree. The discussion and information is about THEIR opinion of how OUR product appeals to/benefits them. More about them, but still about us.

    • Exactly – focus on them, but still keep the brand in the background – let people know where it’s coming from, who’s sponsoring it, etc. Simply “selling” online is old school and barely works nowadays – you have to get much more creative in your approach and introduce a little “YOU” into the mix.

  9. I was actually talking to Mari about this last night. Everybody has an opinion, and some believe in theirs stronger than others. But I think the people that take a stand and aren’t afraid to express what they believe in are those that will find true success. Like you said, own your part of the web. If you like writing REALLY long posts, then do it. Who cares if NOBODY else is? That’s your opportunity!

    Way too often we look left and right just to make sure that we’re doing things in line with everybody else. Instead, we should be looking to see if we’re doing things differently.

    • Agreed – you ultimately need to not be afraid to speak your mind and stand up for what you believe in, even if it isn’t going to appease to the masses. That’s why you can’t write strictly FOR other people – you still have to maintain your own voice and perspective and avoid becoming something you’re not. I think we can all have a good balance of “very opinionated” yet relate-able to a wide audience. Thanks for the comment bud.

  10. I was actually talking to Mari about this last night. Everybody has an opinion, and some believe in theirs stronger than others. But I think the people that take a stand and aren’t afraid to express what they believe in are those that will find true success. Like you said, own your part of the web. If you like writing REALLY long posts, then do it. Who cares if NOBODY else is? That’s your opportunity!

    Way too often we look left and right just to make sure that we’re doing things in line with everybody else. Instead, we should be looking to see if we’re doing things differently.

    • Agreed – you ultimately need to not be afraid to speak your mind and stand up for what you believe in, even if it isn’t going to appease to the masses. That’s why you can’t write strictly FOR other people – you still have to maintain your own voice and perspective and avoid becoming something you’re not. I think we can all have a good balance of “very opinionated” yet relate-able to a wide audience. Thanks for the comment bud.

  11. Another great post, Matt. I can appreciate this because marketing is what I do, and WIIFM is was I named my blog. So, so true. Your points are well taken. I think it’s one of the reasons I have a hard time blogging (as mentioned to you previously). I want to have a compelling opinion about a topic, not a blog that gets words out there just for words sake.

    I agree with Teresa. Personality has to be in the mix otherwise what’s the point?

    • I really hope you’ll get back on the blogging bandwagon soon Theresa – would love to read some of your perspective – you always share some great thoughts here and have no doubt you would rock it out in your own neck of the woods. Don’t focus too hard on the me/we balance – at the end of the day – blogging is about a passion for writing and communicating – as long as you’re doing that, and love doing it – the rest typically comes together.

  12. Another great post, Matt. I can appreciate this because marketing is what I do, and WIIFM is was I named my blog. So, so true. Your points are well taken. I think it’s one of the reasons I have a hard time blogging (as mentioned to you previously). I want to have a compelling opinion about a topic, not a blog that gets words out there just for words sake.

    I agree with Teresa. Personality has to be in the mix otherwise what’s the point?

    • I really hope you’ll get back on the blogging bandwagon soon Theresa – would love to read some of your perspective – you always share some great thoughts here and have no doubt you would rock it out in your own neck of the woods. Don’t focus too hard on the me/we balance – at the end of the day – blogging is about a passion for writing and communicating – as long as you’re doing that, and love doing it – the rest typically comes together.

  13. Matt,

    Interesting post considering the conversation we just had about how to build community. On the one hand, personal stories might be just spouting off thoughts. But I find that the personal stories of what you are share are really the ones that get people talking and commenting. I wrote about a car accident this morning and for some reason it generated a ton of comments. I think the key is taking your personal stories, but pulling out valuable lessons from each one.

    • Right on S! People relate and want to talk about things that have or could potentially happen to them – we all want to be able to relate and discuss things we understand with each other. That’s why you don’t see a lot of comments on much deeper, thought provoking posts – because the masses may not understand – and when there’s confusion with the meaning and purpose, there isn’t much room for discussion. My goal has always been to take a lot of everyday ideas – put them in a new light, and get people talking. So far so good, right?

  14. Matt,

    Interesting post considering the conversation we just had about how to build community. On the one hand, personal stories might be just spouting off thoughts. But I find that the personal stories of what you are share are really the ones that get people talking and commenting. I wrote about a car accident this morning and for some reason it generated a ton of comments. I think the key is taking your personal stories, but pulling out valuable lessons from each one.

    • Right on S! People relate and want to talk about things that have or could potentially happen to them – we all want to be able to relate and discuss things we understand with each other. That’s why you don’t see a lot of comments on much deeper, thought provoking posts – because the masses may not understand – and when there’s confusion with the meaning and purpose, there isn’t much room for discussion. My goal has always been to take a lot of everyday ideas – put them in a new light, and get people talking. So far so good, right?

  15. you have to give them a reason to be interested in your life but there are many blogs that have been successful even with a more personal-journal type approach. It’s sometimes about luck and what a handful of people happened to find appealing in someone’s personal story. But you’re right, there has to be some kind of “incentive”, so-to-speak. I do agree with Tim Jahn that the blog should about YOU. If it isn’t for you, and making you happy, then what’s the point? Even those with blogging success will eventually hit a plateau where their readers grow tired of the same themes and ideas, regardless of whether they’re cleverly rephrased to appear novel, and they’ll find another blog to covet for awhile.

    This has happened to me – I’ve been reading this food/fitness/health blog for almost a year now and what has really rubbed me the wrong way is how she promotes herself on twitter and the kinds of comments she makes insulting her readers at times. Recently she tweeted “super awkward comments today. weird.” It may seem innocent enough but I find it obnoxious for a blogger who just landed a book deal and has thousands of followers to make a comment like that – sure fire way to alienate readers!

    Anyway, all that to say that it depends what you want for your blog and if you really need the millions of followers and web2.0 fame.

    • Well said Lindsey – and you’re right, it’s all about whatever works for you. Maybe my life just isn’t interesting enough to talk about ONLY my day to day rituals all the time? Haha, I can’t think of anyone who would care about what I’m doing all the time. But I do have enough “life experiences” that I think most can relate to, and it’s my pleasure to discuss, and provide a platform for other people to discuss here on my blog. It continues to help and inspire me every single day.

  16. you have to give them a reason to be interested in your life but there are many blogs that have been successful even with a more personal-journal type approach. It’s sometimes about luck and what a handful of people happened to find appealing in someone’s personal story. But you’re right, there has to be some kind of “incentive”, so-to-speak. I do agree with Tim Jahn that the blog should about YOU. If it isn’t for you, and making you happy, then what’s the point? Even those with blogging success will eventually hit a plateau where their readers grow tired of the same themes and ideas, regardless of whether they’re cleverly rephrased to appear novel, and they’ll find another blog to covet for awhile.

    This has happened to me – I’ve been reading this food/fitness/health blog for almost a year now and what has really rubbed me the wrong way is how she promotes herself on twitter and the kinds of comments she makes insulting her readers at times. Recently she tweeted “super awkward comments today. weird.” It may seem innocent enough but I find it obnoxious for a blogger who just landed a book deal and has thousands of followers to make a comment like that – sure fire way to alienate readers!

    Anyway, all that to say that it depends what you want for your blog and if you really need the millions of followers and web2.0 fame.

    • Well said Lindsey – and you’re right, it’s all about whatever works for you. Maybe my life just isn’t interesting enough to talk about ONLY my day to day rituals all the time? Haha, I can’t think of anyone who would care about what I’m doing all the time. But I do have enough “life experiences” that I think most can relate to, and it’s my pleasure to discuss, and provide a platform for other people to discuss here on my blog. It continues to help and inspire me every single day.

  17. Matt, how did you know that this is exactly what I needed to read this morning. This has always been my struggle even though I’m new to blogging to/for others. I always adopted the idea that I blog for me, just to get something off my chest. And I used to think that I didn’t care if anyone went to my blog or read what I had written or commented, but now that I am actually getting a little more traffic to my page, I realized the other day that people probably don’t care so much about my personal problems they just want some sort of anecdote/life lesson/funny story. I’m also starting to convince myself that it is ok if I don’t fit in and do everything exactly like everyone else. What a boring blogworld it would be if everyone’s blog had the same approach. So I guess I’m going to keep being myself, but keep in mind that I need to write for everyone.

    thanks again for an excellent post!

    • I’m pretty much a mind reader – but you’ll come to understand that as you get more active and involved here :)

      I think we all start out writing for ourselves – but if you set up a website public to everyone instead of writing in a journal or opening a word document, there’s something inside of you that says “I want to be heard”. Wanting to be heard is great, but the only way people will keep listening is if you make some of it about them – finding ways to get people thinking and discussing, both with you, and each other.

      Thanks again for the kind words!

  18. Matt, how did you know that this is exactly what I needed to read this morning. This has always been my struggle even though I’m new to blogging to/for others. I always adopted the idea that I blog for me, just to get something off my chest. And I used to think that I didn’t care if anyone went to my blog or read what I had written or commented, but now that I am actually getting a little more traffic to my page, I realized the other day that people probably don’t care so much about my personal problems they just want some sort of anecdote/life lesson/funny story. I’m also starting to convince myself that it is ok if I don’t fit in and do everything exactly like everyone else. What a boring blogworld it would be if everyone’s blog had the same approach. So I guess I’m going to keep being myself, but keep in mind that I need to write for everyone.

    thanks again for an excellent post!

    • I’m pretty much a mind reader – but you’ll come to understand that as you get more active and involved here :)

      I think we all start out writing for ourselves – but if you set up a website public to everyone instead of writing in a journal or opening a word document, there’s something inside of you that says “I want to be heard”. Wanting to be heard is great, but the only way people will keep listening is if you make some of it about them – finding ways to get people thinking and discussing, both with you, and each other.

      Thanks again for the kind words!

  19. A blog has to have personality. People are interested in people.

    Sometimes a well placed anecdote can really make a blog shine. All the blogs that I really enjoy feature insightful personal stories regularly. When I start reading a blog with personal stories, I’m interested in how their experiences and lessons they’ve learned can apply to my own life. As I continue to read their blog, I become interested in THEM as well.

    • Right Kenji – a blog is more than a blog – a blog is an extension of the person behind the blog – I want people to connect Life Without Pants, but more importantly, I want people to connect with Matt Cheuvront (or Matt Chevy as most know me on the interwebs). When you’re able to make that human connection – that’s when the real discussion and engagement begins.

  20. A blog has to have personality. People are interested in people.

    Sometimes a well placed anecdote can really make a blog shine. All the blogs that I really enjoy feature insightful personal stories regularly. When I start reading a blog with personal stories, I’m interested in how their experiences and lessons they’ve learned can apply to my own life. As I continue to read their blog, I become interested in THEM as well.

    • Right Kenji – a blog is more than a blog – a blog is an extension of the person behind the blog – I want people to connect Life Without Pants, but more importantly, I want people to connect with Matt Cheuvront (or Matt Chevy as most know me on the interwebs). When you’re able to make that human connection – that’s when the real discussion and engagement begins.

  21. You basically described the approach I take to my blog. I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about why I write such personal posts. It’s because I have learned valuable lessons from the things I’ve gone through in life, and I want to pass those lessons on to others. If I don’t think other people will be able to take something away from what I’ve gone through, I won’t write about it. There’s definitely a fine line between a blog and a diary, and I think the value you provide, the takeaway, is a major part of that. Thanks for getting me thinking about this!

    • I think a blog is an OUTSTANDING learning platform – and what you and many others do is share that learning with the rest of us – you learn – we learn with you -and we’re all better off for it. Sounds like a pretty good recipe for success to me!

  22. You basically described the approach I take to my blog. I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about why I write such personal posts. It’s because I have learned valuable lessons from the things I’ve gone through in life, and I want to pass those lessons on to others. If I don’t think other people will be able to take something away from what I’ve gone through, I won’t write about it. There’s definitely a fine line between a blog and a diary, and I think the value you provide, the takeaway, is a major part of that. Thanks for getting me thinking about this!

    • I think a blog is an OUTSTANDING learning platform – and what you and many others do is share that learning with the rest of us – you learn – we learn with you -and we’re all better off for it. Sounds like a pretty good recipe for success to me!

  23. What’s up Matt?

    Your post speaks to what many of us (or at least what I imagine many of us) consider all the time. Who are we writing for? I go back and forth, but at some point in the post I have to think that it will be valuable for the group or else I won’t publish it.

    What I always go back and forth with is the personal post. I rarely ever do it; mainly because it’s just not me. My posts are less about what’s happening during my day than what’s on mind about a specific issue- usually PR and social media…these days diversity too. If you want to know the personal details, lets meet up, do a chat or something. If we’re going to be personal, I’d much rather have the dialogue. You know?

    I have decided to put more of myself in the posts though. I always give my perspective but I’m going to be a little less formal about it. Just my thoughts, straight up. Hopefully the community will value and benefit from that too lol.

  24. What’s up Matt?

    Your post speaks to what many of us (or at least what I imagine many of us) consider all the time. Who are we writing for? I go back and forth, but at some point in the post I have to think that it will be valuable for the group or else I won’t publish it.

    What I always go back and forth with is the personal post. I rarely ever do it; mainly because it’s just not me. My posts are less about what’s happening during my day than what’s on mind about a specific issue- usually PR and social media…these days diversity too. If you want to know the personal details, lets meet up, do a chat or something. If we’re going to be personal, I’d much rather have the dialogue. You know?

    I have decided to put more of myself in the posts though. I always give my perspective but I’m going to be a little less formal about it. Just my thoughts, straight up. Hopefully the community will value and benefit from that too lol.

  25. Great insight as always Matt. I’m pretty new to this game, but am trying to do exactly this. I think we are all a bit in need of more ‘human-ness’ in our interactions these days. :)

    • Indeed – and it’s a work in progress for all of us – there’s no right or wrong – you’ll come into your own identity simply by doing what you do – whatever that is :)

  26. Great insight as always Matt. I’m pretty new to this game, but am trying to do exactly this. I think we are all a bit in need of more ‘human-ness’ in our interactions these days. :)

    • Indeed – and it’s a work in progress for all of us – there’s no right or wrong – you’ll come into your own identity simply by doing what you do – whatever that is :)

  27. Interesting post, Matt, and definitely something I’ve been thinking about lately. It’s been tempting to think about taking a new direction with my blog this year and lately, particularly as I launch into my self-employed, freelance career. It’s been really tempting for me to take more of a “career blogger” approach and less of a “personal blogger” approach. Then I realized that that career blogger space (at least in our “circle” of friends here) is pretty well taken care of. And while I’m learning the ropes and ambitious and bright and all that, I don’t feel as though I have enough to add to change the direction of what I write about. I am, at least for now, and still, a personal blogger. Will parts of my freelance adventure weave it’s way into that? Absolutely. But I’d so totally miss the personal story-telling about growing up, yoga, travel, etc., that I’ve come to love sharing. I didn’t “mean” to build a community at {d.com}, but that has been the best thing to happen and while my topical priorities haven’t changed, I absolutely have made it a point to be as interactive with my audience as possible because they’re really what’s making my space as much fun as it is.

    That’s kind of rambly, but I like that you took time to address this. It’s been on my mind a lot lately, and I love knowing where I stand :)

    • You are in a good place Doni – yes, you are a personal blogger – but there is still a lot of “real life” value in what you are going through. I think I am sort of the same way – where I relate personal experiences to a big picture – and it sways from more personal to less as I move along. If you read my blog 6 months ago – it was much more personal – talking about my moving, quitting my job, that whole transition – similar to what you’re going through now – but people want that, they relate to it, it makes them feel like they can do the same thing, at least it did for me – it’s encouraging to read that other people have the guts to take risks and be bold – and it inspires me to do the same.

      Keep doing what you do – and we’ll keep watching – you’ve established a great community for yourself that will no doubt continue to grow.

  28. Interesting post, Matt, and definitely something I’ve been thinking about lately. It’s been tempting to think about taking a new direction with my blog this year and lately, particularly as I launch into my self-employed, freelance career. It’s been really tempting for me to take more of a “career blogger” approach and less of a “personal blogger” approach. Then I realized that that career blogger space (at least in our “circle” of friends here) is pretty well taken care of. And while I’m learning the ropes and ambitious and bright and all that, I don’t feel as though I have enough to add to change the direction of what I write about. I am, at least for now, and still, a personal blogger. Will parts of my freelance adventure weave it’s way into that? Absolutely. But I’d so totally miss the personal story-telling about growing up, yoga, travel, etc., that I’ve come to love sharing. I didn’t “mean” to build a community at {d.com}, but that has been the best thing to happen and while my topical priorities haven’t changed, I absolutely have made it a point to be as interactive with my audience as possible because they’re really what’s making my space as much fun as it is.

    That’s kind of rambly, but I like that you took time to address this. It’s been on my mind a lot lately, and I love knowing where I stand :)

    • You are in a good place Doni – yes, you are a personal blogger – but there is still a lot of “real life” value in what you are going through. I think I am sort of the same way – where I relate personal experiences to a big picture – and it sways from more personal to less as I move along. If you read my blog 6 months ago – it was much more personal – talking about my moving, quitting my job, that whole transition – similar to what you’re going through now – but people want that, they relate to it, it makes them feel like they can do the same thing, at least it did for me – it’s encouraging to read that other people have the guts to take risks and be bold – and it inspires me to do the same.

      Keep doing what you do – and we’ll keep watching – you’ve established a great community for yourself that will no doubt continue to grow.

  29. I was just referred to your blog by Liz at It’s Unbeweavable! and I love it! This was such a good first post for me; it really spoke to me. I think this is what we all try to do with our blogs, some more successfully than others.

    Looking forward to more insight from you!

  30. I was just referred to your blog by Liz at It’s Unbeweavable! and I love it! This was such a good first post for me; it really spoke to me. I think this is what we all try to do with our blogs, some more successfully than others.

    Looking forward to more insight from you!

  31. Great post here Matt! When I first got started, I was worried that people wouldn’t like my writing because it’s a little different. However, as I’ve evolved as a writer, it comes to my attention that people love personalities and being myself turned out to be a better way of sharing my voice with the “we” group that I’ve been building.

    It’s more fun for us as bloggers to share our experiences with our followers as well because we get to be ourselves and when we are being ourselves, we feel better and people notice this as well as enjoy it!

    Thanks for a great post man, it got me really thinking and reinforced that it’s a great idea to share my stories with everyone!

    Can’t wait to learn more from you!

    • Exactly right Chris – it’s a hell of a lot more fun to just be yourself – and people like “real” – not a fabricated “personal brand”. Be yourself – some might hate it, but most will, if nothing else, appreciate the genuine-ness of your approach. Cheers!

  32. Great post here Matt! When I first got started, I was worried that people wouldn’t like my writing because it’s a little different. However, as I’ve evolved as a writer, it comes to my attention that people love personalities and being myself turned out to be a better way of sharing my voice with the “we” group that I’ve been building.

    It’s more fun for us as bloggers to share our experiences with our followers as well because we get to be ourselves and when we are being ourselves, we feel better and people notice this as well as enjoy it!

    Thanks for a great post man, it got me really thinking and reinforced that it’s a great idea to share my stories with everyone!

    Can’t wait to learn more from you!

    • Exactly right Chris – it’s a hell of a lot more fun to just be yourself – and people like “real” – not a fabricated “personal brand”. Be yourself – some might hate it, but most will, if nothing else, appreciate the genuine-ness of your approach. Cheers!

  33. Humor. Well…I think I’m funny at least. :P

    Or at least some of the stuff I actually do and go thru is funny.

    But for me, I like to tell the stories of this stuff and then try to figure out on my blog what it all means. I feel like stuff happens for a reason and if I’m going to learn from it maybe others can too. Realistically, my blog is totally WIIFM. I get to work through my life and everyone else gets to watch this stuff go down. Hopefully some people get some good value from it. You know, at least occasionally.

    • This is what it’s all about Elisa – you CLEARLY “get it”. Blogging isn’t about being the expert, or being a know it all – it’s about “working through life” and bringing everyone else along for the ride. You should be getting just as much, if not more value than your readers out of what you do and the things your write.

      And yeah, you’re pretty funny – I’ll give you that! :)

  34. Humor. Well…I think I’m funny at least. :P

    Or at least some of the stuff I actually do and go thru is funny.

    But for me, I like to tell the stories of this stuff and then try to figure out on my blog what it all means. I feel like stuff happens for a reason and if I’m going to learn from it maybe others can too. Realistically, my blog is totally WIIFM. I get to work through my life and everyone else gets to watch this stuff go down. Hopefully some people get some good value from it. You know, at least occasionally.

    • This is what it’s all about Elisa – you CLEARLY “get it”. Blogging isn’t about being the expert, or being a know it all – it’s about “working through life” and bringing everyone else along for the ride. You should be getting just as much, if not more value than your readers out of what you do and the things your write.

      And yeah, you’re pretty funny – I’ll give you that! :)

  35. Matt

    Another great post! Or to quote an English phrase – “It’s Bang On!”

    Your opening quote:

    “I don’t care about you – I don’t want to hear about your life – all I care about is how your story applies to me. Stop promoting yourself and start promoting the benefit.”

    You are right in citing that this is what we have been used to hearing from Marketing/PR, in the traditional sense. But just reading that one statement right there, makes me squirm.. Why? Because it makes me realise just how far we have come in a very short time in respect of how consumers/prospects/buyers/audiences want to be spoken to…social media still gets a lot of stick in many circles (particularly business to business communities where I make a living!) because of the lack of measurement; or “perceived lack of measurement” as I refer to it…and why is that? Because this way of communicating, whether it be to promote yourself and your business via a blog, or a tangible product, or an intangible service – is about being human, first and foremost! Connecting the dots through shared experience, humour, sentiment – none of these can be “measured” off the bat in terms of pounds or pennies (or dollars and cents!), but can any of us quantify how valuable these experiences are to maintaining our well-being, and on a larger scale, for humanity?

    I love the interweb and I see a lot of things as now coming full circle – Web 1.0 was all about the technology emerging and “pushing” information out there; response or any real human interaction wasn’t part of the equation. Web 2.0 is all about “conversations” – talking about what you first wanted to push out there, and listening to the responses. We are now at a point where we have the technology to connect PLUS retain our individual and unique take on everything, which I think is just amazing – how lucky we are! Business is struggling in certain arenas to still “get this”, mostly because of fear and lack of control, but on an individual level, we are forging relationships, networking and learning in a way that will change personal and business comms forever.

    So to summarise, I think it is vital to keep your unique take on things, to bring that to the table, because isn’t that what actually makes us all who we really are? We all have our own gifts and talents, each and every one of us, and technology has now given us the ability to find and connect and nurture something meaningful and tangible from that. Just what the world needs right now :)

    • Bang On! :)

      The opening statement makes me squirm too – you (and most people here) clearly get it – they are on the “build relationships” bandwagon – and value the importance in those relationships as it results to being profitable. But there are many who still don’t get it, or don’t really care. Eventually, maybe not today or tomorrow, it will come back to bite them in the ass.

      Look at a company like Starbucks – love them or hate them – they have it down. They’ve catered to exactly what we, as consumers want. AN EXPERIENCE. We don’t want any old cup of coffee – we want to hold that red cup, we want to hear the acoustic rock playing in the background, we want everything that goes with it.

      The same can be said for a blog – for my blog – I strive every day to create an EXPERIENCE – offering people with ways to explore and find new things, get involved with projects, innovate, create, and collaborate. This will continue on and HOPEFULLY, my/our/this community will continue to thrive and grow.

  36. Matt

    Another great post! Or to quote an English phrase – “It’s Bang On!”

    Your opening quote:

    “I don’t care about you – I don’t want to hear about your life – all I care about is how your story applies to me. Stop promoting yourself and start promoting the benefit.”

    You are right in citing that this is what we have been used to hearing from Marketing/PR, in the traditional sense. But just reading that one statement right there, makes me squirm.. Why? Because it makes me realise just how far we have come in a very short time in respect of how consumers/prospects/buyers/audiences want to be spoken to…social media still gets a lot of stick in many circles (particularly business to business communities where I make a living!) because of the lack of measurement; or “perceived lack of measurement” as I refer to it…and why is that? Because this way of communicating, whether it be to promote yourself and your business via a blog, or a tangible product, or an intangible service – is about being human, first and foremost! Connecting the dots through shared experience, humour, sentiment – none of these can be “measured” off the bat in terms of pounds or pennies (or dollars and cents!), but can any of us quantify how valuable these experiences are to maintaining our well-being, and on a larger scale, for humanity?

    I love the interweb and I see a lot of things as now coming full circle – Web 1.0 was all about the technology emerging and “pushing” information out there; response or any real human interaction wasn’t part of the equation. Web 2.0 is all about “conversations” – talking about what you first wanted to push out there, and listening to the responses. We are now at a point where we have the technology to connect PLUS retain our individual and unique take on everything, which I think is just amazing – how lucky we are! Business is struggling in certain arenas to still “get this”, mostly because of fear and lack of control, but on an individual level, we are forging relationships, networking and learning in a way that will change personal and business comms forever.

    So to summarise, I think it is vital to keep your unique take on things, to bring that to the table, because isn’t that what actually makes us all who we really are? We all have our own gifts and talents, each and every one of us, and technology has now given us the ability to find and connect and nurture something meaningful and tangible from that. Just what the world needs right now :)

    • Bang On! :)

      The opening statement makes me squirm too – you (and most people here) clearly get it – they are on the “build relationships” bandwagon – and value the importance in those relationships as it results to being profitable. But there are many who still don’t get it, or don’t really care. Eventually, maybe not today or tomorrow, it will come back to bite them in the ass.

      Look at a company like Starbucks – love them or hate them – they have it down. They’ve catered to exactly what we, as consumers want. AN EXPERIENCE. We don’t want any old cup of coffee – we want to hold that red cup, we want to hear the acoustic rock playing in the background, we want everything that goes with it.

      The same can be said for a blog – for my blog – I strive every day to create an EXPERIENCE – offering people with ways to explore and find new things, get involved with projects, innovate, create, and collaborate. This will continue on and HOPEFULLY, my/our/this community will continue to thrive and grow.

  37. Hey Matt!
    1. Getting involved over here :)
    2. This post REALLY has me thinking, and it’s so timely for where I feel I’m at with my blog. Like someone wise told me in an email recently hint hint-once you start writing solely for your audience, what you think they want-sooner or later it starts to feel forced, and lack of inspiration, etc sets in. The best thing about my blog is the community I have going, and I hope that they are there for Liz, not for It’s Unbeweavable. We shall see, right?

    • Hey Liz!

      1. Cheers to you getting involved here

      2. Yes we shall see – the wise man you mentioned has you on the right track – write for yourself first – community second – yourself third. Yeah, that makes sense, I know. You already have a great community and they ARE there for you – so whichever direction you go, I have no doubt you won’t steer them wrong!

  38. Hey Matt!
    1. Getting involved over here :)
    2. This post REALLY has me thinking, and it’s so timely for where I feel I’m at with my blog. Like someone wise told me in an email recently hint hint-once you start writing solely for your audience, what you think they want-sooner or later it starts to feel forced, and lack of inspiration, etc sets in. The best thing about my blog is the community I have going, and I hope that they are there for Liz, not for It’s Unbeweavable. We shall see, right?

    • Hey Liz!

      1. Cheers to you getting involved here

      2. Yes we shall see – the wise man you mentioned has you on the right track – write for yourself first – community second – yourself third. Yeah, that makes sense, I know. You already have a great community and they ARE there for you – so whichever direction you go, I have no doubt you won’t steer them wrong!