Blogging: that’s enough about me. Now, what do YOU think of me?

medium_5753213012It’s an old joke from the acting world, but it now applies to many business bloggers who, having tasted the verbal freedom possible in the unrestricted blogosphere, write posts they think are sharing valuable information about their topics…but are mainly about themselves.

I know I write from the “me” angle sometimes but sure as hell, in serious business posts I try to apply my own experience, thought, etc. to you, the reader as soon as I can – within no more than a sentence or so.

Why? Because if I ramble on about what I think for too long you  are going think I’ve forgotten you. And that’s probably where you’ll click away from my content.

Bang goes your interest, and bang goes the likelihood that you’ll buy from me. Not the way to get ahead in business.

NB: in the following examples I have avoided boring you with s/he and hers/his alternatives and used the grammatically questionable (but very handy) “their/them/etc.”

Here are a few of the stereotypes I’m talking about: how many do you recognize?

The self-obsessed rambler

This is the business blogger who starts off with all good intentions of sharing some sort of useful stuff, but is so self-centered that they simply can’t get away from sharing what happens to them exclusively.

There was a superb example of this in a self-help blog post recently about the well-trodden “getting to grips with your demons” issue and I was attracted to a sub-heading which said something like “how your self-esteem can have been affected by the way you were treated by your family when you were young.”

Intrigued, I read on hoping to find how that could have affected me and how I could work it through, only to see that the blogger had written a line or so about the issue followed only by couple of paragraphs describing how they had had lived next door to their domineering grandmother and hadn’t really minded, although it broke up their parents’ marriage.

Useful to readers? Hardly. They failed on three counts: 1) the story didn’t illustrate what short and long term effects it had on them (we must assume they are perfect) … 2) the story didn’t relate to many readers other than a few who may have lived next door to domineering grandmothers themselves … and 3) they didn’t offer any take-out points that readers might have found useful.

Solution for greater business success: if you are so far up yourself that you think your own vague anecdotes are worth sharing, take a chill pill and stop being so utterly selfish.

The whiney schoolteacher

This one must have had a really hard time at school and is now getting their revenge on the poor, half-witted readers who come crawling to learn at the blog-knees of this wondrous guru.

They are so convinced of their own superiority that they assume a shrill, shrieking “teacher” persona that speaks to readers as if they are morons.

Rather than encourage readers to join in with their – undoubted – expert knowledge, they deal it out menacingly like Wackford Squeers does in Nicholas Nickleby.

Each time you think you are getting on the same wavelength as this business blogger, you are brought up abruptly (these people must be Scorpios, as that’s how those behave!) by a patronizing, condescending comment that totally deflates your ego and reminds you that teacher knows best. And turns you off ever consulting that blogger again.

Solution for greater business success: provide useful information that shares with readers as equals, not talking at  them like they are 10 year-olds with ADHD.

The precious princess

small__56648176This is the lady (sorry guys, but if you feel there is a male princess equivalent blogging in your online world, please share!) who blogs about her personal and business problems as if no-one else could possibly be experiencing anything even remotely as bad.

Using sharp, self-righteous prose to increase the drama, she lays out an aura that ensures no-one, but no-one, dares add in a comment that says, “but hang on, I’ve been there and had those problems, too. And I’m getting through them without weeping about it in a business blog…”

The precious princess does not seek suggestions about how to deal with her work/life balance; all she seeks is sympathy and undeserved admiration.

She writes dramatic posts which proclaim her moral superiority and talent at being able to deal with monumental personal problems and run a highly successful business at the same time. What you, in business terms, can extrapolate from that, is that her blog is all about her – not you, not your business, and not your problems.

Solution for greater business success: stop hoping to get business support as a result of your personal issues, get your head out of your ass, and focus on what your readers need and want for a change.

The gushing spaniel puppy

These people are so, so sweet! I just love them to bits.

These are the people who have a genuine, heartfelt commitment to what they do and what they believe in, and they are absolutely right to do so.

In fact, I wrote about some of these types recently in an article here.

Trouble is, the vast majority of us mundane blog readers do not necessarily “get” the messages sent out by these genuine, but un peu ingénue  types.

Although they may try to show us readers how their often “woo-woo” theories are applicable to the rest of us, they come up against major hurdles when they talk about such things as the much-disputed Law of Attraction and its derivatives and tell you that all you need to do to attract money is to change your underpants.

Much as I would love to believe in these theories, common sense tells me to approach with caution. And with mainstream audiences being as boringly cynical as I am, these business bloggers need to take a sharp, short reality check.

Solution for greater business success?  Go back over your content and check whether a) whether you genuinely are relating your information to your readers and how it can work for them, and b) more important – if your information is a bit “woo-woo,” how you justify it in common sense terms.

The nature lover

small__5067294524Ah, the dreamer! This is the blogger who raves about the piss-pouring rain outside their croft in northern Scotland in the middle of July and shares their soggy but genuine love for the great wide world we live in and more besides.

Sorry folks, but much as I love nature (I’m a Taurean) I don’t see how your observations of nesting goldfinches or rare red squirrels shagging in a tree in your back yard in close to freezing temperatures in mid-summer are going to enhance our sense of heightened spirituality – or business success.

Much as we love the fact that you have access to some incredibly beautiful surroundings, those of us who live in less inspiring circumstances have –sadly – to work and run our businesses in  boring day-to-day humdrum that you, thankfully, do not.

Solution for greater business success? By all means share with us the wonders of nature and its spiritual inspiration, but don’t forget that you need to relate those wonders directly to what we’re interested in, and what helps our business lives.

Upshot?

blogging,writing,blog writing,business,newsletter,HowToWriteBetter.net,How To Write Better,Suzan St MaurVery simple: business bloggers who fall into any of these categories need to stop blogging for themselves, and start blogging for their readers a.k.a. customers and prospects.  End of.

What do you think? Would love to know and share your experiences…and other types of business blogger who should take a similar reality check.

While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family – from just $2.50

photo credit: Enokson via photopin cc
photo credit: Elvert Barnes via photopin cc
photo credit: Leonard John Matthews via photopin cc

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