I often get annoyed when people say “inject your personality into your blog”.
It was annoying because it seemed to come so naturally to some people but I was still struggling with it, without knowing why.
Only after I left today’s meeting with my extraverted peer and started driving home did I realize why I had been so challenged by blogging.
At first I had sat in the meeting listening and letting everyone else talk. I shared my 2 cents where I could but only in my trademark calm and considered way. Secretly I felt envious of my peer’s freedom to be so bubbly and expressive.
You see, I am the youngest of 3 girls. Growing up with 2 sisters meant I had to fight for attention to be heard.
I remember having to wait my turn to speak. I remember getting annoyed about having to wait (thanks mum for reminding me of this!). I remember being so angry sometimes that I even refused to speak once it was my turn.
So I got used to not speaking up, to keeping the peace, to being good, to writing it down in my diary instead.
But the expressive little girl still lived inside me, desperately wanting to be heard.
When the meeting ended I was walking out with a potential new collaborator, my extraverted peer already gone, and something strange happened.
The little girl inside me jumped to life for a few brief minutes. Unbridled and free, her words bubbled out in a chatty flow of small talk and enthusiasm.
I was shocked. I had shut her away for all these years, holding her carefully in silence while I acted good and patient listening to others speak. Why was she acting out now?
The look on his face told me the answer. My expressiveness was inconvenient, holding him up, inappropriate, unwelcome. My mind went into overdrive. Keep quiet, shut it down, I’m not allowed.
When I got home I felt ashamed. But then I had a major insight. Maybe quiet wasn’t my true personality. Perhaps it had just been a convenient mask so I wouldn’t feel that pain of being unwelcome again.
The revelation was whirling inside me. Expressing my personality: I didn’t think I was allowed to.
I felt more energized than I had been in a very long time. I jumped onto my laptop and started writing some blogs. It felt easier than normal. There was less thinking. Less second-guessing. Less over-editing.
The answer to the question I posed in the title was then quite simple. How do you put more personality into your blogs? Stop holding it back.
Your personality doesn’t need to be dug up or beefed up to get other people’s attention. It simply needs to be let loose.
There is a natural way of expressing yourself that is already inside you and wants to be released.
Think about young children. They all dance, without any shame or worry about what others think of them. But at a certain age they become self-conscious. Some of the children stop dancing. They think it’s uncool or they’ll get picked on. Even though it’s still fun, they stand on the sidelines watching.
Great bloggers never stopped dancing. They may have been laughed at or picked on but they did it anyway.
We love bloggers who say what they think and how they feel. We trust them. We’re entertained and inspired by them.
The only thing they do different is that they let their original voice out in their blogs. They take the risk of getting negative comments and of putting some of their readers off. They don’t mind feeling unwelcome. Why are they braver than the rest of us?
Because it works for attracting blog followers. And because dancing is fun. Because expressing ourselves is what we were born to do.
So today I’m committing to letting my personality loose more often. In my blogging and in my life. I think it’s time for you to do the same!
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