You know when you walk into a room at a party and you naturally gravitate towards someone that you’ve never met before and you think to yourself – yes, I’d really like to get to know that person. Authentic blogging has the same effect on blog visitors.
There are some blogs that give you a gut feeling about the blogger, a feeling that resonates with some part of yourself and you want to come back and read more. There’s a sense of having identified with the blogger. This feeling may even go as far as making you realize that you’re not the only person in the world having those feelings or going through that experience.
The reality is that the most successful bloggers have found their own authentic voice. Let’s face it no-one really wants to read regurgitated writing, so flattering your favorite blogger by attempting to imitate them is not the way to improve your blog’s ranking. Nor will it help you on your own personal journey.
It is part of human nature to want to be the first to hear about a new trend, product or idea. When we take the time to read blogs we are looking for something new or something that is presented in a fresh way, with personality, with quirkiness or with brutal honesty. It is also part of human nature to connect with others and feel understood.
As well as helping to boost your rankings, authentic blogging can help you. In an interview with blogger Angela Godbout. I asked her if blogging had made her feel more authentic.
Here’s what she said:
“Blogging has made me feel more authentic for sure. As I write and communicate with my readers, I am also learning who I am and in what direction I would like my life to go. And the same goes for creativity, the more I write and the more that I read, the more my mind works. It is almost like saying something out loud. You’re not really sure if it makes sense until you say it to someone else…same idea as blogging…once you put it out there and you start getting comments or more followers, it’s like validation of sorts.”
A blog that is not authentic is a bit like a restaurant with mediocre food; whilst it wasn’t offensive, you won’t be rushing back. Blogs that are not authentic come across as being incongruous. Incongruity is unlikely to lead us to discover something remarkable. On the other hand, authenticity taps into creativity and each person has their own potential creativity which is unique to them. Authenticity and creativity together have a far higher chance of attracting visitors, keeping them coming back and contributing towards improving your blog’s ranking over time.
What Are The Main Ingredients Which Can Help To Improve Your Blog’s Rankings?
Although there are numerous factors that make up how your blog’s rankings are analyzed and how they can be improved, these are some of the main players:
- Great original content
- Content that makes people stay around for a while
- Number of visitors
- Visitors staying for a decent amount of time
- Content that other sites and blogs link to
- Content that people want to share socially
(All of the above assumes that you have acceptable SEO practices on your blog and a social presence.)
Great original content which makes people stay around for a while, in its truest form, is authentic content. Of course there are blogs which are excellently written information blogs, but the ones that get most readers and social shares tend to be those which are written by a blogger who has developed their own authentic style. Authentic blogs and especially useful content tend to get shared socially.
Your blog’s rankings and its popularity go hand in hand, so the most simple solution to improve your blog’s rankings is by being authentic and consistent. Even if you haven’t had the confidence to do this until now, remember that your uniqueness and authenticity will have synergy with some people, but your blogging which has not quite found its voice yet, is most likely incongruous and therefore unlikely to attract a stable, growing audience.
Not everyone hits the authenticity nail on the head at the beginning. One example of this is Holly Reisem Hanna who runs a blog which has had many accolades, one of which is being named by Forbes in their Top 75 Websites For Your Career list.
Here’s what Holly said to me in her interview:
“It’s funny, when I first started blogging I had a very professional tone. I thought that if I wanted to be taken seriously, as a respected business resource, that I needed to convey a sense of formality. As time went on, I felt more and more comfortable sharing personal experiences and relating them back to tips and strategies for working at home. It took me a while to realize that it’s okay to inject my personality into my articles, even though my content is more educational in nature.
I think when you you’re willing to show the world who you really are, this is when your most unique and creative content comes out. I feel like when you try to please too many people, or you worry too much about what others think, you hinder your creativity by playing it safe.”
Authentic Blogging Can Help Your Rankings, Help You And Help Others
In his post on Authenticity Seth Godin says:
“As the Internet and a connected culture places a higher premium on authenticity (because if you’re inconsistent, you’re going to get caught) it’s easy to confuse authentic behavior with an existential crisis. Are you really good enough, kind enough, generous enough and brave enough to be authentically a hero or leader?”
For those of you who read Seth’s blogs, you’ll know he doesn’t pull any punches and is totally authentic. It is amazing what he can say in such a short space.
For some, authentic blogging takes courage to open themselves up to their readers, and fear can prevent some people from doing this. However, like in other areas of life, fear can be one of your worst enemies. Fear can prevent you from tapping into your true potential, which when blogging is far more likely to surface when doing so authentically.
Another blogger that I interviewed runs a blog about relationships – having been through the experience of an abusive marriage she now users her blog to help others. I asked LaVonya Reeves if her blog had made her feel more authentic, and if she saw a connection between authenticity and creativity.
This is what LaVonya had to say:
“Yes, blogging has definitely helped me be more open and honest about life and the reality of what I went through as well as a way to reach out to other women; who may be going through the same struggles as I went through. And yes, there is a connection. I was amazed at how being authentic and honest in my blog, actually brought out a lot of creativity in me that I didn’t know I had.”
Just like LaVonya and many other bloggers, by being generous, kind and true to your authentic self you will improve your rankings over time, but you will also tap into your true essence whilst helping others.
This post was written by Jacqueline de Burca. She is interviewing bloggers as part of a book she is writing. She has been through the experience of writing for business and to please others, but knows in her heart how important it is that each of us gives our true essence to others. She wants to help others to tap into their true authentic selves. If you are a blogger who would like to be interviewed or you would like to see more interview excerpts, click on authentic blogging, then use the contact page on her site.