(Published September 8, 2021 Updated February 26, 2022)
As rays of light beamed upon my dome in hot and humid Southern India, I wore sunglasses to protect my eyes from the relentless sun.
Pondicherry sits on the Bay of Bengal, being categorized as a tropical climate with abundant sunshine. Wearing Joe Cool shades makes sense while traipsing out and about as protective eye wear. But donning the same shades indoors flashes a red flag for most people because we need to see someone’s eyes – and their entire face – to get to better know the individual. Hiding away your peepers turns off people in most cases because the eyes are the gateway to the soul.
Similarly, hiding away yourself, your story and your credentials tends to turn off readers who want to get to know you.
Unless you plan to blog under a pen name in shadowy fashion, allowing your readers to get to know you is the path to successful blogging.
Before trusting your blog readers learn to trust the source of blogs. Bloggers publish blog content. Who is a blogger? What does the blogger know? How much does a blogger share about their:
Bloggers vary as far as maintaining transparency. Some seem sworn to secrecy. Others seem to be an open book. But most bloggers need to be somewhat transparent for readers to:
Did you publish an about” page? Start there. Let readers know a bit about you. Give your community an idea of who you are, what you know and how you can help readers. Frame blogging from a reader perspective. If you saw some John Doe blogger publishing content but hiding their identity, story and bio would you readily trust the words published on the blog? I would view someone wearing a trash bag over their head to protect an identity, dubious, at best. Consider reserving similar skepticism for bloggers who do not publish a biography page sharing some aspects of the individual.
Be open. Share some details about your life. Tell us about yourself. No blogger needs to be a completely open book but being a bit transparent gives readers some facts about the blogger publishing words on a blog. Readers scan posts and process content but usually want to check the source of the words to better trust the content. Who wrote the words? Who published the content? Does the individual sport solid credentials? Why should you trust the blogger?
Publishing a bio page gives your community some idea as to the person behind the blog. Getting to know you even a little bit better gives readers greater confidence in your blog.
I sometimes wonder how bloggers expect readers to trust them without publishing a bio page. Who are these individuals? What are they about? How can you trust someone if the blogger divulges nothing about themselves via a bio page, or through the blog posts published?
For example, a blogger may share helpful tips via posts but can you trust them if you:
- have no idea who they are?
- have no idea what they are about?
- do not connect with the blogger as a human being with at least some similar interests?
In rare cases, bloggers share enough through posts to be sufficiently transparent. But most err in not sharing enough personal stories through blog posts and a biography page. How can you expect readers to trust you if they have no idea who they are? Perhaps your content hits the mark but unless readers know at least a little about you it seems tough to move higher in blogging circles and to gain increased exposure.
Bloggers often feel hesitant to publish a biography page for any number of self-conscious fears. Some fear being transparent for any number of reasons. Others falsely believe no one cares to know anything about the blogger. Deep fears triggered as you intend to share your story hold you back because how can readers trust you if you do not trust yourself? How can we get comfortable with the real you if you are not comfortable with the real you?
Wade through self-conscious fears to publish a bio page and to get comfortable with sharing more about yourself and your life experiences. Being transparent feels scary sometimes but the upsides outweigh the discomfort of sharing your story.
For example, sharing my blogging failures triggered uncomfortable emotions in my mind related to being a fraud. The ego tries to scare me ino believing that sharing failures automatically makes me a less than genuine teacher. Bu the opposite rings true. Being transparent makes you credible because every pro blogger failed along the way. I cannot trust any pro who claims to have only succeeded online. This is impossible.
Being open may feel uncomfortable but allows readers to relate with you, to connect with you and to get to know you.
I recorded a video delving in to this concept.
Check it out here:
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