>> Aug 8, 2012
‘Keep your personal life out of your business blogging’ is a piece of advice that’s sometimes given to business owners. And while it’s true that prospective clients probably don’t want to read about what you had for breakfast, when you're using a medium like blogging for your marketing, it’s worth remembering its history. The modern blog developed from an online diary form, and as a result, people expect a certain amount of personality to show in any blog — even if it’s a business blog.
People Like Talking to People
Human beings are social creatures. Evolutionarily speaking, we needed other human beings to survive — we hunted in packs, and given our relatively fragile physical form, there was safety in numbers. Scientists are beginning to realise that social connections are just as important to our wellbeing (physical and mental) as adequate food and shelter.
But what does this have to do with your business blog? Human beings seek out social connections. They like to talk to other people. Think about how frustrating it can be talking to a machine when you phone a utilities company, and how much of a relief it is when you call a helpline and get to talk to an actual person. A business blog works the same way. If your business blog can show that it’s been written by a person, if you can fulfil in some way that social need, it will be infinitely more attractive to clients (current and prospective) than one that sounds like it’s been created by a smart computer.
Personality Ranks Higher on Google
Quality content that sounds like it’s been written by a human being with a personality ranks higher. This is precisely because people seek out people. Ultimately, a search engine’s function is to help people find things they want — services, people, places — so it makes sense that it would rank higher the kind of information that people are actually hoping to find.
Personality doesn’t mean ‘over share’
Having a business blog that 'has personality’ does not mean sharing every banal detail of your life. Letting your business blog be flavored by your personality never means the content doesn’t need to be relevant to your business. Let’s return to the ‘what you had for breakfast’ example. Now, if your business is a food-related business, or even a health-related business, what you had for breakfast might actually be relevant and interesting to potential readers of your business blog. And of course, if that were the case, it could be perfectly reasonable and helpful for you to write about your porridge. But if your business is a motor mechanics or a web development company, what you ate this morning may be less relevant.
It's worth remembering, too, that there are lots of different kinds of personality. Your business blog does not necessarily need to be loud and flashy to have personality. Rather, it should reflect the personality of your business, and, if you have them, its people. This goes back to some pretty basic and universal marketing stuff: what are the values of your business? They'll give you a pretty good idea of its personality.
Ultimately, you want your business blog to be helpful to its readers. If it's not helpful to its readers, then they won't be interested, and the blog won't end up being helpful to you.
The content should also be interesting to you. If you're not interested in it, how you possibly hope to get other people interested in it? Especially if you're nervous about where the boundaries lie between 'personality' and 'too much information', writing about what interests you and your business is also a good way of fairly effortlessly injecting a bit of personality into your business blog.
So perhaps a general rule of thumb for content might be to ask first if it's interesting to you, and second if it's helpful for potential readers and customers. If a topic ticks both those boxes then it's sure to be ideal for your business blog. Remember that a business blog is not just about getting people to your website—it's also about keeping them there, and hopefully turning their visit into some business. If your business blog is interesting (that is, it has personality) and helpful, you're certainly increasing your chances of converting a site visitor into a customer.