“I’m wondering if you could share some tangible action steps on how to start incorporating and sharing more of your personal self in a blog. I don’t promote myself or share much about myself. I could share much more. But I’m pondering on where to start — how do I take the first step towards putting myself out there on my own blog? I’ve realized that I can improve my blog by sharing more of myself to make it more personal and engaging. However, I’m really struggling with where to begin.”
Growing up in a world of celebrity culture where television and movie stars are everywhere, coming across as ridiculously confident can leave the rest of us feeling lesser than. (Or maybe that’s just me). The truth is, a lot of us have to fake it until we make it. One of my most popular advice columns last year was Does Blogging & Self-Promotion Make Me Vain? I ended it with this statement:
“Think of your brand this way: if you don’t believe in it, nobody else will. People are always going to judge you no matter what, whether you choose to put yourself out there or not. It’s human nature. Remember that truly successful people are fearless and promote what they value and believe in, even if that’s their own brand.”
I meant it, too. Trust me, there are plenty of days that I really don’t want to talk about myself, the project I just completed or an interview that I just did. But, I do it anyway because it’s my responsibility to build my brand, not anyone else’s. And nobody is going to toot my own horn for me!
Here are some applicable tips to jump-start sharing more of yourself:
Face Your Fears.
Before you can put yourself out there, you need to determine what is holding you back. Is it a fear that you’re not unique enough? That someone will leave nasty comments? That you’re not smart enough? That you’re not an “expert”? That you’re not attractive enough? That you don’t measure up to so-and-so?
Once you decide why you haven’t already made the move to share more of yourself, you can begin working on fixing that aspect.
When I started my blog, it was way before the big “blogging for business” craze and full-time bloggers were few and far between. Most of us twenty-somethings had personality-based blogs from the beginning, especially those of us who’d gotten started on Live Journal. I never gave it much thought — I posted about myself, my art, design and surroundings and figured that if people didn’t like it, they didn’t have to read. It really was simple as that. Five years later, I still feel the same way!
Facing your fears is easier than you think: once you accept that not everyone is going to like you, there are mean people in the world and that you should always stay true to yourself, it doesn’t seem so daunting.
Set Some achievable goals.
This is going to sound silly but the more often you blog and share who you are, the easier it becomes. For instance, you may set some achievable goals such as, “No matter what, I will share at least one current photo of myself in a post each week.” Or, “Each week, I will post a gratitude list of things in my life I’m grateful for.” Or, “If something bad happens to me, how can I turn it around into an experience I can help others learn from?” Or, “Once a month I’ll share a personal story and ask readers if they’ve been through something similar and how they dealt with it.”
Realize that you are unique.
We’ve all been consumed with thoughts about how we could possibly be unique. With the sheer quantity of blogs out there, how is ours really any different? The sole answer is YOU. I talk about this in more detail during my branding segment at The Blogcademy but it basically boils down to realizing that we each have unique experiences and skills that we can share with the world. By opening up and not only sharing who you are but also TEACHING, HELPING and INFORMING your readers, you’re not only empowering yourself but putting good out into the world.
Do it now.
What I’ve realized in life is that there are folks who soak up boundless information and say they’re going to make changes and then there’s those who actually follow through and make changes. Don’t be a sayer, be a doer. Ultimately, once you realize that most bloggers are the same as you, most face the same worries and fears and that nobody is actually untouchable, it’s easier to get started.
Start small. Start today. Hopefully these tips will take down the curtain you’ve been putting in front of yourself and allow you to be more comfortable with sharing who you are.