Getting Personal – Open Up To Let Your Readers In

Three blogs I read regularly had intensely personal posts by their authors within about a week of each other. I think this struck me because they came so close together, and because I could really relate to them.

How willing you are to open up and get personal is entirely up to you and how you want to relate to your audience. Getting too personal can put some people off. It can also draw people in and make your current audience even more dedicated.

I’m glad the following authors did. Here’s who they are, what they said, and how I can relate.

Erika Napolitano

(@redheadwriting)

Erika is a bold and brash writer and not always for the faint of heart. I’ve never gotten the feeling she writes this way deliberately to be shocking. She’s just brutally open and honest, and she pulls it off. Anyone who has a section of their blog titled “The Bitch Slap” is good in my book.

Her blog post What Makes Us recounts her feelings of fears and awkwardness as a high-schooler.

I’ve never been a teenage girl, but I can definitely relate to what she’s saying! In my ridiculously small high school I was one of two people that played guitar. The other was one year below me and also my best friend. For the record, I was a slightly better player, and at the time I lorded it over him without mercy. I feel bad about it now, but that was the one thing I had.

I had long hair, torn jeans and a leather jacket (the one with fringe *shudder*) and got lumped into the “stoner” crowd. This was funny not only because I didn’t do drugs, but no one in the so-called stoner crowd did. We were just the metalheads. We’d rather share a new band with each other than all just get drunk until we puked in someone’s bedroom (which was the favorite weekend activity of the popular kids).

Had I gone to HS with Erika, I think we would have been friends (ok, I’d probably have had a crush on her, I did always like smart girls.. and redheads, but she’d just want to keep it friends).

Daniel Rothamel

(@drothamel)

Daniel made a name for himself in the Real Estate/Tech community as the “Real Estate Zebra” (taken from his days as a basketball referee or “Zebra”) only to ultimately find himself on the unfortunate end of a trademark lawsuit.

There was a great show of support from Daniel’s social media friends and followers (#SaveTheZebra). In the end Daniel made the choice to settle the lawsuit and rebrand himself.

He discussed what I’m sure was a difficult decision for him on his On Endings and Beginnings blog post and also opens up on the  how he’s gotten to where he is today.

I already relate to Daniel as a REALTOR and techie, and someone who loves to combine the two. I also personally know the impact of the words “flare up” having a related medical condition. I also have a very supportive wife named Kari!

See how these little similarities can create a feeling of camaraderie and connection?

Brian Clark

(@CopyBlogger)

How can you NOT click on that? In The Snowboard, the Subdural Hematoma, and the Secret of Life Brian tells of a harrowing head vs. mountain skiing accident that could have been the end of him.

I don’t have any gnarly scars on my head, but my head did once lose a battle with an ice covered driveway resulting in an ER trip and some scrambled memories of the event. This post touches on my fear of brain injury or trauma, and how quickly things can change.

You!

I’m not suggesting you open up as a ploy to get more dedicated readers. I’m just trying to point out that from time to time, pulling back the curtains and letting people know something personal about you lets your fans and readers relate to you on a whole new level.

Take some time and read the posts I’ve included here. Let them be your inspiration to find ways you can open up more to your audience! The more personal ways your readers can relate to you the more trust you’ll build with them.

If social media is really about connecting then being human, vulnerable, and letting your guard down is a way to let people in. It’s something I intend to put into practice on this blog.