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Blogging brings out the best in people.
It gives them the chance to grow their business, reach new audiences and of course, make money.
Sadly, it sometimes brings out the worst in us as well.
There are times that we get so caught up with the little traffic and subscriber boosts that we get, that we lose ourselves in the frenzy. We make terrible blogging mistakes.
In this post, I want to talk about something that we all could learn from. These are things you should never forget no matter how awesome you become.
You know what I’m talking about. It’s when some bloggers get on their high horse and start acting like they’re the king of the world.
I admit. I’m guilty of being full of myself sometimes, and it shows too.
Yup, little old me, thinking I’m so awesome. That’s absurd! I’m not that much better than you. I’m not a guru. I’m not even a total expert.
I’m still learning. You and I both. We just need to remind ourselves that no matter how much traffic we get, or how many subscribers we have, we’re still learning.
This happens when we’ve think we’ve learned so much about our craft, teach it to others and then come off sounding like a jerk.
Yeah, in some posts I sounded like a total jerk. I didn’t know about it until my girlfriend read one of my blog posts (yes, even though she’s not interested in copywriting and content marketing). She told me I sounded like a total jerk.
We need to stop acting so much like gurus, and start acting like we’re hungry for knowledge, because that’s who we really are. We’re just in search of better ways to improve our craft and make a better living.
So how do we stop acting all high and mighty? How do we stop acting like gurus?
1. You keep talking about yourself
One of the biggest blogging mistakes is to make the show all about you.
Don’t talk about yourself all the time. It may be good to mention some amazing feat you’ve done, but never overdo it.
Limit the number of times your talk about yourself, or your brand.
The idea is to gain other people’s trust, and doing this not by shoving your ideas down people’s throats, but to make them feel that you’re consistently giving them all this great stuff that they can’t resist loving you.
Remember, blogging isn’t about you, but what you have to give.
It’s similar to when you’re writing copy for your product. As they say, sell the sizzle, not the steak.
2. You describe yourself as “awesome”
“I’m a kick-ass master-class blogger with ballz of brass and all that jazz.” – some jerk
A lot of us fall into this trap.
We tend to describe ourselves like we’re so awesome, to give the impression that we’re experts, but we don’t realize that it makes us look like jerks instead.
The better way to do it is to let your readers decide that for themselves. How do you go about doing that?
The cliche, “Provide value”, fits into this perfectly, and helps us avoid this big blogging mistake.
Provide so much value and honesty to your readers that they would think, “Wow, this guy’s really good at this and that”, or, “Wow this guy knows how to cook a mean omelette. I should hire him to cook for me!”
3. You talk about your product/service as a godsend
Sure, you have to claim your product or service is the best.
You do want to get clients, right? But what makes people like you, is the fact that you’re a real person. Someone they can relate to. Someone they can turn to. Someone they know who listens to them and can feel their pain.
They want to know you’ve made some blunders in the past, just so they’ll know you’re not bluffing about your credentials. After all, no one started out being the best in the business.
Admit it to everyone. Admit it when you’re writing copy. Tell them that you were once a lazy-ass bum, or just a “high school graduate”, or being just another “pool guy” as my friend Marcus Sheridan describes himself in his introductions.
I’ve read about this in Dan Kennedy’s book, The Ultimate Sales Letter. Sure the whole book was about writing copy, but you can still apply it in your blog.
Dan Kennedy talked about how an Italian restaurant advertised some of the ‘downsides’ of their restaurant. Here’s part of the ad:
If you want waiters in tuxedos with white linen cloths over their arms, menus with unpronounceable words all over them, and high-priced wines served in silver ice buckets when you go out for Italian food, our little restaurant is not the place to come.
Notice how it sounds almost like the owner of the restaurant compared themselves to a classy place, and stating bluntly that they’re not even close to that much class. But then here was what followed:
But if you mostly want good, solid, home-cooked pasta with tasty sauces made with real vegetables and spices by a real Italian Mama and will trade white linen for red-and-white checked plastic tablecloths, you’ll like our place just fine. If you’re okay with a choice of just two wines, red or white, we’ll give you as much of it as you want, from our famous bottomless wine bottle — free with your dinner.
Don’t you just love the way this ad used the restaurant’s lack of “shiny things” and tell it like a fun story?
4. You never make fun of yourself
Another blogging mistake is when we’re always so serious, and so conscious about our images.
A great way to introduce yourself is to tell a joke about how lazy, or inexperienced you are at something.
It tells people that you’re a down-to-earth guy (or girl), and that you’re very much approachable. It makes you all the more likable.
Sonia Simone of Copyblogger infuses subtle hints of humor when she writes, making her posts enjoyable while being packed with valuable insights.
Chris Brogan also pokes some fun at himself sometimes, reminding us that he’s not an uptight mafia boss (although I personally think he looks the part).
Dan Kennedy calls it ‘Self-Deprecating Humor’. It’s a way to release the tension between you and your audience. If you want to make people like you, listen to you and probably ‘buy’ from you, you need to first gain their trust and respect. Injecting a little humor is one good way to do it.
5. You don’t credit other people
One of the biggest blogging mistakes you could do is to take credit for every great idea that you blog about.
Genius ideas are rare these days. Most likely you’re going to write about something great that you’ve swiped someplace else.
It’s nice to give credit where credit is due.
It’s like how Tommy from My Name Is Tommy gives credit to a lot of people in his videos, like when he gave props to Jon Morrow. And how Jon Morrow always talks about his ‘St. Chris Garret’.
Not only will you be doing that person a favor, but you’ll make yourself ‘believable’.
Let’s not be jerks
Avoid the above blogging mistakes.
Don’t fall into the trap of becoming an almighty guru and end up sounding like you’re full of yourself.
I’m sometimes guilty of sounding like a jerk, and I want to correct that behavior.
We’re all just people learning to get better at what we do. It’s a never-ending process.
What about you? Have you ever wondered if you sounded like a jerk in your blog posts? Do you have any other tips to share about how to not sound like a blogging jerk?
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