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Don’t Make Your Blog’s Story Into More Of A Commitment Than It Is

Don’t Make Your Blog’s Story Into More Of A Commitment Than It Is

We’ve established that, in order to make it big in the blogosphere, you need to have an easily identifiable story. This story will help to differentiate you from all of the other bloggers who would otherwise be just like you, and you are best off if you self-consciously craft this story for yourself, early on in your blogging career, lest you wait too long and a story about you starts to emerge on its own, against your will.

The thing about writing a one-line bio or determining a story for your blog that can trip people up is that people are hesitant to try to distill the whole of their message or experience into just one line. There is universal repugnance from the idea that the complexity of human experience can be contained in just one line. We are all such special snowflakes — how can our stories possibly be told in just one line?

The story is just a marketing gimmick. Don’t make it into a marriage commitment.

I was working with a consulting client a few weeks ago who already had a pretty good idea about what her blog’s story, or the “hook” should be. She knew what kind of content really inspired her, and she had a decent idea of what the kind of material she could become “known” for doing.

The problem for this client came from commitment. If she framed her blog to be known for this kind of content, would she then be “married” to doing this one kind of post, for ever and ever? What if she decided that she did not want to do them anymore? What if it turned out that she could not do the same kind of thing as often as she had thought? Then what? Maybe she needed to start from scratch. Maybe everything was all wrong.

No way!

The story is just a way of getting noticed, setting yourself apart from the crowd. It can be as much or as little of a part of your blog as you want it to be. Back in the beginning of the blogosphere, the story was not as important, because there weren’t as many bloggers, and it was much easier to keep track of who was who. But still, if you look around at the bloggers who are very successful from those days, the ones who are still around have some kind of story. Some of them, in fact, have gone through several stories in that time, and you can, too. It’s not a permanent commitment — it’s just a spin.

One Comment

  1. Jan 19, 2011

    I’m one of the ones who didn’t think I really had a story, and have experienced some people filling in the gaps FOR me, but no real cohesive story between them. I was never really more startled by it than just the other day, when I got a comment that included this:

    “Whether or not it is actually so, the image you project is someone who doesn’t adhere to the traditional (maybe stereotypical) idea of what it is to be a successful woman, and is happy with the results.”

    Now, not to get into a discussion of what the traditional or stereotypical idea of what it is to be a “successful woman,” I left my career and all my friends and family to be with a guy. I got married and pregnant (not, uh, in that order, but details, shmetails), and have been a stay at home girlfriend/spouse for the last almost 2 years. I’ll have my kid in a few months and be a stay at home mom. I don’t think I could be any more “stereotypically traditional” female if I tried. I’M WEARING AN APRON (an apron that even says “AIR FORCE,” my husband’s career!).

    I think it’s interesting that the people who HAVE decided that I have a story (I get a LOT of weird things – people assuming I’ll dress my little girl in punk/goth-style clothing (am an average girly-girl, myself), people assuming I’d never HAVE a kid, people assuming I’m blazing a trail for off the beaten path ladies) remain SO attached to it, even as all of these events – moving, marriage, pregnancy, etc – have been CLEARLY documented on my blog.

    I had a point when I started this comment, but I think my point was just agreeing with the point you were making, so I’ll wrap up this unnecessary ramble.

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