Do you put out on a first date?

May 27, 2007

Do you kiss on the first date? so asks Darren over at ProBlogger in a great post about how to “court” readers for your blog. So many business blogs are the “hard sell” – giving readers nothing more to digest than recycled press releases highlighting problems you didn’t know you had and solutions you didn’t know you needed. Darren suggest that the rules of courtship should apply

I came away from the blog feeling like a stranger had walked up to me and asked me to give them a kiss……While I’m sure plenty of good relationships do start with a kiss (and more) on the first date – most dating advice experts would argue that if you want to grow a sustainable, ongoing relationship that the best time to take a relationship to the next level physically is when there’s other aspects of a relationship already in place (ie some emotional connection and time spent together getting to know one another).

And of course this is the dilemma for many businesses (and one I hear frequently from smaller organisations) how much of myself do I “put out” there and how much do I keep back? How does a small organisation maintain a personal presence that’s compelling and interesting while also maintaining a company view?
I think it’s less about what you reveal and more about the kind of relationship you want to build with whomever you want reading and engaging with your blog. Yes you have to be willing to chat a bit about what you do and who you are – but like most relationships – once people chat back and the discourse is respectful of boundaries and there’s give and take on both sides then it becomes easier to continue the conversation. I liken finding good blogs to dating. You have to go on a lot of coffee dates to find the person you want to see over dinner – and not everyone is going to qualify for an extended conversation..but you can’t keep changing your personality to appeal to the next coffee dater – you have to remain true to who you are and be confident that your authenticity will draw the right kind of reader. So balancing what’s authentic with what’s interesting for your audience is the only way to go and you can only find out the latter if you’re listening to them when they’re talking back.
A final word to Darren on this one

Help your reader to get to know you, build trust, get to know them and show that you’re interested in more than a quick sale and you could just end up with a lasting relationship.

2 People reacted on this

  1. Hi Annette,
    I took your advice and followed the link to Darren’s blog. 51 comments so far after his piece comparing courting with blogging. And all he’s done is write something and then let it take its own course. It’s good to be introduced to a new source of inspiring thought. I must say I think you introduce new avenues all the time and you help me think about how I blog.
    What comes along is a stream of thoughts about how the DNA of everyday life may be there to be found in every paragraph and image: however managed the boundaries are…

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