Comments

  1. Hi, Keith,

    Once again, you shine a light on another important writing element. Or, for those of us who are a little Type A, another blogging detail to obsess over! :~)

    I believe I share the ‘me’ with the ‘thee’ in the appropriately percentages on my blog. It would be interesting to get input from my readers on the topic, though.

    My site, http://ThePowerToLive.com, is about personal transformation. I share how I went about re-creating my Life using techniques I developed when my own life went off the rails, so to speak. Therefore, it makes sense that I’d be sharing ‘me’ stories, as examples.

    Having said that, I do make a concerted effort to include my readers perspective into my writing. I know the challenges I’ve faced are things others can relate to. The techniques I’ve created are transferable to situations my followers may face.

    I believe my balance is a good one. It’s something I’ll pay more attention to, after reading your insightful post.

    Connie

    • Hi Connie,
      As a regular reader of your blog, I can assure you that you strike a very nice “you-me” balance.
      Thanks for your thoughtful comment!
      Keith

  2. So those are the rules!
    I never even thought about this, being the “socially adept” person I am. But heck, it makes sense, thanks for pointing this out.
    And man, I’m glad I don’t have to eat Thanksgiving dinner with you – you don’t sound like the best conversationalist :-)

    • Craig,
      Well, as long as you don’t ask me any personal questions, I can be quite the sparkling conversationalist :-)
      Besides, every Thanksgiving table needs at least one highly-social connector — and at your table, that would be you – making it perfectly acceptable for the less socially adept to hang around because you’ll handle the social needs of the group just fine….

  3. I found your blog a few weeks ago while doing a search for info about the Genesis theme — good stuff here — themes on blogging and online business I’m not finding anywhere else.
    This one really resonates with me, I’m struggling to find my voice as a blogger. Being an “older gentleman” I remember when blogs were only personality-centric. Now they seem to have gone in the completely opposite direction.

    • Welcome Karol,
      Thanks for reading, and I appreciate your comment.
      I ain’t no spring chicken myself, I too remember the bad old days of blogging. Aren’t you glad blogs have evolved.
      Hang in there: practice makes perfect. The more you write, the more your own voice emerges.
      Keep us posted here at TN.
      Thanks again,
      Keith

  4. Keith:

    Beautiful comments and thoughts which are right on. Your personal story is an excellent example. I’m so sick of the mass marketing guru’s who talk about my program and here’s how you can fill up the seats for my event…not too much about the “you” being me! I like your formula for using “you” and “I”.

    • Hi Anne,
      Good to hear from you – and I couldn’t agree with you more about the mass marketing gurus – that style is so over.
      Here’s to a new era of personal marketing!
      Thanks for your comment.
      Keith

  5. Good article, really timely for us. I’m in the process of *attempting* to hire a copywriter for our projects and so far, every one of them massively failed our copy test. Most were able to pull in something about our product, the old features v. benefits thing – but not one of them seem capable of making a personal connection.
    I was frustrated and couldn’t figure out what was missing – until I read your piece.
    Thanks for filling in the blanks.
    So, got any tips for a good writer for our blogs?
    Gregory

    • Hi Gregory,
      Ah – you’ve discovered they don’t teach this in official writing school.
      If you’re looking for a writer for your blogs, good luck with that!
      I’m not saying it can’t be done – and it really depends on your industry.
      Typically, the more “corporate” your blog, the more you can successfully use a team of writers – as long as they know the subject and can write with authority.
      However, if your blog is more of a personal brand, it’s really difficult for anyone to write it but you. Only you can make that connection and build that relationship.
      You just can’t hire that out.
      So, my recommendation: Fill the other spots so you can carve out time to write your own blog.
      Thanks for commenting,
      Keith

    • The “secret” of blogging is to be interesting. Some writing about ourselves tells something interesting—either self revealing or more objective—and some writing doesn’t.

      You can play around with the wording by using passive sentences and “you” in the generic sense to improve the ratio, but that doesn’t make the writing more sticky.

      There’s bazillions of blogs out there so it’s impossible to generalize about what makes an effective blog. It depends on your purpose. Some blogs are like diaries shared with others. Lots of “I” increases the intimacy.

      Other blogs are strictly marketing. For all the chitchat about how big companies like Zappos are using social networking to drive consumer relationships and sales, I’d guess that lots of the effectiveness derives from discount coupon$. (I only guess—I’m not a shoe person and have never studied Zappos marketing.)

      By the way, Gregory, I’m a freelance writer. Please contact me if you’d like to talk. My writing-business website is at http://www.DianaWrites.com

      -Diana

      Diana Schneidman | Chicago / Bolingbrook, IL | dianalink AT netzero.com
      Author of Start Freelancing And Consulting: How to take control of your life and make great money quickly as a solopro

      • Hi Diana,
        Thanks for adding to the conversation. Your points are well-taken. I can think of two bloggers off the top of my head I read often, who write almost exclusively from a highly personal perspective: Johnny B. Truant and James Lileks. It’s an art, I think, being able to talk about oneself and keep it interesting – and in these two writer’s cases, keep it fascinating.
        Our readers here at TN are entrepreneurs blogging for commerce, I think that would be a good modifier for my rather broad headline.
        I’m not writing about blogging for its own sake, but business technique, if you will.
        I think there’s an important distinction between interesting writing and what I’ll call engaging commerce writing.
        Poetry, op-eds, and documentaries can be interesting, but none of them engage a person in a way that promotes commerce.
        That said, I don’t think anyone reading this believes switching out a few ‘I’s” with “You’s” is going to suddenly make their writing interesting or sticky.
        Yes, the “You-Me Ratio” is a technique, and here’s why I think this can be important:
        In my experience as a marketer and personal brander, I’ve found the biggest problem any small biz has is being unable to see themselves from anyone else’s perspective. It’s all “I, I, I’, not always literally, but what they write about is exclusively interesting to them, with a heavy focus on their business processes, features, and even personal lives — over the things that really matter most to their readers/buyers.
        My job has always been to help the biz owner discover and write about what their customer most cares about. And one of the best ways to achieve this is to use “you,” because you have to think about the other person.
        Thanks for thinking enough of us to offer your perspective, Diana..
        Keith

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