Why Your Blog Needs a Shot of Vulnerability From Time to Time

How Being Vulnerable Boosts Engagement on Your Site

Do you only post facts when you write for your blog?  Are you afraid to talk about relevant issues you struggle with?

Well, I’m going to share why that’s not always a good thing.

Just because you may be seen as an authority in a given niche, doesn’t mean you always have to appear perfect.

You’re human with challenges and guess what?  Your audience needs to know that.

Ever heard of emotional marketing?

The phrase might instantly turn you off because the word “emotional” may seem like a weak term for wussies. :)

Well, I’m here to tell ya that there’s nothing weak about it.  In fact, using emotion can actually strengthen the bond with your readers.

Brooke Breaks it Down!

I read a great post on this subject a few weeks ago.  In this article, Brooke Ballard explains how to get the best “return on your conversation.”

I like how she used social media posts from popular Facebook pages to illustrate her points.

Here’s the gist…

If you only post facts and clichés, your audience will respond with more facts.  But if you post more feelings, opinions and show vulnerability, your audience will be more likely to open up and share their opinions, feelings, etc.

This is important because it makes your readers feel more connected to you and your site.

How Post Type Affects Your Engagement

Of course this doesn’t mean that facts don’t ever spark comments, but the point is, opinions and feelings are more likely to encourage discussion.

Now in the article, Brooke was mainly talking about using emotional marketing with social media, but I also tested this theory out on my last post where I wrote about distraction.

Sure, I could have just posted statistics about how distraction is a major issue with online businesses, etc. but I also made the post more personal by sharing what I struggle with.

Three things happened…

  1. I received comments from people who don’t normally comment on my blog.
  2. Many people opened up and also shared their struggles.
  3. People seemed relieved to know that I go through the same things they go through.

When you open up and show vulnerability, people respond to that because it makes you appear more human. They also feel safe to share their problems.

And when your readers can do this, a connection is being created that can be very important to your site because people tend to buy from people they connect with and trust.

You can also see vulnerability in action in my post titled, How Fear Cost Me Thousands of Dollars.

Try It Out!

So when you write your next blog post, choose a niche-relevant topic that will allow you to be more vulnerable.

Or the next time you post something on social media that is fact-based (a quote, cliche, blog post, etc.) add an opinion or feeling about the quote, post, etc.

See if that improves engagement.

Here’s an Example

Let’s say you have a health blog and you decide to write a post about the weight loss problem in America.

A lot of people might approach this topic by paraphrasing facts from around the Web.

boring

Remember, people can get health facts from WikiHow and WebMD. This is YOUR site and hopefully you bring a unique experience to this topic.  That’s why you chose it right?

So make the post more interesting by sharing what you’ve struggled with during your weight loss journey, and if applicable, explain how you conquered the issue.

This helps you build a deeper connection with your readers and reminds them that you’re a lot like them.

People will also be more inclined to offer suggestions and share their stories, which can spark even more discussions.

Now, you may wrestle with this concept because you worry that showing vulnerability will turn people off and harm your brand.

Sure, there are some who may see it as a negative thing, but I promise you the net effect will be positive.  After reading the comments from my last post, it was clear to me that you appreciated it.

A big thanks to those of you who shared your experiences and tips.  I really enjoyed reading what you had to say.

You also helped reinforce the lesson Brooke wrote about in her post. :)


Comments

  1. Hey Lisa! Another great post! people will always remember how we make them feel :)

  2. Hey Lisa, it’s nice to be here again and it’s been ages since I last visited this blog and how I have missed a lot of your habitually fantastic updates. BTW, how have you been, Lisa?

    This is a really great post and I totally resonated with your point of view. Of course posting sparkling facts can be a great way of generating buzz, plus it place as some kind of expert and all those stuffs but it always good to sometimes come down and show your audience that you also are facing some of the things you’re facing.

    You know while I yet was a newbie, even though I still am, I used to think bloggers like Lisa Irby are the perfect beings in the world. Why? Because guys like you share fantastic stats and all those stuffs, and I’d be like, “Jeez! This people can’t just go wrong. They are perfect beings!”

    Now, that’s great but like you advice, it’s also good to let your audience in the hook about some of the things you’re facing they just don’t know. It has a lot of potential benefits like you’ve rightly pointed’em out.

    Thanks for this great share ma’am! I sure will be sticking around these days. :)

    Cheers!
    Sam

  3. Great article! I have also found that vulnaribility does create more engagement. Also, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you have to share your greatest struggles and secrets. It could simply mean that you share you don’t have all the answers about a particular topic and ask your readers to help out to gather the facts or share their own opinions. People feel good when they can help out. They are no longer passive readers but become co-creators for content. You can even offer to the most articulate commenters the opportunity to write a guest-post. In my experience most of them will, provide a great article and because they are proud of it they will also share it with their own network. Also, now they are even more emotionally invested in your website and will keep coming back and glad to share it with others. I love engagement like that! Meet great people, make friends, start new partnerships. It is really a win-win. :)

    • Exactly! You don’t have to reveal any serious addictions or family problems. LOL Sometimes the little things really make the post more interesting. Great comment Thita!

    • Hey Thita, it’s nice meeting you here on Lisa’s great blog. Hope you’re cool?

      So I love what you’ve got to share. Seriously, it’s not a must neither it is a prerequisite you know to show or tell your audience the most craziest of your addictions and what have you. I believe it’s rather about coming out plain and showing them you’re not that machinery or might genius they always take you as but just an average Joe like them (It’s what I address myself with when some newbie are hyping me).

      I have also in recent times realized that when I show to my readers how I can’t do it all and would need their help to share and tell me some of their great experience as a form of blog posts, they are usually very happy and they most times provide quality and up to date post. And that I believe is a great of not only getting more posts on your blog but also a way having strong bond with your audience and also touching more lives kind of, something you’ve not have been able to do alone.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Thanks! :)

      Sam

  4. It’s true – just hashing out facts makes you a newspaper. Providing your own take on something or your own experience about something makes the information unique. Sometimes it’s hard to “put yourself out there” but that is what will keep people engaged.

    • Yes it is hard but I find when I do, I tend to get the best responses and often times very helpful solutions. So it’s definitely worth it. Thanks Neena. Also thanks for sharing this on Twitter too. :)

    • Neena, I share your thoughts trust me. I like the part where you said “just hashing out facts makes you a newspaper. Providing your own take on something or your own experience about something makes the information unique.” Words indeed holds true!

      I realized that when I share things with just mere facts and stuffs without some level of experience I get less engagements, whereas when I share information seasoned with my personal experiences and that of others closest to me, I get huge and massive engagements, from likes to comments and shares. Which therefore helps my blog’s virility.

      I guess sharing stuffs related to your own personal revelations is sure the best way to go. Thanks for the share friend! :)

      Sam

  5. Thanks on your marvelous posting Lisa! I really enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author. I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will come back very soon.

  6. Lisa, another fantastic read. Glad to be on your mailing list! Keep’em coming. :)

  7. Thinking out of the box can be challenging. Blogging is so complex nowaday

    • Yes, it can be but when you are passionate about your niche that does help you come up with more creative ways to share your content. Video is a nice place to start.

  8. Hey Lisa, I have always treasured blogs with a personal touch or that have rants from time to time.

    Sometimes what actually drags me into the article is that I really know that there is a real person on the other side writing this article for me and sharing his/her thoughts with me.

    I honestly tend to lose interest quite fast when all I see is raw stats, numbers and all comes up like reading a very boring book where I know nothing about the author and I’m just being offered the content and zero self experiences.

    So my take on this is, YES. Always try to put your personal twist to anything you create! ;-)

    Sergio Felix.

    • Agree. Thanks for coming by Sergio. Good to see ya here!

    • Did I agree with you Sergio? Well, yes I in all sincerity and humility agree with your shared thoughts here. On point all the way!

      Like you, I will only resonate and share my thoughts and share with my every networks post that has a kind of personal revelation or “twist” as you like to call it.

      Why? That’s because I’m assure that this person knows what their saying and I can possibly learn one or two things from the experience that birthed their successes, which to me is a very great plus to me as a young author and person.

      It’s the reason why you will see me on Harleena, Adrienne, Ramsey, Darren, and some other interesting bloggers yourself and Lisa. I mean you guys share great stuffs and if well followed will cause great transformations and lead one to a greater height.

      I’m glad I was able to finally connect with you via Lisa’s comment section. :D You should have a fun-filled and magical day, bro Sergio!

      Sam

  9. That is because blogging and social media is human after all.

    We’re not all robots. This is not “tech”, this is human interaction.

    Great points Lisa!

  10. I enjoyed this article a lot. It gives me more ideas on how to build my blog more friendly and have engagement to people. Every time I comment on blogs, I really tried to cater each needs. Thank you very much

  11. Vulnerability helps you to connect with people. This is especially true of bloggers who are hoping to attract an audience of loyal readers. You need to show them that you’re one of them because you’ve been through the same problems, experiences, etc. that they have; you understand where they’re coming from and where they want to go. And you offer them solutions to get to where they want to go too.

    There are several bloggers who audiences really started growing when they wrote posts in which they opened up and shared some vulnerability.

    It can attract haters too. This is something to be aware of when you’re deciding on how much vulnerability you should reveal. But it attracts a lot of supportive readers too.

    Nobody’s perfect. It helps to prove it when building an audience for your blog.

  12. I’m a big advocate of talking about your failures just as much as your successes, which is why I often talk about the business ventures I have entered into that didn’t work, and if I try a method of making money that doesn’t work then I’ll post about it. This goes over very well with my readers who like to see that I’m human and not immune to failing. :)

  13. yeahh it’s damn true…..great read. :)

  14. Nice article, its always a good to read useful and informative article here.
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. I love the thought that sometimes we need to get a dose of reality about us and posting it on our blogs. It definitely gives our audiences the idea that we are not robots and we also have a piece of us to share to them. Fears, frustrations, and circumstances in life can really make them get connected to you personally. A little bit scary though since you are trying to make yourself transparent but hey, transparency can be a good way of accountability.

  16. So I’m not sure HOW I missed this (no Google Alert or anything!), but I’m so glad to have found it today. THANK YOU, Lisa!

    I really appreciate you sharing my post on Mark’s {grow} blog and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way you’ve added your own insights and case studies here. Beautifully done.

    Thank you again for including my work. :-)

  17. It is amazing how often we are concerned about how we are perceived when for the most part people just want to CONNECT. By being vulnerable, we become more ‘connectable.’

  18. I have not written anything that could fall in the category of emotional marketing till now, but I have read a lot of posts with a bit of emotional touch and I really enjoy those posts more than the one with just facts. I think soon I will try it on my blog too.

  19. Hey Lisa,
    I love reading your blog. From learning to start a blog to marketing the own products, you’ve always provided something useful. Great article once again, thank you very much.

  20. Hi Lisa,
    Really good article.
    I think your description of self and vulnerability for better engagement is a wonderful metaphor for business.

  21. This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Cheers!

  22. I have seen this pattern in so many bloggers’ post and the same you have written in your post Lisa, but as per my observation if we only start writing like preacher our blog readers will not come to us as daily visitor and one day we are bound to loose them. Thus most of the time, I love to feed them with some of my exclusive knowledge of my domain with facts and figures and some time with useful tutorials.

  23. This is exactly what I needed to read! Thanks so much for writing this. I’m currently working on a blog post for the blog I just started at rachellemonique.com and I decided on a topic that is very sensitve and close to home. I am very vulnerable in my writing, but that’s the writing I don’t share with others. My blog was created to use my personal experiences to empower and encourage women to live fuller lives. I can’t do that if I’m not willing to be vulnerable. Thanks again for writing this, it’s helped to put things in perspective.

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