My doctor is a great doctor. Saves lives. Heals people. Smart. Vastly experienced. Innately concerned about his patients’ well-being. Worth every penny of the high office visit copay.
However, he says he would not be a good blogger.
I asked him about becoming one. He has such a caring demeanor in the examining room. His guidance would be useful for sick people searching Google.
“Couldn’t do it,” he said. “I would anguish over every word. It would take me days to write one. At worst, it would read like a medical journal entry. At best, it would be boring.”
To be a successful blogger, you don’t necessarily need doctor smarts. You need to know your subject. And you need basic writing skills.
Mostly, though, you need AUTHOR PERSONALITY. When a reader connects emotionally to the author, the blog becomes relevant. When readers sense your character traits, moods and thinking process, they become engaged. Knowing the “who” helps them relate to the “what.”
If my doctor were to reconsider, here’s my prescription for injecting Author Personality into his blogs:
Write as if you are having a conversation around the kitchen table. Write the way you talk with family or friends after a great meal. Share a story. Be relaxed. Be genuine. Nurture a relationship with your readers.
Reveal an interesting part of you. Let your humor, compassion, anxiety and creativity shine through. Make your writing and your expertise easily recognizable. Own your writing style. Allow your personality to pave a path to your readers. Make them want to walk with you along your journey.
Pepper your blog with pronouns. Bloggers who drone on about themselves can be a turn off. However, readers seem to connect better if your blog includes references to people – like yourself. They feel a connection to “me,” “we” and “you.”
Use the right words. Remember, you are trying to connect - not impress the CEO of Mayo Clinic Research. Make certain your word choice is appropriate and accurate. Make sure the word is relatable to the average person. If you use a word suggested by Thesaurus, review the definition. Use power words (bombastic, shellacking) that make your points memorable. Likewise, you should avoid weak ones (really, very).
Keep your thoughts simple and focused. I know you have a lot to say. We all do. But avoid taking a Tower of Babel approach to your blog. Good writing is inherently organized. Readers want to laugh or learn a point. Keep it simple when considering your topics and related points.
Take liberties with your English teacher’s inner voice. Everyone had that class where you learned formal outlines, proper sentence structure and verb agreements. You should remember and use those lessons – but with a twist. A blog (again) is a conversation. If it reads like a formal “theme,” it might come off as dull. Sentence fragments and punctuation for emphasis spice up your points.
Read your blog out loud. If it sounds like a monotone medical conference presentation, rewrite it. If you laugh, cry or feel emboldened when finished, publish it.
A blog with your dynamic personality will be just what the doctor ordered for you and your readers.
Jeff Owen is Proprietor of J Owen Media, which helps businesses and nonprofit organizations tell their story.
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