Being vulnerable as a blogger or “public figure” on the internet is scary. But today we’re chatting about why you need to share that imperfect blog post, and how vulnerability is the key to building trust, and growing your blog.
I think we’re all vividly familiar with that feeling of not thinking we’re good enough, smart enough, successful enough, strong enough, [insert adjective] enough. We’re bombarded with messages of perfection and surrounded by a constant stream of what everyone else is doing at all times.
When we struggle it becomes even harder, because at the same time, we’re seeing everyone else succeed around us. This is why, we believe, it’s just as important as bloggers, to share content that talks about our imperfections as well as our highlights. We believe that being vulnerable, not only helps us become more relatable, but can have a far deeper impact on our readers.
Today we’re sharing the two biggest reasons bloggers should be vulnerable and imperfect. We’re also sharing the 3 things bloggers should do to make these kinds of pieces impactful.
Why Being Vulnerable is Important for Bloggers
1.) Honesty and Vulnerability Builds Trust, and Trust = Everything
While it may be some of the hardest writing you’ll have to do, writing openly, honestly and vulnerably about your struggles will be some of the most important writing you can do. Sharing a struggle that’s related to what you blog about. For example, sharing mistakes you’ve made in your business, struggles you’ve had with food, road blocks you’ve faced in your profession, are all ways to open up and build trust with your audience.
If people are able to see that you haven’t had an easy path to success, that you’ve gotten bumps and bruises, that you’ve made mistakes and are still doing what you do, they will trust and believe your story in a much deeper way. Have you ever had someone you look up to who shared a challenge they faced and you gained more respect for them?
It’s much harder to trust and believe in people who project a perfect image. They don’t feel real, and therefor are much harder to put trust in.
2.) It Has Huge Potential to Make a Positive Impact on Your Readers
We’ll say this a million times because it’s true: It’s really hard sharing your imperfections. In a time when everyone is sharing their best, their highlight reel, showing that you’re a mere mortal is definitely going against the grain.
With all this said, it’s even more important than ever to remind people they are not alone in their imperfection. We all mess up, make mistakes, go through hard times, lose something we love, but if we don’t talk about it, it begins to feel shameful, rather than a very real part of life.
That’s why sharing your story can be incredibly impactful to your readers. You never know who may have gone through something similar or are going through something right now that, if they read your story they wouldn’t feel so isolated or alone.
I know personally, when I was struggling with different challenges in my life I read quite a few blogs that I could so relate to. These stories made me realize I wasn’t crazy, I wasn’t alone and most importantly there was hope for someone like me.
How to Do it
1.) Write like you’re talking to your close friend
Sharing something more personal or vulnerable can be very difficult to say the least. Real talk- it took me about 10 different tries to get through writing a piece on recovery. You end up digging up old scars, some less healed than others.
However, if we were only able to give you once piece of advice on writing about the tough stuff, it would be to write as if you were sitting across the table from your best friend. Imagine you’re telling her (or him) your story.
When you write this way, you can imagine how the words sound, how you would say them, how your caring audience would react. It also helps blogging to feel more real. Often, when you’re behind a keyboard, ideas can feel abstract. But when you vividly imagine the reader on the other end, your words hold more purpose.
2.) Share Your Truth
It can be easy to get caught up in thinking about how to make your story the most valuable for your readers. It’s easy to want to fit it into a formula. However, THE most important thing, is to make it true and true to your experience. While other people may have had similar experiences, no one has quite experienced your life the way you have. You have new perspectives and pieces of insight no one can offer so don’t doubt your value or try to fit into any mold that you’ve seen. You never know who needs to hear your story the way YOU tell it.
3.) Offer a solution
Sharing your story is a gift enough, however to take this kind of writing to the next level, try to offer a solution. If nothing else, talk about how you solved this problem.
In Christina’s brave piece on Orthorexia, she not only shared her own experience, but she also shared how she was able to recover. It’s important to acknowledge that not all solutions will fit all readers. But, by being able to see how one specific person solved a problem, it helps give readers a place to start, even if they chose a different solution in the end.
Here are examples of incredibly brave stories told by some amazing bloggers:
- What It’s Like to Struggle with Orthorexia, and How I Overcame – The Blissful Balance
- I Know the Secret to Skinny – The Healthy Maven
- On Burnout and Peace – Pinch of Yum
- Unexpected Causes of Negative Body Image – The Balanced Berry
What do You think
- Have you ever shared an “imperfect” post? How did it go?