Let’s Get Personal…Or Why I Open Chris Brogan’s Emails First

09 Feb

Every Saturday I publish a “week in review” post on Free Technology for Teachers. I begin each one of those posts with a little story about what I did during the week or what my plan for the weekend is. In that post I usually include a picture that I’ve recently taken too. And almost every week I hear back from a subscriber who says that he or she enjoys the little personal touch that I put on that post.

People want to know you and learn from YOU!

All of my blogs are designed to help people. Worms In the Fridge is designed to help you improve your blogging habits and help you learn a bit about how I transitioned from hobby blogger to full time blogger and consultant. Free Technology for Teachers, iPad Apps for School, and Practical Ed Tech are all designed to help readers discover new resources and think about how they can use them in their classrooms. If you look at any of the blogs that I maintain you’ll see my name and or face on the homepage. That has been done intentionally so that you know who is doing the writing. Without that bit of personal branding I might as well be trying to be Scholastic, Pearson, or TechCrunch.

As I mentioned on Wednesday, Chris Brogan’s Sunday email is the only marketing email that I look forward to reading every week. I could get the same information and hear the same ideas from many others in the same space, but I read his emails because over the years he’s shared his story and it’s one that I relate to. I’m getting new ideas but I’m also following the story. One of his recent emails was about struggling with depression while not letting depression be an excuse for not getting things done. I wrote to Chris and thanked him for that message because it was one that I strongly related to.

Blog like Bob Vila or Thom Beers 

I love reality television programs that showcase a job skill. As a kid I watched a lot of episodes of This Old House and partially as a result of that I did well in middle school shop class. As an adult I love the television shows that Thom Beers has produced, Deadliest Catch being his most famous example. These shows show you how a job is done (for the most part) while telling a story. This is why I’ll open Chris Brogan’s email before I open anything else. It’s also the reason I’m given when people say that they recommend my blog before others, they like my personal touch.

Learn, Teach,  and Share.

If you want people to make your blog one of their favorites the formula might be as simple as learn new things, teach others what you’ve learned, and share your stories along the way.

I like to include personal pictures in posts to support some of my little personal stories. How do you include personal stories in your blog? Feel free to share an example, with links, in the comments.

If you found this post useful, consider subscribing to Worms In the Fridge. New posts appear on Wednesdays and Sundays. 

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  • autism plusmath

    I think there are bloggers who are known by their first name more than by the name of their blog–if you follow math blogs, for example, there is only one “Dan” of note. And I think that it is the combination of sharing quality content plus personal story that drives connection and makes me want to become part of someone’s “small tribe.”

    “How do you include personal stories in your blog? Feel free to share an example, with links, in the comments.”

    For me, I usually try to make the personal a small part of a larger story. For example, for a post on a “draw your own video game” app, I mentioned that I found out about the app by attending a local high tech start up awards ceremony that evening where the company was honored.

    But I also try to share milestones and good news that, hopefully, readers are interested in. I shared when my ebook hit the #1 ranking on amazon for books on disabilities. And just the other day I shared when the blog was “stumbled” by Stumbleupon, which has brought in a nice amount of new visitors to the blog, btw.

    Glenn