How Do You Put "Soul" Into A Blog Post?

01/06/2011

Crowd source When it comes to learning about how to succeed in social media, one of the most valuable type of posts is the multiple insights shared by people who are in the trenches.

I thought it might be interesting and fun to crowd source a series based on just 1 question. So I did what any good social media marketer might do, I tapped my social networks. 19 Marketers kindly shared their thoughts on the 1st question .. 

  • Question: How do you put "soul" into a blog post?

Never lose your sense of humor. We're marketers, not pediatric brain surgeons. A lot of the time a funny photo or drawing can add a little levity to an otherwise serious topic.~ B.L. Ochman What's Next Blog @whatsnext

 Realize that we all have both personal lives and professional lives. Use that knowledge to bring the passions of your life into your work-related blog. For example, I'm a huge music fan and frequently write about music in my "work" blog. What are you passionate about? Use that as fodder for blog posts with soul.~ David Meerman Scott WebInKnow @dmscott

Be yourself. If you're snarky, be snarky. Compassionate, be compassionate. Funny, be funny. Don't try to be something you're not or the world will know in just a few tweets.~ Susan Cartier Liebel Solo Practice University @scartierliebel 

Robert Frost said, "No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader." While writing the initial draft of a blog post, then, allow your ideas to get away from you and surprise you.

Push yourself to think about unexplored parts of the story. Write about images that appear to you for reasons you can't explain, and then try to explain them. Explore and experiment and have fun, before you bring you bring in the internal editor to smooth things out. ~ Mark Levy Levy Innovation @levyinnovation

Be frank about what you don't know and don't understand ~ Des Walsh DesWalsh @deswalsh

My tip is a quote borrowed from a billiard's player I once knew. He said, "Study long, study wrong." While things can't be quite as extemporaneous these days, I still feel that being too cerebral with a post is a way to suck the life out of it.

In other words, some of the most soulful posts are those written without too much editing or over-thinking.I used to say blogging was a "shoot from the hip, speak from the heart" style of writing. ~ Paul Chaney  My Amplify @pchaney

Bring your personality and opinion to the table.. you can have marketing goals, but people don't want to hear marketing speak. They want to hear  you speak about what you think about ideas and opinions of the day. ~ John Cass @JohnCass PR Communications

Rather than reporting or writing about a topic , write how you "feel" about a topic. Speaking from your heart brings out your passion and helps you connect and resonate with readers better. ~ Jody DeVere Ask Patty @askpatty

Isn't the answer in the question maybe? Bare your soul... or at least be transparent and passionate in what you write. ~ Marianne Richmond Resonance Partnership @marianne

Be present without pretense. Call it soul, authenticity, your voice, your thing, your mojo - it doesn't matter. What matters is you've got to own it and to do that you have to know yourself.

Take some time to reflecton who you are, what you care about, what revs your motor and why. Get to know your inner compass and you'll begin to feel it when you're getting off the path, when you're overworking it, phoning it in, or just being "on message" without meaning. 

Be sensitive to the idea that everything you write about has a common denominator: you! So don't be afraid to be present in the process. ~ David S. Cohen Equation Arts @davidscohen

I think soul means heart and depth. To bring that soulfulness to your blog it  needs to occasionally be personal. Not the every day experience level of personal, but that story that gives you pause. Was it embarrassing? In hindsight is the answer clear? Should you share *that*? If it could be of value to even one person, then yes.  ~ Katie Bromley @KatieRBromley

Write what you are passionate about. ~ @AYPcom

Stick with what fuels your passion and let that enthusiasm shine through in all that you write.~Teresa Caro @TeresaCaro

Don't try to create an overly authoritative voice - be yourself and write as you wouldspeak to a friend. The best blog posts make me feel like I just had an intelligent conversation with a friend. The ones who are haughty and lofty in tone lose me within the first few sentences.~ Amanda Thompson Dachis Group  Travel Blog @mercerthompson

I add soul by being honest. Honesty doesn't mean being snarky, which seems to be a trend these days. Honesty is about giving people an insight or an "insider's perspective" that they can't get by reading the WSJ, the Times,ADWEEK, MEDIAWEEK or any other traditional publication. ~ Jamie Turner 60SecondMarketer @60SecondTweets

Write in your own voice and let your own personality shine through. ~ David Reich Reich Communication @davidreich

Keep in mind every post might be the first post someone reads so make it amazing - Rob Petersen Barn Raisers @robpetersen

One infallible way to add "soul" to your blog is to have a humorous or non-traditional About or Biography page.  Some people use a page that includes a list such as "10 things about me" or "7 things you may be surprised to know about me" or something along those lines. 

Other people write a humorous biography.  Still others write a very personal story about why or how they started the blog.  Whatever it is, be sure to include something about YOU -- your passions, your values, your beliefs, your hobbies, your family, even your favorite foods or your dislikes.  Share a little about YOU and it will make your blog memorable. ~ Anita Campbell Small Business Trends @Smallbiztrends

Let your passion shine through to distinguish your point of view. Like-minded individuals will be attracted to your honesty.  Let your voice be heard and don't forget the funk (aka, spirit and wit). ~ Terry Starr Dice @dicerecruiting @dicenews

Make each story or post you write unique to you using active verbs and capturing your curiosity and passion for the subject.

In college, I took a modern dance class that based on piece on Tennyson's The Eagle. I'll have to demonstrate it for you. The last part of the poem and dance capture what needs to happen for a blog post or any performance for that matter to have 'soul.' Thanks for the question. As usual, you got me thinking. ~ CB Whittemore Simple Marketing @cbhwhittemore

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;

Close to the sun in lonely lands, Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; He watches from his mountain walls,

And like a thunderbolt he falls. ~ The Eagle by Tennyson

.. and my thoughts: Putting "soul" into your blog posts is like playing jazz. Once you understand the basic notes, step out of your comfort zone and explore something new with your community. Play the tune together where you share another side of what makes you .. you. ~ Toby Bloomberg Diva Marketing @tobydiva Jelly's last jam

Let's keep the conversation going .. How would do you put "soul" into your blog posts?

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Comments

Toby,

Great post and filled with soulful comments, thoughts and suggestions. Thank you for including me!


Jody DeVere
CEO
AskPatty.com, Inc.
www.askpatty.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/askpatty

Posted by: Jody DeVere on Jan 6, 2011 10:16:43 AM

I like to relate what's going on in my life or in pop culture with a POV about the business of communications. I've related cooking to developing insights and my son's college Scav competition to idea development.

Posted by: Debra Gaynor on Jan 6, 2011 10:41:31 AM

Toby,

Great idea! Thanks for inviting me to participate - I was flattered to be a part of this talented and insightful crew.

I especially loved the Frost quote Mark Levy put in.

Posted by: David Cohen on Jan 6, 2011 11:15:25 AM

hi toby - it's great fun reading all these responses from bloggers whose voices are unique.

yet, we have a lot in common - especially allowing our true voices to be heard. It is, like you say, like playing jazz - or dancing.
BL

Posted by: B.L. Ochman on Jan 6, 2011 11:46:29 AM

@Jody, @David & @BL - thanks for sharing your creativity .. you've given us lots of great ideas to bring 'heart & soul' to what might could be yawn content.
@Bl - love when you post videos of your dancing!

@Debra - Love your ideas especially relating cooking to developing insights. I often use my dog Max to help frame business concepts. It puts a story-spin on the content .. which is really what social media does best!

Posted by: Toby Bloomberg on Jan 6, 2011 2:20:18 PM

thanks Toby, great post, and good quick insights. Very helpful reminder about what's important on blogging.

Posted by: John Cass on Jan 6, 2011 11:55:03 PM

loved this!

I put "soul" into my posts by being ME....

If I am not true to myself in my posts then what is the point?

People need to put less focus on monetizing and more focus on being true to themselves...the rest is just gravy.

Posted by: caren gittleman on Jan 7, 2011 7:39:47 AM

Toby, what a delicious way to start out the new year! Thanks for sharing and inspiring - as always...

Best,
CB

Posted by: C.B. Whittemore on Jan 7, 2011 10:48:00 AM

As a "trader in matter & spirit" and blogger since 2002, I have to come to the conclusion that you have to use introspection and look into your soul in order to be yourself. Which core values do you want to achieve?

Posted by: Martin Lindeskog on Jan 7, 2011 8:16:24 PM

Have fun, be passionate, be imaginative, be original, be yourself, work hard, stay focused and have fun!

That's it, oh, and if you don't enjoy it, please don't do it!

Happy New Year!

Posted by: Peter L Masters on Jan 10, 2011 10:54:24 AM

It’s a cool post for writers to succeed in capturing the minds of readers from the first line to the last in their posts. Information along with passion and humor is never a bitter pill!

Posted by: virtus social media on Jan 11, 2011 6:48:11 AM

Thanks for this alluring blog post. Actually a regular and good conversation stay the online visitors to our site connected and don’t let then leave the site. While the only content may get the visitors bored in some cases. In conversation the latest thing or news is subjected as conversation topic which attracts the visitors’ attention.

Posted by: Marketing Company on Jan 21, 2011 6:27:12 AM

Great post!!!!!!
Wow, lots to digest. Thanks for generously sharing this useful info. Especially appreciate the acknowledgment that for some Blogging, the goal may not be tens of thousands of fans but a few hundred solid ones.

Posted by: Virtual office assistant on Mar 23, 2011 12:40:21 AM

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