As you continue to blog, your regular readers will eventually grow accustomed to your voice as a writer, even if you write in a mostly factual fashion. Over time, you’ll come into contact many of your readers by email and comments and you’ll begin to establish a relationship of sorts with them.
What does this mean? When a major event occurs in your life and especially in relation to your blog, don’t be afraid to share it. If you purchase a house or have a child, share your joy with your readers. If you’re linked to by a major site or reach a certain threshold that you set as a goal for yourself (500,000 visitors or 1,000 posts), let your readers know about it.
To put it bluntly, if something fills you with joy, share it. The optimism and happiness that comes from the event will flow out of your writing right to the reader and they will feel a bit of joy as well.
This doesn’t mean that you should flood your blog with stuff like My child just said “poop” for the first time! (unless you’re running a parenting blog or something). Save celebratory posts for truly major events, or semi-major events that relate to your blog.
Here are some tips about celebratory posts that will maximize their effectiveness and impact for the reader.
Mention events that match the theme of your blog. For example, since this is a personal finance blog, I’ve mentioned significant debt eliminations on here, such as the paying off of my truck better than a year early. It’s something that excited me greatly and it also fit the theme of this blog. I also plan on blogging (in detail) my first home purchase, which is coming in the next year.
Include a picture if possible. If you have a new house or a new child, a photo or two can really show the excitement of the moment. You can even post a video if you want; stick it up on YouTube and include that video in your post.
Don’t overdo it. If you experience a life-changing event, it’s great to mention it once in a celebratory manner, but don’t let it take over your blog. Your readers are there to read about the topic at hand, not your new child. A celebratory post is a great way to build attachment between the reader and the writer, but only if done occasionally. If the life change causes you to have a new major interest, start another blog. Very few blogs can make such a transition; dooce is the only one I can think of, as it changed from a professional rant blog into a parenting blog.
If you met a goal, set a new goal and talk about it. If you’re posting to announce your site has had 100,000 visitors, state what your next goal is, what you learned, and how you’re going to get there. If you’re posting to celebrate losing ten pounds, talk about how you did it and what you plan to do next. Make it about more than just meeting that specific goal and tossing confetti in the air.
And with that, the Building a Better Blog for 2007 series is finished. Let’s celebrate!
Building a Better Blog for 2007 is a month-long series at The Simple Dollar, outlining steps you can take to build a long-term healthy blog that will attract readers. This is the final post in the series; you can jump back to the previous entry, Don’t Forget the Fundamentals.