Dear Diary: Is Your Business Blog Too Personal?

Blogging by nature is more personal and a casual depiction of things going on with your company and products. But how personal is too personal? You can easily step over the line when weaving in your anecdotes. Keep uber-personal details or ones that could reflect poorly to yourself. For instance, don’t share that you were hanging out in your underwear when you took your latest product for a test run. Or that you imbibed too much with friends on a business trip where you were supposed to be learning the latest and greatest in your industry.

Ok. Yeah. These are pretty obvious ones. But other scenarios might not be so clear. So what do you do in those cases?

Setting Your Goals

Dear Diary: Is Your Business Blog Too Personal?Knowing what’s appropriate to share is easier when you’ve laid out goals for your blog. Readers want to know what to expect from you in your posts. So, you should probably get pretty clear on that yourself.

  • What is the purpose for your blog? Is it expanding your business? Generating new leads? Having relatable, relevant info to share on social media? Setting yourself up as an SME?
  • Who is your audience? What kinds of features and stories will draw them in?
  • What do I want to share? Success stories, product highlights, tips, events and employee spotlights are all great possibilities.

Create a solid content strategy that will carry out your purpose and feature the content you want to share. This will keep you on task throughout the year. And while you’re at it, develop a posting schedule and a gob of relevant topics to set the course for your successful blog.

See-Through versus Appropriate Transparency

Blogging by nature is more personal and a casual depiction of things going on with your company and products. But how personal is too personal?Once you’ve got your clear purpose and some goals, you can go back to determining which stories are appropriate and which ones are the equivalent of letting a stranger in the dressing room with you at Target. (AKA way over the line.) Just how transparent should you be with your personal anecdotes? On one hand it’s divulging little pieces of yourself and sharing, which denotes trust and makes your readers feel like they are part of your inner circle. On the other hand, revealing big chunks of yourself could be a turn off to readers looking for more business-related info. It’s all about balance and judgement. Good judgement. Not the kind where you and your BFF criticize everyone’s outfits at a cocktail party — another great example of personal touches NOT to share.

So when trying to work pieces of your life into your blog, ask yourself these questions before publishing those tidbits:

  • Does your personal story offer a solution, feature a product, showcase company values or teach followers something? If so, it’s likely OK, just watch the details.
  • Are you revealing just enough to let your readers feel connected but not on the same level as your friends and family?
  • Do your personal details support your company’s credibility and professionalism?
  • Have you avoided taboo subjects for business? (Yep, we’re saying you should stay away from politics and social issues in most cases.)
  • Have you protected the security of everyone involved in the story you are sharing? Names, locations, personal details?
  • Would you feel comfortable telling this story to your grandma? No, really. If you can’t tell Gram, then you probably shouldn’t post it on your business site. This might be our most important rule.

Inspiring stories don’t have to be too descriptive or contain TMI to be effective. We promise. You want your content to go viral for its quality, not because of negative controversy or over-the-line details.

If you need some help developing a content strategy, determining where that proverbial line is or creating and maintaining a blog of your own, contact All Things Writing. Our professional writers can come up with topics and blogs that will wow your customers each time and never leave them covering their eyes trying to shake an inappropriate image from their minds. Align your content with success. Call us today.

All Things Writing is a full-service content development and content marketing company on a mission to help clients shine online and in print. Our clients are from the private, government and nonprofit sectors.

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Erin Pittman, Lead Editor

A project manager, writer and editor, Erin Pittman has almost a decade of professional experience in both print and online materials. She holds a BA in English from Randolph-Macon College. Her work has been featured in local and national publications, as well as on various local and national websites and blogs. Writing topics include marketing, personal finance, special needs, military, parenting, seniors, local events, real estate, service industries, business profiles and more.