Incredible how a bit of transparancy goes a long way

Wow! My last post got 29 views in only a few hours! That’s truly amazing for a blog that’s been dormant for several years.

I got some very nice comments, and also a warning! The latter was justified, though. The last time I opened up to how I really felt, my (then) boss found out and told me to stop blogging! (I ignored her, of course.)

Why did this concern her? I had dreadful withdrawal symptoms from giving up my business, and wrote mournful and wistful posts about how I felt. They had nothing to do with her, but she felt that they were. It’s amazing how people can construe stuff that doesn’t exist.

Anyhow, this well-meant warning from a good friend brought this all back to me. Even though a blog is a place where you are supposed to be able to express yourself, there is still the problem of creating a potential offence.

I made the error of revealing my present financial constraints. I shouldn’t have mentioned that I have been turned down by referrers, neither should I have said what I thought about it and them. It was unprofessional and even unnecessary.

But – it did get me out of a dark space. I had been feeling particularly miserable until I had written that post. Somehow the method of getting how I felt off my chest, the very act of sharing to whoever could be bothered to read this, made me feel better.

Over the years I have been exploring and examining what makes popular blogs so, well, popular. All those mummy bloggers you find at BritMums or MumsNet who seem to have thousands of readers – what special formula do they have?

Actually it’s being transparent, honest, up front in your views. This is a difficult concept to grasp if you’ve been used to a professional or corporate life. It seems that these mums find talking like they do so easy and effortlessly. And it is exactly that, they are having a conversation with their readers.

And when you become relaxed enough to communicate like this, with or without a stiff gin to help you (or chocolate cake for those who are tee-total), all sorts come out. Stuff that really you should have buttoned your lip over. Stuff that might make your grandmother shudder (if she was that sort of woman).

And do you know what? People like reading this sort of thing. They can either relate to it, or are in awe of it (how did she have the balls to say that?). That’s why there are so many books that sell that are brimming over with sex, intrigue, bad manners, outrageous plotlines, or whatever.

Not that I read that sort of thing. Which probably means why I don’t get a huge amount of readers clamouring to read about beginner blogging – well, it’s hardly racy stuff, isn’t it?

Transparency and honesty is a difficult thing to manage if you want to maintain a professional front. But sometimes I think you should be allowed to let your hair down. That’s why I have this blog on the side. It was the first WordPress blog I created (right after my Blogger one) and it’s been here ever since.

It’s my dumping blog. Somewhere to vent my feelings. I can’t be allowed to restrain myself, or I would probably blow up! It is my safety valve. Here I will probably write stuff that would make people cringe, but if they don’t like it… well, there’s always the unsubscribe button.

And being allowed to express myself freely will show my transparent side as honestly as possible. It is what makes me human, brings me down to the same level as my readers, shows I’m on their side.

By revealing my warts and all, I could be putting my business into jeopardy. Or I could be doing it a service. Or I could just be building up another kind of following that has nothing to do with my blogging expertise.

I’m prepared to experiment and see…

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