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Learn To Blog The Right Way

Learn To Blog The Right Way

You can easily learn to blog, but very few bloggers ever learn to blog the right way.

Most of the bloggers I work with, mainly want to promote things.

Sometimes they want to brand themselves.  They might want to sell their products and services, or maybe the want to earn affiliate commissions by selling somebody else’s products and services. 

Other bloggers are looking to draw prospects to their primary business opportunity, so they can build a productive team of downlines.

In any event, bloggers are typically looking to get prospects, customers and clients.

That doesn’t mean that you want to go on your blog and just use it to promote things.

You can use it to build your business, and promotion is obviously part of that.

That’s all fine, and blogging is great platform for generating business and commissions.

But far too many folks go about it the wrong way.

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They make their blogs all about spamming folks with “buy me” links, and “buy me fast” blog posts, and “buy me now” banners all over their blogs.

You may want to sell stuff with your blog, but don’t expect your readers to be interested unless you carefully present products and services that they perceive as being of value to them… not to you, but to them.

In the meanwhile, they’ll be looking for something entirely different.

It could be information, entertainment or just some conversation.

Whatever they’re looking for, it’s mainly about finding something, or someone, to make their lives a little bit better.  They want something that will benefit them.

They’re not on your blog to benefit you.  They’re looking to find out what they can get from it.

If their lives can be made better, happier and more joyous, they’ll be back for more

They won’t return because they love your affiliate offers or your business opportunity, but because they enjoy being there, and they have a feeling that your blog adds value to their lives.

So the right way to blog, is to recognize that it is primarily about building relationships and engagement with your visitors, not just blasting out information and offers to them.

Tell Your Story

The best way to build that kind of relationship is to let your readers know exactly who you are.

I’m not talking about knowing how much authority you have in your niche, or how good a writer you are.  I’m not talking about how good your business is, or how great a product you have.

What I am talking about is letting people know “you” by telling them “your story.”

Tell it in different ways, at different times, in a wide variety of contexts… but never stop telling it.

There are only so many business opportunities online. 

There is a finite group of affiliate products and services that bloggers can promote, and they do so in competition with others who also promote them.

But your story is unique to you.  You’re the only person in the world with your story.  Use it to your advantage, and that means, use it to build relationships with people.

Remember, that’s the main purpose of blogging.  That’s blogging the right way.

Your story does not have to be a rags to riches story.  It does not have to be one of incredible achievement.

It just has to be real.

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Your story could be that you made a million dollars in 3 days with sales from your first $7 ebook.

That’s an incredible story.

But will it really build great relationships?

On the one hand, it will “wow” people who want to make that kind of money, too.  Many of them may well want to “hang out” with you in hope that they can learn to duplicate your success.

But on the other hand, people won’t relate closely with that story.  It doesn’t feel real to them, and they don’t really expect to duplicate it.  Plus, it’s not really a story about “you,” but a story about what you achieved.

Most people actually relate better to someone who has struggles, dreams, desires, even failures that are similar to their own.

So, for instance your story might be that you couldn’t figure out how to profit with your online business.  You failed in your many attempts over several years.

Finally, you learned one little thing that made you realize what you had been doing wrong.  You adjusted this one thing and finally made enough money online to quit your day job.

That’s a more realistic story, and one that people can resonate with.  They know they’ve had some of the same struggles and dreams, they’ve experience plenty of failures, too.

People are most likely to follow you closely when they see themselves in you, and in your experiences.

These are just two types of  “stories” that can be developed.

There are many others.  It’s not so much a matter of what your story is, but how you deliver it, how you leverage it into a loyal following, and raving fans.

Blogging is about that.

It’s about delivering your story up front and center, and in between all the lines.

If you don’t believe me, ask any blogger what the single most visited page is on their blog.  I guarantee that almost all of them will tell you it’s the “About Me” page.  That’s because before reading anything at all on your blog, readers want to know who you are… they want you to tell them your story.

When people know who you are, where you’ve come from and where you’re heading… they’re going to want to follow you and re-visit your blog often.

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I know a blogger whose story is simply that he was a college wrestler.  So, when he talks about marketing and his online business, he relates it to his wrestling adventures.  Lots of people love following his blog because they relate to his story.

So if you haven’t developed your story, yet, it’s time to do it.

Write your story.

Maybe revise your “About Me” page, or create one if you haven’t done so yet.

Don’t like it?

Trash it and re-write it.

Get it right.  Make it true, sincere and simple.

You don’t have just one story, of course. 

Bloggers, like anybody else, have experienced many things in life and in business.  It’s up to you to choose the story you think your target audience will relate best to.

Develop your story. 

Tell it in front of the mirror, in an article, on a video or podcast.  It doesn’t even matter if you make these things public.  Just do them so you get more and more comfortable telling your story in a variety of ways.

Then make it part of who you are to your readers, your prospects and your customers. 

Interweave it into your blog posts, your free offers, your sales pages and, as I mentioned, in your About Me page.

Everywhere you go, people should start saying… “I know that woman or guy… he/she is the one who was a college wrestler,” or “who started his business in his parents’ basement,” or “who survived on food stamps until…”.

When people get an instant image of who you are because of your story, you’ve begun branding yourself to be an intriguing, interesting and successful blogger that they’ll want to follow.

There are many components that go into blogging.  I’ve talked about many of them in the past, and will do so in the future.

But developing and telling your story, is probably the single most important thing you can do to start blogging the right way.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been blogging for 5 days or 5 years.  If you haven’t developed a compelling story, and promoted that story to make it “stick” to your brand… it’s time to do it.

Nothing else you do with your blog is as important as this.

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Have you told your story?

Do you do it consistently in your content and in your marketing?

Are you having difficulty developing a compelling story to attach to your brand?

Let me know in the comments below.

I always love hearing from you, my readers!

-Donna

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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84 Responses to Learn To Blog The Right Way

  1. Reginald Chan
    Twitter:
    November 29, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Great article and thanks for sharing. I love the part about compelling story. Yes! I did blogging for years and my biggest mistake is not focusing on creating a great one.

    Take a look at CopyBlogger. They don’t publish post every day. Maybe once a week but they are one of the mpst sought after brands in copywriting.

    Great write dear friend! Keep it up.
    Reginald Chan recently posted..How To Develop A Winning Business Plan For Restaurant Owners?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 30, 2014 at 12:21 am #

      Hi Reginald,

      That compelling story works like a charm! Although we cannot do it all the time, we can stick in something compelling to capture our reader’s attention.

      Sometimes it could be an example, or a beginning of the post, but it somehow always draws attention.

      I do read CopyBlogger. I like the way they post once a week!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  2. Atish Ranjan November 30, 2014 at 7:57 am #

    telling your own story is the best things to do on blog. It helps build relationship. I did follow this posting on daily basis but nowadays I am focusing more on creating one with great info which can help users in many ways and I am seeing difference in traffic.
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..List Of 25 Free Backlink Checker ToolsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 30, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

      Hi Atish,

      I do like to tell my story sometimes. It can be something a bit personal, or an example of how I failed at something but found the answer. I find that my readers do enjoy that.

      I have been seeing the difference in your posts. Your last one giving us 25 Free backlink checkers was amazing!

      Thanks so much!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  3. Harleena Singh
    Twitter:
    November 30, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    Hi Donna,

    You are absolutely right in all that you mentioned 🙂

    Nothing works better than expressing yourself in your posts, and your experiences is what best your readers can relate to. I know it’s not easy for most bloggers to really develop their voice, especially when they start blogging, as they tend to be influenced by others, and that’s alright – but once they’ve been around a while, they should go ahead and talk in their voice and tell their story.

    I do a little of that in most of my posts too, sharing my experiences with my readers helps me relate better to them, and if the experience is something they too have gone through, makes it all the more better for them to understand what I’m talking about.

    You are right, the About page is the one that’s a must on every blog as it showcases who you are, what your blog is about, and tells your story for you. I always visit it the first thing, whenever I visit a new blog. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, and I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, and perhaps now busy shopping online with Cyber Monday coming up! Enjoy 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..5 Reasons Why Thanksgiving Is a BlessingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 30, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

      Hi Harleena,

      Indeed, sharing a bit of what we went through, especially when we tried something and hit a brick wall then found the answer to the problem is a great way to share with our readers.

      Also a bit of our struggles helps them identify with us. We all have them, so why not tell it like it is?

      Once we start blogging we come into our own, and our voice is expressed.

      Yes, that “About Me” page is very important! I have to update mine lol….. but it does show people who we are and what we are all about. People do visit that when they first meet another blogger.

      Yes, I had a very nice Thanksgiving…quiet! As for shopping, It has been almost all done before the holidays. I like to get things in place before hand. 🙂

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  4. Dylann Andre November 30, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    It’s another learning method about Learn To Blog The Right Way. This is very helpful and useful for the bloggers. I learned and many great tips here. Thanks for sharing the article. Great post!
    Dylann Andre recently posted..5 Retail Marketing IdeasMy Profile

  5. Elise Cohen Ho
    Twitter:
    November 30, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    I love that you mentioned “Buy Now” buttons. I have taken various marketing courses and have reviewed many websites on which the message is clear….”buy my product/service/allow me to earn commission but I will not provide any useful information to me until you have done so.”

    As you can tell, this is very irksome to me and the exact reason why I strive to provide a great deal of useful information on my website.

    Now, do not get me wrong, if you have something to sell by all means let people know, be clear about the price AND make it obvious how to purchase but, please, do not make ti the sole focus of your site.

    As always, you have provided great tips on how a blogger can connect with their ideal client. It is a pleasure.
    Elise Cohen Ho recently posted..Baked Apple Delight with Coconut Whipped CreamMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 30, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

      Hi Elise,

      Oh my, when all a blogger does is tell you to buy something it is annoying. Yes, those “buy now” buttons are very important…but one has to have had success with whatever they are selling.

      I don’t do much affiliate marketing, but create my own products. And when I do, it is all about things I’ve done myself. I’ve taken many marketing courses myself and have that good old sales funnel in place.

      You are on point when you mention that we need to let people know what it is we are selling, be clear about the price and make it easy to purchase.

      I know that sometimes I look at a product/service and I scratch my head wondering what the heck is this guy trying to sell me. lol.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  6. NT Izuchi
    Twitter:
    November 30, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    You spoke a lot about telling your story. I feel I have a great story but find it a little difficult to incorporate it into my marketing message. It’s as if I’m trying to reinvent myself but I do understand my story is what makes me unique and will really attract others who have like stories. Thanks for reiterating what I’ve known all this time 😀
    NT Izuchi recently posted..The Best Email Marketing Experience To Convert Your Leads To Thrilled CustomersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 30, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

      Hi NT,

      You know it, you just read it, so why not try to put a little bit of “your story” in a post? Not right now, but think about how it can be coherent to others.

      People sure do relate to our stores..they don’t have to be long, it could be mentioning something that was a problem and you found the answer.

      Now you have me wondering……..lol

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  7. Andy Lockhart
    Twitter:
    November 30, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    Donna

    Great article and love the idea of telling your story over and over again. There is only 1 you and as you say you are unique. Regardless of your opportunity or affiliate program.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Andy
    Andy Lockhart recently posted..3 Social Media Tools For Content CurationMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 30, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

      Hi Andy,

      No matter what we are marketing, people buy people so we do have to share a bit about ourselves. We don’t have to reveal all he he he….But when we do give a part of ourselves to our readers, people can relate better to us.

      Ah Good old Attraction Marketing! 🙂

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  8. Chery Schmidt
    Twitter:
    November 30, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    Hello Donna, What a great post, When I first started blogging I had NO Idea what to do let alone how to tell my story.

    I surely wish I had read a blog post How to Blog he Right Way back then..

    Yikes my first blog was a total disaster LOL I copied what my mentor was doing and I had NO interest what so ever nor actually understood anything she was talking about..

    She focused on PPC advertising, something I still to this day know Nothing about YET There I was trying to teach others how to do it HEHE

    Yeh HUGE Mistake HUH?

    I am still not sure I have it all figured out but I do know I now talk about what I personally do and know about.

    As for my about me page HUM?? Perhaps I do need to go and take a better look at this..Thanks so much for the great post.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Imprint Powerful Affirmations Into Your Subconscious/ Mind MovieMy Profile

  9. Donna Merrill
    Twitter:
    November 30, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    Hi Chery,

    I wish I knew this too when I started he he he. But this is why I’m out there helping those newbies coming into the blogging world. There is more to blogging than just putting out information.

    One needs a plan when they start. If they do start with a company, Oh boy the content stinks! Join me! I need five more people! bla bla bla

    Sharing who we are can be a difficult task. I often tell my students to share a problem they have encountered and how they fixed it. In their own words in story form. It does draw attention!

    Oh that darn “about me” page! I have to always update it! So much so, I need to do it again! 🙂

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  10. Adrienne
    Twitter:
    December 1, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    As I always love to tell people who visit my blog, we’re not all here for the same reasons. We’re not all out to accomplish the same thing. But the majority of the people I come across that end up hiring me are those who had those aha moments when I let them know what a blog really should be used for. It’s like the light bulbs went off and they finally “get it”.

    I think if everyone were to put themselves in their readers shoes they could answer these same questions or statements that you made. Everyone is here for themselves and we want to know how you can help me. It’s so sad but it’s the truth. So when you help enough people get what they want then of course you are going to become so much more attractive in their eyes. They will follow you everywhere to continue learning from you.

    So how are they able to relate to you? By you sharing your story. When I have those first initial conversations on the phone with people they feel like they know me. I mean really know me, like they can call me their friend because they learned why I do what I do. Because I didn’t know squat either when I started. They look at me as someone who just knows it all but when they learn it took me years they see me as someone they can relate to.

    Open up and share your faults as well as your achievements. We’re able to help you because of our achievements but some of us took the long way around in order to get to this place. It’s the road they want to know about so tell them how you got here.

    I agree with you that there is a right way and a wrong way to blog and it saddens me that I see so many people doing it the wrong. way. Those eager to make money from them are the ones they are drawn to because that’s their initial goal too. Everyone wants to make money, that’s why most of us are here but we have to be smart enough to know that it will come in due time. This is just the way to secure yourself that it will keep coming once it’s arrived. 😉

    Great share my friend and thanks for this. So I’ll end by saying heck yeah, I definitely always share my story!

    Have a great week Donna.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..How To Benefit From Your Blog CommunityMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 1, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      Don’t you just get a kick out of it when a new blogger comes in and thinks we magically knew all we are doing now? It took a long time to learn the ropes and I know you are the first one to admit it and so am I.

      I too love it when talking to someone about blogging and those light bulbs light up he he he. I think it is because they came online having a mindset that they heard about or learned from others that all you have to do is blog and money will come rolling in. Oh My Gosh!

      There are a lot out there that still have this school of thought and it amazes me all the time. But, if they don’t want to blog the “right way” knowing that it takes time and effort to not only give good content, but engage with others, they eventually drop off the planet blog.

      We do have to share our faults and achievements. And most importantly tell them all those hoops we had to go through in the beginning.

      I remember the first time I talked to you and you were so open, I just knew we came from the same kind of mold. You are easy to talk to and you do listen. With those attributes, you are a natural! But some find it difficult, so they need to dig down deep and fix what obstacles they have.

      It did take me a while to share my story. I did it bit by bit while writing something that I got stuck on and then overcame. But getting a little more personal really gets my readers going.

      Have a wonderful week!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  11. Sylviane Nuccio
    Twitter:
    December 1, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Indeed, stories work.

    Today I was telling a friend of mine a few things that I went through we my last bad relationship, and he told me; Sylviane you must told your story, to which I said, well, I started to write that book of mine again, but this time seriously. My goal is to have that baby completed by the time I leave the country.

    Your own story works, because there’s always going to be someone who will relate to it and that you’ll be able to help.

    As someone whose name I’m forgetting said: “if I speak to a 1,000 people and even one is getting it and helped by my story that is fine, I do speak to only one person anyway.”

    So, that’s what we need to do as we blog. As you said there are many products out there, and many are even similar, but there’s only one like us and our story is unique.

    Thank you for another cool post and have a wonderful week
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..How You Can Build A Blog CommunityMy Profile

  12. Donna Merrill
    Twitter:
    December 1, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

    Hi Sylviane,

    I am so glad you are back to writing that book again. From the tiny little bit I know about you, I’m sure it would be of great help to others. You have done some amazing things in your life and I know people sure will be interested in it.

    I like the quote you have given above because it is so true. If we can reach but one person and help them along our path, we have done good work. And that holds true with our blog. There can be a million people giving a “how-to” on the same subject, and each of them has their own unique twist.

    Telling our story of how things benefited us, how we overcame things and so on gets the point across in our own special way.

    Thanks for your input to this conversation,

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  13. Monna Ellithorpe
    Twitter:
    December 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Great post and great advice. It took me quite a while to be able to tell any of my story. For so long I felt that I would be telling my story to make people feel sorry for me or to gain attention.

    The more I learn about blogging and marketing, it is as you said, people do want to know you and know things about a person that they can relate to.

    I do think there is a fine line between sharing a success story and flaunting success which totally turns me off and I don’t trust those who do this.

    Thank you once again Donna for a great post and information we can use.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..4 Crucial Points For Success in 2015My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 2, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

      Hi Monna,

      I do strongly believe that what I’ve read via your story is so inspirational. You have overcome so many things and others can relate to that. We all have our share of burdens in life, it is how we deal with it that counts.

      Oh yes, there is a fine line between sharing a success story and flaunting which does turn me off too. A success story has to be some obstacle that we have figured out and overcame to share it with others.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  14. Brittany Bullen
    Twitter:
    December 1, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

    Donna,

    Am I telling the right kind of story on my various and sundry websites? =) I don’t know. I hope so. It’s a work in progress, isn’t it?

    It really is all about getting crystal clear about who your audience is, what motivates them, entertains them or inspires them. I was just reading an article about something similar on Rebekah Radice’s blog, how we need to improve people’s lives in some of these ways with the things we share on social media. Nobody shares anything (or buys anything) unless they feel like it will help them either look better or feel better.

    You hit the nail on the head here (as usual!)

    Brittany
    Brittany Bullen recently posted..How to Create a Business Blog that Actually Brings In BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 2, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

      Hi Brittany,

      I thing you are doing just fine on your blog! You are ethical and kind. Sharing bits and pieces of the how to’s and putting in a short story of how have done it is great.

      We need to share a bit of our lives on our blogs and/or social media. Not that we are going to blubbler about it, but keeping things positive.

      “I had a huge problem with X, but thanks to Miss X I found the solution Yippie” is one great way to share.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  15. Jackson Nwachukwu
    Twitter:
    December 2, 2014 at 5:21 am #

    Hey Donna,

    Blogging is practical and that’s the very reason why I love it so much. You have just shared a wonderful post that I truly relate.

    You see there is nothing more interesting that calling back your past experiences and putting them to the present to either teach people how to go about it should they come across any of it in future. Telling our stories is one way to relate with people, and people on the other hand love hearing directly from us as in what actually happened to us because that’s the only way they can be rest assured they are learning from someone who has the solution to their problems.

    I really was caught up with this line of your post “You can easily learn to blog, but very few bloggers ever learn to blog the right way.” This brings me to writing an irresistible “About Page.”

    I can recall vividly when I first guest posted on Ileane Smith’s blog, the first guest post I did for her was on writing an About page that people must click to read. That single post raised several opinions and that was how I knew further how important this page is.

    I really like the message this post carries and it’s my belief that many bloggers are going to learn from it and know how best to channel their stories when engaging with their readers or prospects.

    Thanks for sharing so this awesome post Donna 🙂

    How was your thanksgiving? Guess it’s been a while since we chatted! Happy new month my friend.

    Sharing this right away on social media!

    ~Jackson
    Jackson Nwachukwu recently posted..November Engagement Report~18 Awesome Testimonials From Top Bloggers Plus 76K Alexa in 95 DaysMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

      Hi Jackson,

      You are right on target when you mention that there is nothing more interesting than calling back your past experiences and relating them in the present to teach others.

      When we do this, people see us as “real” They may just come to our blogs, see that we have been doing this a while and have lots of comments. What kind of reaction will they have? Will they jump into the conversation?

      I had several people email me telling me they love my blog. When I asked why they didn’t comment on it, they said they were intimidated. Hugh?

      Showing others how we hit a brick wall, and learned from that experience makes it easier for others to jump into the conversation on our blogs.

      Plus, they get to know who we are, what we went through to get where we are at. I do believe it is the best way to show others we are all equal.

      I see this with my students all the time. I always learn something from them and give them credit where credit is due. This makes them more comfortable and gives them the confidence they need to achieve their goal.

      Glad you enjoyed this post,

      -Donna

      P.S. Thanksgiving was great…very quiet and low key. Happy new month to you too my friend.
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  16. Ryan Biddulph
    Twitter:
    December 2, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Our stories make us stand out from the crowd. I love your emphasis on giving, versus getting, to blog the right way. Tell your story whether you started blogging 5 minutes ago or 12 years ago. We’re all humans, who have experienced life, so we have neat stories to tell. Love this advice Donna!

    Ya know I tell my stories here and there on my blog 😉 I offer similar advice; recount your experiences frequently to attract like-minded readers.

    Some dude asked me a few hours ago about blogging to make money. Yep, he was a newbie, and heck, I took the same path. I referenced him to one of my eBooks of course ;)….but also love making the point of, blogging to be free. If you want to free others, and yourself, you’ll do whatever you want to do, blogging-wise, to reach your goals.

    I am always gabbing about some story or other from my life, because can I be any more genuine and authentic, than by telling my story? We all have ’em! Move the intent from getting stuff, to giving your best effort, to sharing your story and your blogging fortunes will change overnight.

    Happened with me 6 months ago, and it’s happened with other bloggers too, who decide to make their blogs story telling communities.

    I generated 3-4 post ideas during my 25 hour flight from Bali to NJ, including how 2 Thai prostitutes grabbing at me, taught me blogging lessons….and yes, even if you have been accosted by Thai lady boy hookers in Bangkok, you have so many fun and colorful stories to tell.

    Thanks for setting the blogging record straight Donna!

    Tweeting now 🙂

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..Why Gollum Should Be Your Blogging Role ModelMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 2, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

      Hi Ryan,

      Indeed, our stories make our blogs interesting. We can share a little or a long story…it is all about bringing to light the content conveyed to our readers.

      I do remember your old blogs, then you changed, so did your blog! Oh boy when I go there, I have a great time reading about your journey and the people you meet in Paradise.

      You show others how one can lead a life of freedom. That’s the whole point to blogging for me! It is doing what we do and teaching others that they too have a choice. If they so choose to be free, we give them the necessary information and strategies we have learned along the way.

      How we may have struggled at first, learning lessons, and so on.

      Oh those newbies….always thinking they can come on line, put up a blog and think it is an ATM. I just cannot believe what people are telling them. But it is up to us to set them straight!

      Once we blog for people, we don’t have to worry about money, it just comes along!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  17. Neamat Tawadrous
    Twitter:
    December 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    That’s an awesome post and I have to say after reading it I have some ideas and I have to go and review my “About Me” page and think of what in my story can others resonate with and start tweaking.

    That’s very true, we all have unique stories to tell and also our challenges, failures and successes are all things people can relate to and you are absolutely right, this is how to blog the right way.

    Thanks so much for the lesson Donna!! Have a great week ahead.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat
    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted..Overcoming Resistance In Leadership!!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 2, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

      Hi Neamat..

      I should talk…I have to tweak my about me once again…it never stops does it he he.

      Yes, we are all unique and can share our stories with others. I find that people could resonate with us when we share something in common with them like our challenges, failures and so on. They seem to see us as real people. And that’s the key….people buy from people!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  18. Marquita Herald
    Twitter:
    December 2, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    Excellent advice as always Donna and as a storyteller myself I couldn’t agree more about the power of a good story. I also agree that it needs to be relevant. I love back-stories and am one of those people who head to the about page first thing when I find an interesting new blog. with a couple of notable exceptions – like Men with Pens – I’ve never understood why people will start a blog and hide who they are, but if the content and the niche are powerful enough it obviously works. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..The Risky Business of Trusting Each OtherMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 2, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

      Hi Marquita,

      You are one great story teller! I’ve known you a long time and never tire of your stories.

      Yes, it does have to be relevant and you do that so well.

      When I see a person’s blog, and they have no picture, a fake name, and hide, immediately there is a lack of trust on my part.

      Thanks and have a nice week!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  19. sherman smith December 2, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    You can’t go wrong with your own personal stories. You’ll always go right about it! This is how people develop the affinity towards you!

    When I started telling more about my story this year, I received more visitors. As a matter of fact, I noticed that when i go to other blogs and they tell their story, they received the most comments, whether they’re selling a product or not!

    You want your visitors to be able to relate to you someway, somehow. As for me, when I talk about salsa dancing, my struggles, and solutions i came up with then I get more people engaging with me. Some of dancers who are bloggers, while others can just relate to the analogies or the struggles I put forth. And I tell you, they want to come back for more.

    But when i start to lean away from the stories, and just give them information, then that’s when I start to lose some traffic. This right here will tell you something. Yes you can use keywords and other SEO practices, but when it comes to your story, it makes you unique and stand out!

    Thanks for sharing Donna! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
    sherman smith recently posted..Should Network Marketers Use Online Attraction Marketing Systems?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 2, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

      Hi Sherman,

      I can see how your blog has grown since you are sharing stories about you. Every time I think of you I want to dance lol.

      It is part of your personal branding. Sherman is the guy that loves to dance! That sticks in people’s minds.

      It is so great that since you started sharing your own stories you are getting more action on your blog. Personalizing our blogs do make people stay on it longer too..and that’s a good thing when we look at our “bounce rates”

      We can give the best information we can..and people will tend to skim our blogs or lose some traffic.

      Keep telling us your stories. One day I want to see you do a blog on video while you dance he he he!

      Yes Thanksgiving was fine and low key…just the way I like it!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  20. Nathaniel Kidd
    Twitter:
    December 2, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

    Hello Donna,

    You have a wonderful way of getting our point across and I love that about you. I loved it when you said that people are not visiting our blogs to benefit us but instead they are looking for something to benefit then. It is up to us to provide what they are looking for.

    If they are distracted with all of the bells, whistles, and you must buy now advertisements we stand a good chance of losing that prospect forever. I agree we have to tell “our” story. People buy from folks they like, know, and trust. That won’t be possible if we are not willing to tell our story.

    We cannot just put up a blog with a few posts on it and a bunch of affiliate programs and then go push the magic button. As you stated, there is a finite group of affiliate programs out there and many times we are promoting some of the same stuff.

    If your story captures the attention of someone and there is a connection there then you are on your way of building a relationship, which is what we should be focused on. People will not resonate with your story if they feel you are not genuine. I believe we have to be ourselves and tell our story and not someone else;s.

    For me, I want to be known as the blogger that retired from the military and now teaches others how to live a frugal lifestyle 🙂 Thanks for sharing Donna. It is always such a pleasure to visit your blog.
    Nathaniel Kidd recently posted..Let’s Face It – American’s Are Struggling to Pay Their BillsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 3, 2014 at 10:37 am #

      Hi Nathaniel,

      Your story is up front and wonderful. When I think Nathaniel, I think of a retired military person who teaches people many ways to be frugal. Not to waste things, to be happy with what you have, and most of all you tips are amazing, especially to so many that purchase and never think.

      We do have to share a bit about ourselves you you nail it with each and every post. Your genuine writing always captures attention of the reader. It makes us think! And that my friend is being a successful blogger.

      Getting others to think is one of the most important things we can do. Whenever I’m shopping for something, I love to get the deal! And I always think of YOU!

      Thank you for all you have done,

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  21. Mi Muba
    Twitter:
    December 3, 2014 at 5:35 am #

    Hi Donna

    Very lovely post with lot of food for thought especially for those who just take blogging another online marketing tool. Its scope is beyond that.

    You offered the easiest solution to create the element of interest in one’s blog that is by creating and telling one’s story.

    I once read somewhere that if one has to write a story he just needs to stand along any busy street and ask about the life history of the first person he sees there. He will get a wonderful idea to write a story.

    So our own life is also split into different small and big, sad and happy, successful and flop stories narrating what we have done and what we could not have done. So this is the simplest way to put interest in a blog.

    Thanks a lot for sharing yet another very informative post.
    Mi Muba recently posted..20 shocking confessions of a successful bloggerMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 3, 2014 at 10:42 am #

      Hi Mi Muba,

      Glad you enjoyed this post. Telling our story can be in so many different forms. It is something that pulls in our reader.

      We don’t have to write an autobiography he he…but rather, share how we overcame a problem and show our readers the how-to.

      I like what you mentioned about standing on a busy street an ask the first person he sees and ask about his life story. Wow…what great information one can get from that!

      That’s another great way to segway into a story: “I met a client that……” give the problem and the answer.

      Thanks for that tip!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  22. supreeth bharadwaj
    Twitter:
    December 3, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    sorry donna was too busy these days
    and got time to read this post for a moment and it was really worth reading it 🙂
    coming to the point blogging is based on writing on your own and not spamming anyway
    well when it comes to some bloggers who proclaim to be “pro” doesn’t even know how to write a own post just they stuff keywords and rank them :/
    this post really deserves a ten!
    thanks
    supreeth bharadwaj recently posted..WordPress Cache Plugins:top 10 plugins and how to use themMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      Hi Supreeth,

      He He He…I know how that is…I can never read a blog post stuffed with keywords.. Even when SEO was worth it lol!
      -Donna

  23. Amiti
    Twitter:
    December 4, 2014 at 2:53 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Excellent post. One of the cornerstones of business (maybe today more than ever) is being able to relate with users/consumers/readers and there is no better way than with a story. Using social media and paying for traffic won’t mean anything if a blogger has no ability to relate to his/her readers, because there are enough bloggers that do, leaving the story-less blogger as an outsider.
    Amiti recently posted..Afraid of Feedback from Readers?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 7, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

      Hi Amiti,

      You are so correct! We have to write to our readers. I find story telling one of the most effective ways to reach people sometimes. I don’t always do it…but when I do I get a great response!

      Thank you,

      -Donna

  24. Nisha Pandey
    Twitter:
    December 4, 2014 at 5:25 am #

    Hello Donna,

    Awesome post indeed. You pointed out the main thing here. Blogging can be done by everyone but, doing in a right way is the big concern for all.

    Very true, building a relationship and engagement with your readers should be prior steps in blogging rather than posting boring contents.

    I am totally agree with you that sharing a case study is really workable idea than sharing a story.

    I don’t have any story at my About us Page. I would like to add my story there soon.
    Thanks for sharing these ideas and correcting us here.
    Have an amazing day!

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

      Hi Nisha,

      Absolutely, anyone can blog, but we must do it the “right way” by giving good content and making relationships with our readers.

      I would love to see a story of your “about me” page so I can get to know you so much better!

      Thank you for stopping by,

      -Donna

  25. Mark
    Twitter:
    December 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Telling your story is definitely where it’s at Donna!

    There is no question that you have mastered the fine art of “effective story telling.” And it shows.

    I really love reading and studying your blog post and I’m starting to understand how and why weaving our personal stories, the good, the bad and the ugly into our blogs post, can and is so effective!

    What better way to really connect to with our target audience. The Internet is chalked full of bland stats and literally mounds of disconnected information.

    So anybody can Google whatever, but what can readily get is an interesting story line. So thanks for sharing how to make our information far more compelling and interesting!

    You do it so very well!

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      Glad you enjoyed this post. Telling a bit about ourselves and weaving it into a blog post will help us stand out in this giant crowd of bloggers.

      It doesn’t have to be a life story, but a bit here and there. “I remember when…..” Or especially when we goof up. We can make such a great story about that and how we found the answer to our problem.

      We all goof up and it helps our readers see us as real people with the same problems as they have.

      Thanks so much,

      -Donna

  26. Don Purdum
    Twitter:
    December 4, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    What a FANTASTIC article! I couldn’t agree with you more. I feel reading your posts that we are always on the same page!!!!

    Identifying with people and telling your story is one of the best ways to build competency and give people to trust you over your competition and those who want to compete on price when you don’t.

    I was chatting with a lady in the lobby at restaurant yesterday morning in Connecticut and we were talking about this very subject. She is a leadership consultant to large companies and they just don’t get it.

    They think they can just sell their products and write about themselves and people will love them for it.

    We both know that isn’t true!!!!

    What you are asking for is extremely hard. One thing I’ve learned is that generally people have to struggle and fail before they are willing to think about how they are interacting and engaging with their prospects and customers.

    Until that point they don’t think they really need to do the hard work in their business, and it is hard. But the benefit will last a decade or even a lifetime if it’s done right.

    I love this quote I pulled in your article: “People are most likely to follow you closely when they see themselves in you, and in your experiences.”

    So true.

    Donna, your article was powerful to me that I included it in my article today and in my video blog!!!

    I hope you’ve had a great week!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Hi Don,

      Great minds think alike lol. We are on the same page my friend. The main thing we do on our blogs and in marketing is to identify with people. Story telling is a nice way because they take a peek in our lives and see that we too have hit a brick wall. But…we write about the way we fixed it.

      I find it makes people more relaxed than just telling them all the how-to’s There is nothing wrong with that, but putting ourselves into our writing, helps them bond with us. It is sort of a psychological thing.

      Some people are out there to learn instruction. And yes, we do give that too in our blogs. But if they REALLY need instructional help, we can offer them our products/services.

      I like the story you shared with the woman in the restaurant. Yep…some people just don’t get it.

      Business in any form is hard work. It does take struggle and stamina. And indeed, people need to learn that.

      Thanks for adding flavor to this post.

      -Donna

  27. Lea Bullen
    Twitter:
    December 4, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You make some good points. Telling your story is a good way to get your readers to connect with you. And that’s how you build a relationship with them.

    At first I was apprehensive about sharing my stories in my work. I’m such a private person and typically don’t talk to much about myself. But I learned a lot from my experiences and I know my readers can too so I opened up.

    ~Lea

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      Hi Lea,

      I too am a pretty private person, but bit by bit I shared some stories and oh by did my readers love it.

      I do find that when I share, it is less intimidating for people. They see me as a real person that may screw things up, but can give a solution to what happened.

      I think I’m morphed into this process more and more because of the reaction of my readers.

      -Donna

  28. Carol Graham December 4, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    Perfect article. I agree 100% and although I knew ZIP about social media or blogging last year, I knew I had to tell my story on line in order to “sell” any books. I had just published my memoir. So I used common sense and started sharing laughs and tears and built up a following very quickly of people looking for inspiration. Book sales followed naturally without having to “sell” it at all. In fact my post last week was on how to ‘sell” and it it building trust and relationship, not pushing something down someone’s throat. So, thank you for the confirmation. I will share this post.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

      Hi Carol,

      So nice to see you here. Telling our story, especially when selling books is a must! How wonderful that you just published your memoir! Using your common sense and sharing tears and laughter will help others to share your up and downs.

      We all have ’em…Its called life! Sharing this is the best thing and I am so happy for you that sales followed you naturally. I strongly believe that once we put something out there, sales just normally follow…. unless you try to push it! he he he

      -Donna

  29. Cole Wiebe
    Twitter:
    December 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You’re right; so many websites are so busy trying to sell something, they forget about helping their audience. The message is essentially, “If you’re not buying today, hit the road.”

    One of the companies that got story telling right is Red Bull. They’ve done a pretty good job of telling their own story, and an exceptional job of telling their customers’ stories. Visitors check out the photos and captions on Instagram, for example, and say, “Hey, that’s me. I’ve got to tweet this to Joey.”

    Cole

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

      Hi Cole,

      Oh those websites that write to sell…they just don’t work and for the life of me I don’t know why they didn’t catch on by now!

      I like the Red Bull example you have given. It is all for the customers. As they do a great job telling their own story, what is more importing is telling their customers’! As visitors come in as see themselves…they blast it out to all their friends! Brilliant!

      -Donna

  30. Carol Amato
    Twitter:
    December 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Hey, Donna –

    Oh my, what a simple yet MUCH needed topic, awesome!

    You are spot on, my friend, very few actually do know how to blog the right way. I am so thankful that I had a knowledgeable mentor when I was first starting out. I chose a really good business model, and while I did make LOTS of mistakes along the way, I don’t have any regrets about the way I set up my business.

    You struck gold right there = “It just has to be real.” Love that advice because our story does have to be authentic as that’s the right way to portray things, and also people are going to see through anything else.

    Realistic is best, I couldn’t agree more! 🙂

    I’m tweaking my story on my membership page as it will be a continual work in progress as I track engagement with heat mapping.

    Developing our story-telling skill is a lot of fun, and we have leeway because it’s ours, but I definitely agree with you that it’s the most important thing starting out.

    Enjoyed your thought-provoking post, Donna, and hope you have an awesome weekend.

    – Carol

    • Carol Amato
      Twitter:
      December 5, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

      P.S. Can’t find your social media share buttons!?!

      • Donna Merrill
        Twitter:
        December 7, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

        Thanks Carol,

        I just lost them and my author box…working on it now. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 7, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

      Hi Carol,

      Well you are a lucky gal! You came in with a good mentor. Lots of us didn’t and went through a long time without a good marketing plan in place.

      As for story telling….I’m finding the more I do it…the more I throw in bits and pieces, I’m getting a better response. Not only on my blog, but most importantly in my advertising.

      Yes…we just have to be real. There will be some that will like us, and some that won’t. That is all part of the business. And if you know that, you just keep on rolling he he he.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post.

      -Donna

  31. Arleen
    Twitter:
    December 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Donna- I had to laugh when I read “People are most likely to follow you closely when they see themselves in you, and in your experiences.” Never thought about that one, but you are so right.

    I can’t say I don’t sell something because my blogs are about promotion of yourself and brand, I try to give examples with everyday analogies. I think most blogs people are selling something, although many of them that I go to I have no idea what they are selling and wished they were more forthcoming. Who knows maybe I could use their services.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

      Hi Arleen,

      It is true, people do follow you more closely when they see themselves in you and your experiences.

      Yes, most blogs are selling something. The wise way to be more forthcoming is to give that call to action at the bottom or on the author box to check out something that we are selling on our side bar.

      Sometimes it is a good idea to embed a sale in your post, as long as it is congruent with the content.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  32. Zach
    Twitter:
    December 5, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

    People don’t realize how much people love a good story. But storytelling is a multi-billion dollar industry. Just look at how much money people spend on movies and books—which are just two ways to get a story.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      Hi Zach,

      Storytelling is a multi-billion dollar industry when you look at it that way. People like to be entertained. If we can put a little of that into our blog posts, we do get a higher rate of comments.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Luck Is Not The Same As SuccessMy Profile

  33. Mustafa Gaziani
    Twitter:
    December 6, 2014 at 2:42 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Great tips. Many of new bloggers don’t realize the importance of telling a story about yourself. The ideas you’ve shared are really interesting. Yes, there are lot of bloggers who always put buy this or blah blah. Due to this they lost many of their loyal audience from their blog.

    I’m sure anyone who read this post before starting a blog even an old blogger too get lot of advantage and get more attention from their loyal readers.

    Thanks for sharing.
    -Mustafa

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 8, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      Hi Mustafa,

      Thanks so much for your input! Oh boy do I see so many bloggers that I call “buy me” bloggers that write only to pitch you to buy something.

      Nothing wrong with selling our stuff, but hey…let’s be nice about it lol.

      Yes, putting a bit about ourselves does make the reader more comfortable adding a comment.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Bloggers Gain AuthorityMy Profile

  34. Akaahan Terungwa
    Twitter:
    December 7, 2014 at 4:44 am #

    Hi Donna,

    You are so correct and on point. However, two things strike a chord with me and I’ll mention them:

    1. People come to your blog simply because of the value they derive, real or perceived.

    2. Your story as a blogger is your greatest leverage.

    Believe me, it was when I figured out this that things began to take off for me. As you suggested, I have got “another unique story” to tell. And believe me, it’s unique to me and can be told in a thousand different ways!

    Your blog posts are always instructive and value filled…and to be sincere, that’s what keeps me coming back for more!

    Do make the day great!

    Always,
    Terungwa

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 8, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      Hi Terungwa,

      I so appreciate you “coming back” to my blog for more! Indeed people come to our blogs to get value and our story is a great leverage point.

      So glad you have figured this out. Now I am anxious to hear your story that could be told in a thousand ways! If you did so, make it into a 2 or 3 part series….I’m sure we will all love it.

      Thanks again!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Bloggers Gain AuthorityMy Profile

  35. Lesly Fedeerici
    Twitter:
    December 7, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    Hey Donna,
    Here’s what I’m thinking more so about blogging and posting on social media. That your writing has to be like a story, not just a simple post. Stories have always communicated a moral, a lesson, something that people gained from it … and it seems to be more important than ever before … love what you’re doing 🙂

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

      Hi Lesly,

      You are spot on! Yes, our stories help us connect with others on our blogs and social media. But we must always communicate a lesson so people can gain some knowledge.

      Thanks for coming on by,

      -Donna

  36. Mary Austin
    Twitter:
    December 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    Hooray, I must be doing something right! I haven’t been blogging as long as yourself or most of your commenters*, but I agree that weaving one’s own story into a blog site is an essential part of letting people get to know, like and trust you.

    Since my blog posts tend to be “How To’s” and video demonstrations, I hope my personality comes though well enough. Video does help with that.

    I chuckled at your admonition that it is okay to show we aren’t perfect and may make mistakes as we grow and learn. When I first started making videos for my blog I would toss a video and start all over if I saw a mistake. I have certainly had an attitude change. A few days ago I was showing a helpful gadget for use with laptop computers in one of my videos. During the editing process I realized that I never named the gadget I was showing. So I just added a text “call-out” bubble with the name of the gizmo. There will be no doubt to the viewer that I was correcting my mistake, but I’m okay with that now.

    The points you make in this post have helped me and I am sure they will help others. Thanks.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 8, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      Hi Mary,

      I just seen that video you made and it was great! You do a video and you are yourself and that’s what makes you wonderful.

      The video you had made and didn’t mention the gadget was corrected when it popped up! I learned so much from that.

      I do tend to learn more from videos than the written word. You always put yourself in your blog and that is what makes it so interesting. You also have a great personality that shines through.

      Yes, I do believe that videos in our blogs have a great effect on the know/like and trust factor because people are seeing us through our voice, our image, body language and so on.

      Kudos to you my friend!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Bloggers Gain AuthorityMy Profile

  37. William Amis
    Twitter:
    December 8, 2014 at 2:00 am #

    Donna, wonderful!

    Yes, telling your unique story in a way that is interesting, honest and full of life. Giving readers excitement and usable information. Being yourself by allowing your words to give your perception on the topics which will enhance people’s lives.

    Thank you Donna for all the support you give to all of us.
    William Amis recently posted..A Willingness To ChangeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

      Hi William,

      So glad you liked this message of giving a bit of ourselves to our readers. It does enhance others to that know like and trust that we all need to convey.

      Good seeing you here!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Bloggers Gain AuthorityMy Profile

  38. Willena Flewelling
    Twitter:
    December 8, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    Well said, Donna! A blog is just another voice among thousands, unless I have a reason to listen. People really do connect with others they know, like and trust. That will happen a lot quicker when we know a blogger’s story. It won’t happen at all if there is nothing personal to make the blogger real and human to us.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 9, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Hi Willena,

      You are so correct Willena! Your blog especially has so much of YOU in it…your stories, your passions and things you have overcame.

      When I visit you there is always something that is enlightening for me.

      Thanks so much,

      -Donna

  39. Christine Adindu
    Twitter:
    December 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    Thank you Donna for sharing great information about blogging. It is truly about telling your own story in any area you want and how to apply it to everyday life for yourself and your readers. I get asked by some friends “what do you blog about?” My reply anything you wish to share with the world. “Hello world” blah blah…. WP gives us that first word…. In some cases some people are a little reserved in what they share with the world. I would say share what you are comfortable sharing. Some culture will not air their dirty laundry on their blog for example. That is just those culture. But whatever fits do it. Keep it interesting and fun and make the reader come back for more, however you have to do it do it.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 13, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

      Hi Christine,

      There are so many ways to show our story. If one does not want to reveal too much we can always share an experience we had with business. How we struggled through, how we made a mistake and fixed it, etc.

      It gives a little flair and personalization to our blogs.

      -Donna

  40. Mitch Mitchell
    Twitter:
    December 11, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    Actually, for me it doesn’t seem to be the posts as much as the popups and popunders and all that nonsense that gets in the way of my being able to read a post in the first place. As much as I hate it, there are those “genius” bloggers who tell everyone that as much as people hate it they end up getting more subscribers to the newsletter and that those folks are the true buyers and the only ones a blogger should care about.

    Sigh… I don’t capture email addresses (though if people sign up for the feed they do end up on a Feedburner list that I almost never look at) off my blog, but I did write two newsletters for 10 years and captured emails there. I learned that most people signed up for the free content, no one ever bought, and probably most of the people who signed up never read more than a newsletter or two. Sure, I understand the marketing that says the more emails you accumulate the more sales you might make, but I always wonder if that’s worth the people you might lose who decide they don’t want to read your content because of all the interruptions.

    Yeah, guess I’m a little passionate about this one. lol
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Why List Posts Work So Well On BlogsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

      Hi Mitch

      I too am passionate about it. When I go to a blog, I want to read it. I don’t want pop ups and all those distractions of blinking things. I know that people “say” it works, but somehow I doubt it.

      Plus, when I offer something free…that list is separate because those that sign in probably won’t to buy anything.

      When I want to market something, I use paid ads. As far as my blog, if there is a something new I produced, I’ll talk about it, in bed a link to the post or give a CTA if it is on the sidebar.

      I find that if people opt into something they pay for they do become better customers in my sales funnel.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How Bloggers Gain AuthorityMy Profile

  41. Joy Healey
    Twitter:
    December 15, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    Hi Donna

    Great post thanks.

    When I started blogging I didn’t like to share anything about myself, or comment, because I didn’t feel I had been as successful as all those other bloggers out there who were OBVIOUSLY making tons of money, and I was the only one who wasn’t!

    Then I found some bloggers who were honest about how hard it is, and were willing to share experiences and offer help.

    That was such a relief and gave me the confidence to carry on, because THEY had found it difficult too, and there was a path to tread – rather than some magical formula that kept eluding me time after time.

    So as time has gone on I’ve learned a lot and find now that I can answer some people’s questions and offer helpful (I hope!) suggestions too. Not the technical CSS type stuff – but that’s not my interest, so I’m happy to leave that to those who enjoy and are good at that sort of stuff. I would have loved to have been a writer, so this is my chance to fulfill that ambition.

    Since starting to share my experiences – failures as well as successes – I’ve started to enjoy blogging far more, and I’ve abandoned the time-sucking blogs where I was writing well-researched posts that took me ages, but I just didn’t enjoy doing it.

    Better go check out my About Page now 🙂

    Enjoy the rest of your week, Joy
    Joy Healey recently posted..Case Study – Blog Success StoryMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 15, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

      Hi Joy,

      Thanks so much for sharing. You have given so much light to this post. This is how so many people feel at first…intimidated. But we all have something to bring to the table and share.

      There is always someone out there that knows less and finds the content helpful.

      Sharing our experiences of failures as well as successes really can help others resonate with what we ourselves are going through, ergo…they feel less intimidated to comment.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Blogging In 2015My Profile

  42. olili Bob
    Twitter:
    December 19, 2014 at 3:33 am #

    Hi Donna,
    When I saw the topic of this post, i started smiling because of it’s similarity with my blog url. I must say i agree with all what you have mentioned here though my favorite quote in the whole write up is “Tell it in different ways, at different times, in a wide variety of contexts… but never stop telling it.”. I have never really told my story well but after reading this i am going to put into practice all you mentioned and rewrite as well as help let my readers connect with me better,

    Thanks for sharing.
    ~Regards

    Bob
    olili Bob recently posted..WordPress 4.1 just arrived with Distraction-Free writing mode, a new theme and moreMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 20, 2014 at 10:39 am #

      Hi and thanks for stopping by

      Yes, telling our story helps us connect with others. We don’t have to pour our hearts out, but tell bits and pieces and relate it to the context of our blog post.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Blogging In 2015My Profile

  43. Kathryn Maclean
    Twitter:
    December 28, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    Donna I had no idea that you were so popular as I hadn’t seen this blog of yours before, I don’t think. I have seen other sites of yours in the challenge.
    I will book mark it and return I took what you said about writing my own story and re-doing my about page seems a very good idea. Thanks for all the help on your site.

  44. Donna Merrill
    Twitter:
    December 28, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    Hi Kathryn,

    Welcome to my blog! I am so happy you liked this article and found it useful.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Taking Time OutMy Profile

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