Have you ever been to a high school party? You would notice that the very popular people are in the dance floor, cutting up the rug, having a good time. You can also see the party animals near the refreshment tables, telling jokes, making people laugh, and having a great time. The average high school student is probably in small circles, talking to their friends, and trying to have a good time.
However, there is always the minority of high school students who are on the margins, on the borders of the party, and they are basically alone. They are just looking at the party, enjoying their drink, with a weird look on their face. In many cases, they have a blank expression. These are the wallflowers. Thankfully, most of these wallflowers are only social outcasts or social lepers in high school. Many of them crawl out of their shell in college. Many of them establish normal social skills once they go through college. Many even join fraternities and sororities. Others develop those skills further when they go on to medical school, law school, and other types of professional schools.
You have to understand that in the blogging world, there are wallflowers as well. Of course, the owners of these blogs don’t intend their blogs to be wallflowers. In their minds, they are grooming their blogs to be the life of the party. They want their blogs to become the shot callers and centers of attention of their particular niche.
Unfortunately, just like with many other things in life, the things that we intend often don’t match with the results that we get. The things that we say often don’t match with the way we actually behave. This is why in many cases, the results that we get don’t match our expectations.
If you are getting less than stellar results from your blog and you are not making the dollars that you thought you would be making, maybe it’s because you’re blogging like a wallflower. You might think that you’re blogging like a jock or a homecoming king, but in reality, your blog’s content, interaction level and outreach reminds people of a typical high school wallflower. Here are the reasons why your blog is like a wallflower. I am also going to outline below how you can break out and get better results.
Being Afraid to Offend can Doom Your Blog to Obscurity
One of the biggest reasons why certain blogs function like wallflowers is because they are afraid to offend. They are so scared of stepping on the wrong toes. They are so sensitive as to the feelings of the people reading their blog, that their blog is essentially generic and boring.
Even if you are covering an otherwise exciting topic, if you are so afraid of stepping on people’s toes and offending their sensitivities, you are basically forcing yourself to blog in a very bland, dull, or even lifeless way. This is hardly a recipe for blogging success.
Use People’s Sensitivity against Them
One key solution to breaking out of your wallflower status is to use people’s sensitivity against them. The reality is that the world is hard. There are a lot of harsh words being thrown around all over the internet. You are bound to get offended. That’s just the way life is. Get over it. Make peace with it.
In fact, you can turn this reality to your advantage. You can leverage people’s sensitivity against them. Why? When you offend, you get people to come back to your blog. When people feel offended, they tell other people on their social network. This unwittingly drums up traffic to your blog.
Don’t Argue for Argument’s Sake: Foster Conversations Instead
There are many different ways you can use people’s sensitivities against them. The wrong way is to basically be a troll. In other words, you are just blogging to get a rise out of people. You blog to offend; you blog to get attention. You are basically being an attention whore.
The problem with this strategy is that it is a scorched earth strategy. In other words, you focus so much on driving traffic that you don’t really build the quality of your website. You focus so much on getting attention that you don’t really build the intrinsic value of your website.
The reality is that fostering real conversations between your audience members and your content lays a better foundation for a long-lasting relationship than simply getting people excited. You have to understand that getting people excited can last only for so long. Eventually, people will burn out. They will get tired or drama, and move on.
Blog Engagement Doesn’t Have to be Boring
Another reason why people let their blogs turn into wallflowers is because they think that they are already engaging their audience members. What is the extent of this engagement? They basically say, “If you have a comment, leave a comment below.î
That is not engagement. I don’t know what that is, but is not engagement. Engagement is all about positioning ideas against ideas, emotion against emotion. It’s all about getting under the skin of your reader and getting that reader to engage in the conversation regarding your content.
Emphasize Your Blog’s Specific Personality
This is probably the main reason why blogs fail to break out of their wallflower status. Bloggers of these wallflower blogs don’t understand that each blog has a personality. They don’t understand that each blog’s selection of content, the presentation of that content, the wording of that content, as well as the graphical elements of a blog form the personality of that blog.
If you don’t want your blog to be a wallflower, you have to develop your own blog personality and run with it. Sure, you are going to offend quite a number of people, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are going to put your mark on the blogosphere by being your own person, by developing your own blog personality.
Put it this way: if you are so scared of sticking out and looking so different from the rest of the blogs in your niche, your blog is never going to break out. Why? There is really no incentive for your target audience members to visit your blog when other blogs have the same generic personality. Why should they go to your blog when they can experience the same personality elsewhere?
Know Where the Limit is, and Get there Without Going Over
One of the biggest dangers of blogging in such a way as to break out of the wallflower trap is to go overboard. It’s too tempting to just develop a troll blog. Why? The traffic is addictive. If you notice that one of your blog posts gets a huge number of hits, you are tempted to take it to the next level and just turn up the heat in terms of emotions, in terms of subject treatment. Eventually, it may even reach the perverse level of you essentially insulting people.
The problem with this approach is that there is a certain point where a blog is no longer credible. If members of your niche notice that your blog has basically turned into an insult or offense blog, you will probably lose a huge chunk of your traffic. In many cases, this is not a problem. You can always rebuild that, because drama levels come and go.
The bigger problem is the credibility that you lose. You have to remember, your biggest asset online is your brand credibility. If your blog has basically become perverted into some sort of insult or troll blog, people really have no incentive to come back. So, you have to know where the limit is, and don’t go past that limit.