|If you get really creative about it, failure and frustration can be the most engaging part of your blog. Don’t be scared to be human.|
On a discussion list, a colleague recently asked for opinions about whether it’s a good idea to sometimes blog about the sucky stuff: Obstacles, frustrations, disappointments, setbacks, etc. Several people on this list responded to say that they only preferred to write — and read — about “successes.”
I can understand the general reluctance to blog about problems: Fear of being vulnerable, or of looking dumb or unprofessional (which is just another kind of vulnerability). It can be difficult to realize that sometimes vulnerability can be your greatest strength — especially in blogging.
Here’s my reply to that thread where I explain why blogging your problems can and probably should be a key part of your blogging strategy…
I think it’s possible to blog constructively about issues like making difficult decisions, making mistakes, facing frustrations and obstacles, etc. To me, blogs that are strictly about successes seem a bit like news from North Korea — “No problems here, everything’s fine!” They simply aren’t credible, when viewed over time.
This is especially crucial in blogs, where readers tend to develop more of an ongoing personal and interactive relationship with the writer.
That said, whining turns most people off. So rather than whine about setbacks or difficulties, use them as an opportunity to engage your community in helping you find solutions. Open yourself up to their ideas. Be willing to be influenced by them — don’t just be “on send” all the time.
Done well, this can be the most effective part of any blogging strategy.
…This fits into my more general philosophy of making your blog part of your process, not just a product. If your goal is to engage people through your blog, posts about process enhance both transparency and authenticity. they also give people more motivation to not just read your blog, but engage with it via comments or inbound link.
I’ve said it many times before, but this medium works best when you treat it as a conversation, not just a publication.
Anyway, that’s my take. What do you think? Please comment below.