As for my next magic trick, I have to choose a blogging persona. I wish it were that easy. But what I understand is that a blogging persona helps improves our writting voice by focusing the perspective from which we communicate. Identifying the right voice should help us consistently speak with more authenticity. And if done correctly, this should reduce the confusion readers experience as they try to understanding the writer (me) and the message.
I was avoiding this decision, but after writing just a few posts it’s easy to see the benefit of choosing a blogging persona ASAP. Otherwise, I’ll start posting random stuff. I don’t have a core subject or niche yet, so the tempation to write about all the ideas in my head is a like rainy cloud that won’t go away.
My free time to work on the blog is limited to about 30 minutes a day a few times per week in the morning (or when the kids fall asleep at night). To learn about personas I referred to one post from Michael Hyatt and one from John Saddington that describe blogging personas in detail.
These are some of the personas that stand out to me:
- Educational: They blog to educate and write a lot of “How-To” articles.
- Reviewer: Focus on reviews of products, books, gadgets, etc):
- Thought/Subject Leader: Experts in a particular field (e.g. Seth Godin with marketing)
- Hobbist: Blogging is just a hobby so there’s no pressure on them.
- Personal Blogger: This is basically a catch-all for many different types of bloggers. Some focus on a topic and some don’t.
- Professional blogger: These are folks who make a living from blogging.
- “The Struggler”: Someone reporting on their personal journey.
From these options, I’m most interested in some combination of Educational, Thought Leader, Personal and the Struggler. Narrowing my choices even more, the two most relatable or applicable to me are the
- Personal Bloggers
- The Strugglers
John Saddington’s description of the Personal Blogger:
“the largest group in the blogosphere (the world of blogs) and the topics of interest can be as varied as you can imagine. Oftentimes these blogs can look like online diaries or simply commentary on life. These blogs can also, at times, become community centers as a consistent number of readers come back to read the published posts. Posts are a reflection of the writer and the motivation for blogging can varied as well.
Michael Hyatt’s description of The Struggler:
This is the person who is the fellow traveler. She hasn’t arrived; she is in process. She reports on her adventures—and misadventures. She takes you along on her journey. She speaks with the voice of transparency.I’m sure there are many others. But these are the ones I recognize.
To continue narrowing my options I invented my own persona category:
I call it (drum roll please) The Grasshopper. 🙂 (Remember the Kung-fu movie where the Master asks his student–the grasshopper–to snatch the pebble from his hand? Only after snatching the pebble will the student become the master.)
Here’s my definition:
The Grasshoper: These are beginners on a particular journey who share the ups-and-downs of their story with a voice of authenticity. During this process of exploration the Grasshoper gains more self-development, self-leadership, and self-awareness. Along the way, he hopes to inspire and connect with others on a similar journey.
I thought this was just an exercise to choose a blogging persona, but it’s much depper. This is exciting. It feels as if I’m ACTIVELY choosing the type of person I want to become in the future. Isn’t that what we all want?