October 28, 2014
It’s no secret that people are going to like things that seem more human and less robotic. Obviously. However, making a blog seem more “human” can be a difficult task (especially if you’re an ecommerce company). It sounds funny that making something “human” would be hard for, well you know, but the truth is that transferring that feeling onto a blog takes a lot of work.
First, you have to define what “humanizing” even means, and second you have to figure out a strategy to get your content to have that type of feel for your readers. If you’ve tried everything—researched a great topic, shared your blog to the right audiences, tried different types of content, etc.—it might be time to focus on the tone of your blog and giving it that connectable or “human” touch.
Humanizing your blog means making readers aware that there are actual people behind the blog. The same can go for humanizing your brand in general. It can be incredibly tough for someone to trust a company, particularly if the company comes off as just that—a company, or place where they just go to get something that they need. Humanizing a blog means making your blog remind readers that there are people working behind the scenes that he/she can trust. It’s about creating those relationships through your content.
Below are a few tips for humanizing your blog:
This is probably the most obvious point and the one that people think of when they think “human.” Of course, the real trick is making it happen through a blog. If you have a blog that naturally appeals to emotions, such as one about life or that talks in the first person, you may already have this one down pat. It’s the ecommerce and small company blogs that really have their work cut out for them. If you sell fishing equipment or you offer SEO services, how are you going to appeal to people’s emotions through a blog?
There are a few different ways. First, understand that appealing to emotions doesn’t mean you have to make someone laugh or cry. Showing your passion for your product or service and coming across genuine is a way to appeal to the emotions of a reader. A few options:
Once again, appealing to the emotions of your readers means being transparent. Don’t worry about spending a lot of money on a campaign that will pull someone’s heartstrings. Your blog can do the work for you if you have creative writers.
One of the most boring things you can do for your blog is keep it the same day in and day out. This isn’t how people operate. Readers like to see something creative, and the element of surprise is a great way to get there. You can do this by keeping your types of content changing, offering more engaging posts such as polls or surveys, or even holding contests.
One of my favorites, however, is actually taking the time to directly speak with readers. For example, let’s say someone purchased something and then you sent them an email asking them how they liked the product. That is a nice gesture, but it’s not surprising. Now, if you were to send a similar email say, two months later, that would come as a surprise and would stick out in someone’s mind.
So this isn’t exactly your blog, but it’s content on your website that is very important, so close enough. Too many About pages simply have information about the company. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce your team members and founder. However, don’t be vague with nothing more than one sentence. Use graphics, talk about their accomplishments, and get information from that person specifically. In other words, have everyone on your team be a part of creating a great About Us page.
Search Engine Journal actually has an entire article with About Us page examples, which you can find here. Below is an example of my favorite from graphic designer Andrew Reifman because it’s simply, it breaks up the copy so it’s easy to read, and it’s an actual picture of him and not a cartoon:
Believe it or not, having a brand voice is a great way to humanize your blog. Even if your voice isn’t necessarily talking as if it were a conversation (maybe that doesn’t work for your company), it’s really the consistency that brings about that feeling of trust. Learn more about creating and maintaining a brand voice here.
This not only means responding to comments, but actually taking the time to see what is being said on social media, which articles are getting the most page views, or what your audience might be saying to you directly. If someone asks a question, go out of your way to reach out to that individual person and talk with them (generally, I do this by connecting with them on LinkedIn). Going the extra mile shows that your company is human.
Of course, if you haven’t established any type of humanization for your blog then people probably won’t respond this way, so this is probably going to be your last step. In other words, this is the way to keep your blog human and further establish that type of tone as your blog continues to grow.
Your Turn: Of course, there are many other ways to humanize your brand and create those relationships (or at least the feeling that you want a relationship), but it all depends on your business and your audience. Let us know what has worked for you, either as a blog owner or as a reader, in the comment section below.
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