Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Who The Hell Are You?

Scrolling through my Google reader there are certain blogs that stand out to me not because of their voice, but because of their lack of one. In a sea of different personalities, the inherent lack of one stands out like Snooki at Harvard. Day after day I scroll through the blog posts of these particular bloggers and I see not an ounce of them. I see memes like Waiting on Wednesday or Teaser Tuesday or whatever formulaic post is out there for people to join in. Or tons of author guest spots or cover reveals but a hint of the actual blogger? Not so much.

When I see these bloggers and their personality-less posts, I can't help but asking, "who the hell are you?" And I don't mean that in a who the hell do you think you are sort of way. Just a general, who are you? I can't even take a random guess at your personality because you barely say two words for yourself in your own blog. And I can't help but ask a follow-up question, why bother?

If I wanted straight up author interviews or book recommendations, I'd go to the likes of YouTube or look only at star ratings on Amazon. Why should I bother with someone that only regurgitates the words of others, just in a different corner of the internet?

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't visit your blog because I want to see what review you post next or what you're waiting on this Wednesday. I go there because I like YOU. I like what YOU have to say. I like the quirky way YOU say things. I like YOUR comments. If you don't offer any of that to your readers, what incentive are you giving them to keep coming back? Because really, how many other places can you find those memes or giveaways or author interviews?

So yeah, it really bothers me when I see some bloggers where one of out ten posts (and that's being generous) shows a hint of who the blogger actually is. Other than that, their contributions to their own blogs totals the post title, if that. Again I ask, what the hell is the point?

The point of having a blog is to get YOURSELF out there. Sure, you're reviewing books and helping to promote them but its YOUR voice that'll draw others in to actually take a second to read that review. If we all sounded like Ben Stein would any of us get hits? Making your blog unique to you is essential in blogging, and I'm not just talking about the types of posts you do. Like in writing, voice is pivotal.

Be you. Don't hide behind other people's words because, quite frankly, it makes you a bore. I don't go to your blog to constantly read someone else's writing. And if you're not going to provide the product that you're selling, YOU, then I'm going to go somewhere else that is actually compelling. You can post eleven billion times a day. I don't care. If I can't figure out who the hell you are from your last 10 blog posts, chances are I won't be able to figure it out within the next 10 either. So why should I stick around?

So I guess the lesson is to let your voice come through on your blog. Sure, take up some memes or create your own feature but make sure you are prominently displayed on your own blog. The books and/or authors don't sell themselves. YOU have to do it. And if I can't tell you from the jerk that just cut me off driving, why the hell should I take your recommendation for anything? You have proven nothing to me. I can't tell what books you like or don't, I can't tell how you feel about anything. If I can't figure any of that out, why should I listen to you in the first place?

I ask again . . . who the hell are you?

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