My Blogging Advice To Connect With Your Readers

by Jeremy Schoemaker on November 13, 2007 · 72 comments

First of all if you are reading this site for blogging advice you are at the wrong place. problogger is hands down THE blogger and has the best advice and reads.

Ok so coming off of Blogworld still feeling the BloggerBUZZ. I guess now I am a blogger? Ya OK I can admit it. So here is my blogging advice to connect with readers.

Don’t try to be something you are not

If you want people to take you seriously just be yourself. I see many people trying to be something they are not and… well its just annoying. Maybe its just me that is turned off by it? I dunno I guess it works for some people. For me it doesn’t work because I am always at conferences hanging with people. I am not a speaker who comes just before he speaks and leaves right after. If I am not doing a interview or meeting I am always in the expo hall hanging out meeting people and companies.

Celebrate your weaknesses

If you really want to relate to people then celebrate your weaknesses with them along with your successes. I have big adsense checks and stuff on this site but the thing I get the most email and comments about at conferences is about how I used to be fat. I have also been able to council a lot of people about the procedures and what its like before and after. Other weaknesses I have written about is the numerous times I have been fired, My top 10 worst ideas to make money online (new update coming) and even recently I talked about how I got stuck in the womens room rest room before I had to speak at blogworld. I guess my point is you need to show your readers that you are just a regular person with successes and failures.

Learn to take criticism

One of the first things you will realize as your blog becomes more successful is that everyone will not agree with you all the time. I love this because guess what? It means people have a brain and are forming there own opinions and not just blindly agreeing with anything I say. I REALLY enjoy debating probably one of my favorite radio shows I ever did was when I debated Rand Fishkin about disclosure. Personally I like rand a lot. Business wise we are on seperate sides of the fence on many issues. We still respect each other and send each other business.

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.


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{ 60 comments }

1 John Motson

Well said Shoeman,

Blogging honestly is a lot easier too, you dont have to bother about remembering all the lies you told before… nor do you have to make up new lies.

Honest and hardwork = SUCCESS

2 Zack Wenthe

This is great advice… I’ve been meaning to get my blog up and running for a long time, and finally have been building the site. This advice rings true as I make my plans for my blog.

PS… I’ve from the Quad Cities… not that it matters… but I think that makes me special :)

3 Iantrepreneur

that si true you need to be yourself than what you want others to perceive you as. if your writing sucsk ehh o well its you, your layout is horrible but content is there ehh its ok, its you

being you for a blog and your blog determines how you connect to your readers – this is important for networking because if you actually meet up and show off a different persona then the netwokring or group hugs are not there no more

nice post

4 motorsportBABESau

Celebrating your weaknesses is definately an attention grabber on the internet. People are keen to find out others overcome such things while not “outing” themselves. Hence the internet is there best option. Its certainly easier than visiting your local Jenny Craig!

5 jim

I’m still waiting to see that paintball gas pump… c’mon, it’s a money idea.

6 Phillip

Yes, I am always in the struggle of
1) being professional and not letting people know who I am
2) getting really involved and blogging about my life now and then

I still don’t know but I think option 2 is better.

7 Link Snitch

I have to second that – I keep envisioning this in my head.

:)

8 RobG

My brother used to be called “Headshot” and it wasn’t because he shot people. So yes I would enjoy this idea.

9 great008

very good advice shoeman!

10 JoeTech.com

I had an idea for a variation of the idea that requires no city ordinances to be broken, but is a little more “hands on”. Set up water guns all over your house, arranged so that they will not ruin anything critical. The setup should allow each to be shot a maximum of once per minute or so. Then charge people per shot, or if they meet some sort of affiliate criteria (sign up for Blockbuster online), they get X shots. Allow them to give a shot to a friend with some kind of coupon code. Affiliate program, press release, etc. I’m sure you could make that work.

11 JoeTech.com

Of course, right after I submitted my comment, I thought of the last detail. Instead of your house, this setup should be at your new Saint Mary’s restaurant in L.A., Vegas, NY, whatever. I think combining the two might be the real ticket.

12 Common Sense

As of the moment, I’m blogging fairly anonymously as far as personal details go. I do let my views be known though on the various news articles I post. I still find myself tip-toeing along the lines of being serious and being myself. Must go with the type of site I’m currently running. Once I start my second site, then the real “me” will come out. hahaha

13 Domtan

Well said Jeremy. Eagerly awaiting the new update on the “worst money making ideas.”

14 John M Weaver

Great advice. Most people are not very accepting of the critics of their blogs. The biggest thing I agree with is “don’t be something you’re not.” That is the best rule to live by when building or managing your own web site.

Also way to give props to Problogger. Darren Rowse is a damn good blog specialist!

15 John M Weaver

Phillip – You have to let people know who you are! People want a face and and experience to relate to. That is why many people come back. I personally love the Shoe is just a regular guy that shares the kick ass experiences he has on his blog. Be open!

16 Martin Jones

Excellent advice both here and at Blog World. Great point, “just be yourself”.

So many times you meet someone in person and they’re nothing like the “persona” they’ve created online. Jeremy is exactly what you would expect and more, even taking the time to come out of the show to meet, talk and take pictures with my 12 year-old son. (He’s still bragging to all of his friends about meeting “Shoemoney”)

Thanks again! You deserve every bit of the success you’ve found.

BTW, we”re taking your advice and hope to say hello at “Pubcon”.

All the best.

17 Hustle Strategy

I thought “fake it til you make it” was the motto? when did that change?

18 Phamen

Thanks for your advice. Really helpful. That’s why I’m your fan.

19 King Jacob

I have the same struggle cause you cant be distant but you also dont want to be like certain bloggers that tell you everything.

20 King Jacob

It makes you special but only too people from the quad cities;)

21 ShoeMoney

ya i knew some people would be confused on that… there are a lot of times fake it till you make it works really well. I just do not think it applies to connecting with your readers (which is the title and context of the post)

22 SonicReducer

I need to start doing this. I have never really blogged about failures and it did take many to get where I am today.

23 bmunch

“Just be yourself” – a new tagline for ShoeMoney?

I think this takes time to develop. You have to be confident in your own web presense before you can be yourself . As everyone knows, everything you write is broadcast across the web, so sometimes a bit of tack will serves you better.

24 Mike Huang

Another great post here at Shoemoney. WAY TO GO!! =)

The main point I like is “LEARN TO TAKE CRITICISM”. There are always people out there that criticize good work, so learning to ignore it is the key.

-Mike

25 Ezekiel

Thanks for the eye opener!

26 jozzua

Yeah honesty still pretty much works. I’m quite disappointed at how some blogs used to post really great stuff but became too commercial – along with it came the loss of that ‘personal touch.’ It’s ok not be always in your A game.

27 lyricsreg

“Learn to take criticism” is the best one

28 SEO Vibe

Great stuff Jeremy, especially the part about respecting someone you don’t see eye to eye with enough to send them business. Business is business!

29 Blog Contests

Weaknesses and criticism…. great points!

30 SpinDigg

Hey stop giving mixed advice. Not so long ago a guest on Shoemoney posted about Fake it Till you Make it. Now what do I do? :-)

31 Mubin

I agree with you all the time… What you have said is exactly what I was just about to say :)

32 Shawn Farner

Dead on. Readers seem to like when you highlight your weaknesses. I wrote one of my first posts on my new blog about how I ruined my old one.

33 ShuMoney

>> you are at the wrong place.

I dont think so, i believe you do a pretty good job at that. Blogging about it is not necessary, people can read and learn

34 Girish a.k.a KiHack

You stole the words right out of my mouth hehe.
Some people don’t take constructive criticism in the right spirit and that is a massive drawback.

35 vexx

blogging is not about rules in my opinion, every person that blogs(a blogger) needs to be himself,to have his own ideas and approaches. The most important factor in blogging is to be sincere and fair about what you do,what you write etc

36 Ahmad Uzair

Yep, learning from the failures are better. It’s important to be yourself since blogging, is about sharing ideas and opinion. Your own view that what make you be unique than others.

37 Derek

Waitresses in little white shoemoney tees, to get your server to your table you signal them by shooting them with the water pistols. Faster service and a constant wet tshirt contest.

38 Jason Green

Posting about your weaknesses is a great one.

It gives your audience that connection where they see you as a real person that they can relate to – either that or they feel better being able to laugh at you!

39 Gecko Tales

Good points about failure making you real. Almost everyone that is successful failed far more than they succeeded. It is just that they kept at it. Showing failure and learning from failure is what makes a leader in an industry or area.

40 Hustle Strategy

If I post on my blog and no one is there to read it, did I really post? You have to have readers to connect to. Kinda the whole chicken and egg thing. Maybe posting personal things is the way to grab them. I am not sure. Either way the two strategies can be intertwined, that is what I was trying to add to the post.

I could post about how my dog died on my blog to connect to readers(even though I have no dog, hence faking it). If I had gotten bitten by a shark as a kid I would of course post that. I was just noting that there is more than one way to connect to the reader.

Sure having a fake connection can hurt your readership, but it could also add to your readership. Oprah’s bookclub had a great example of this a year or so ago with James Frey. Not everyone is interesting, like you or TuckerMax, some people might need to fake it. There are many ways to look at this.

I do not have as much experience in blogging as others but I assume it is like any other social interaction. You could get a prostitute, random encounter or be with a long term partner. In either case you are “connecting,” it just depends on how you want to connect.

Either way I was just trying to add to the post. My next blog post will encompass a majority of your past ten pieces of advice ;)

41 Hustle Strategy

I need to learn how to format on this comment thing… looked good in the text box…

42 Bloggeries

Great points shoemoney and don’t sell yourself short; you give great advice as well!

43 Letters To Businesses

This is so cool. My ad is running on shoemoney tomorrow for free. no way!

44 Krista Neher

Great Post. It is so important to be yourself and be GENUINE and PASSIONATE about what you are involved in. I was at BWE talking about a company I work on, and I bet that our small team of 3 people (myself, our CEO and our Blogger Evangelist), with no booth created more excitement than the booth babes, SWAG and contests that exhibitors spend thousands of dollars on. Being real is worth more than

I also agree with talking about your failures (as long as you learn from them and don’t repeat them over and over and over again). I just read your post about your worst ideas and I LOVED IT. Its good to know that behind every successful idea there are a number of bad ones…..

45 Affiliate Unleashed

Very Very Great Advice.

46 賃貸 大阪

I have been thinking about what Jakob Nielsen said recently that we should not write blog posts but write articles. I think most of the SEM community is usually repeating what others have said. Shoemoney, SEO Book and SEO Black Hat usually come up with something new then there is a lot of commentary about what they said.

47 賃貸 大阪

I was thinking about that the other day, especially if you could fire back when you are filling up. I would definitely try it.

48 Jason Burns

One thing that I want to add to this topic, it’s also to do the due diligence to figure out who your readers are. You may be writing articles and blogging away with one intent, but are being indexed and searched on not very well related topics. It’s in your best interest to at least study SEO enough to make sure that you are writing in a way that will attract the readers that you want so you are more relevant and available to them. Don’t write an article and consider it dead, watch it, see how it’s attracting readers and don’t feel like you shouldn’t update and modify your writing to make sure it’s being found by it’s audience.

49 Girish a.k.a KiHack

Nice advice there.
I am definitely gonna use some of it.

50 SEO Vibe

You just gave me an article idea about celebrating other bloggers weaknesses. Thats not what your article is about I know but hey :)

51 Mike Mothner

Just one more comment appreciating the advice provided in this article. All too many bloggers try to present themselves in the best light possible thinking that this will bring people to their site. In reality, however, making yourself as human as possible allows readers to relate to what you’re saying more and most likely, they’ll be coming back for more!

52 Neon

nice advice. by talking about weakness, somehow you are building a kind of trust through some sort of honesty and makes people want to comment about it.

53 CompuWorld

another great example of LINK BAITING :)

new bloggers should be learning from this. If we link to bloggers (with full honesty..as this article indirectly indicates) than we are bound to get a link back.

Who knows if this later turns into link baiting!!

good work shoemoney!

54 KellyDuMar

You made me laugh! That’s something perhaps that we don’t do enough on blogs.
Thanks!

55 Joeychgo

Your right – we dont laugh enough on blogs

56 Prince John

Hi dude,
I have been a regular visitor here, but have never left a comment (I believe).

I didn’t know you are such a down to earth blogger. Your snaps with that fancy adsense check and the one with Britney – all might have been a bit too much.

Being that down to earth guy, has its own benefits. I agree.

57 Rich Sage

This list seems to all to short for an active ‘down to earth guy’ — When is the SHOE EXPOSE coming out?

58 Syd

Some good tips here. It is important to acknowledge our weaknesses and not to try and pretend to be somebody we are not.

The lies will come out anyway sooner or later. And we will lose the respect of our blog readers. Thanks for pointing this out.

59 Utah SEO

I think taking criticism is the hardest thing to adapt to. Everyone pours their heart and soul into their Website, content development, strategic planning, and marketing. It practically becomes a part of you, and when someone shoots part of you down your gut instinct is to react in a negative manner. It’s always good to sleep on it then respond the next day. I think Rand and Rebecca, of SEOmoz, are pretty professional in handling their criticism.

60 Tony Smith

Readers are fickle….but mandatory….

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