If I could sum up last week’s theme in blogging, it would be the age-old question of whether to curb your personality in order to appease more of your readers/advertisers/future growth/etc.
I literally got like 3 emails last week on whether cursing is okay in our blogs because some people can get turned off by it. And then on Friday I got called out by one of MY own readers too when I dropped some feistiness myself! Haha…
So needless to say it’s on people’s minds these days. And here are my thoughts on it all, which I covered in one of the first emails I got last week… Something to keep in mind as you blog away in the future too:
So I just did a blog post on my site, and I guess one person didn’t like my use of certain language. I said “shyt.” So she unsubscribed and said that she found my language offensive and takes away from the good content.
What are your thoughts on this? This is my writing style, but do I need to time it down, especially for future sponsors and what-have-you? Would love to get your opinion since you have more experience than me.
Aww yeahh, when the haters come a knockin’ your blog is a rockin’! :) Haha… I wouldn’t be too bummed about it, people unsubscribe all the time for a number of reasons that you will never even hear about. What’s important is to just keep on staying true to YOURSELF and humming along with whatever style excites you and you’re comfortable with. If you like cursing colorfully (and spelling it differently for that matter) then so be it! You’ll attract whatever audience loves that and all will be good in the world.
That out of the way, there is something to be said however about trying to reach a more broader audience too. And without selling your soul in the process :)
Here’s a perfect example: Back when I started blogging I’d curse up a storm and never spell check or fix known mistakes, etc etc. I just truly didn’t care and it got me to be ME without any hassle. That was until I got a nice email from a woman at a REALLY large media outlet who told me she absolutely loves my content, but she couldn’t in a million years re-post any of it because it was just too crude for her audience. Not to mention too much of a hassle to clean up with all those grammatical errors. So I thanked her kindly for the nice words, and went about my business just being ME and not caring…
That was, until I started caring :) Every damn time I started writing after that email I kept second guessing my word usage and ways of expressing myself that I finally decided to just say F**ck it and tweak my style a bit to see what would happen (I did not, of course, SAY F**ck It, but you know what I’m saying ;)). So I sucked it up, learned some new creative words to swap in every now and then (I still curse on the site btw, just not on *every* single post like I did, 5 times throughout!), and in the process cleaned up my act with my writing as well so it didn’t offend tons of other people too. She was certainly not the first in that department to kindly let me know I can’t spell worth “shyt,” haha…
Anyways, from that point forward my blog seemed to just skyrocket and I only felt half sold-out ‘cuz overall it was a smarter move business-wise than “a statement.” I don’t like the extra half hour it now tacks on to every single post I write, but I sure do like seeing my stuff in the media a lot and feeling more proud of myself since it shows my CONTENT is worth a broader read now. I wouldn’t go back and change it for anything.
So, all that to say there are pros and cons to either route here. Is a few curse words really all that bad on a website? Especially a BLOG? Hell no – in fact, a lot of people prefer it (like me!) It makes you feel more “real” just like they are, and it helps set you apart from the others in your niche who wouldn’t dare utter such language ;) But on the other hand you have to find that nice balance so it doesn’t hinder your site in growth much too.
I’d continue being the bad self that you are and monitor it as time goes on. There’s nothing saying you can’t tweak stuff down the road, right? We’re allowed to change our minds!
PS: Here’s a similar email I got from Jen Perkins of Master The Art of Saving which falls along the same lines. These are all things to consider once you decide you want your blog to be more of a business than a hobby:
“As much as I love my banner (with the stipper, hehe), apparently it is somewhat a turn off for advertisers. I was wondering if you could tell me who made your banner over at Blog Sexier. I love it, it’s simple, impactful and sexy as hell—exactly what I’m looking for…”
Photo by: meddygarnet. X’d out by J$.