[Caution: This post comes with a slight aftertaste of unicorns and rainbows. And babies.]
Matt McGee had a post that really hit home with me earlier this week. The post was on his HyperlocalBlogger blog which deals with blogging and real town communities. He asked his audience if their blogs accurately represented the towns that they live in. If someone who didn’t live in that community stumbled across the blog, what impression would they take of the town based on what was featured? Would it be accurate?
The post caught my eye because I realized I’ve basically been asking myself the same question for years now: Do the blogs I write represent the “towns” I’m writing for? Do they look, sound and feel like the communities I want to be a part of? If not, how do I change that?
At WordCamp in 2007, Lorelle VanFossen said something that really stuck with me. She said that a successful blog is one that a reader will land on and immediately recognize and feel safe with. They’ll instantly see their tribe and themselves. The blog will, essentially, look like them.
That’s what I want to accomplish in my blogging. I want to create homes for my communities. And I think it’s something other bloggers should be paying attention to, as well.
Your blog is not yours. It belongs to your community. You should build it to look and resemble them so that it becomes home. You want an insider coming in to immediately be able to identify what’s important to your community. You should bleed it. It’s a little Field of Dreams-ish. You build it, but they’re the ones playing the game and making it interesting. You just house the action.
If you want people to care about your blog, make it feel like them or at least who they want to be. It’s not about you or whatever company logo you’re trying to get out there. It’s about building a safe place for your people so that they have somewhere to go to talk, to discuss and to make “theirs”. That is the goal of your blog.
Take some time to sit down and evaluate your own blog. What does it look and feel like? Have you created a home you’ll community will recognize? If not, go rent Field of Dreams. Then go fix it.