Get real. Why opening up about yourself (a little) on your business blog is not such a bad idea.

connection happens when you get realRecently, a blogging friend of mine started this brilliant blog that was honest, raw and funny, and instead of his amazing talent being recognised within his industry, he was told he was “unprofessional.”

A unicorn died that day! You see, some people just don’t get it and they never will. They tear down and criticise and for some writers, that can lead to a big stall on a blog.

Blogging is such a personal journey. You learn so much by spitting out words each week. I know, for me, it is therapy as well as good business.

Some posts are just for me (and not published at all),  and others are published despite some reservations. But what has surprised me is that it’s usually the more personal and anecdotal blog posts that seem to resonate with you the most. I mean, why should you give a rats about my life?

It was discovering this that lead to a big change in the way I write my email messages too, and it shows in the stats. My open rate is really, fricken’ high (and I’m so grateful to you for taking the time to ensure my posts don’t land in your junk mail folder).

So, what can you take away from this? Well, the biggest thing is to stop being scared of what people will think when you share something a little bit personal or when you let your personality shine through.

Some people love my blogs, some hate them (and have told me so). It doesn’t matter to me. People get different things out of different experiences, books, blogs etc. If your blog doesn’t resonate with someone, they’re not a good fit for you or your business anyway! So, celebrate the fact you’re not attractive to them.

These past few weeks have been pretty awesome! Being nominated for a couple of awards (making Social Media Examiner’s top 24 list was a highlight) and having lots of enquiries for website and content marketing work have lifted my spirits immeasurably but there have also been some downers.

This afternoon, it all came crashing down for me, and I had the blues in a big way. Maybe what rattled me today was my Autistic nine-year old having the mother of all meltdowns this morning (at the hotel we were staying at, no less). My kids always know how to remind me that there has to be a balance between living life and commenting on it.

Sometimes I question the wisdom of reaching out online when there are little ones with such great needs before me, in the flesh, and sometimes I just wonder if new adventures and successes can be unsettling and take you way out of your comfort zone so much that your body and brain physically react (and maybe our kids pick up on this too).

In any case, here I am blogging about it and I encourage you to do the same. Don’t hide behind your need to look professional and pretend to be superman/woman. Connection happens when you get real.

We all need encouragement on our blogging journeys. We all need affirmation that we’re on the right track. After all, we’re human beings not faceless corporations.

So, if you do anything online today, let it be to comment on, like or share another blogger’s post, because, you never know… you might just make his/her day!

Are you getting real on your blog? Do you like it or hate it when bloggers share their personal stories? Leave a comment below!

  • Chris Makara

    “After all, we’re human beings not faceless corporations.” – pretty much sums it up for me. This is all too common on B2B blogs specifically. Great blog post Cas!

    • Cas McCullough

      Hey Chris, thanks for commenting! So glad this resonated with you.

  • Social Media Sean

    Yes! Love this article. Shared on pretty much all my social networks. Great reminder Cas. Nice to be connected via Triberr :)

    • Cas McCullough

      Thanks so much Sean! Yes, love Triberr! That reminds me I need to jump on there again and share some more wonderful posts. Must practice what I preach!

  • Michelle Nichols

    My crashing day was Monday, and somehow managed to pull it all back together! As you did Cas! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Cas McCullough

      Pleasure Michelle! Anytime you need a moral boost, just holler! I’m here for you!

      • Michelle Nichols

        Thanks Cas.

  • Leah

    Cas, you always seem to say exactly what I need to hear! I also tend to wonder why anyone would care to hear about my day-to-day stuff… I guess it just makes people feel like you are talking to them instead of ‘at’ them – there’s some comfort in knowing that a successful person has the same struggles I do and still takes that moment to reach out and pull me from the trenches :) Thank you for your time & wisdom!

    • Cas McCullough

      Leah, thanks so much for your comment. The reality is, I’m in the trench right alongside you! So glad this spoke to you today!

      • Leah

        Ah, well maybe I’ll have the opportunity to help pull you out then! Hope things settle down for you soon :)

  • alisondiaslaverty

    Cas, I love your emails because it always gives me something good to think about. Please continue as they and you are truly great. I write a blog too, I am still new to it but this is my link . Please pop by and I would love any comments you may have or support too. Thanks, Alison

    • Cas McCullough

      Hey Alison, thanks for that lovely feedback. It’s good to know the effort is worth it! And I checked out your blog and left a comment.

  • deairby

    great post, Cas, good work

    • Cas McCullough

      Thanks Dea!

  • Rodney Bukuya

    Hello fellow readers of Cas’

    I thought I’d jump in here and add some comment as it is my blog that Cas is talking about in the start of this post.

    I write about everything from money, to depression, to health and lost loves. I even once wrote a post about how life was better before I had kids. That ruffled feathers, especially at my house.

    All things I love to write about except that I also happen to be a Financial Planner and lets face it, my industry is more staid than stadium and we’re governed by more legislation than you can poke a stick at. So, the fact that I wear my heart on my sleeve and am INCREDIBLY open and honest scares the bejeesus out of many people in my industry. Financial Planners just don’t talk like I do.

    In mid 2012, I got a phone call from a friend to tell me that my blog had been shown on stage at an industry Professional development day on how not to do Social Media. It was branded as unprofessional, and ridiculed by a number of people who, promote themselves as progressive and dynamic.

    In a small incestuous industry like mine, it could quite easily have had some pretty negative effects on my future career and only some last minute assurances from me, saved my licence to practice.

    Then the tide turned with the New Year.

    The promoter of a $1,000, 3 day Social Media seminar contacted me, with an offer of a free ticket as he believes it would be valuable to have me there. He then contacted my employer, to make sure he would give me the time off work, so that I could attend.

    Then I had 2 new clients, ring me that I had never spoken to before, asking for my help.

    But it was a phone call I received today that cemented in my mind, the value of being yourself. The phone call went like this:

    “Hi Rod, my name is ABC from XYZ company, your website is really out there, can you please add your contact details so that I can refer our clients to you”

    Being yourself online has incredible value, you won’t attract everyone to your style but that’s OK because those people who relate to who you are as a person, have been desperately looking for you.

    much love, rod

    • Cas McCullough

      Love, love, love this Rod! Thanks for adding some extra insight! You’ve obviously been on my mind! Can’t wait to meet you in real life and had to laugh at the boobs comment, especially considering you have such a strong female following. Please put a link to your blog here Super Guy, so others can see what we’re on about!

  • Karen McElroy

    real stuff always makes connection and creates authenticity! Thanks Cas

    • Cas McCullough

      Thanks Karen and I love your blog by the way!

  • Joanne

    Thanks Cas, I like to hear about the personal stuff that goes on behind the scenes, yet I fear doing it myself in case people think I’m unprofessional.
    Great post!

    • Cas McCullough

      Thanks Joanne! I think it’s a fear a lot of us hold.

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