Z is for Zest #AtoZChallenge

Post by Guest Blogger
Donna B. McNicol

We're writers. We often have a love hate relationship with blogs. We put words together to create something with meaning, something we hope others will want to read. That means we sometimes take ourselves too seriously. We write about our books. We write about others books. We write about writing. We write about others writing. We report news of interest to writers. We interview authors. We write about interviewing authors. Oh, and sometimes we even write stories/articles/poems.

See a trend here? Yup, we're taking ourselves too seriously. While our readers enjoy our blog posts, or they wouldn't come back, they may not be getting a sense of who we are; they don't get to see the personality behind the words.

"But I need to be professional," you say. "I need to watch the image I project." Yes you do, but you also need to show that you are human. Don't be afraid to inject a little humor, be a little zany, yes - show your ZEST for life and writing. You don't need to do it for every blog post, just enough to let your personality shine. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
  • Post a cartoon or joke [especially about writer/writers].
  • Talk about funny things that happened during your day.
  • Post a favorite memory.
  • Find good videos to repost.
  • Post a list of your top ten songs.
  • Upload photos of your pet(s).
  • Talk about your hobbies.
  • Link to your Pinterest boards.

Still not convinced? Remember, you are marketing your best product - YOU. And you are much more than just your writing so let your readers get to know you better. According to Noah Brier of Percolate, a blog needs a balance between “stock” and “flow” content. Stock content is what we talked about above, back when we were taking ourselves too seriously. Flow content is the fluff, the posts that showcase your personality. A good mix of content will keep readers coming back for more, and in the end that's your goal. Plus you get the added bonus of "word of mouth" referrals.

So take some time to insert some ZEST into your writing and your blog. You might find you've reduced some of the stress you feel when it's time for a new blog post. You might even post more often while you gain more readers. Life is too short...enjoy it!

Wake me later, I'm napping...

Here are some good examples of blogs with ZEST:

For more tips on inserting ZEST into your blog, check out "Inject Yourself into Your Content – Principle # 7 of Creating Compelling Content."

Donna McNicol is a retired IT professional with many years of freelance writing. She has recently started dabbling in fiction and especially enjoys writing flash fiction. She currently lives and travels in an RV along with her husband, their pup Sadie and two Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

She has two works in progress, a romance novel set in Montana and a cozy mystery set in Pennsylvania. You can see excerpts on her website and read her blog, My Write Spot.

Follow her on Twitter: @DonnaBMcNicol

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