Aaron Wall wrote an interesting post over the weekend, Embracing Your Quirkiness, about allowing your uniqueness to shine through and that doing so makes you more citation worthy. While I’m not sure you’d want to share every one of your quirks with the world, I do agree that embracing your quirks instead of hiding them is the right approach to gaining links, running a business and living your life. I think it can also greatly improve your writing.
Aaron’s main point was that your quirks help to make you more interesting and more remarkable, thus they make you more citation or link worthy. I’d like to expand on the idea and say your quirks help make you unique . They are what makes you, you. We all have quirks and many of us will share the same unusual thoughts and behaviors, but no two of us share exactly the same combination of quirks. And building what makes you unique into your writing will make your writing much more enjoyable to read.
You hear all the time when starting a new business that it’s important to come up with a unique value proposition, something that makes you different from the competition. It’s what makes your business different that will bring customers to it. That uniqueness is what makes you stand out and it’s what gives others a reason to buy your products and services. That uniqueness will also help immensely with the writing in your blog.
It’s what I was talking about in regards to developing your own blogging voice. Your voice in writing is what will make you unique. No matter what your topic there are likely many others writing about the same or similar, but the uniqueness of your voice is what can separate you from those others.
If you have a fondness for building model railroads then incorporate it into your blog, even if the topic of your blog has nothing to do with model trains. Chances are you will be the only one in your space talking about railroads and it will make you stand out. It will make your blog more unique. And it will likely help you gain links. Use the trains as a backdrop for the rest of your topic and use them to tell a story.
Marcel Gagné writes a column each month for Linux Journal called Cooking with Linux and each column starts and ends with him talking to his waiter François and sending him to and from the wine cellar to fetch a bottle of wine. The columns have nothing to do with wine other than the intro and closing, but the wine talk makes the column more remarkable than many others telling readers about some Linux program they may not be aware of.
In the 70′s Robert Pirsig wrote the bestseller Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. If memory serves the book does contain the running story of a motorcycle trip Pirsig took with his son, but mainly uses that motorcycle trip as a launching point to talk about philosophy in general. The subtitle of the book is An Inquiry Into Values and the subtitle is really what the book is about.The motorcycle maintenance grounds the philosophical musings and makes the whole book much more unique. While the meat of the book is it’s philosophy it never would have become a best seller without the motorcycle talk.
When people say you want to make your blog more personal that’s how you do it. Not by saying me, me, me all the time, but by bringing in your unique interests and quirks to your blog. If you know how to repair motorcyles bring that knowledge into your blog. If model trains is your thing talk about them. Use them as a jumping off point to launch into your main ideas. Use them as examples. But use them.
Remember that no matter what you write about there’s a good chance you’re not the only one. You may not be the only seo blog, but you may be the only seo/motorcycle maintenance blog. That something extra you bring, that something unique you can add will get you noticed and attract more links to you than a simple rehash of what every one else is talking about. If you can embrace your quirks and find a way to incorporate them into your writing you stand a better chance of being remarkable and gathering citations to your writing.