What Makes You a Blogger – Nature or Nurture?

Guest post by Ray Hiltz

born-to-blogThe title of Mark W Schaefer’s new book (written with Stanford Smith) is bold – Born to Blog.

It demonstrates their passion for blogging.But if someone were to ask me what I was born to do, I’m not sure blogging would be on top of the list.

Born to greatness, born to lead, born to… “eat, crap and die” – as my uncle would say (pay attention to comma placement to avoid possible assault)  – but “born to blog?”

Mark and Stanford say we all possess the ability to write blogs.

Sister Lucille, in grade 5 also said: “If you can talk, you can sing.” It was a choir recruitment ploy.

We would be put at the back of the choir and encouraged to mouth the words. There are a lot of “Millie Vanilli’s” in the blogosphere. Bloggers who use other blogger’s work as templates, not only their formats but also their voices.

There’s a great post by Mars Dorian on Mark Schaefer’s blog: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Blogging Superstar where he lists the clichés and bad advice heard from multitudes of blogging webinars and keynote speeches.

Born to Blog is a must have book for anyone, business or personal, who want their content to be read on the web.

It stands out from other “How to blog” books by focusing on the writer and not the medium.

Mark and Stanford encourages their readers to follow their own path using the following principles:

  1. There aren’t any right answers (yet)
  2. Respect your intuition
  3. Relate, don’t compare
  4. Why before the How

This last one especially reflects the philosophy of the book. If you blog from the inside out, you will find your own voice which is critical to blogging success.

There are many practical tips as well as case studies in the book, but the core value in the book is the focus given to developing “skills” and taking advantage of strengths.

As Mark says:

“Blogs are the content engine driving the social web.”

We all have the skills to become bloggers and “Born to Blog” helps us recognize and develop them. There’s even a quiz, like the kind you’d see in a Cosmopolitan magazine, (never read them myself.) that calculates what kind of blogger we are.

Skill #1 – Dreaming

“If you can dream, you can blog.”

Skill #2 – Storytelling

“Can you tell a story? Yes. And you can blog.”

Skill #3 – Persuading

“Do you have passions and opinions? Then you can blog.”

Skill #4 – Teaching

“What questions do your readers have? If you can answer them, you can blog.”

Skill #5 – Curation

“Are there subjects that you can’t resist critiquing, labeling and categorizing into a list of the very best? Yes? My friend, you are a blogger waiting to wow the world.”

In an interview I had with Mark in advance of his Content Marketing Workshop in Montreal, he said creating content that resonates is key to raising above the “clutter”.

To resonate, your reader has to relate. And people relate to stories that reflect their own experiences.

So are we “born to blog”?.

They say we’re born to tell stories…


ray-hiltzAbout Ray Hiltz

Ray Hiltz is a Social Media Strategist with management roots in restaurant, hotel and performing arts. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and “humanized” digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of “social”. Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.

2 thoughts on “What Makes You a Blogger – Nature or Nurture?

  1. Pingback: Cut Through Clutter with Content That Moves | Keep Marketing Fun

  2. Pingback: 11 Inspired Nudges To Fuel Your Business Book | soulati.com

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