You are your subject

Image: Alex wong

Judging by the emails I’ve received, a lot of people seem to be stressing about what to write about in their blogs. They’ve heard from the experts that their blog should be used as a marketing tool to showcase their ‘authority’ and ‘expertise’.

And I get it. Makes sense, right? But they often find themselves creatively blocked or their posts don’t resonate with their audience, etc.

Well, I can’t speak for everyone, and although there certainly are a good number of industry blogs out there, I tend to see my blog a bit differently.

My blog is my public record of being alive.

My blog is me, which is much more than my vocation. I am my subject matter (sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly). I notice things and write them down here, not necessarily to land clients, but to hone my craft (yes, it helps that I largely write for a living) while refining my thoughts enough to share with you.

Writing here in this blog has been super helpful when I’ve gone through transitions in life where I wasn’t sure what I was doing. This is when I’ve needed writing the most.

When your subject matter is you (as opposed to strictly your profession), you can use the powerful tool of writing to just hang out on the page and write through what you’re going through that you think your audience would enjoy/get value from.

Seeing it this way takes away all the pressure of forcing yourself to write professional-looking blog posts for a sea of ‘potential clients’.

No… We’re humans… Writing for other humans. Not robots writing for Google bots.

Now, there is an art to this… We must understand that blogging is done in a public arena, so we should spare our audiences diary entries of our afternoon bathroom stops (unless you think they’d dig it, of course).

But if all I wrote about was my vocation, I’d eventually get extremely bored with my blog (AND my vocation).

Besides, who knows, someday I may want to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming one of those guys who hang off the back of garbage trucks for a living. Then what? I’ll want to take you down those alleyways with me. If all I wrote about was my current vocation, I’d have to rebrand and get a new url and blah, blah, blah…

So sure, write about your vocation if you feel the urge. Plug it in there — it’s a big part of you (as I write this, I realize I should write about mine more).

But I’d love (and your potential clients would also probably love) to see more people rather than pitches. I’d love to read more stories and personal ideas/wonderings/fears/dreams than professional ‘hacks’ and link-bait list posts.

Try being your subject matter.

(For a great example, one of my favorite blogs is from Laura Belgray, a fellow copywriter who hardly EVER writes about copywriting. Check it out here.)

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