Authentic according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary is defined as…
: real or genuine : not copied or false
: true and accurate
: made to be or look just like an original
I have learned that people want me to be authentic. My husband, my family, my friends, they all want me to be who I was created to be, they want me to be Jen. They want me to be real and accurate, genuine. I want this too. I want to be who I am, not someone I have to pretend to be for the approval of others.
I have also learned that with blogging there is no difference. People who read blogs want to know they are connecting with a real person, with me. In fact, my ability to be transparent and authentic on my blog happens to be the number one compliment and praise I receive from readers. I believe being authentic with who I am has contributed to the growth of my readership and it is responsible for helping get my book The Unveiled Wife published.
Authenticity is contagious. When you are authentic, it gives others the freedom and courage to be authentic!
So whether you are interacting with your spouse, a friend, or online, I urge you to be authentic, because that is what people desire and expect. This should be encouraging to hear. You are unique and you should embrace who you are!
I began this year of blogging with a goal to encourage others who are blogging, so…
Although being authentic is important for every aspect of life, I want to specifically share with you 5 reasons authenticity is vital for bloggers:
1. Authenticity produces consistency, cohesion, and a clear purpose.
When a blogger determines to be authentic in their writing, all of their articles reflect the true heart of the blogger. Laced throughout each article, regardless of the topic, reveals a sense of cohesion where a reader comes to learn the clear purpose of why the blogger is so incredibly passionate to share his/her story. Readers love predictability and love to know they can trust any site they are following. As you prepare and publish every article with the intention of being authentic you will win readers hearts and support.
2. People are craving the truth.
We live in an era where people feel undervalued in many ways. They feel taken advantage of and lied to. People are craving truth in every facet of their lives, including the blogs they follow. Due to the high volume of blogs on the internet it takes time to establish trust with a loyal reader. Your authenticity will benefit you and your readers as it builds trust in your relationship with those who visit your blog. The truth you share will be satisfying to you as you share yourself openly and honestly and it will satisfy the craving your readers have for truth.
3. Copying others adds to the noise.
There are many blogs and social platforms that regurgitate the same information, they share the same style encouraging graphics, they talk about the same topics in the same way, all hoping to get a piece of the online readership pie. The internet is littered with people who aim to have a blog to generate traffic solely for the purpose of driving revenue. I am not opposed to making money from writing, but I do want to address it for your sake. If you are a blogger who desires to connect and engage with a community that understands your heart and there is a reciprocal support system between you and your readers, then don’t aim for income first, aim for authenticity! What I learned is that authenticity can often lead to a profitable blog. As your readership grows, so will your opportunities to gain an income from blogging. Do not copy what is already out there, instead take the time to consider what You have to bring to the online table.
4. You are an expert with your story.
It would be challenging to try and share truth on your blog with topics you do not have personal experience with. So stick to what you know. This does not mean you only have to dive into one specific topic or one portion of your story that really affected you. Although, you may notice it is those ones that add emotional gravity to your writing, it is still your blog and you have the freedom to cover many different areas of life. But you must stick to what you know if you want to be an authentic blogger. For example, I would consider myself a “Marriage Blogger” as I tend to write about experiences from my marriage. However, after four years of covering this topic I felt compelled to address the bloggers online, so I am using my experience as a blogger to do just that. Occasionally you will see me publish an article such as this one where I share based upon what I know, what I have learned through experience. You are the only one who has lived your life, and sharing your story, the experiences you have encountered, is what makes your blog unique maintaining authenticity as you publish articles and engage with people about your message.
**Note: Just because you are sharing truth does not mean you should write unfiltered. Meaning there may be specific details of stories that you withhold for the sake of your privacy or the privacy of others. For example, if a story you share involves another person get their permission first. Use a filter when you write. This does not decrease your authenticity, but it does reveal your maturity and awareness of the responsibility and influence you have as an online voice.
5. It will inspire people and change the world.
Although our culture craves truth, people have a very difficult time being real with who they are, especially online. People fear rejection and judgement. If you can 1.) accept the fact that you will receive negative comments from time-to-time because of your transparency 2.) read them with grace 3.) consider their words but never pick them up as an offense…you will be able to continue sharing authentically, unashamed of who you are or what you are sharing. Your transparency with who you are will give your readers the courage to embrace transparency in their relationships as well. They will be inspired to live authentically because they have seen it exemplified, through you!
If you are blogging or if you are dreaming up a strategy to start blogging, I would challenge you to consider being an authentic blogger.
Have you already been blogging authentically? If so, can you please leave some encouragement in the comments for others as to what it has done for your community of readers?