Does your blog have soul?

does your blog have soul

Last week I had the pleasure of conducting a social media evaluation for a relatively new company based out of the UK. They were specifically looking to launch and grow a blog as part of their overall marketing and communications strategy. As I was researching some of their competition and how these firms were using social media, and more specifically – how they were blogging, one competitor stood out amongst all others. Every inch of their online presence was emotionally intelligent – speaking to the hearts, wants and needs of its audience. This company and, more impressively, their blog had soul!

If you’ve never heard of emotional intelligence, that’s okay. Here’s a simple definition from Wikipedia:

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others and of groups

In the online environment, EI takes the form of interactions, design and specific wording. Smashing Magazine gives a great overview of online EI explaining that an emotionally intelligent interaction is: “…any state (or change in state) of a website/app where the messaging or functionality includes attention to details that create a user experience that feels organic and human.”

This could be a message that new users see when they first visit a website and have to decide whether or not they want to sign up. Or it can be specific colors and elements designed to evoke certain emotions from the target audience.

Think about what makes you a fan of a particular brand or blog. What pulls you in and keeps you going back time and time again? Chances are there are some emotionally intelligent aspects at work.

Examples of Emotionally Intelligent Blogs

Design Sponge connects with their target readers using what it is known for – great design. Check out the use of the different ribbons to section off the various areas of their blog.

designsponge

Probably the best example of EI on this list is from Unbrave Girl. Her blog tugs at the scaredy cats in all of us. I also love her sidebar, which entices click-throughs.

ubg2

 

ubg

BuzzFeed, a news and entertainment blog, makes great use of personalized buttons to encourage people to click-through to the content they most want to read.

bf

Motivational blog, Pick the Brain, is also maximizing use of buttons to get people to the content they are seeking. Rather than broad categories, they specifically list the sections of interest. Equally awesome is their newsletter signup widget, which plays into the whole motivational theme.

ptb

ptb2

Chris Brogan is the man and he should know it! As a social media, new business and marketing blogger (among many other titles), his aim is to approach readers conversationally in a relaxed atmosphere. He achieves this with a laid back approach to his blog design and calls to action. It’s “Let’s have a coffee together” and talk shop all the way around.

CB

Adding Soul to Your Blog

Adding soul to your blog is not as hard as you might think. Reflect on what you write about and why people visit your blog. What little changes can you make in design to help visitors better connect? Look at your calls to action. Are they the standard, “Sign up to receive my newsletter” and “Click to subscribe”? How can you modify the wording of the different areas of your blog to help create a more intriguing user experience? It’s all about the little things. Over the next several months, I plan on doing an evaluation of my own blog and making some minor changes that will infuse it with emotional intelligence. You can do the same.

Creating a blog (and brand) that people truly love and want to visit is creating a product with soul. Soul turns a casual visitor or lurker into an evangelist – someone who will talk about you and your writing. Someone who will share your content and posts. Someone who will remain loyal and keep coming back for more. Over time those “someones” add up and eventually you’ll have built a vibrant community of happy, satisfied readers. Isn’t this something will all hope to achieve as bloggers?

Does your blog have soul? If so, please share the link in the comments.

Posted on by Crystal in MommiFried Extras

24 Responses to Does your blog have soul?

  1. Blond Duck

    Mine is just goofy!
    Blond Duck recently posted..HoopingMy Profile

  2. The Dose of Reality

    We don’t know if we do have soul, but this was a great post. We’re going to have think about this one!! –The Dose Girls
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..How Many Weight Watchers Points Are In A Gallon Of Chunky Monkey?My Profile

  3. Pingback: Does your blog have soul? | Everything Marketin...

  4. RJ

    All I can say is WOW! Such a great post. Definitely want to focus on this with my own blog.
    RJ recently posted..How I Met My WifeMy Profile

  5. Andrea

    My blog has an identity crisis. Maybe this will help us. Something to think about.
    Andrea recently posted..A Man Should Always Love You More Than You Love Him?My Profile

  6. Kim@Co-Pilot Mom

    Very interesting points to ponder! I have never asked that question about my blog before! 🙂
    Kim@Co-Pilot Mom recently posted..I am Sorry, FortyMy Profile

  7. Wendy Hernandez

    Love this post. I couldn’t agree with you more about building a blog with soul. I am finding that blogging is more fun with this goal in mind, too!
    Wendy Hernandez recently posted..A Dirty Little Secret About Your Family Law JudgeMy Profile

  8. Nikki

    I’d like to think that my blog has soul. Or A soul. I’m constantly trying to improve my soul (aka blog) because my blog really is me in written & pictoral form. I’m still working on myself, so the vision is always changing!
    Nikki recently posted..American Recipes // Fourth Of July IdeasMy Profile

  9. Barb

    This was a thought provoking post. As a relatively new blogger (6 months)it comes at a good time as I continue to assess what makes a good blog. I know that I love what I write about (lost art of letter writing)and hope that there is ‘soul’ in every post. Appreciate the challenge! Thank you

  10. Bella Vida Letty

    Interesting perspective. I never thought about it that way. My blog is full of soul. I just can’t help it.
    Bella Vida Letty recently posted..Secret Places: A Hidden Treasure in Downtown Miami, FloridaMy Profile

  11. Ginny Marie

    I definitely want to improve my calls to action…as in, using them in the first place! I love Unbrave Girl’s sidebar!
    Ginny Marie recently posted..Pork-a-pa-zoo-la!My Profile

  12. Honeybee

    Great post! I started comparing my blogs with those you mention here. My blog is soulless. 🙁
    Honeybee recently posted..July Non-Scale Victory #1My Profile

  13. Alison

    Oh my! This definitely was a must-read. I think my blog has splotches of soul but it needs to be more intentionally “soulful.” Thanks for the examples and the encouragement to improve!
    Alison recently posted..Search and rescue: When freedom depends on usMy Profile

  14. Mothering From Scratch

    {Melinda} This is such a great post … this is something we are always trying to do. Really engage. Set our blog apart. Make it easy and fun for readers to browse. These are some awesome examples and it has definitely gotten my creative juices going!
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..the trouble with joy: how it shows up in sufferingMy Profile

  15. Involuntary Housewife

    What a great post. Definitely has me thinking about whether I have made the right decisions when I designed my blog.
    Involuntary Housewife recently posted..Adding a Few Pounds – 7up Pound CakeMy Profile

  16. Britton

    I fell in love with Design Sponge’s blog a few months ago when someone used their site as a tutorial on how to make the best of your footer. I LOVE that site’s design!
    Britton recently posted..JULY FAVE FRIDAY LINK PARTY + GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  17. Stephanie @ CrayonMarks&TigerStripes

    Currently working on giving my blog soul! Soul makes blogs more fun to read!
    Stephanie @ CrayonMarks&TigerStripes recently posted..{Exploring Identity} Maid, Mother, or Moneymaker?My Profile

  18. Jennice

    I thimk my blog has soul but it isn’t physically captivating. I plan on working on it soon! Stoppimg by from #SITSsharefest!!!

  19. Tess

    I love this post! I feel the same way with blogs/businesses. I feel like I’m talking with a real person when the business/blog “acts” like a real person.
    Tess recently posted..Windex Touch-Up CleanerMy Profile

  20. Maria

    WOW, this is a great post! I am bookmarking it and I am sure I will be coming back to in many times in the future.

    I am still working on making my blog personal as well as doing it with the emotional intelligence you talk about. Thank you for sharing!

    Maria
    Maria recently posted..Find Parenting Books and HumorMy Profile

  21. Lisa

    Great post! I think my blog has a soul, but I guess I’m a bit biased. : )
    Lisa recently posted..A King’s Hawaiian Giveaway + A Blogger LunchMy Profile

  22. Eva Gallant

    What a great post! And did I read that you are from Maine…a frozen custard lover? Kudos to you from another Mainer!
    Eva Gallant recently posted..Silent SundayMy Profile

  23. Alexa (Kat Biggie)

    This is an awesome post. I love it. I think my blog has a wandering soul – it’s all over the place! Free spirited, like me! But I am trying to pull out the outliers and move them to their own place so that I don’t lose my targeted audience.
    Alexa (Kat Biggie) recently posted..What do you know about Newborn Screening?My Profile

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