Professional Blog, Personal Opinion

by Jason Falls |

Yesterday I offered a little personal tome about voting. I felt awkward posting it since this blog is not about politics, nor my personal opinion. Yes, my feelings on certain issues percolate from time to time here, but you don’t read this blog for Jason’s personal world view. This blog is about social media, public relations, marketing and communications. My opinions on those topics is fair game. But how far outside that realm is acceptable?

The majesty of blogging is that it is what you make it. While it is clear this website serves as a conduit for people interested in working with me or Kat through our agency, Doe-Anderson, it is my blog, a personal possession, that I can use however I like. Straying off the beaten path is my decision to make. I only risk losing readers (or possibly gaining others) if I do that.

But strategically, it’s not always smart to do that. And the closer you get to a targeted, business-oriented blog, the more important it is to remember that there’s a time and place for your personal views and the blog often isn’t one of them.

Before posting yesterday’s tome, I polled my Twitter followers on the topic, expressing no desire to start a personal blog for such instances when I just want to offer up something off topic, and asking if they thought it was okay to divert from what the audience comes for on occasion. Here’s what they said:

Craig Kessler

CraigKessler


The election is happening one way or another. Might as well post and have your opinions be heard. It will stir up debate.


Gingerlatte

Gingerlatte


I often wonder why ppl would be annoyed by a blogger writing something personal. Dont we have personal lives too?


Julie Bush

JulesIndy


– I’d welcome your post on voting or just about any subject you find to be important…


Lisa Hoffmann

LisaHoffmann

You’re forgetting that we all see you as person, not a “blogger.” Think the occassional personal post adds dimension. I like it.


roundpeg

roundpeg

Good question. As my biz blog takes on more of my personality, i have less to say in my personal blog. Wheres the line?


Julie Niesen

winemedineme

I did rant about blogging etiquette when someone plagiarized my content. Does that count? :)


mstory123

mstory123

– way too much hate out there, brother. I am politically mute. Way too friggin’ ugly.


Gingerlatte

Gingerlatte

Why not? It’s something that’s on everyone’s minds. I say go ahead. Just try to tie it in to the main topic of your blog


Natalie Ebig Scott

Natalie_Joy

Bottom line, it’s yours. If it becomes uber personal, you risk losing readers. I don’t think that will happen…


Thomas Powell

stringsn88keys

You could probably have a “sidebar” section of the site if you’re so inclined.


R Lemley

usegraymatter

I think it’s all in the execution: is the “personal” judgemental? Alienating? Or fairminded,open&considerate to your community?


Andre Blackman

mindofandre

I feel like you can write abt personal stuff occaisionally – its your blog, if ppl dont wanna read it, they dont have to?


Susan Getgood

sgetgood

to some extent yes. depends on how much you want to write. a little now & then is fine. a lot, best to take it to a new space


Brandon Chesnutt

bchesnutt

aren’t all blogs, on some level, personal? Personal opinion and beliefs typically have some level of influence over the content


Andre Natta

acnatta

that’s what I tend to do – though I’ve been too swamped to even have a personal opinion recently ;-)


davidweiner

davidweiner

I’m struggling with that right now too. I stopped blogging about politics in 2005 and now I really want to post one but can’t!


Tony Katz

tonykatz

what’s the topic? I blog on AdGrinder, but never politically…I save that for tonykatz.com…what is the context of your blog?


igorthetroll

igorthetroll

Also having a strong character and believes will garnish u respect from your hardcore followers!


Julie Niesen

winemedineme

For me, because my topic has nothing to do with politics, I haven’t voiced an opinion on my blog.


msweezey

msweezey

its easy to move off topic, but your blog should center around one topic and stay on point, put personal on your own blog


Cheapsuits

cheapsuits

yes, will read it on your personal blog. Not that I am not interested…


Michelle Jones

michellej

You’re a person, you have an opinion, if you feel compelled to share then share. You know the mantra: Be Human.


Melanie Baker

melle


Long as, y’know, you don’t just spout off or act completely self-servingly with it.


Melanie Baker

melle

I think injecting a bit of humanity can add a good tone, and provide content variety.


msweezey

msweezey

its all in what is the purpose of your blog? Is it to give your readers a piece of your mind, or is it to stay on topic? I


igorthetroll

igorthetroll

You may lose a few readers but u will gain many more! But it will depend on your character and confidence, if u succeed or fail


Sasha Kovaliov

nlupus

I think a bit of personal touch is a good. People want to know who you are.


Amber Naslund

AmberCadabra

Post. The last thing we need right now are too many filters, and your perspective is always a valuable one.


igorthetroll

igorthetroll

What is wrong with an Opinion?


Clearly, it seems okay to write what I wrote yesterday, so long as I stick to social media topics most of the time. But where is the limit? Who draws the line?

Then consider the problem with a brand or corporate blog. Part of the reason consumers aren’t as attracted to them is they are two stale, predictable and safe. Companies, CEOs and brand managers play the safe route. Taking a stand normally means 50 percent of the people hate you. God forbid!

But isn’t that what makes a company interesting? Engaging? Human?

What if you stumbled across a corporate blog yesterday where the CEO or Chief Marketing Officer or some other blogger for the company took a stand, picked a candidate to endorse and listed the reason’s why? Wouldn’t it make you more interested in that company? Sure, it would upset some brand enthusiasts and loyalists, not to mention some people inside the company, but most businesses can be held up to the political litmus test and prove that one side or the other winning is more beneficial for the company. Why not state the case and explain why?

If Bob Lutz blogged yesterday that General Motors benefits from a McCain victory because the Republican agenda is tougher on foreign trade and labor unions than the Democrats, the automotive industry would be on fire today. It’s not wrong for someone to take a stand. Why is it wrong for a company to do so?

I’ve offered the advice here before that to be successful in brand building, and in blogging, you have to be bold. That is true for companies as it is for individuals.

How will your company be bold today?

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About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).