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Mixing our personal lives with our business objectives can add an element of personality to our business blog, but it can also detract from our business objectives. While adding personality to your blog is one of the best ways to generate charisma for your products, the question is how much of what is appropriate.

As business bloggers, we know we should have a particular emphasis on our products and services, but that can make for a pretty sterile and impersonal blog. We also realize that our personality needs to extend to our social networks in a way that allows people to connect with us as a personal ‘friend’. A human being. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep things in a professional framework so that we don’t sacrifice credibility or create barriers.

I’ve been paying attention to a handful of bloggers and social media marketers and have assembled the following recommendations based on some widespread observations:

1. Subjects to avoid. There are just some things you shouldn’t talk about in your blog, or even in your social networks. Avoid three specific subjects: religion, politics, and intimate relationships. There is no quicker way to divide or turn away your audience than to proselytize your faith, denounce a political position, or publicly share intimate pillow talk between a lover. Certainly there will always be supporters or adoring listeners-in, but rest assured there are an equal or greater number of people who are simply turned off. Keep this stuff for your personal accounts and avoid them like the plague for your online business presence.

2. Be personable, but not personal. When you are ‘personable’, you are allowing your own personality to shine through in your explanations of your products and descriptions of your services. Share your thoughts and experiences in light of your professional life, but be careful not to focus your message to a specific person or get too ‘personal’. For instance, we’d love to hear how you have used that product to improve your own life, or that your business has you traveling in an exotic place. But we don’t need to watch as you send personal messages to your ‘sweet pookey pookums’ or listen in on your public pillow talk with your lover; it’s just not very professional.

3. Stay on message. It’s easy to wander and suddenly find yourself taking about your car or your summer vacation. I just took mine and it’s really been on my mind this week; the restaurants, the architecture, the people I met… But I digress. A business blog is not the place to dilute your objectives with peripheral information; start a personal blog for those things and keep your eye on the ball when writing about your products and services.

4. Widen your audience. In a considered sales process, your business blog represents an early-stage communications tool and should be targeting your widest audience possible. You are working on your business brand and digital reputation at this stage and shouldn’t be too focused on a specific segment of your total audience. Think of your blog in the same light as a television commercial: there is the possibility that anyone could see it, so your message should be more universally appealing, emphasize branding, and more emotionally interesting rather than specific and technical. When you add personal pleasure to your content you’ll find that you’ll raise interest but for a far fewer number of people.

So there you have it: Be careful when mixing your personal pleasure into your business blogging; it can make things more fun for you, but you may be limiting your reach and turning people away who might otherwise become your customer.

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