How Much Personality Does a Business Blog Need to Succeed?

April 29, 2009 - Written by Gyutae Park  

Yesterday I received an email that every blogger dreads… an unsubscription notice.


I know I know, it’s just one subscriber out of many, and they could be leaving for any number of reasons. I shouldn’t take it personally, right? After all, trying to please everyone on a site is a never-ending cycle – like a dog chasing its own tail.

Still, I couldn’t help but delve deeper into the issue and ask why the guy unsubscribed. In fact, I do this for all users who end up leaving. I kindly ask why they unsubscribed and request any sort of feedback for what I can do better to improve the blog (hopefully this keeps you all from jumping ship :P). Many of the responses I get range from “I’m way too busy and don’t have enough time” to “It’s not you, I’m just not really interested in the topic anymore”. Ha, sounds a lot like Jessica the girl who turned me down in the sixth grade.

So are these reasons valid or is everyone just trying to be nice? If you’re interesting as a blogger, shouldn’t people want to make time for you? If you’re interesting, shouldn’t the topic itself becoming interesting as well? Something for all bloggers to think about…

personalityAnyway, for the first time, I got a straight up reason for why a reader unsubscribed from my blog. According to him, the posts here on Winning the Web are “boring, robot-like, and detached.” Apparently, there’s not enough personal posts or case studies of making money.

Fair enough. I initially brushed off the comment thinking that he just wasn’t a part of my target audience. While he wants personal stories and experiences, I’m mainly interested in providing insights and strategies for Internet marketing derived from my experiences. You know, the actionable stuff that helps you generate more traffic and make money with your online businesses.

But then I started questioning myself. Isn’t a blog supposed to be personable? Isn’t it supposed to include personal experiences and opinions? Of course I’d never want to turn this into a personal blog, but perhaps I’ve been overly focused on Internet marketing strategies to the point where it’s just valuable information, and nothing else. If that’s the case, the connection between me and you the reader may suffer and that’s the last thing I’d want.

So I want to ask all of you a question and maybe it’ll help you in your own blogging efforts…

Am I injecting enough personality into my posts here? Are there enough personal opinions and experiences to make you feel connected to me as a blogger? Or would you rather have all of the content be strictly on the topic of Internet marketing? I think there has to be some sort of balance, but let me know what you think. Leave a comment and be sure to vote in the poll as well. Thanks!

Is there enough personality on Winning the Web (i.e. personal stories, experiences, and opinions)?

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32 Responses to “How Much Personality Does a Business Blog Need to Succeed?”

Jim Gaudet on April 29th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I think that you have to have some personal info on your posts. This way we can relate to you.

Gyutae Park on April 30th, 2009

Hey Jim,
I think that’s the idea. Advice and information are more useful when there’s a personal story behind it.

alexa ranking on June 3rd, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

i certainly agree because it gives the person the feel of being somewhat related to their personal experiences

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wisdom teeth removal on April 30th, 2009

I dunno maybe occasionally show a picture of you doing something in the world, ShoeMoney and JohnChow seem to do that a lot

Gyutae Park on April 30th, 2009

Haha, you’re right. They do have a lot of personal posts on their blogs and I think it’s a little more than what I’d like to do here. Still, I think the general consensus is to inject some more personality and “keep it real”.

almir on May 17th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

i’m a reader of both john chow and shoemoney. Their the kind of bloggers that mix it up here and there whereas they include their personal visits than go back to money making strategies etc.

Christopher Ross on April 30th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

@Wisdom – I have to agree, one of the reasons that I read John Chow so much is simply infuse so much personalty into his posts.

Gyutae Park on April 30th, 2009

Hey Chris,
You know, I think it really depends on personal taste. Some people give John Chow a lot of crap because he’s a little too personal (e.g. showing family videos, pictures of dinners, etc) and doesn’t give out enough valuable information (makes money by telling people how much money he makes). Of course, he still does exceptionally well on the blog and he’s able to connect with his niche audience – so he’s doing something right.

Christopher Ross on April 30th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I suppose the value is that he does eventually tell people how to make money 🙂

There’s a distinct value in helping people to see web bloggers are commentators rather than reports in my opinion and while I agree he sometimes goes a bit too far, I also enjoy his posts even when they’re off topic.

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Gyutae Park on April 30th, 2009

That’s really interesting. I think what’s happening is this – People are initially hooked to John Chow (and other top IM bloggers) because of the money that they make on their blogs. They want to learn more about how to do it but eventually get so connected with the blogger’s own life (through personal stories and posts) that they are just as interested in the person as the topic itself. Very powerful stuff – those types of readers will stay with you forever. Same thing with celebrities (e.g. You not only want to watch Jennifer Anniston’s movies, you also want to keep up with her personal life).

Christopher Ross on April 30th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I think that JC, much like yourself expresses a personality beyond a few simple tips and as such, makes people like myself feel more welcome. Take yourself for example, your articles are great but often no longer significantly beneficial to my understanding of web marketing yet I still come back and read them because I enjoy your commentary.

MikeTek on April 30th, 2009

While I agree that infusing some personal experience / anecdotes into your posts is a good way to relate to your readers (and have them relate to you), you don’t want to go overboard.

The thing is: if you’re forcing it, we can tell.

If you say, “hey, do you guys want more personal posts?”

And we say, “yes, please.”

And in the next few days you post a personal anecdote or story, that’s a bit contrived.

That said, tricks and techniques are much easier to swallow when we’re shown, not just told, that you’re a regular person like the rest of us.

What I’m wondering: how’d you get started in Internet Marketing? How have you failed in the past and what did you learn from the failures? What’s your story?

Gyutae Park on April 30th, 2009

Hi Mike,
Thanks for the advice. I’ll have to hold off on that personal anecdote until next week… 😛

You’re absolutely right about “forcing it” though. Most people can tell when something is forced or ingenuine.

Great tips – it’s always great to get feedback from readers. I’ll work on incorporating those components into my style.

Dennis Edell on April 30th, 2009

I think you do need more of a personal touch, but I think some here are going to extremes with it. Personality doesn’t have to be “stories” or “photos”, unless they maybe pertain to the post itself…but not to much.

To me, personality is simply putting some of YOU in your writing; write as you talk, and write as if you were talking.

“Y’all wanna hear a sweet traffic tip?”


“Would everyone reading this like me to enlighten you to a most intriguing blog traffic generation tip I heard today?”

Which is going to perk you up and which sounds like the Queen of England trying to keyword stuff her speech.

That’s really the best way I can explain it. lol

Some of the more stuffy may consider it unprofessional and wrong, but I don’t need them subscribed….my numbers go up, so I’m happy. 🙂

Gyutae Park on May 5th, 2009

Haha, great point Dennis. Good thing Queen Elizabeth isn’t involved in Internet business, right? 😛

You’re right about the personal touch aspect though. It doesn’t necessarily just about personal stories and anecdotes. Personal style and tone count for a lot too.

Plus, being personable and being yourself allows you to attract like-minded people who appreciate your personality.

Dennis Edell on May 6th, 2009

Bingo! And with the gaining popularity of in-person seminars and “meetups”, this could come in handy. 😉

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Sleepless in Sacaramento on May 1st, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Just so you know, I am the one that voted that I wanted to your stalker! (just kidding though – because that is my personality which I am bringing to your blog). Seriously though, you are doing fine, I find you have a good mix of personal stuff mixed in but not so much that it appears as though you come here to whine. I am pleased with the content. Which is not to say that I am ruling out being your stalker…. 🙂

Gyutae Park on May 5th, 2009

Haha, so you’re the guy who voted in as my stalker… I don’t know whether I should be flattered or very afraid. 😛

Anyway, thanks for the support. It’s readers like you who keep me going and help me to continue writing on the blog. Cheers!

MLDina on May 4th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Personally, I love bloggers who put personality into their writing. That doesn’t mean you have to randomly insert your favorite color, actor, pizza topping into your posts, but I do relate better when little anecdotes are part of the equation. I’m sure there’s an equal amount of readers that HATE that kind of stuff, which leads me to my next point.

You will never be able to please 100% of your audience 100% of the time. There will always be people along the way who drop off, but if you stay true to yourself and the kind of content you want to produce, who cares? The people who should be subscribing will.

Gyutae Park on May 5th, 2009

Hi Dina,
Great point. As I mentioned in the post, it’s impossible to please everyone and it’s pointless to try. It’s better to just be yourself and inject your personality where applicable.

You mean no one wants to know about my favorite pizza topping?? (It’s mushroom btw) 😛

MLDina on May 6th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I mean I TOTALLY want to know what your favorite pizza topping is (FYI, we’d have to get a 1/2 and 1/2), but that might not be everyone’s preference…

PS- Are you typically home around 6:30pm EST? 😀

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Gyutae Park on May 6th, 2009

You’re getting me hungry… 🙂

I work from home so I’m usually home at around that time. Don’t tell me you’re trying to send me a pizza… You guys at Market Leverage really are something.

I’m out in Chicago now so I’ll have to give you that address. Let’s have a pizza party sometime. 🙂

MLDina on May 6th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Will you be at Affiliate Summit in August, or Affiliate Convention next month? We’re definitely getting pizza while in NY! Also, shoot me your current address, I think we have some swag here for you anyway. My first name at is my email address.

Dennis Edell on May 6th, 2009

NY? What when and where in NY?

MLDina on May 6th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

@Dennis Edell Affiliate Summit East, August 9-11th at the NY Hilton- will you be there?

Dennis Edell on May 6th, 2009

A much better possibility then most of them, I’m on Long Island – 40 minutes by train to the city.

Travel China Blog on May 6th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I think personality is something which can make you unique, but it is not the main reason of people unsubscribing.
I can tell few reasons from my personal opinion why they leave.
1. They are two busy to read your emails.
2. They do not like the offers you announced.

Today I have received an email from a blog owner, he is asking what kind of coaching program may interest you to join? I liked this approach.

It may not very good to send same copy of email to all subscribers, it may be time consuming but you can try to segment your subscriber according to their need and interest, by asking simple questions like that and asking them to take a small survey.

Also you may send offers to new subscribers after certain time until, he/she read your email/blog long enough to build a trust and confidence to your integrity and capability.

Ecommerce Help - Tyrone Shum on May 7th, 2009

Sometimes, people would like someone who is within their hands reach. Somehow, when you get a little up beat, they tend to be more interested with a supposed to be boring post whih is filled up with steps for this and that, etc. I myself think that sharing personal anecdotes are effective in blogging especially if it is relevant to the content that you are to post. However, like all things, being too personal can get you look overrated or something.

Another effective way for a personality to appear in each of your post is writing like your talking directly to your readers. Getting creative with your words can also hype up your readers and encourage them to read more.

Mike Huang on May 10th, 2009

You have built your blog into a main source for affiliate marketing and internet marketing strategies, but you should not change that in any way.

I know Shoemoney practically writes about NOTHING now, but he got his way up to the top just like John, so no one cares what they write, lol.

Amultytuh on June 3rd, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Sweet blog. I never know what I am going to come across next. I think you should do more posting as you have some pretty intelligent stuff to say.

I’ll be watching you . 🙂

ionicroda on July 6th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email
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