blogging tips

8 Reasons Why Authenticity is Vital for Bloggers

When people read a blog, they want to know that they are connecting with a real person. By showing your heart and being genuine, you open up a space where others can relate. I have a question for you.

How much do other's opinions affect your understanding of ‘who you are’ or ‘where you should be’ in life?

Usually the answer is: more than we can imagine.

I know this to be true because I used to struggle with it. Throughout high school and my first year of college, I just simply wanted to fit in with the crowd. 'Who I was' was usually an image of what was popular at the time. But it never felt right; it never felt like, me. I always felt like something was missing.

Over the course of the last year, I discovered a lot about who I am and what type of person I'd like to grow and become. It was the death of a girl I never knew that caused me to re-evaluate how I was living my life. She inspired me spread happiness wherever I go and live life to the fullest.

I want to be open, honest, and real; genuine. I want to be who I am, not someone I have to pretend to be for the approval of others. I desire a life of authenticity, simplicity, love, and grace.

I have also learned that the same applies to blogging. When people read a blog, they want to know that they are connecting with a real person. By showing your heart and being genuine, you open up a space where others can relate.

But there's something you need to know.

Being authentic isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be downright difficult. We are often swayed by the desire for others’ approval or to fit in. Vulnerability can be scary and uncomfortable, especially if we've been conditioned to only show the beautiful bits of our lives.

But it's worth it.

When we come across as being genuine, we're giving others the freedom and courage to be genuine also.

And although being authentic is important for every aspect of life, today I want to specifically share with you 8 reasons why authenticity is important for bloggers.

When people read a blog, they want to know that they are connecting with a real person. By showing your heart and being genuine, you open up a space where others can relate.

8 Reasons Why Authenticity is Vital for Bloggers

It Produces Consistency 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.

It Encourages Personal Growth

The more you live an authentic life, the more it's reflected to the words on your blog. By opening your heart and allowing yourself to be vulnerable, you're exposing yourself to new thoughts and ideas that cultivate self-growth.

It Provides a Safe Place

Readers love to know they can trust any site they are following. By preparing every post with the intention of being authentic, you'll win your readers hearts and support and show them that your blog is a place where they can be open and real as well.

Being You is What Sets You Apart from Everyone Else

The world is a big place, including the blogging one. Sometimes you might wonder how it's possible to stand out in a crowd of thousands of bloggers who seem to share the same content as you. It's simple really. By being YOU and sharing YOUR story. No one else can copy that. You have something unique to share with the world.

We Crave the Truth

This is a big one. Authenticity is something that society is lacking, but truly craving. We are constantly being lied to and being taken advantage of. By being authentic, you're satisfying your readers need for truth.

It Establishes Trust

By being honest, you're also building trust with your readers. Blogging friendships are some of the best, but they rely on the exchange of trustworthiness to know the person they believe they're friends with online is the same type of person in real life.

You Become Relatable 

Nobody's life is perfect, but sometimes we may want to appear that way online. Becoming vulnerable is what allows us to truly connect with others, because we can say, "Hey, I've been there before."

It Inspires Others

This may be my favorite reason of all! :) Your actions, your honesty, and your transparency will give your readers the courage to embrace true authenticity in their life as well, because they have seen it exemplified, through you!

If we aren't authentic and express who we are, we will never be able to create the life that we truly want. And we can’t create a life that’s truly fulfilling to us if we're not true to ourselves and to others.

Does being authentic in blogging reap benefits for you? How do you live your life authentically?


How to Write Content that Keeps People Reading

Want to know the secret to getting people hooked on your content? Use these tips to engage your readers. Have you ever come across an article or blog post that was REALLY good? Like mindblowing, share-with-everyone-you-know good? Probably yes.

And have you ever come across a post that was maybe...not-so-good? Unfortunately yes.

So what's the secret?

What makes some information is so captivating that you just can't stop reading while other information makes reading a college history textbook sound interesting? Why do some words cause you to excitedly take notes while at other times you re-read the same thing three times and then give up?

The good news is that there is an answer (and a pretty simple one too).

Write content that causes readers to learn and/or laugh.  

[Tweet "Want to know how to write content that keeps readers hooked? @britthouchins shares the secret."]

The reasoning behind this is due to the fact that people read for two very basic reasons.

  1. People read because they want to be EDUCATED.
  2. People read because they want to be ENTERTAINED.

Let's go back to #1.

People love to read articles that teach them something, whether it's how to make a delicious recipe, start a capsule wardrobe, or to Google why platypuses have bills. To ensure that your writing gives readers what they're looking for, there are a few steps you should take.

Write to Educate

  • Give action steps. When a reader wants to follow your lead and learn a process, be sure to tell them the necessary steps involved in order to complete it. Of course, not everything is going to be in a step by step format, but if done right, a well-written post should explain concepts thoroughly and in chronological, reasonable steps.
  • Include tips. Everything you write should have tips included. Everything. It doesn't need to be a basic list of tips either. Tips can take on many forms: keys, tactics, techniques, ways, warnings, suggestions, methods, rules, options, processes, etc. All it takes is for one good idea that you've shared to satisfy the reader.
  • Make them think. Give examples to help get their brain juices flowing. Readers crave more than just information. They want to see how they can apply it in their own lives.

Now for #2.

The internet has brought entertainment to our fingertips 24/7. We like to read articles that are captivating, not boring. Bringing this element into your own writing can dramatically increase the engagement in your posts.

 Write to Entertain

  • Write conversationally. No one wants to read a dry article. My writing style is very informal; I write the way I talk. My hope is that by doing so, my readers can feel as if I'm talking with them one-on-one. Writing conversationally can help readers feel more at ease and even more willing to comment.
  • Use humor. Most people like to laugh. (To those of you who don't enjoy laughing, my apologies. You may skip this and go immediately to the section labeled "Don't Have A Sense Of Humor"). Basically it just means when you have a chance to say something in a funny way, do it. Of course, don't use too much humor and stay away from anything offensive, but by all means insert some light-hearted fun when applicable.
  • Tell a story. Especially a real one, as it provides a sense of credibility to what you're saying. A story can set the mood or provide a background to what you're about to say later on. It can be funny, sad, serious, or embarrassing. Sharing a good story always a great way to engage the reader.

There you have it! The secret to keeping readers hooked on your content. Try it out and see if people don't come running back for more ;)

What do you think? Is the reason people read because they want to be educated and/or entertained?


How to Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner for Better Blog SEO

Want to boost your blog SEO? Follow these 5 steps to using Google Adwords Keyword Planner. If you have a blog or a website, you're probably well aware that SEO (search engine optimization) is important for gaining traffic and ranking higher in Google searches. Many bloggers have shared tips for great SEO. Some of my favorites that I recommend reading are 10 Ways to Boost SEO for Bloggers by Gina and Simple SEO by Nora. They both provide great tips for those who want to increase their SEO but aren't sure how.

One thing I've learned about SEO is the importance of the keyword you set for your post. So today I'm showing you how I use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner to increase SEO for my blog. And guess what? It's easy! :)

A keyword rich post is more likely to show up in higher ranks of Google, especially if it's specific. But if you're anything like me, coming up with the perfect keyword is a struggle sometimes. Google's keyword planner takes away the fuss of trying making up a keyword for your post. Ready to get started? :)

Step One

Go to Google Adwords Keyword Planner.

Want to boost your blog SEO? Follow these 5 steps to using Google Adwords Keyword Planner.

Step Two

Log in or Sign up.

If you already have an Adwords account (a.k.a you host Google Ads on your site), just log in using your Adword credentials. Otherwise, go ahead and sign up (it's free).

Step Three

Follow the prompts until you reach "Your First Campaign"

Don't worry about the "Billing" section that comes right after. You aren't setting up an ad on Google, so you won't pay a thing. Rather, you're just here for the keyword planner. Once you're done using the keyword planner, go ahead and exit. No need to go on to the billing step (unless you're a business and want to pay for ad space on Google).

Step Four

Navigate to Choose a Target Audience > Keywords. Click on Select Your Keywords.

Want to boost your blog SEO? Follow these 5 steps to using Google Adwords Keyword Planner.

Step Five

Type in a few different keywords that are relevant to your post. The number that appears is the search popularity of that combination of keywords. While a bigger number means more searches, it also means that there's more competition. Select your keywords carefully.

Another tip!

Hover over the right of the green bar and click More Like This. More keyword suggestions will appear! You can keep doing this to get an idea on what's being searched frequently.

Want to boost your blog SEO? Follow these 5 steps to using Google Adwords Keyword Planner.

And that's it! Told you it was easy :)

I hope this helps you when deciding on keywords for your posts. If you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear them below!

Have you ever used Google's Keyword Planner?