Your Online Persona: Reality with Limits

Recently I read a Writer’s Digest post about platform building and letting readers know the “real you.”  Something the author emphasized that I thought was interesting is that your readers need to feel like they know you.  But really?  They don’t.

This is because there are things that we all hold back.  Sometimes it is simply because this part of your life or your personality would not interest your readers.  The readers of One Writer’s Journey are interested in writing so they know me, the writer.  The readers of PrayPower are interested in prayer and faith, so they know me, the woman of faith.  Neither one is entirely real because neither one is entirely complete.  But that’s okay.

So how do you make your reader feel like they know the real you even when they don’t?

How do you make your reader feel like they know you even when you hold something back?  Here are four simple tips.

Make It Personal. You may not be showing your reader every single facet of your life, but no one really wants that.  Believe me.  But what you are doing is giving them a upclose look at a segment of your life.  Here, I give insight into how I write and how I manage my writing life. On PrayPower I write about prayer and faith.  This means that I’m not writing about yoga, unless it relates to one or other, or painting the dining room or the fact that I have no clue what that sound is in the far corner of my office.  Within this tight focus I have plenty of space to write about me and my work.

Don’t Reveal Too Much.  We all know that person.  The one who is constantly revealing just a little too much whether it is cleavage or about their personal life.  Do this once or twice and many people will give you the benefit of the doubt.  Make a habit of it and your readers will question whether or not they want to know more about you.  Because really?  What they already know they just can’t forget.

Write from the Heart. Write about things you care about. When you do this, your enthusiasm is obvious.  Your readers will connect with it and will want to repeat the experience.  That’s a great way to grow a following.

Readers want to know the real you but it’s probably in your best interest to limit it to the “you” that you bring out for parties and other social events.  The you that would rather be at home on the sofa with a good book?  There’s nothing wrong with her but it might be best to leave her alone til she’s done with that book.



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