Bring Sexy Back

This is a guest post by Jan Geronimo of WritingToExhale. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

In this post, I’d like to share with you ten qualities that strike me as particularly sexy in a blog. These qualities are likely to make me comment on your blog, hit the subscribe icon for your RSS feed, and generally cause me to talk about you as if you had just invented blogging yourself.

1. You know you’re not Wolf Blitzer*. Don’t go breaking your back trying to be what you are not. Leave that to the big boys who have staff working for them 24/7. If the network guys leave something out which you think is a crucial element of the story then do it. Otherwise, it will be more appealing to me if you tackle timeless topics and ideas you’re knowledgeable about.

Tip: When you recycle news, I might not tell you directly but I’m wincing and cursing under my breath. When I want news with great commentary, I’d have myself a haircut and talk with my barber. That’s the truth.

2. Talk with me. Writing posts can be intimidating. You’re writing, however, in your blog for a while now so I’m telling you this. It helps to remember you are not David Sedaris and you’re not writing for the New Yorker. Simply show up in your blog as you are and start talking with me. So quit posing and try connecting with me in a language we both understand. And please use the tone of voice you normally have when you talk with a friend.

Tip: In replying to comments on my blog, I find myself relaxed and having fun. It’s that quality of banter I want to bring to my post: relaxed, candid, funny and honest. I personally feel that if I consistently fail to bring this on the front page, I might as well go back to blog reading and commenting.

3. Be nice to me. Please keep your rants to the barest minimum. And spare me the drama. It’s very easy to be angry, to point fingers and to liken every incidence of petty crime in your neighborhood to the thieving national government. But this gets old very fast. And you’ll find me taking a long walk to shake off your rants ringing in my ears.

Tip: Set your head firmly on your shoulders. You can still convince your readers by showing restraint and by using a touch of humor. Please remember: Snarky is a dime a dozen and requires the least effort.

4. Be yourself. When you put your name and face on your blog you can be only yourself. Trust yourself more. If you’re thoughtful in real life, let your posts be reflective. If you’re weird in real life, give us a glimpse of that wackiness and nail it down to a science. Nobody can be Seth Godin so be your vulnerable self and be candid about it.

Tip: I always love blogs that not only inform but also let me an occasional glimpse in the inner workings of your mind and personality. Take for example this post by Elmot – written on the fly, little typos here and there, but what shines through is the candor and tension in his voice while telling the crisis that grips his family.

5. Repeat after me: “I’m not a pirate”. This means you will leave piracy to Johnny Depp or the Somalis. What do I mean by this? I’m suggesting you limit the keywords you hijack to those related to your niche. It’s very ugly seeing you chasing profitable but unrelated keywords as if they’re going out of fashion. This makes your blog a mishmash of unrelated posts. Your home is where you can be yourself, put your feet up on the table and admire the view. Have you seen a refugee camp or a picture of a refugee camp? Ugh. I think it’s a matter of time before your blog becomes one.

Tip: See how Roy of House of Puroy handles his varied interests. One day, he wakes up feeling particularly poetic. Does he pack it in his flagship blog, unsettling his readers who are expecting something else? No, he creates another blog precisely for his creative writing.

6. Chase me, not Google. Why is it you’re chasing Google all the time? Google is not wearing a skirt. Remember, it is me you should please. I talk about you after all. When you write your posts as if these were addressed to me, I will see you in a lovelier light. I’d tweet about your post in Twitter, update my Facebook status with your words ringing in my ears, drive me to write a review of it in StumbleUpon, Digg and Delicious. If you set your heart on winning me over, guess what, you’d be sleeping not only with me but with a community of my peers, networks and even mere hangers-on.

Tip: When Google begins changing its algorithm to what it thinks might serve it well, are you prepared for the loss of search traffic? Here’s Chris Garrett’s sensible idea of building authority rather than relying exclusively in using tweaks to reap web search traffic.

7. Your place or mine. Maybe I saw you commenting on another blog and clicked the link back to your blog. Ah, you write well, covering topics close to my heart. I’m intrigued, my interest peaked, and I dropped a comment to talk with you. And because I find you delightful, I come back for more. But it soon becomes clear to me you only want to talk about yourself and what matters to you. The realization chills me. And it will take a long while for you to lure me back.

Tip: Please return my visits. Meet my own family of readers. Spare yourself the trouble of only emailing me when you’ve new posts. It’s unlikely we will move up to being online buddies if you come on as a hawker.

8. Touch me. Okay, this is tricky stuff. So you’re writing about geeky tutorials or topics that require you to be formal. I’m fine with that. The trick is to make me feel involved. What’s in it for me? How can it help me in my real life? The bottom line is not only the useful stuff you’ve got for me. It’s my personal connection with you that matters.

Tip: Think of being helpful. But also consider I’m here because of my fundamental need to connect with you as a human being. Quick example. Closely observe how Jaypee conducts himself in his blog. I don’t know about you, but I feel like a rock star because of him.

9. Being confident is sexy. Don’t sulk in the corner just because you thought you express yourself poorly. It’s the ideas that matter to me. Good ideas make me sit up and pay special attention. Good grammar helps, of course. But I will not think less of you if you slip up and let a dangling modifier to fend for itself. Or if in your excitement to pin down your ideas you’ve thrown in a pair of mixed metaphors.

Tip: Over time, your writing will improve especially if you work at it by studying and reading good writers. Collaborate with a buddy online using Google doc or any other application to improve your writing.

10. Save that stimulus package for me. Because it’s me you love. Not Google, certainly not all the social media put together. Give yourself to me. It’s your own algorithm and my intimate recognition of it that will keep this relationship for the long haul. Trust me, what we have is the real thing.

Tip: Do you remember your first post? It’s raw, tentative, and naked. You’d rather forget about it, right? Maybe you should not. That’s where the magic began. It’s how I found you. I am the first one to overlook the rawness and see your potentiality as a blogger. Show me you’ve not lost that authentic self and I will stand by you.

Did I leave out something important? Perhaps there’s something you’d love to take exception to? Please feel free to share your thoughts, guys.

*Wolf Blitzer is an award-winning American journalist who has been a CNN reporter since 1990.

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Jan Geronimo writes every other day in his blog Writing To Exhale where he obsesses about writing, blogging and the social media. He's passionate too about coffee, gadgets and Twitter. Please give this guy a wide berth every time he flashes his certificate of sanity which the City of Mandaluyong allegedly issued to him. You've been warned.


  • Joie, April 17, 2010 @ 5:59 AM

    I didn’t read this one. I don’t know why I miss this post. Thanks Jan for the good advice. I love the approach.

  • jan geronimo, November 12, 2009 @ 11:53 PM

    @Anne: Thanks for leaving a comment, Anne. :) Aren’t we all stumped by what goes on in our sidebars? They seem to have a life of their own. LOL

  • Anne, November 12, 2009 @ 9:33 PM

    It’s a good thing I know less than nothing about which keywords go where, anything in particular, and am starting to get the hang of this non-lurking thing. These are great tips. Now if I could just figure a way to stop cluttering my sidebar I would be happy.

  • jan geronimo, August 27, 2009 @ 7:10 PM

    @Reyjr: Thanks a lot for searching far and wide for my one and only guest post so far. You’re a very good friend to have indeed. :)

    @Jaypee: Your About the Author box is very nice. Sorry, but I have to ask (as you might have already written about it before)- is it a plug in. Ahehehe. It will certainly make my blog look cool as well. :)

  • reyjr, August 27, 2009 @ 7:27 AM

    You have nailed it right on the head Jan. :D
    I liked #7 – and I remember the first time you commented on my blog then went all the way to my profile and commented there. lol.

    And now, after reading this, I am more flattered and more honoured to be your blogging buddy. woot!

  • Jehzeel Laurente, May 30, 2009 @ 12:37 AM

    Number 6 is a really good point that will bring sexy back to anyone's blog. :D

  • elmot, May 5, 2009 @ 11:05 PM

    ahaha! though big momma is enjoying here life somewhere else, little bro down elm st. is do darn proud.

    and all your efforts of looking for the best pic for this post paid out bigtime!

  • JP Habaradas, April 24, 2009 @ 6:54 AM

    Thank you everyone for dropping by and sharing your thoughts on this article! I’d also like to thank jan for obliging to do a guest post here on JaypeeOnline. For sure, this won’t be the last time jan would be doing a guest post here, right jan? ;)

  • JP Habaradas, April 23, 2009 @ 8:00 AM

    @diTesco – Thanks for the compliment! Glad you like the guest posts featured here on JaypeeOnline and thanks for making this blog a part of your daily web hangouts. Looking forward to seeing more of you here, sharing your thoughts and opinions. :)

  • jan, April 23, 2009 @ 8:35 AM

    That's one heck of a comment, diTesco. I love it. :)

    And hey, ebook is a fantastic idea. But simple steps first. That's like climbing Mount Everest at this stage. I love the idea though. But first, I must get more mileage and soak lots of things first.

  • diTesco, April 23, 2009 @ 7:56 AM

    There you go. SEO in plain English and for humans only:) Who said that you have to be tech savvy when in simple words, it is all but possible to translate whatever all those gurus are talking about. This, is an ebook in the making. Just wondering what attention grabbing title should be used. How about "Blogging Reloaded":)

    And you just keep, going on, and on, and on… Dude, you forgot to include yourself in that list …. "Rock Stars", lol

    BTW, Jaypee – Having a quality guest posts like this one puts you in my daily "roll call". Like your "Live preview Comment", makes me see in real time my mistakes:)

  • jan_geronimo, April 22, 2009 @ 10:32 PM

    @Ad: Thanks, Adrian. I'm glad this appeals to your impish side. :)

  • AD!, April 22, 2009 @ 10:27 AM

    SO SEXY bebeh! haha!

  • JP Habaradas, April 22, 2009 @ 5:15 AM

    @dede – Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by! :)

  • dede, April 22, 2009 @ 5:13 AM

    Really great tips, and nice blog too,

    Thanks for sharing…

  • jan, April 22, 2009 @ 6:53 AM

    @Dede: Hi Dede, Thanks, bro. I'm glad you liked it. You really followed the link. Very appreciative you bothered to follow the trail. :)

    @earthlingorgeous: Thank you! I'm so pleased you took the detour to Jaypee's blog. You left a comment back in my blog and you took the time to share your thoughts here as well. Thanks for sharing this in Plurk, too. What do you want for Christmas by the way? :)

    @Brad: I'm quite relieved that part sits well with you. This particular point appeals to me greatly because I'm quite a slacker when it comes to applying SEO in my blog. Admittedly, this shows my apprehension and lack of grounding in SEO. I'm giving it a shot though to boost my chances as I concede it's not enough to rely on building relationships and the power of word-of-mouth alone. It's striking the right balance I'm striving for. Thanks, Brad.

    @Elmot: Cool. Thanks, Elmot. If she were alive, my momma would certainly scold me for staying up till 2:00 am and must think me nuts. Of course, I knew she's certainly smiling inside. Momma's tough love and all that.

    Yeah, we sorted through boxes and boxes of graphics to find that one. Jaypee has extreme good taste and it's rubbing off on me. So to answer your concern, no Jaypee is not changing anything for me. He might lose some precious demographics if he does that.

  • Brad Shorr, April 22, 2009 @ 4:53 AM

    Hi Jan, Great post indeed! I like how you recommend striking a common sense balance between SEO and human readability. That's the only way to go if you're into blogging for the long term.

  • JP Habaradas, April 21, 2009 @ 10:40 PM

    @elmot – was a collaborative effort between me and jan. It was quite tricky because the post title used sexy and I had to keep the image wholesome because like what jan mentioned, this is a family-oriented blog. I have several family members and church members reading it. :)

    Bout the niche, I’m not switching and besides this is about blogging tips and one of my categories is about tips & tricks so it falls under that category. ;)

  • earthlingorgeous, April 22, 2009 @ 2:31 AM

    Love it! It's still so Jan. Very funny yet true. Great post. I'm gonnaa plurk this thing lol!

  • elmot, April 21, 2009 @ 10:36 PM

    wow! impressive jan. for sure, you made your momma proud of this post, including of course, all the poetic seductinve lines that roy was so hooked on.

    and i must say that jaypee did a great job of the image he placed for this post. i thought jaypee was already changing his niche because of you jan, ehehe!


  • jan_geronimo, April 21, 2009 @ 9:55 PM

    Hi Jhay, I'm relieved. I'm so nervous about this whole guest posting thing. Thanks a lot for your kind, encouraging words. Well, I believe it's your turn now to guest post at Jaypee.

    @Jena Isle: You can say that again about the SEO. But I'm reading up on it when nobody's looking. :) It's better to learn something first about it than dismissing SEO outright. What I don't get is how come some people are obsessing too much about it. That to me is fascinating.

    @Count Sneaky: I might be breaking protocol here by saying you're cool. But I don't get many chances to talk with writers of great nobility so I'm taking my chances. :) You're really cool and awesome too. Woo, there I go again. Thanks, sir.

  • jan_geronimo, April 21, 2009 @ 9:36 PM

    @Roy: This is a family oriented blog, Roy. Young, impressionable minds are reading Jaypee. So I have to mind my language. Lovely praise from a poet, I love that. Thanks, Roy.

  • jhay, April 21, 2009 @ 9:00 PM

    Honest and straight to the point. Great job here Jan. :D

  • Jena Isle, April 21, 2009 @ 8:58 PM

    I like the ingenious style you presented the post. Thanks for the valuable information. I am not so familiar with your item on SEO; however, as I just use the words I want and I don't bother myself with SEO's… lol.

  • Count Sneaky, April 21, 2009 @ 6:58 PM

    Thank you for the kind words. The Welcome Mat is always out for you, my friend. The best. Count Sneaky

  • jan_geronimo, April 21, 2009 @ 6:43 PM

    @Dan: I have come cross posts written in this manner and they're such a turn off. If I found them randomly I just ignore them and move on. The good thing is there is always another day, an occasion to clean up one's post of such ugliness. Thanks, Dan.

    @Bingkee: Thanks, Bingkee. I'm not in Row 1, but I'm trying hard to catch up and learn. I'm pleased you've taken the time to drop a comment.

    @Trench: In our attempt to optimize we sometimes sound impersonal and come off as writing for a machine. This is not to downplay the importance of a properly optimized page for search engines. Indeed, a good relationship online results in a strong word-of-mouth for anybody's blog. Thank you, Trench.

    @Count Sneaky: I'm a johnny come lately in blogging, but I find a lot of helpful online buddies who make learning fun and easy. That's a marvelous point you've said about helping your fellow bloggers. Sure-fire formula for overcoming the rough spots in blogging, this. Which reminds me to check what's cooking in your blog, my good sir. I miss the powerful combo of elegance and humor in your posts.

    @David: Being terse is something I need to nail down because I tend to run off the mouth sometimes. Thank your for your kind words, David.

  • Roy, April 21, 2009 @ 6:34 PM

    Yup! The effort of following your post here is worth the trip Jan. And thanks for the mention, I appreciate it.

    I was laughing as I saw footprints leading to the 'little rascal' hehehe…

    All throughout the post, I thought I was reading a seduction book… would these work on women too?

    You are really a witty writer Jan, which makes me want to ask again, are you sure you're only blogging for months?

    Finally, I stand and take my hats off to you as I bow.

    Superb Jan! Just Superb!

    clap! clap! clap!

  • David Hopkins, April 21, 2009 @ 2:22 PM

    Brilliant, witty, informative and straight to the point(s). Thanks for sharing.

  • Count Sneaky, April 21, 2009 @ 2:09 PM

    Jan’s the Man!. Very good advice and if you have never visited his site, you should. The thing the Count likes about blogging is that the bloggers are so willing to help each other and are generally the most friendly people I have met over a long lifetime. And, well…blogging is just a helluva lot of fun. This is my introduction to Jaypee and I will be back for tips. My best. Count Sneaky

  • trench, April 21, 2009 @ 12:47 PM

    Really good posts Jan. Much of it is true!! +1 to you! Chase me, NOT GOOGLE! Words to live by for any blogger!

  • bingkee, April 21, 2009 @ 12:09 PM

    So true ….and I 'm so glad Jan, that you really got it this time….great post.

  • Dan Miranda, April 21, 2009 @ 9:59 AM

    Excellent post as always, Jan. I really agree with number five: "I'm not a pirate." I find it too often people are putting in random words to SEO. Bad, bad, and bad.

Comments are closed.