They're the people behind the voice that seep into our soil and help us grow.

A decade ago a fiction editor gave me a great piece of advice:

"The only way to find your voice is to fall through the center of the earth and back again."

Of course, he was referring to life experience and tons of reading and writing, and of course I blew him off and responded with some flippant remark.

And of course he never gave my work a second look. Thankfully I finally decided to fall through the center of earth (and am still falling).

Fast forward to the wild world of business blogging. Sharlyn Lauby (aka, HR Bartender) wrote a post last week on her blog titled Buy My Stuff and Click My Junk.

In it she relays advice from another blogger:

The key to blogging success was simple – never ask your community to “buy your S@#% and click your junk.”

No one wants to read blogs that constantly do little more than selling – buy my book, hear me speak, come to my event, yada yada. The value lies in engaging members of the community in conversation and building relationships. If you write good stuff, people will naturally want to know what you do.

You should read the whole post because she goes on to talk about face-to-face interactions and the true value of networking without selling.

I responded in the comments:

Right on, Sharlyn. There’s a art to the contextually appropriate times to sell to each other, and it comes easier when there is a basis of a communicative relationship first.

People flock to blogs to consume voice and to share voice, not stuff. Same with face-to-face interaction; there must be a reciprocal nature to the exchange.

If you dig each other, you’ll put up with the occasional pitch.

You can embed a lot of thought leadership, topical trend data, best practices, tips, and of course pitching your products and services in your website, in your collateral, in your deminars (demo webinars) and in so many more marketing activities.

You also share that same information in your business blog and unfortunately as we've mentioned before there is a lot of voiceless junk out there.

Quality business blogging, like all blogging, is more of an art, a creative writing exercise via effective communication -- your voice -- whether that's one primary blogger or many.

People flock to blogs to consume voice and to share voice, not stuff.

"The only way to find your voice is to fall through the center of the earth and back again."

An authentic voice that's credible, rich in industry and life experience yet always willing to learn. (The same goes for face-to-face interaction.)

They can make us laugh. They can make us think. They can make us mad. They can make us drink.

They can make us reach for the stars and shout: "Right on!"

They're the people behind the voice that seep into our soil and help us grow.

They show us without telling.

Those are the bloggers I follow.

You?

Post by Kevin W. Grossman (join me on Twitter, FacebookandLinkedIn - and now join HRmarketer on Twitter, FacebookandLinkedIn!)

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