This is kind of a funny post because as soon as someone takes advice on how to be authentic, that almost makes them less authentic.
Furthermore, “authentic” means something different to everyone. There is no one, single right answer there. Not everything in this list will apply to you, and there may be other tips NOT in this list that DO apply to you. So take it all with a grain of salt.
But I’ll do my best!
Don’t change your content for the sake of more traffic, or for the sake of doing what’s “in”
- Don’t say you love (or hate) something just because everyone else does.
- Don’t write certain posts just because they’ll be popular. Write what you truly want to write.
Keep your blog about what’s important to you. Follow your passions.
My advanced coding tutorials get some of the fewest comments on my blog (often zero), but I like writing them and hope they’ll help someone, which is why I continue to do it.
Just say what you want to say
- Don’t beat around the bush.
- Don’t sugarcoat.
- Don’t try to please everyone.
Just get out there and say what you’re feeling. If you spend too much time refining it, it can often sound rehearsed, edited, practised, and lose some of its genuine feel.
Try to write how you would speak out loud to a friend. Let your personality shine through.
(Of course, if refinement is what feels most natural to you, then that lack of refinement might make you less genuine. See how hard this is? And of course, some editing might be appropriate. Calling all your readers toerags will just make you sound like a genuine arse.)
Be honest about compensation
- If you post an affiliate link, mark it as such.
- If you got a product for free and you’re now reviewing it, disclose that.
- If you got paid to write a blog post, disclose that.
Don’t hide your disclosures, don’t omit them, and don’t make them sound like something they’re not (i.e. changing wording from “sponsored by x” to “in collaboration with x” — the latter doesn’t sound like money changed hands, so if you DID get paid, then don’t ues that wording).
Share the dark stuff as well as the uplifting stuff
This one is a matter of opinion, I suppose, but I think a lot of people resonate with seeing the negative side. It allows them to connect with you, because they experience the bad too.
- Share your fears.
- Share your struggles.
- Talk about your doubts.
- Lay bare your insecurities.
Life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. If you only write about the good stuff then you may come across like less of a real person.