Introverts can be successful in carving out a place for themselves, even in the non-stop conversation of social media, by blogging with their unique social style in mind.
Most of us are naturally interested in what makes people tick, and when we can use that information to understand ourselves and others, it’s a very good thing. While I don’t like to get bogged down in labels, “introvert” and “extrovert” can be useful terms, if not perfectly descriptive of the individuals they describe. The world—the real one that doesn’t consist of ones and zeros, pixels and bytes—really is a very different place for an introvert than it is for an extrovert. We don’t just behave differently; we experience things differently. For an introvert, conversations can take longer to process emotionally. Words may take longer to choose and then use. Friends are often fewer, but perhaps more deeply appreciated for their scarcity.
I’ve discussed how this affects life for introverted homeschooling moms, but does this difference in personality matter for bloggers? I believe it does! There may very well be people who are introverted in the real world, but extroverted online, and vice versa. For most of us,though, the virtual world parallels the physical one. If you’ve been comparing your own quiet style with that of a more prolific blogger, it might calm your fears to know that introverts and extroverts blog very differently.
I’ve noticed that a some of the most common rules for growing your blog are tailored to the extroverted personality. But I’m rather introverted in real life, and I would be miserable if I tried to behave differently online, so I’ve come up with a few of my own rules for blogging:
Speak up! For an extrovert, thoughts sometimes seem barely even worth noticing unless they’re communicated to other people. (This is, of course, hearsay. I’m not an extrovert, so I don’t know for sure.) Introverts, on the other hand, might fail to seize the moment when something should be said, letting the time for discussion pass while they commune with their own thoughts just a little bit longer. The problem with that, of course, is that we can keep our ideas to ourselves for so long that there’s no longer any point in blogging. Time passes, and the world moves on to other things. Don’t let this happen to you.
Quality, not quantity. You don’t necessarily need a post a day, or even every other day, in order to keep your blog going. You might have fewer posts, but they’ll be thoughtfully written. Readers will appreciate that. If you’ve got one good blog post every week, and it’s something people want to read, that’s better than five phoned-in posts that they don’t. Just be consistent so your readers know what to expect from you.
Pace yourself. Even introverts feel chatty sometimes. Use your limited social energy wisely. If you get a burst of posts written because you’re feeling wordy, don’t post everything you write in the same week. Stick to your once- or twice-a-week habit and schedule those posts for later. Blogging ahead is always a good idea, but it’s even more important for those of us who run out of words sooner.
You don’t have to respond to every email, tweet, or comment. Each person you reach is a valuable part of your growing social media empire, and you do need to cultivate those relationships! That doesn’t mean you have to exhaust yourself responding to every PR request,Twitter mention, or blog comment. It’s OK to read, appreciate, and move on without comment. Only crazy-stalker-people expect you to say bless you to every virtual sneeze they emit. And you don’t want to talk to crazy-stalker-people anyway. You will, of course, want to respond to at least a few of your readers regularly. This is how friendships and business relationships are formed!
Being an introvert doesn’t have to mean playing second fiddle to more outgoing bloggers. Even if your influence builds more slowly, it will build! Even better, your readership will be rock-solid and unshakeable in their loyalty because you’re playing up your own strengths. Even on the internet, slow and steady can still win the race!
Cindy Dyer is a happy housewife and homeschooling mom to five children living in the mountains of North Carolina. You can find her at Get Along Home, blogging about life, children, faith, and sometimes even homeschooling. Or, if you prefer the short, chatty version, she is also on Twitter and Facebook.