I’ve been blogging for Studio Cotton and our clients for about 3 years – holy moly. It’s taken most of that time for Aime’s message of “it needs more Lyzi” to finally get through my thick skull, and now I’m writing tidbits like this, adding my own opinions and personality to blogs.
Brilliant, isn’t it? That’s what we call making a blog post subjective, and it’s actually a well important part of writing.
I would argue that pretty much anyone could write a helpful blog post with a little research, and with the rise of ChatGPT it’s easier than ever, but by adding your own unique point of view, you create a piece of writing that only you could’ve written.
Plus, it’ll help your reader build that gorgeous brand affinity, where your customer’s belief that a company aligns with their own values and philosophy, resulting in connection, and a loyal and long customer/business relationship.
Small businesses have the upper hand in some ways with this, as it’s much easier to be personal if the team is small.
A subjective blog post is also nicer for others to read, and it’ll just be way more interesting. So include that brilliant subjective stuff – here’s how.
1. Include your personal opinions
Let’s start off easy – whatever you’re writing about, you probably have an opinion on it. I have the opinion that subjective writing is a good idea, because I don’t want to read a dull blog post. I just won’t do it. Sure, I’ll look at the screen, but the info won’t go in.
As well as being more interesting to read, sharing your opinions in a blog post will help the reader get to know the person behind your small business, and help them see whether you’re on the same page. People love buying from small businesses that they relate to.
For example, if you’re a sustainable fashion blogger you could include the qualities you look for in thrifted clothing in a blog post.
Or if you make or sell beautiful children’s toys you could write about something you disagree with in your industry, like the manufacturing of plastic toys or dolls with unrealistic body shapes.
2. Use your experiences
You’ve got experience that others might not have. For example, I have over 10 years’ experience in blogging, so I can use that expertise.
You can see examples of this in blog posts that I’ve written, such as 6 insider tips for small businesses who fancy a collab with bloggers & influencers – one of my first ever blogs for Studio Cotton (oh, I’ve come so far 🥲).
In that blog post, I used my knowledge to break down how small businesses can work with bloggers and influencers, drawing on my own experience to back up those points.
I’ll bet that you have experience of a whole bunch of topics that would be appropriate to write about on your small business blog.
You can also write about your experience even if you don’t necessarily have expertise – like this blog post that Aime wrote about her experience at trade show Top Drawer, or you could write about your experience in the form of a review of a café, or a run down of an event you attended.
3. Reminisce with an anecdote
Remember when that thing happened to do with the thing that you’re writing about? Include it, especially if it helps you to convey the points you’re making. And extra especially if it’s a funny or fascinating story.
These little anecdotes are so enjoyable to read, and they mean that we get to know you even better, which is lovely for that small business/customer relationship we mentioned.
I popped my own anecdote into 5 influencers tell us how they really feel about gifting, telling a story about a mystery gift that a brand wanted to send to me. It shows that I have understanding of the topic of influencer gifting and gives a great example of how not to do it.
You could try including an anecdote about a mistake you made in a blog post about learning your to make jewellery, how much you enjoyed drawing bugs as a child if you’re now an illustrator, or when you met someone who inspired you to pursue your career.
4. Share your absolute faves
Write down your favourites in a blog post, not just whatever is trending right now.
Whether it’s your favourite coffee shops in central Bristol, your favourite small business tools, or a collection of your favourite projects that you’ve worked on – this is your shortlist, so be genuine with it.
Chances are that if someone is reading your blog post, they trust your opinion and will find a list of your favourites really valuable.
5. Spill the tea on your least faves too
Got a controversial hot take? The internet loves them, which really means that people love them. Just like those faves above, your dislikes are also your own, and also pretty interesting to know.
Maybe it seems a bit negative, but if you chuck in a positive introduction and conclusion, or put them alongside your favourites it’ll lighten it up a little.
Aime wrote 5 common website copy clichés that drive me potty, which she describes as a “full-on rant,” however, by explaining why she dislikes these things and using her experience, she makes some very valid and useful points.
6. Ask your pals for input
Want to write a blog post about sustainable weddings on your wedding photography website for example, but don’t have the experience, anecdotes or opinions to back it up or juice it up?
I’ll bet you’ve got some pals who are experts in wedding decor, food and flowers that you could rope in to help.
It doesn’t have to take up much of their time at all – a couple of sentences is often enough, especially if you ask more than one person.
I asked a whole load of influencers I know to contribute with quotes for our blog post, 13 bloggers and influencers tell us what they love (and hate) to see in brand pitches.
Asking multiple small business owners in the same field is brilliant, because it gives varying opinions on the same topic, making for a very well-rounded and helpful blog post.
7. Chuck in some colloquialisms
Whatever part of the world you’re from and whatever language you speak, there’ll be colloquialisms you use.
Colloquialism refers to informal language used in everyday speech by the common people, predominantly the different use of language in different regions. These words and phrases don’t change much over time or spread far from the area they originated from.
By using colloquialisms in your blog posts, not only does it make them more interesting to read, but again, it will help the reader to relate to you, know more about you and where you’re from, and hopefully buy from you too.
As one of the few people I know who was actually born and bred in Bristol, I asked Aime which Bristolian words she uses.
She mentioned: lush, proper, cheers, keener, daps, mind, and she’s also a big fan of droppin’ the g off the end of ing words.
We then had a heated discussion about whether you should say smooth or stroke, as in “can I smoove/stroke your cat?” I said it’s stroke, Aime said stroke was too aggressive, and we all had a lot of strong feelings about it.
8. Sling in some slang
Slang is the informal sibling of a colloquialism – and you’re damn right you can use it in a blog post if you wanna. Slang words are more specific to the context and group of people, and it’s made by the users of it, so meanings can change and words fall out of favour often.
It has a very similar affect to using colloquialisms, but some slang can be offensive to people (depending on what words you’re using and the context) so be aware and make sure to figure out whether it’s appropriate to use.
9. Add jokes, whimsy and fun puns
Writing blog posts – even mega helpful businessy blogs – doesn’t have to be boring and overly serious. I don’t want to write a boring and serious blog, and I certainly don’t want to read one.
Throw some jokes and fun around in there, maybe do a fun pun or two, or a brilliant play on words. Words are fun, guys! C’mon.
I will forever miss writing political pet-related puns for our old client Pet Hates Toys, who sadly ceased trading about a year ago. I’m pretty certain those puns helped to sell products.
Luckily for me, I can still be silly in Studio Cotton blog posts. I went to town on the wordplay in this one – 9 dead cool and totally gothy indie brands for Halloween 2021 – and to this day, it’s one of my most favourite blog posts that I’ve ever written.
10. Use your fave pop culture references
Which TV show can you recite in your sleep?
For me, Friends is too quotable to resist (as problematic as it is), the adorably awkward Stath Lets Flats has so many quotable phrases (oh my crump, this scene with the pigeon is one of the greatest TV moments), and so does Peep Show (too many naughty words to share a video).
I’ll bet that you could squeeze a quote or reference into whatever blog post you’re writing. It’ll give the reader more clues as to who you are and what you like, and more chances to relate to you.
Plus they’ll often be pretty funny quotes which will make a potentially dry subject much more fun.
And after all that, add in your SEO
Blogging can be absolute magic for small business search engine optimisation (SEO) – which is why we write about it all the blimmin’ time.
One of our biggest blogging tips is to really focus on that ‘O’ – the optimisation. If you’re blogging to get Google to love your small business a little bit more, it can be well easy to find yourself writing a little bit like a robot to please a robot.
This where prioritising subjectivity can really make all the difference.
Write all your lovely words in the way that you like to write them, and then read this smashingly helpful post, Blogging SEO: 7 tweaks to optimise a blog for more Google searches for some tips on how to get your blog article super duper optimised.
The best way to approach writing blog posts is to write how you would talk to your mate about it.
If I was explaining how to make a blog post subjective, this is pretty much how I would do it (but with the 100 times I said “like” and “thing” taken out) and lots of references and stories along the way to help make your points.
A good way to check if it sounds like you is to read it out loud or send to one of those aforementioned mates to check you don’t sound like a stranger or a robot.
If you need any more tips or help with writing blog posts, head over to our blogging category.