How can you share a personal story, yet still draw in readers?

I’m a big fan of showing personality in your blog posts. Sharing your stories helps you do that. But if you start off with “I,” you risk seeming self-absorbed.

I like how a Vanguard blog post tackled this challenge. It opened with “Do you remember when you first encountered the World Wide Web?” That’s a question that just about any adult can relate to. It took me back to memories of a clunky DOS PC. I imagine that even young adults today have a relevant memory, although that will be less true of kids raised with smartphones and iPads.

Only after raising that question did the author, Andy Clarke, dive into his own Internet story from 1993.

Clarke demonstrated how relating your topic to the reader’s experience can help you to draw in readers while showing personality. Of course, there are other ways to show personality without alienating your readers. I discussed some of them in “How to add personality and warmth to your financial writing–Part one” and “Part two.” Please chime in if you have ideas you’d like to add to the discussion.



Note: This post was updated in June 2019 to remove the link to Clarke’s “The adoption of a great idea,” which is no longer available online.

2 replies
  1. John Christianson
    John Christianson says:

    Using personality in writing takes vulnerability and practice. My first response is to not go there and probably comes from my technical and business background. Work in progress! Thanks for the post. John

  2. Susan Weiner, CFA
    Susan Weiner, CFA says:

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I agree that it’s not easy to make oneself vulnerable. That’s not what our business training prepared us for.

    As a blogger, I always feel as if I’m a work in progress.


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