Finding the balance between having the right level of personality and professionalism is something I tend to worry about a lot. It's the way that I don't want to throw my personality at you; putting you in a situation where all you want to do is escape. Although, I also don't want to be overly-professional; to a point where everyone gets bored...and where a single part of what I say reflects who I am and the type of blogger I want to be. This discussion is all about whether you feel you need to have a certain level of personality, and how professional you feel you need to be, whilst making sure people remember you are a young(possibly teenage - like me!) blogger.
Personally, I think that you need to show you can be professional, especially when writing an email to a publisher and requesting ARC's, for example. This shows you know what you are doing, and that they are willing to send you the books because they realise you must be able to organise your time. If you sound professional through an email, these people want to look at your blog too, and it is probably a lot more likely to gain their interest if the simplest things are done: no spelling mistakes, formal language, and organised so, they are able to easily work out what it is you are offering. Even so, I think there are times when they want to see your personality. I do this by using Twitter, and talking to my blogging-buddies like I have known them forever. I follow publishers that I have review books from and here they can really see that I am just a teenager - and will moan about homework, and chat about book-boyfriends. Oh, and freak-out a huge amount about new book-to-film adaptation trailers.
I love chatting to people online, and getting to know those who I genuinely get-along with! It's also great to see someone being relaxed about what they are saying, and willing discuss their lives. This part of blogging is one of my favourites; understand someone's personality to a point where you ask them if they are OK, and want them to email you if they feel down. Also, it's a good-feeling to know you can email someone with no subject line and just write them one short sentence, all in capital letters, and it will start a whole conversation. Of course, you can't really do this when communicating with a publisher, or author talking about an interview or even if you want to attend an event.
Having a personality is also something high up on the 'Must Have' list. You shouldn't be afraid to be yourself when blogging, in fear of not being 'professional' enough. This is something I struggled with but, I end up smiling and laughing a lot more because I'm myself. You shouldn't feel like others have a bigger-personality so, are coincidentally more important. This isn't how it works! I prefer to see someone with a bit of personality, rather than trying to be too much to be professional. As your blog becomes more popular, I think you just sink into a mode of, "Wait - I shouldn't say that."
|Just wink at people, instead!|
All of this combined - my overall opinion is that there are times when professionalism is really important and other times where, you just need to be yourself and come-across as who you are. It's about being comfortable, and I know I wouldn't be always trying to be professional. I know when to adapt a different tone but, then I have my places where I feel I just need to talk and talk without worrying about sounding un-processional. This never means I go about swearing and ranting, I don't know why but I'm always immensely careful not to be offensive when tweeting or talking online. Anyone can see that tweet - a person in marketing and someone who was thinking about getting me involved with something - so, being considerate is even more worthwhile than keeping to rules that should be there for people who do this as a job. Not as a hobby where our plan is to discuss books and make sure people find the best-read!
What do you think?
Tell me in the comments!