A Blog People Can Relate To – Charlotte’s Web

September 20, 2006

I’ve been keeping in touch with Charlotte, a friend of mine in Germany, via her blog. In fact, when something I read in the paper reminded me of her today, I went back to a post she had written on that subject a while back and posted a comment. I know she’ll get an email about it.

I paused after I posted. I was trying to get my finger on what it was about blogging that is so interesting.

My whole experience in blogging has been with a business focus. And, yet, on my site, I don’t have the same experience that I feel she and her visitors do.

My blog is. . .well. . .about marketing stuff. I suppose some people stumble across it via Web searches, or key words, but I don’t feel like I’ve developed the community that my friend has. Granted, I don’t go to much effort to see what everyone else online is saying (my fault, I guess). And, I’m not prolific.

In Charlotte’s blog, she has created quite a following among a group of, I think, mostly women from around the world. It seems that they play off of each other – read each other’s posts, and encourage each other. They can relate to each other.

Her husband has a business blog. He works hard to keep it fresh and interesting and is rewarded with more hits (than I get, for sure). He also spends time visiting others and commenting. And yet, he receives much less traffic than his wife.

I wonder. . .

Are we business bloggers trying too hard to offer “business value,” have “interesting debates” and “sound intelligent” while the real value may simply be in being someone others can relate to?

Most of the business blogs I stumble upon seem to be mere self-promotion. Even their comments are nothing more than thinly veiled attempts to draw attention to their own blog. (No, Thomas, I don’t think that of you.)

But Charlotte’s blog is just good, expressive writing. She loves to write. She has no strange motives (to my knowledge). She writes about things that people enjoy reading. Things that others can relate to.

Hmmm. I guess that’s what meeting the needs of an audience is all about. And that’s why her audience is growing!

I was going to try and end with some clever marketing or branding take away, but I’d rather just point you to Charlotte’s Web and let you figure out what makes the difference between something you find once in a Google search and something you go back to every day and miss when it’s gone.

Good work, Charlotte!



  1. Thanks, John. I blush.

  2. Hi John. you are so right. I mean, it must be hard to make a business blog actually gripping.. (but you have made a step in the right direction putting your finger on this issue) I too miss C’s blog almost as much as I miss her when she is away, but because it is so closely connected to who she is, so it makes it interesting.. Aren’t people more interesting that some hot-shit business idea? I mean, do we all do this stuff for the money or the mere love of it? Well, I just cannot work it out…

  3. .. You have put into words something that has bothered me too. I have (since about 2 weeks ago) an intranet blog at work here and I decided everyone should lighten up a bit. So I started stiching things on it like pictures of cakes I baked at the weekend (that people should come and eat), or stupid words I want banned. The resonance so far has been mixed.

  4. emma – yes. I think people are actually more interesting. Maybe that’s my problem. I care more about people than marketing widgets.

  5. That’s must be why I like you so much 🙂

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