Why it Pays to Be Vulnerable in Your Blog

When was the last time you wrote something truly vulnerable and shared it with the folks on your list?

Be Vulnerable in Your Blog, Rhonda HessI hope it was within the last week. You may think I’m crazy for saying this (or you may think it’s a no-brainer), but –

Your blog is the perfect place to show a bit of your humanity… to let your tribe in on some of your mistakes, as well as how you overcame them.

There are two BIG reasons why you want to be vulnerable with your tribe:

  1. Showing that you’re vulnerable builds trust and understanding. People will like you better and want to connect if they get a sense of who you are under all that “expertise” or skill.
  2. Being real is more fun and… well, more real!

When I started writing for coaches in 2001, I had this idea that I needed know more, seem perfect, and be the “wise one”. I wrote a lot of how-to articles full of good stuff, but I missed the opportunity to show more of myself and relate to my audience.

So when I hear coaches say they don’t know enough to serve their niche market, it reminds me of me back then. But that’s just a lie we tell ourselves.

Of course, some of your blog posts will educate the people in your niche market. Some will correct mistakes or take them step-by-step through how to do something. But your tips will land more deeply if you also share how you got there — which is almost always about fumbling into competency, right?

When I launched my blog in 2009, I started following some pro bloggers like David Risley, and I witnessed in his blog posts a kind of take-me-as-I-am transparency that really appealed to me. I noticed his posts attracted lots of comments. And, because he shared those personal details, I saw he was making a really good six-figure income just by blogging and selling a few products. Wow!

So I shifted my approach a little and got better results. And recently, when I switched to providing an intro by email that links to my blog, instead of sharing the whole blog in the email, I opened up even more. And it’s paying off.

Who knew? (You might be saying “Well duh, Rhonda” but really, I’m not the only one this is a new paradigm for.)

This is the age of social networking. This is a time when having more fun and being more real is good business. The goal is to show more of who you are — just a regular Joe or Jill — while you also show your unique style, your extraordinary qualities and know how.

Believe me, you have a great story to tell. Everyone does. And stories rock! So get them into your marketing, your blog… everywhere where you connect with your people.

Tell me what you think about this whole vulnerability thing in the COMMENTS below. If you’re hip to it, thanks for leading the way. If it’s new to you, I double dog dare you to share your vulnerability with your tribe once a week (especially in your blog, if you’ve got one)!

And thanks for sticking with me through all the ways I keep learning to do this better.

  • I’d say go for it, Charmaine! Sometimes sharing our vulnerabilities is sometimes the most natural way of expressing our expertise and resilience.

  • Melanie Zeller

    Rhonda, I do .agree wholeheartedly…it is appealing….people relate faster…especially when there is dialogue coming from the teacher….Human to say the least!  I remember years ago about age 30, I passed by the home of a female professor in New York State who I greatly admired with all her accomplishments.  I often wondered if she was real. How could she accomplish so much I asked myself.  Then one day I passed by her home, the lights were on..she was in the kitchen EATING.  Immediately…my thoughts were …wow “Ah, she’s human after all. I could finally relate.

    Love your blog. I’m following you. Melanie

    • She eats, therefore, she is! Great share Melanie, I love how you hit the nail on the head with the words, “I could finally relate.”

  • You’re very welcome Pam. I appreciate you sharing how ‘keeping it real’ suits you well!

  • Wonderfully stated Carol, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

  • Sarah

    Hey thanks for this! It’s so much easier to write when we are not worried about how we are seen.
    Lately I’ve really enjoyed see a couple of ‘successful’ people make mistakes or get muddled in blogs or live & be very comfortable with it. This was great because it reminds me that we are all human & goof up & stops me putting people on pedestals!.

    • Thanks for liking my post, Sarah! You’re right, we feel closer to our mentors, colleagues and friends when we get a chance to see them accept and even celebrate their vulnerabilities.

  • Lori

    I am totally into being authentic and vulnerable, but sometimes I wonder if I open up too much. Can one go too far? People can be very judgmental but I am who I am, and I like who I am, so…

    • Lori, there is a chance of overexposing yourself, sure. But I believe the key to avoiding this is to share the story of your journey from a point of how it serves your tribe. In this way, you will be sure to focus on the ‘formula for success’ as you disclose the stumbling blocks and failures you’ve experienced along the way. Does that help?

  • Lisekunzi

    Thank you very much Rhonda I like this approch very much. None of us are super humans. None of us are perfect. and by showing that we are not ,we connect so much better, because we can relate. I have as jet not started my blog, but it is someting i will do for sure. thanks also for all your valuable information and courses.etc.

    • You’re welcome, Lisekunzi. I’m glad to hear you are committed to connecting with your audience via blogging. Let me know how it goes!

  • It is great to hear another example of how being vulnerable works for coaches, Rosemary. Thanks!

  • Jeff

    Thanks Rhonda! This EXACT subject was on my mind before I read your post! I was thinking about making my blog more personal and experientally based and letting go of preconceived fears about revealing too much about myself. I think this will help a lot!!

    • There’s nothing like perfect timing, eh? I trust your audience will receive the real you with open arm, Jeff!

  • Hey Orsina. Are you signed up for my blog? Do you receive the emails that have just a few paragraphs of writing inviting you to come read my blog on my site? Those are all loaded with personal info. Here’s the invitation copy that went out for this blog post on July 12:
    See what I mean about being vulnerable?

    Dear Orsina,

    Something really touched me the other day…

    I had a fantastic consult with a coach who was
    interested doing an Intensive with me. We really
    connected and –perhaps a little too zealously — I
    invited her to join my Prosperous Coach Inner
    Circle Mastermind. I felt the fit and was
    exuberant about helping her take her coaching
    business to the next level.

    She graciously declined “for now” saying she
    didn’t know me well and couldn’t invest her time
    and money at that level until she’s known me
    longer. Well, of course, that makes sense! I felt
    grateful for her truth.

    Here’s what I realized… most of the folks who
    enroll in or inquire about my programs do know me
    well. They’ve been following my blog for a while
    and they resonate with my message, my style and my

    But this coach had literally just heard about me
    and my invitation kind of bowled her over!

    So… I’ve been reminded that coaches need a
    low-cost way to consistently get their message
    out and build trust with their tribe. That’s the
    foundation of building your list and revenue. For
    the best way to do that, check out today’s post.


  • Thanks Rhonda. Your post is timely because I just released a video that shares a vulnerability that many business owners can relate to. It’s raw, from the heart and was a little scary to release because it is so honest. Taking risks in our business is a way to learn and grow. This was one risk I was comfortable taking because it’s one that can help others.

    warm wishes,Cindy

    • I can’t wait to see your video, Cindy! Raw and from the heart is so much better than packaged and from the big brain only!

  • DeborahLynne

    Hi, Everyone! I am new to this blog… I like this topic because it sets a good “first impression” as I am also brand new to the Coach Training and believe the advice of being real and approachable in lieu of trying to be “perfect” or working appear to “have all the answers” is a wonderful foundation to start off with. Thank you, Rhonda. 

    • So glad you’re joining the conversation DeborahLynne and welcome to both coaching and my blog! I hope to get to know you. It’s good to know, isn’t it, that you don’t have to be something you’re not.

  • As you can see by this post, humaneness, vulnerability, (would one with the intent to help others?) is a good thing. I could use more of this kind of stuff. 😉

    Thanks for posting Rhonda.

  • I love this post Rhon, the best feeling really comes from being true to ourselves and to others as well.

  • Rachael

    Thank you for this post Rhonda. My posts so far have pretty much all been “How Tos” and support and I have purposefully avoided being too open. Having read your post I can see that by giving a bit more of the ‘who’ of the coach, the writer, I can create more trust and connection with those I really want to help. One vulnerable post coming up!

    • How to’s are great but I find the posts that get the most comments are more heartful and emotionally engaging. So I mix it up. I think you’ll really enjoy letting yourself show up even more authentically. Who is your target market, Rachael?

  • This really resonated with me Rhonda because I just added my first video to my web site.  I was very nervous about it. Friends offered to film me and I wouldn’t let them because I was so nervous. The filming went great and my conversion rate shot up as soon as I put the video up on my site.  Now I’m hooked and there will be many more videos to come. Getting over my fear of presenting my true self on my site is paying off in a big way, and it’s proven to be fun too.

    • Fantastic how overcoming your fear to get into action produced such great results, Gwen. It’s almost always like that so it’s worth it to move forward even when fear is in your face.

  • Hi Rhonda
    It’s funny how sometimes we need ‘permission’ for certain things. I feel you are kind of giving us the ‘ok’ to be ourselves and even a little revealing. It sounds counterintuitive but I probably wouldn’t have even considered doing so until reading your encouragement.
    thanks for all you do

    • Even the smartest, most courageous and self aware people need permission sometimes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Chris, and I’m so glad I could encourage you to be your awesome self. Your ideal prospects and clients will like who they see.