I’ve seen a couple of articles recently which called into question the benefits of revealing too much in a blog. As if putting it all out there was the professional equivalent of doing the “Full Monty” on one’s ideas, insights or experience. A few bloggers were wondering out loud if it didn’t make more sense to hold back a bit (what I call doing the strip tease) versus publishing every detail about a particular topic, practice or strategy.
You can probably argue both ways. There is something very tantalizing about saying enough but not everything, to keep people interested. Novels and the entertainment industry have clearly used this to their advantage. The trouble with this approach, however, is that it can become very frustrating for the reader. After all, if they are coming to you, its usually for answers, information or inspiration. A good tease is generally not what they are after unless, of course, you know exactly how to keep them coming back, begging for more…
I can understand why some professionals might be uncomfortable with what they would consider as revealing too much. They would rather cultivate a certain air of mystery, much like a magician would rather keep his tricks confidential. The problem is that the foundation of a good relationship is trust and an implicit or explicit exchange of value. The reader gives you his or her time/attention and the writer needs to give something back in exchange: 1) enough to earn the reader’s trust and 2) enough information, education or entertainment value to keep them coming back.
An article on why you did/fixed/improved something without addressing the how, completely fails on both counts. Readers are entitled to a modicum of insight into what you did to achieve a goal. While it may reveal what you consider to be your “secret sauce,” it creates trust, builds your credibility and it implicitly says that you are comfortable with sharing knowledge or experience. Readers take seconds to make up their minds about what they read, and they can sense pretty easily when they are being teased or being left hanging.
There are simply too many substitutes and alternatives available online today. If readers can’t trust you to collaborate and unreservedly describe the value you bring, they will simply look for it elsewhere.
This is why in every one of my articles, I strive to be as honest, transparent, thorough and as helpful as possible. There will be no intentional holding back or teasing coming from this author. I put it all out there for anyone to use or comment on as they see fit. I won’t pretend to have all the answers but I will share how I handled or would recommend handling a situation.
When I write, you always get the Full Monty.
Got a different point of view? Share your thoughts!