Are You Blogging with Confident Feet?

Are You Blogging with Confident Feet?

Reader Comments (28)

  1. Hi Ryan;

    Good advice.

    One trick that I use when speaking–especially when people seem to be distracted–is to place my hands in the air (away from my body) and bring them together.

    What this does is capture eyes and bring them to me. It can be done very subtly so people have no idea what is happening.

    In the same way, there are similar things you can do as a blogger to draw the focus of your readers (such as asking them questions).


  2. Interesting. There’s another corollary in football. Expert commentators will often focus on a quarterback’s feet. Struggling QBs often are often either nervous in the pocket (not wanting to get hit) and you can see it in their jittery feet, or have bad technique and don’t set their feet properly before they throw. They are not in command and the feet are the giveaway.

  3. I still can’t get our pastor to let go of the pulpit. Behind it his feet are “dancing”, but he won’t leave the comfort of his wood security blanket. He’s dynamic otherwise. You hit me right in the funny bone.

    Most of what you said applies to novelists as well, which is why a good novelist CAN be a good copy writer (not a guarantee).

    Also, if you have fun with your writing and can communicate that, your audience will have fun reading it. However, use discretion, one person’s joke is another’s insult (especially if you get political).

  4. Just for the record, Copyblogger is my bible. Thanks Ryan. It is easy to feel safely hidden behind a computer screen, but the reality is that as a writer, you are exposed more than in real space (so to speak).

    In Cyber-land there is no body language to interpret what you really mean, or what you might have meant. You have to be understood at first glance and there is no second chance.

    Your words of wisdom, Ryan should be read by everyone who writes (including bloggers)

  5. Public speaking requires practice. A good resource for folks in Copyblogger land is Toastmasters.

    I think the story you wrote would be even better if you imbedded links to groups like Toastmasters —

    Speaking of speaking in public — butterflies are free– they make you more interesting as a speaker. Body language, jittery feet all can be forgiven if you project intelligence and passion while in motion.

    Another great resource for speaking is William Safire’s collection of greatest speeches — “Lend Me Your Ear”

    best fishes,


    PS: My two cents: Skip the self congratulatory reflections on how your presentation went.

  6. Big fan of Copyblogger here!

    Liked this post a lot.

    I have done a lot of speaking and I have always concentrated on one person at a time in the audience for eye contact.

    I think it is the same with blogging.

    Who are you talking to? Maintain eye contact!

  7. Your article is very true but I agree with Timothy Colman. The most important thing is to show the passion about the subject. I think that even more important than body language is your tone of voice.

    Monotonuous voice is even worse than a lecturer standing still.

    I have been teaching math for 20 years and math has been my passion since I was 15. I show it to my students and actually have had success in turning some math haters’ heads.

    How to implement this in blogging? That’s harder. Maybe pictures, occasional capital letters or colours. These tools are however very hard to handle but that goes for passion also.

  8. Another note on the feet/movement: don’t step front and back just to be moving. I’ve seen too many people presenting like this. Step foreward, stand still, step back, stand still, etcetera. It is very “annoying”/distracting and gives the same nervouseness (or more) as standing still.

    Liked the post though so I’ll be reading more from you. Thanks to ‘succesfromthenest’ for sending me here 🙂

    With kind regards,

    Fred Schenk

  9. I was just here a couple of days ago. This is such an interesting forum, beautiful, positive attitudes. Leena’s comment brings me back.

    A blogger has to apply what one would call “public speaking” techniques to his/her blog and the way to do that is to apply “writing” techniques. Using those skills, a writer sets the tone, atmosphere, introduces character and establishes credibility (same as the speaker).

    The skilled blogger achieves this by first writing error free copy, and then by bringing needed information to the table. He/she shows enthusiasm, anger, love, etc. by the verbs and adjectives, and syntax that he/she uses.

    Words are the writer’s body language, eye contact, hand gestures and expression of passion. When was the last time you read something that compelled you to respond? …hmmm…perhaps… “Are You Blogging With Confident Feet?” For fun, read it again and see if you notice the eye contact, confidence, purpose, personality and versatility. I sure did.

    O’miGod, I love being a writer. 🙂

  10. I think bloggers should read this post. It’s very true, even if you have the theoretical mind to preach, you must know how to drive your audience from and entice them to read the article from start to end. The basic steps? I guess I read them all above.

  11. Brian I see your rhythm and following some of your suggestions is what I am doing. Lets see if it works. I like your content much more than Problogger. I suppose content is relevant then ad placement after.

  12. Good post, Ryan. I like that you “practice what you preach” in this article. The playful nature definitely adds something to the whole thing. Definitely something worth considering for my own writing (along with the other tips mentioned here).

  13. Great post! I consider myself a pretty good public speaker but there was lots to learn from this one.

    I wanted to key on one point you made which was about blogging with confident feet and commanding your niche. Do you have any advice for those of us still looking for one? When I started my blog it centered around reviewing things – music, movies, websites and video games. As time has gone on, I have found myself writing more about social networks more and everything else I originally started my blog for, less.

    I have the unapologetic thing down (very strong opinions) but I wonder about the niche part 😛

  14. Wow, what incredible luck. My knowledge of blogging was zero when starting over 1 year ago. Transferred the success from my public speaking to my writing and it seemed to work so far.

    But you have explained to me one of the things that fall in the category “You don’t know what you don’t know”.

    Now what else is there to know?

  15. Thanks for this thought-provoking perspective on writing. I never would have thought of correlating body language to writing. But you’re right, 90% of communication is non-verbal, and how you say something is every bit as important as what you say.

    To William above, there are millions of websites on every imaginable subject. If you want people to visit yours more than once than you need to provide interesting, specialized content. Focusing on a niche that you’re knowledgeable in is critical.

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