Liz Strauss: The Voice Behind the Blog

Liz Strauss in the fleshI am one of the privileged crowd who has had the pleasure and honor to sit down with Liz Strauss and hear what is on her mind. Most of you reading this already know of Liz or are also one of her SOBs. If you just found that sentence shocking, then you need to catch up to the rest of us to know what Liz is all about.

Once you start reading her blog as a routine, much as you listen to a talk radio program, you get used to her unique writing style that includes one sentence paragraphs, bulleted lists, and badge-like graphics to add spice to her articles. The success of Successful Blog has taken her writing from being an online publisher to blogging in the best sense of the term. When you tell people you are a blogger, that often elicits strange responses from people. Those people have not met or read Liz.

Something interesting happens when you meet her in the flesh: her typed words take on color, cadence, and almost a taste. Her writing style is not actually how she writes, per se, but how she thinks. From that moment on, Successful Blog reads differently. It is a personal conversation with you, not a form letter to the Internet. Even her hand motions from her early dance experience take form in her written word.

Liz is just as elegant in writing as she is with her hands.

Liz Strauss and Jesse PetersenAt SOBCon07, Liz chose me (for some reason that is beyond my understanding) to run her slide show for her presentation. That opportunity gave me some one-on-one “get to know Liz Strauss” time as she ran through what was going to transpire in her talk. I saw her hands move as she spoke out of the corner of my eye as I was trying to soak in everything she was saying while figuring out when to flip to the next page in her printed outline. She dances through her words, in sort of a contemporary style. Sometimes she has the fluidity of a ballet, but then another thought needs to come through, so her step adjusts with the new flow.

Her time up front was really a talk more than it was a presentation. From my vantage point behind Liz, while hiding behind a 15″ laptop screen as best I could, I saw people’s reactions to her spoken word. The room was captivated. She could have talked for 3 hours that day and not a soul would have said a thing against that.

That is what I picture every time she posts a new article.

I see hundreds, thousands, and millions (she is very secretive about her traffic, thus I am free to picture her readership in my mind’s eye) of people dropping everything they are doing and reading every word she writes until they feel compelled to participate in the conversation. It is no different from listening to her in person, yet it is an entirely different experience having done just that.

What do you see when Liz writes?