Whether you are a beginner blogger or have been blogging for some time, the key to your success lies within your ability to create a unique online presence. One way to do that is to find your blogging voice. Reading through blog posts, the one piece of advice you see over and over again is “Write how your speak”. It sounds easy doesn’t it? But because you are so connected to yourself, sometimes it is difficult to know how to do that.
Seasoned bloggers can also lose their voice. They can get caught up in writing posts for more pageviews, wanting to attract brands or creating sponsored blog posts that dictate content. How do you get back to what makes you, you? With 80,000 blog posts being published every hour, your blogging voice is the only thing that sets you apart from all the others.
Ignorance is bliss.
At least that is how I feel. When I first started blogging, I had no idea what the heck I was doing. Even though I cringe reading through old blog posts, I can’t help but remember how freeing it was to just write without worrying about how it will be viewed. No pressure. Those were the days. Now after having read a gazillion blog posts about “how to blog”, I sometimes find myself stifled by the rules I have placed on myself.
Writing a blog post now means focusing on crafting the perfect title, graphic, pin and seo keyword long tails. It is so tedious and literally zaps the creativity and flow of words from me. Just the thought of having to do all that with EVERY SINGLE BLOG POST is exhausting. Every word is thought out, pre-conceived, outlined, examined and scrutinised. Where is the fun in that? There isn’t and that can quickly translate into the overall feeling or impression of a blog post. That is definitely not good for pageviews or repeat visitors. Personality or voice is lacking having been replaced with the need for perfection.
Beginner or veteran, finding your blogging voice helps keep your blog fresh and inviting to not only your readers but also for you.
How To Find Your Unique Blogging Voice
1. Practice on Facebook
A great place to practice your writing skills and develop your voice is on Facebook. You are free to do short posts, memes, pictures, observances or share your thoughts with instant feedback. Share what is important to you or be completely silly. Start conversations and get connected with your readers. You can be yourself either on your fan page or on your personal account.
2. Start a Journal or “Morning Papers“
Not ready to practice in public? Then take it old school. Get a real life journal and write away. No one ever has to see it but you. This is a great way to hone your writing skills and let your true personality shine through without reprisal from the grammar police. Don’t worry about structure or flow. This is an exercise in getting your voice on to paper.
3. Join a Challenge or Word Prompt Thread
Are you really stuck and don’t know where to start? Join a challenge like #weekendcoffeeshare. You can either write an actual blog post or just share on Facebook. This type of challenge is great for developing your voice because the focus is writing in first person. You can’t help but let your personality shine through.
4. Don’t Over Edit your First Draft
Do you go over and over a blog post till you have cleaned it up so perfect you could hand it in to your 9th grade high school English teacher? Stop removing and cleaning up to the point where you have erased your personality from your writing.
5. Stop Thinking Every Post has to be Epic
It is funny how the posts that I have put the least amount of work in become my most popular. That is because when I am writing it, I am not thinking about perfection or “going viral”. Those are the posts where my personality shines. And remember, not every song is a hit, not every book is a bestseller. Everyone needs a B side. You are not the Beatles or Stephen King. Release the pressure of epic and you will be surprised at what you will produce.
6. Ask a Friend
Someone who knows you in real life, knows your true personality. They will be able to criticise your work, not for content but to tell you if what makes you, you, is present in your written word. Use that resource.
7. Stop Over-Thinking Your Image
Over and over again I hear about bloggers who quit or are thinking about quitting. Many times it is because they develop a blogging persona that veers so far away from who they are and what they are about. They no longer write about what they are passionate about but what they think readers are passionate about. They create a new personality and sooner or later, they quit because they feel trapped and need to shed the voice that does not represent them. I totally understand that some blog for business and are super focused on creating a brand of themselves but even then, readers want to connect with you, the real person. The most popular blogs are those in which readers can identify with the blogger and their trials and tribulations. Stop trying to mold or hyper control the image/brand you want to present. Absolutely nobody’s perfect.
8. Share your Personal Experiences
Reality. Right across all of your social media platforms you can find multiple posts about the same thing, no matter what you are blogging about and no matter which blogging niche you attribute your blog to. The only thing that helps you distinguish yourself from all the rest is your unique experiences. They also help you find your blogging voice. Use the things that happen to you personally and share those occurrences in your writing.
9. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others!
Not only is comparing yourself to others bad for your self-esteem and ego, they also run the risk of you trying to copy someone else’s style and personality. What works for someone else may not work for you and more than likely, does not fit your personality or blogging voice. Do not mimic another blogger’s technique because you will run the risk of sounding inauthentic. That is not the blogging voice you want to have.
10. Don’t Write for Pageviews
Yes, as bloggers we want to feel like we are sharing our writing with the universe and that we are being heard. Don’t get stuck in the trap of writing strictly for pageviews. We all know that the quickest way to go viral is to be controversial. Controversy can be a huge draw but if that is not what you are inherently about, you will become entrenched in a style that is not your own as well as constantly being in battle with the commenting trolls.
11. Write in your Most Comfortable Place
Where are you when you are most connected to your own thoughts? Where do you find it easier to write? Is it in that brand new office you just set up for yourself or is it in your favourite chair? In nature? In a coffee shop? Find your most comfortable place to write and you will find that it is easier to express yourself and your unique blogging voice.
Remember that people come to your blog to connect with YOU! You are your blog. Share your personality, your thoughts and your experiences. No one else can do that but you. That’s what will make your blog unique and stand out. That’s what will help you connect with your ideal readers and grow your audience.
I hope you find your blogging voice and love the community you build in the process.
Have you found your blogging voice? Share your tips and exercises you use to keep your blog authentic to who you are.