To kick off the 6 Weeks to a Better Blog series, here’s Melissa from Bubby and Bean with a little advice on finding your blogging voice…
Finding your blogging voice is one of the most important aspects of your blog as whole. It’s also something that can be very difficult for new bloggers. I like a lot of things. I like writing about a lot of things. And like all humans, my moods also change from day to day. When I started my blog, I struggled with how to create something that wasn’t all over the place but still felt genuine, natural and enjoyable. What I learned (with practice) was that it is possible to focus on a wide range of topics and remain true to myself without looking like a scatterbrained mess. The key to tying it all together is having your own unique blogging voice.
I believe that the best way to establish your voice is a fairly simple concept: be yourself. A blog is just another website until the person behind it lets their own unique spirit shine through. Be inspired by other bloggers, but don’t try to emulate them. Be authentic. Imagine yourself having a conversation with your best friend, chatting about stuff you really love. What tone of voice do you have? Are you funny or sarcastic or serious or bubbly? Whatever your personality, let that come through in your blog posts. Maybe tone down the swearing (yes, I have the mouth of a drunken sailor in real life), or edit your writing in order to be a little more professional (remember, a lot of people will have access to what you’re writing), but still be you. My favorite bloggers have legit writing styles that showcase their real personalities. You don’t have to share every detail of your life or every problem you’re facing, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide who you really are. Once you spend some time getting comfortable with blogging and allowing yourself to showcase your personality through your writing, you’ll naturally settle into your niche. People relate to genuine people and your audience will relate to your blog if it feels real rather than forced.
The other key to finding your blogging voice is good old fashioned practice and learning to recognize what works for you. Everything about blogging takes time and patience and establishing your voice is no exception. Post often. Then after a few months, go back and look at which posts have the most traffic or comments or feedback or else just look at the posts that you’re the most proud of. What do these posts have in common? What topics did they cover? What type of writing style did you use in them? Find common threads between these posts, take note of them, and try focusing on those things when you’re writing. This doesn’t mean you need to feel pressured to imitate your successful posts in order to find your voice. Just use them as building blocks for future successful posts by recognizing patterns. Of course, you can also go back and look at which posts were less successful and try to avoid repeating “mistakes,” but I personally think it’s more productive (and inspiring) to focus on the positive.
My last piece of advice about finding your voice to is take a deep breath and remember that as awesome as your blog is, it’s just a blog. Whether you’re blogging in your spare time or blogging professionally for profit, it should still be fun. The more at ease you feel about it, the most naturally your voice will come to you. Promise.
Thank you Melissa!
Now it’s time for you to get involved! This stuff only works if you apply these lessons to your own blog, so along with each post there will be a question or a challenge…
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