How To Find Your Blogging Voice
Picture Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” That red head knew one thing for sure: she wanted her man but more than that, she wanted her voice back. Why? Because if you don't have that, then how can you truly be yourself? *Cue dramatic Disney orchestra music playing.* Forget the idea of a niche. Take away the notion of pigeon-holing yourself into a category. Almost every successful blogger that I read talks about multiple subjects. But they don't just stop there, they have a voice. They have a unique way of writing, talking, or editing that makes you realize: “oh yeah, that's definitely THEIR post!” Not only is this important to help with recognition, it forms your brand and helps you continue to drive meaningful traffic to your blog. The absolute best way to stand out online is to find your voice. Creating your blogging voice will solidify your place online.Finding your voice helps to form your brand & continues to drive meaningful traffic to your blog Click To Tweet
There are billions (for real) of bloggers. It can be seriously difficult to figure out what makes you unique. But when you craft a blog post that's full of your personality (you-isms) then you succeed in singling yourself out from the crowd. If you've ever read a blog and said, “Oh hell yes, that girl should be my friend!” Then you KNOW that was her voice shining through.
But, what is a “blogging voice?”
To me, this is the way you write, your tone of voice, and the type of words and sayings that you use. But it's so much more than that. Realize, not everyone is going to like your voice. That's okay! If we were here to be everyone's friend we'd be instantly lost in the sea of bloggers. Just like on The Bachelor, you gotta be here for the right reasons. And that means staking your claim online. Ask yourself: why are you writing? What message do you want to get across to readers? WHY should they read this. To learn more about this topic, check out my post on writing “Foundational” content. This is content that will continue to boost your blog for years to come.
As for your voice, know that it can change and adapt. It does take some work, but I promise you will figure out what works for you. I think many of us think of a voice as the exact words we use. While that can be part of it, it's not everything. There is a blogger that, to me, writes in a nauseating way. While that might work for her, using these cutesy phrases bothers the shit out of me (she probably would not cuss on her blog.) Many think they need to stick to a script and need to have a certain way of talking. I think there are multiple ways to approach your voice, so let's get to it.
How To Find Your Blogging Voice
Before you can get into the specifics, you have to know what you are passionate about. What makes you angry? Excited? Knowing these things will help you figure out what to write about. No matter what you're passionate about or what subjects you're writing about, infusing your personality into your writing is paramount. For me, I love traveling. Despite not always writing about my travels, I think you can get a feel for that no matter what I write. I also love EDM music, dogs, queso, lipstick. Blogger Sarah of Venus Trapped in Mars loves pizza. ALL of her readers know that. And that aspect of her online (and real) persona helps build her an engaged audience.
When you talk to your friends and family, how would the describe you? Are you outgoing? Make bold statements? Quiet? I tend to be bubbly, over-the-top, and overly energetic. One of my good friends Sara described me as, “using superlatives more than anyone I've ever known.” It's true. I tend to say that this or that is the “best” or “worst.” I don't feel very in between about most things. Despite the blog name. I recently made a book review in which I wrote, “Anyone leaving 5 stars was clearly paid and might have a brain aneurysm.” The author reached out to me personally after my comments.
The idea here is that you can write in different ways about all different subjects, while including your personality. Infuse your quirks. I love how Happy to Wander does this with her posts. Anyone can write about their travels, she does it in a way that makes you want to her email her immediately and say, “umm hi can we be friends?” As in, I literally did that.
Tell a Story
One thing I often note from bloggers is that they give the facts, straightforward. While that's great, and I thank ya, I want to know about you. The point of a blog is to gain a unique take on something. One way to do that is to tell a story. This is one of my favorite ways to infuse personality. Hence the story about the book review above. If you are having trouble coming up with words or phrases, don't fret. Just focus on creating a story that your audience can relate to. Certainly, you have a personal experience that relates to what you're writing about – so include it!
Taylor of The Daily Tay is full of story gold. As a natural storyteller, many read her just to see what she'll write about next. Despite writing about a myriad of subjects: her life, t-shirt biz, dogs, and thoughts, people continue to come back to read because her voice carries each story. Remember, your story doesn't have to relate to every single person. I love reading Chelsea from The Girl Who Loved to Write, a lifestyle blogger that also focuses a lot on her kid. I don't have kids, but I love reading her posts. She just writes in a way where you want to get to know her better and continue to read each time she posts.
Finish the thought
I read a blog post recently because the title spoke to me. It was something about how to learn to be your best self in your 30s (news flash, I turned 30 in January, despite feeling about 14 years old.) While the article was good I felt my attention drifting. What was the point? I came to the end and she made no real definitive statement. In fact, I left the post feeling like I wasted my time. It's so important to have a POINT to your posts. Why are you writing this? Better yet, why should I be reading this? If you don't know the answer, go back to the drawing board.
Stephanie of Not Entirely Perfect has this magical way of talking about minimalism. She's also a list wizard. Seriously, she sets her mind to something, then does it. I need to learn to do that. I feel like every time I read her posts she has a clear goal. She is telling me exactly the point and I understand it, every time.
I can't tell you enough how much you learn when you read. When I read a book I love I write in the margins. I turn over pages. I circle. I did this recently with some books I was reading because they just spoke to me. I love to read books I wish I could write. I am constantly inspired by other bloggers, authors, and podcasters and think this is one of the best ways to find YOUR voice. This isn't copying. This is reading their nuances and recognizing how they align with your own.
While I don't sound at all like Lauryn of the Skinny Confidential, I am mesmerized by her strong voice on her blog. Even if I read one sentence, I know it's her. She has a way of writing that sounds exactly as if she were speaking aloud. And while she can be controversial, people flock to her brand of jargon.
Bloggers “voices” I love:
Mallory Ervin (Youtuber)
Having a voice for your blog is essential. It's what ties together the words to an actual story. Your audience will continue to swell when you point them in the right direction, and often, that means crafting your voice.
I'd love to know your favorite bloggers to read that have a stellar voice?
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