How To Find Your Blogging Voice19:07
We all know bloggers who are so distinctive that even when they’re posting on another blog you know exactly who they are and where they’re from. They have a strong voice that identifies them instantly. And they’re unique. Cait@Paper Fury’s voice is completely different from that of Liz@Out Of Coffee Out Of Mind. Their blogging voice is so strong that it is impossible to mix them up with anyone else no matter what part of the blogosphere you find them in.
You blogging voice is part what you write, part how you write it, and part how you format it. Writing on blogs isn’t like writing a novel, or an essay. You have more leeway to break the rules, use unusual formatting, coin odd turns of phrase and let your personality spill out into your writing. Whether you’ve been blogging for a little while now and want to hone your blogging voice, or you’re just starting out and want to make sure you sound unique, here are some tips I’ve found helpful in my quest to find my own blogging voice.
Find What You Like To Write
What type of posts do you most enjoy writing? Long analyses of the story elements in popular books and movies? Witty discussions about your favourite character tropes? Lists of tips? Personal stories? If you’ve been blogging for a while, look back at the posts that you’ve already written and note down your favourites, as well as posts that other people have particularly liked. Which styles of blog posts are your best?
If you haven’t been blogging long, experiment. Try different types of posts. See which ones resonate most with you and your audience. You don’t have to be tied to one particular kind of post. Many bloggers write multiple kinds of posts. But you will tend to favour certain kinds. I won’t write book reviews or huge analyses of an entire plot, and rarely personal stories from outside of my writing life. I tend favour list posts and discussions on story elements. Find what styles of blog post work for you.
Write How You Like
What are your writing quirks? Do you like to end your paragraphs with ellipses? Do you use run on sentences, asides, sarcasm, or out and out fangirl squealing? These all make your writing much more distinctive. What turns of phrase do you tend to use in real life? Are you writing as if it’s an essay, or as if you’re speaking to someone? Are you more comfortable writing in a serious, more formal style, or conversationally? Find what feels natural to you to write. And don’t be stifled by what you think other people will think of your writing. If you find yourself adding sarcastic asides and trailing thoughts to your blog posts, allow yourself to.
Draft Without Censorship
When you draft your blog posts, don’t censor yourself. Write whatever comes to mind. Let yourself wander off topic if that’s where you seem to be going. It can all be fixed in edits. Put in those terrible jokes, weird examples and digressions. While much of it may be cut in edits, allowing yourself the freedom to write what comes to mind means that you’re allowing yourself to think creatively. And you might come up with some surprising things that are a lot more personal to you, and unusual than you would have if you stuck to a rigid plan and worried about people’s expectations.
Because here’s the thing. No one is going to see that early draft. Your draft is a place to get things down and have those weird, confused thoughts. Even if you’re more a planner and prefer neat drafts, giving yourself a little leeway to crack a joke, or get off topic can allow your personality through, and readers tend to connect more when they can see your personality behind the writing. And if the draft is terrible, that’s ok. That’s what editing is for, sorting through the bad, saving the good and creating a polish product you can share at the end.
Don’t Be Afraid To Be Different
Being different is a difficult thing. Sometimes it seems that every blogger is so much better at making jokes, at sharing authentic stories, or personal parts of their writing process. Being you might not seem like the best prospect. Maybe you seem boring to you. Or you maybe you seem too different, your blog isn’t enough like the others for people to come and read it. But the truth is, the world doesn’t need another Paper Fury. We’ve got one of them and one of them is enough. We need diverse blogs and diverse bloggers. We need different personalities and points of view. We need people to be fearlessly themselves in their writing. We need you to be you.