Plastering your face all over your blog isn’t enough.
To stand out in the blogging world you absolutely must develop your voice.
Think about it. You’re one voice in a sea of a million other chirping little voices. If you even dream of standing out in the blogosphere as an indie blogger, you better have a voice that catches people’s attention.
Finding your personal voice
We’ve all had that moment of surprise when we first hear a recording of our voices. Most of us are unfamiliar with our speaking voices, but the more we listen to ourselves, the more comfortable we become.
The same is true with writing. Writing our thoughts, opinions and passions can help us recognize the flow of our interior monologue. Chances are that your interior monologue is pretty closely linked to the passions that inspired you to start a blog.
During my early days of blogging, I was a college student without a lot of time or patience. Writing blog posts was a lot like venting or rambling or journaling. I wrote only for pleasure, and without an audience, I could be as raw and honest and as unattractive as the moment demanded.
Eventually, I gained 2 or 3 subscribers (who were all my personal friends), and with followers came the creeping sensation that I was naked to the world. My posts dwindled, and the blog died.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but those early blogs were instrumental in shaping my personal voice.
The content ranged through a variety of topics, and my emotions fueled the structure and style of prose; but each post reflected an element of my personal style.
Most importantly, I was writing without an audience. For professional writers, it is a rare occasion that we can write with no respect for our readers. The trick to finding your voice as a blogger is to merge both a professional voice, which takes into account your audience, and a personal voice, which is unique and relatable.
We generally sit down at our keyboards with something to say, but how often do we labor over how to say it? Bloggers are generally hard-pressed for time, and sometimes our nuggets of wisdom are published in less refined forms than we would like.
We simply send the information out to the masses and gear up for our next post.
I frequently return to my posts after they have been published (both on my blog and when guest blogging).
Reviewing old articles allows me to identify weaknesses and strengths easily.
Time also allows for a more objective perspective of the work. It can be difficult to distance yourself from a post after you’ve researched, written and edited it over the course of many hours.
To save time and to develop a more conversational voice, I often record my ideas. Usually I do this in my car as I commute to work. Using my smartphone as a recording device actually helps feed the illusion that I’m talking to someone. Remember, blogging is about sparking conversation. Knowing how to write conversationally is key to engaging readers
Even if you write some articles that are fact-based and journalistic, you will want to include some opinion and first person posts to give readers a sense of who you are. This type of personal character will give you an edge as a trusted and engaging voice.
Pepper Givens is a freelance writer whose foremost passion is writing for her blog about education. While her primary writing focus is trends in higher ed, Pepper also enjoys writing about personal finance, parenting, sustainable living, small business strategies, and more. She can be reached for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.