Finding Your Voice as a Blogger
Having a blog is a great opportunity to share the things you love with your readers. If you’ve read a few blogs, you will notice that sometimes the content can seem very similar. I write a lot about style and I notice that style bloggers tend to talk about similar trends at the same time. It can’t be helped—the world of fashion, just like any other consumer product, is influenced by trends and cycles. But think about what keeps you coming back again and again to some bloggers over others. You will realize that you are making a connection with the blogger as a person, and not just the subject they blog about. This is why discovering your unique voice as a blogger is so important: it is the most effective way to engage with new and returning readers.
So what does finding your voice actually mean? Let’s break down this rather abstract concept. Your blog is as unique as you are: even if you are talking about exactly the same thing as someone else, your opinion is never going to be the exact same. Opinions are like fingerprints- no two are identical. With this in mind, think about the blogs that you like to read. How is yours different? How is your opinion different? What is unique about you as a person? Even do a direct 1:1 comparison with your favorite blogger, like I show you in the example below:
One of my favorite bloggers is Courtney Kerr, who blogs over at Kerrently.com. While we both blog about fashion, let’s take a look at how we are different.
As you can see there are some similarities, such as that we are both bloggers who write about style, do YouTube videos, have styling experience, and work with American brands. But there are also some differences: I work with extended sizes as well as standard sizes, I work with international brands, and utilize a mix of high-and low-end products. And this was just a quick, high-level example. If I really dive deep, I could find a lot more differentiators. So as you can clearly see, it is our differentiators that make us unique and lend to the special something that is our blogger voice.
Once you realize how your blog offers something different from every other blog, it is time to turn inwards and think about your personality. If you are having a conversation with your best friend, what are some things that make you want to talk to your best friend over other people? Who do you go to for life and fashion advice? Why do you choose that person? Whatever the answers to those questions are, they come down to two categories: someone that makes you feel good, and someone that you trust. These are the two psychological factors, above any others, that determine whether you will have strong engagement with a reader. Make a list of the qualities you possess that make you trustworthy and someone that makes others feel good. This is a short example of mine:
everyBODY girl qualities:
- Treat everyone like family
- Don’t write things on my blog that I will not do
- I say please and thank you (give people credit, even for the little things)
- Am honest about myself and where I am in life
- I listen to what people need and ask of me
- Good sense of humor (and don’t take myself too seriously)
- Keep a positive attitude towards everything
- View challenges as opportunities
- Don’t speak badly about other people
These positive qualities about my personality are some of the things that attract people to me. When I write my blog with these things in mind, they are sure to attract readers and engage them for the long-haul. But how do you translate personality traits into a writing style?
Here is where a little practice goes a long way. Make sure that you keep your qualities list in front of you every time you sit down to write and use them as a guide. It is amazing how your “voice” changes based on your sentence structure, tone, and even the words you choose. Using big words and complex sentences will show someone that you are an expert on a subject, but is this the way I would speak to a family member? Taking pictures with fancy cars and at fancy parties sure does make me look fabulous, but is this where I really am in life? Every decision you make as a blogger, from the words you choose to the backdrops for your pictures, influences how you come across to your readers. As long as those decisions match the qualities you listed, you are writing in your own authentic voice. And if you are a blogger who goes to fancy parties and uses big words, that is great too! As long as those qualities are ones that are authentic and will engage your audience through trust and making them feel good.
If you have gone through these exercises and are still feeling unsure, try practicing by writing some letters to friends and family members. Write like you would a blog post about a topic you wish to blog about. When you’re done, ask them for feedback. They already love and trust you (because they are your friends). But did what you wrote leave them with the same positive feelings they have when you talk to them in person? Did it convey those qualities you listed? If not, keep practicing until you get the right mix. Remember that good writing takes a lot of trial and error until you find that unique mix that works. (The only hard and fast rules are those of correct spelling!)
So to recap:
1. Think about what makes you and your blog unique
2. Think about what qualities make your friends like and trust you and your opinions
3. Try different ways to write about the topic. Ask for feedback, and practice, practice, practice!!!
Want to know more about this topic, or get more in-depth personal support? Reach out to me with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
big thanks to our guest blogger
Dee Raz is a marketing professional who has worked with many brands and companies to grow their engagement. With a background in psychology, she is an expert at creating innovative branding and marketing strategies. Dee is co-founder of The Blogger Collective, and is a lifestyle blogger at the everyBODY girl. Learn more about her at www.everybodygirl.com or on Instagram @everyBODYgrl.