1. What Do You Do?
This may be the easiest way of starting to find your blog voice. What do you do when you have the time to yourself? Do you watch movies? Do you knit? Do you read books? Are you a baker? Are you a dog person?
Start with the stuff you already love doing.
2. Free Write
Set aside some time to just write whatever comes into your head. You don’t need to write a lot; set a limit of three or four paragraphs of several sentences each. Write on a given topic or write wherever thought takes you. Writing in a semi-structured form like this will get you in the habit of writing small amounts of material on a given topic.
3. Think About Your Audience
My horror content is written to a completely different audience than the food or knitting content. My language reflects that-sometimes I’ll get much looser with it than my food or knitting stuff, but sometimes if I’m writing about the sociology of horror my writing takes on a much more academic tone than some of my other works. If you think about who you’re writing to it’ll help you settle into a voice.
4. Keep In Mind, You’re In Public
My blog is the only time that you’re going to talk to me. Rather, for the vast majority of readers, this is the only time that you’re going to talk to me. Who I am in this blog almost by definition has to be an authentic but separate self from the one that I portray on my personal Facebook page. One piece of advice that I heard for job interviews that I think works well for blogging is talk like you’re talking to your parents’ friends. Don’t be overly formal, but don’t let everything slide either.
5. Remember That Your Voice Has Worth
This is one that I struggle with. I’m even comfortable admitting that I struggle with it a lot. It can be really discouraging to read on someone’s blog that a slow day for them is quite literally all the hits that you had last month. That’s fine. They’ll do them but you need to do you. You have something worth saying. As long as you remember that you have a place in the blogging world it doesn’t really matter what other people are doing.
6. But Don’t Use That Voice Too Often
There are things that I don’t talk about on this blog. Other than rare glimpses into my thought process, I don’t talk about religion. I don’t talk about politics. I don’t talk about my relationship with my significant other or my family that often. Those are the deep, dark things that I don’t talk about but there’s a lot of stuff that I don’t talk about that are much less important because it just doesn’t matter. I like the way that fig notes smell in perfumes more than roses. I’m afraid of stairs. Mid had to put steps on our new truck or I couldn’t get into it. Having separation in your life between your blog and the rest of your personality will help with #5-you should be working to improve your blog, but unless you intend on making this a lifelong career, you should be a person who has a blog, not a blogger who happens to do other stuff as well.
Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends!