Finding your blogging voice is one of the hardest things facing every new blogger. In a world where many a childhood is built on hiding your true nature in order to fit in, suddenly exposing the “real you” can be a daunting task.
You may not know exactly who you are, what you think or what you stand for. You may be worried about how imperfect you seem compared to famous bloggers with their intelligent and inspiring posts.
You may wonder if your blog will ever take off especially on days when your negative self-talk pipes up… “What if no one likes what I have to say?” or “What if they think I’m stupid?”
No one likes to look silly but I urge you to persevere and find your true voice if you want to be successful and make a contribution to the world.
You Have A Unique Voice
Every person already has a voice that is uniquely theirs. So it is less about finding your voice and more about giving yourself permission to reveal it.
Instead of focusing solely on your writing skills, if you want to find your voice you need to be willing to be more human, show more of your personality and be vulnerable as you create, write and express yourself online.
Regardless whether you blog for fun, to inspire others or to make money through your blogging, finding your own unique voice is essential for growing a loyal audience. It is also the only way to build a blog that is sustainable, attracts readers and keeps you motivated for the long-term.
So how do you find your voice?
Well, I am still learning to find my own blogging voice and don’t have a precise formula but here are 7 ways that I believe will help you find and develop yours.
How To Find Your Voice
#1 Write Consistently
Blogging is about consistency – whether that is daily, weekly or monthly – you must write regularly to “train” your audience when to expect your blog posts but also to help you find your blogging voice.
You already have a unique message to share with the world, the challenge is learning to express it. There is no better way to do this than rolling up your sleeves and doing the work.
The discipline of writing blog posts, especially when you don’t feel like it or have other competing priorities will mold and pummel your writing skills into shape.
In the beginning you may look outside of yourself for inspiration and content ideas. Borrowing from other bloggers is fine and we all start that way but remember to add your own spin.
Slowly but surely, as you persevere your own voice will start to emerge.
#2 Focus On Your Audience
Do you know who you are writing for?
Imagine your ideal reader and then write to him/her directly. Not everyone who reads your blog, just that one person.
This may take some soul-searching and time. But the clearer you are the more resonance you will find among your readers.
Think about what they do for a living? What are their likes, dislikes and preferences? What burning questions do they have that you can answer?
In my case, my ideal reader is female, aged 35+, educated to college level or beyond and probably working but looking to start an online business or in the early stages of doing so. She is smart, heart-centered and trying to make sense of online marketing so that she can create the lifestyle of her dreams.
#3 Read More
All the top bloggers have one thing in common – they all read extensively.
It doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction, magazines, blogs or books, you can gain inspiration and ideas from all sorts of content. The bottom line is that reading will help you improve your writing skills and find your voice.
Make a list of your favorite blogs and identify what they have in common and how they differ. What stands out most about these blogs for you?
Don’t be discouraged while doing this exercise; feel inspired and let it drive you. The greatness we see in others is a reflection of the same attribute in ourselves, even if it isn’t apparent or fully formed yet.
My list of top bloggers would include: Michael Hyatt, Neil Patel, Marie Forleo, Corbett Barr and Jeff Bullas. I love their intelligent and well-written content but each of these blogs also has its own distinct voice that reveal the personality of the owners and what they stand for.
#4 Keep It Simple
We are told that the average reading age in the USA is grade 8, which equates to around 13-14 years in the UK. Most internet users are time-poor with short attention spans and are looking for instant gratification.
So don’t try to be clever by using big words, long sentences and chunky paragraphs. That will just make your readers click away.
Give them what they want. Simplify your writing by removing unnecessary words and expressing your thoughts as directly as possible.
Trimming the fat from your posts will also help you clarify your ideas and improve your writing.
#5 Write Freely, Edit Later
Writing and editing are not the same thing. Writing is creative work and classed as a right-brain function while editing engages the left-side of your brain. Keep the two activities separate if you want to avoid getting into a tangle.
When you are writing your blog post, allow your brain to freewheel. Write with abandon, don’t edit or judge your work. Let your passion shine through.
Once you’ve written your draft, go back, read it aloud and you’ll soon see what flows and what doesn’t. That is the time to start editing.
It may seem like you are fumbling in the dark for an eternity but if you persist, your genius will begin to emerge and radiate through your words.
Out of the blue you will start to receive emails and comments from readers saying how you touched them, helped them understand something or made them think.
Nothing beats the warm glow this gives you. It makes the long hours spent planning, writing and drinking endless cups of coffee worth it.
#6 Be Vulnerable
No one is perfect and your readers are not looking for someone who has all the answers. They want to know that you are human.
There is something magical about being vulnerable and sharing your experiences, the good and the bad. By letting your audience know that you have experienced many of the challenges that they may be going through, you build a connection with them.
Researcher and storyteller Brene Brown covers the Power of Vulnerabilty in the Ted Talk video below:
It is almost as though you are reaching out an invisible hand and reassuring your readers that you understand and that if you overcame adversity, they can too.
This is why we all love biographies about famous people who started with nothing and movies based on true stories. Telling your story and being transparent about the highs and lows on your road to success will empower others and make you far more relatable.
So be brave and open up.
#7 Reveal Your Personality
If you want to get noticed in a sea of blandness then you have to stand up for what you believe. Give your opinions, be controversial and let people know what you really think.
Many bloggers play it safe, which is fine when you are starting out and finding your feet but there comes a time when people will want to know what you stand for.
This could be tales from your past or present, blinding insights or things that move or inspire you.
Exposing yourself in this way may alienate people and lose you a chunk of readers. But gradually the people who want to listen to what you have to say will gravitate towards you.
This is when your readership becomes a true audience.
What About You?
Finding your blogging voice is the key to attracting a loyal tribe of followers and building a sustainable online business that can help you stand out and impact the world the way you want.
We live in a noisy world that is getting noisier by the day. If you want to be heard, it’s not a case of shouting louder. You need to identify what your unique message is and develop your own original voice.
How are you developing your blogging voice? What tips or techniques have helped you find your voice and inject more personality into your blog?