6 unfussy ways to find your blogging voice
This comes up in the Write Like a MOFO writing marathons, and in many of my one on one client conversations.
How do I find my blogging voice?
So often bloggers and business owners find themselves worried about putting their writing out there.
Maybe you’re feeling this way too.
Are you afraid…
Of sounding like someone else?
You’re going to offend someone?
That your opinion will change?
Your voice will sound too much like someone else—a mentor, a coach, or a competitor?
Of sounding like a rambly robot with nothing important to say?
This is just a small sampling of some of the things my coaching clients say to me. And I hear you.
I also have to tell you that when I first started blogging, I had ALL of these same thoughts. In my early days of food blogging (which used to be a plant-based food blog), I worried that...
My opinion wasn’t original
That I didn’t sound smart enough
I wasn’t a doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist, so who am I to talk about food?
And to make it worse, I’d sometimes get emails from other food and lifestyle bloggers saying that I stole their content. I didn’t.
I don’t need to say that stealing content is shitty; it’s also illegal. I like to think about creating like an artist. Austin Kleon sums it up perfectly in his book called, Steal Like an Artist.
Your blogging voice isn’t something you discover—it’s something you create.
This is great news because you get to choose—today, next week, and years from now—you get to develop and refine your blogging voice every time you take to the page to write.
Here some of my favorite ways to help clients find their blogging voice:
Write every single motherforking day.
Even if your publishing schedule is weekly, every other week, or monthly, writing daily is the best practice. In the beginning, when I first started blogging, long before it was a business, I set out to publish 5 days a week. The schedule was intense, and once I got on a roll of writing and publishing daily—and getting ahead on the weekends, it became easier. And before long, I had tons of articles.
Go on a media diet.
I consume very little content. And when I do consume content now, it’s intentional and most of the time has absolutely nothing to do with my industry. This is my favorite way to keep other voices out of my head and to focus on what I want to say.
Pretend you’re emailing a friend.
Especially if you have a business, writing in a friendly and conversational tone will connect with your reader and build trust. And people buy from people they trust. Write as if a friend or your favorite client emailed you with a question, and your blog post is merely an email reply to your friend. Helpful, clear, and in words they can understand.
Avoid writing to your peers, colleagues, or competitors.
Unless your blog is intended for those audiences, know who you’re writing to. The language you’d use to write to your peers is probably way different than the language you’d use with your customers.
Read it out loud.
This is also one of my favorite editing tools. Read your writing aloud and ask yourself if it sounds like you. Are these the words you’d actually use? Does the tone sound much more formal and buttoned-up than how you speak most often.
Join a writing group or get a writing coach.
This can be virtual like the Write Like a MOFO community or with some trusted members of a mastermind you belong to, or some trusted business friends. Ask them to read your writing and give them some guidelines to focus their review—does it sound like me? Does this make sense? Am I missing anything?
It’s how long I’ve been blogging. You won't find many blog posts from back in 2012 since most of my writing was focused on plant-based recipes and living a minimalist lifestyle. There are a few oldies on here that I kept around though like this one from 2013.
Remember, you get to craft your writing voice. It’s not something that you need to do a bunch of reading and digging on.
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