It’s tough out there in the blogging world. You can spend hours on a post, tweaking and refining it to your satisfaction, only to discover there are six other posts that essentially say the same thing. Don’t become discouraged. In order to swim in a sea of voices, you’ve simply got to make your voice unique.
Who are you? It’s not an easy question to answer. After all, you’re a combination of so many different ideas and aspects of your personality that you may be impossible to define. Some philosophies and religions reject the concept of a self completely. Whatever your personal beliefs, you have to dig deep to unearth what separates you from the crowd. Nobody has lived your precise life, and nobody has access to your individual insights.
Acquire Information and Put it Through the Filter
You’re the filter. Where you get information is a matter of personal taste. Of course, you’ll have to stay up-to-date on the current blogging scene in your niche by reading other popular blogs. When you do find a great blog that inspires you, check out the comments section. You can usually find some great ideas and concepts there of which readers are interested. Find some quality forums to peruse for more thoughts that arise directly from the community of your niche. Get on the major social networking sites and see what topics are trending. Finally, read plenty of material from “old-school” sources like books and newspapers. Even if what you’re reading is not directly applicable to your niche, it may spark a new idea.
Put all of this collected information in your filter, that is, your brain, and write down your thoughts. Don’t censor yourself. This is a brainstorming session. Draw conclusions, connect some dots, and formulate your opinions. Dig up your voice.
Let Your Voice Evolve
You shouldn’t expect to come out of the gates running at top speed with a refined writing voice. Instead, let your voice evolve alongside you and your business. The more you read and write, the more polished your voice will become. You’ll begin to identify which aspects of topics interest you most. Write about what interests you. This will allow your passion will shine through. At the same time, write about subjects that are challenging or even dull. Test your voice and it will surprise you. It will latch on to what it can express, and you’ll be able to make a tired subject your own. Finally, nothing evolves by itself. Let your voice be part of a greater system. Pay close attention to reader’s opinions. What do they like about you? What don’t they like? You should stay true to your heart, but don’t be afraid to let reader’s and other bloggers help shape your personality.
Shake Things Up
Don’t ever be afraid to take risks while blogging, even if you think you may alienate some readers. That’s not to say you should be crude or make attempts to be “edgy” if the circumstances don’t call for it. But you should be creative, make some jokes if they’re appropriate, and call things like you see them. Be honest, be direct, and communicate with people as if you were talking to them at a party. Remember, blogging is not about impressing readers with a vast vocabulary or an onslaught of footnotes. Leave that to the academics. Instead, try to write posts that are well-researched and thought-provoking, but never try to show off your intellect. Be engaging. Be unique. Be yourself.
Which bloggers have a voice that resonates with you?
Let us know with a comment below.
Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @matthewtoren