I read something recently about this topic, and on ways to find your blogging style. It went into demographics, narrowing your audience by statistics, researching your keywords, and a lot of marketing jargon that is helpful for issues like promotion. The idea seemed to be keeping your final audience in mind as it would be a year from now, and then conforming to best appeal to them.
That is fantastic from the point of view of a marketer. However, I don’t know if it is nearly as applicable when dealing with the issue of blogging, in and of itself. When you create a successful blog, a lot of the branding is established through your personal voice to begin with, so changing to adapt to charts and graphs on popular demographics seems either too short sighted, or so farsighted that you have lost the original goal you began with.
Maybe this is an old fashioned view of mine that doesn’t translate to the web as it is today. But I think your blogging style and voice is perhaps the most important decision you can make when starting one. I also think it is an element to the process that adapts and changes over time.
So, here are my totally non-demographically motivated tips for finding your blogging style.
Be Personal… It Is YOUR Voice
Your blogging style? It is ultimately in your own voice. I have always seen a blogging style as a representation of how you speak in real life. How would you sound standing on a stage in front of an audience, giving a prepared presentation?
Of course, that doesn’t mean you are going to necessarily be casual. Are you wanting to come off more professional? Fine, then write in a professional form of your voice. Quirky and fun? A quirky and fun version of your voice. Sarcastic and challenging? Well, you get the idea.
Read further: Does Your Blog Have a Flavor?
Accept That Your Style Will Change
Looking back at my own blog over the years, my style has changed at least a dozen times, before going back to other variations. Consistency isn’t always an option when you are dealing with content, because your moods, interests and even the popular type of post will change.
Experimentation and adapting are both totally natural for bloggers, and you shouldn’t feel bogged down by a single tone to your writing. Feel free to play around, vent, or try something new. It is going to happen anyway, sometimes without you even realizing it.
Reconsider Your Audience
What I mentioned about demographics before? There is one limit to that. You do want to appeal to your readers, and so you should keep them in mind. However, are you appealing to the right ones?
You wouldn’t be the first blogger to start writing considering one audience, only to find yourself attracting (or wanting to attract) a totally different one. And you know what? That is OK. Reconsidering your audience is as much a part of content development as any kind of creative audit.
Expect To Get Burnt Out, Then Blog Anyway
Have you ever been reading a blog that has been around for awhile, and the posts just start to sound…bored? I have, more times than you might think. This is usually the first sign that the posts are going to suddenly stop for a couple of months before the writer comes back and resumes posting with an apology for leaving. Or they never come back, at all.
You don’t want you style to become indifference. Which might leave you wondering why I would suggest you keep blogging when that burn out happens. It is because of what I also said before: your style is going to change.
One of the reasons burn out most commonly occurs is that you get tired of doing the same thing. When you start to feel that feeling of boredom, don’t stop writing, and don’t keep writing in the same way.
Instead, change things up. Create a new series. Branch out into a new category for awhile. Start introducing new forms of content, such as videos or podcasts. Use it as a chance for creative renewal and give your blog a makeover.
Read further: How to blog consistently without burning out
Remember That It Is Your Blog
It can be easy to get stuck in the idea that you are writing for other people. Don’t get me wrong you are. Otherwise, you would be writing in a journal, not on a blog. But it is ultimately your site, and what you choose goes. Some people won’t like changes, or your tone, and they are free to go read something else.
You can’t please everyone, and there is no magic formula for netting a lot of readers based on demographics, no matter how many people claim there is. You have to remain genuine, true to yourself, and original. Even if that means losing some readers along the way.
So when you do start establishing your tone, keep that in mind. Don’t let yourself be swayed by the fear that you might lose readers. It is your space, plain and simple.
Just Sit Down And Write!
There is one other option here: just start writing! You will start to find your voice pretty quickly if you don’t think about it too hard. We all have an inner monologue (or maybe we don’t, and I am just crazy) which will filter through the words.
Try and let it all naturally flow, and see what you are left with. You may just find that your voice was there all along, you just had to let it out. Which would render this entire post pointless, so apologies in advance if that ends up being true.
Some helpful tools!
- Imonomy.com: Images are a great way to reinforce your writing and improve the readability of your content. With in-image advertising, you can even monetize these visuals, and at the same time provide better value for your readers through attractive, engaging content.
- Gurushots.com: While blogging mostly involves writing, some bloggers prefer to go the visual route, with photoblogging, galleries, imagery and other rich media. Gurushots provides a good platform for sharing these rich content, enabling photo-bloggers to gain exposure and recognition.
- Oktopost.com: A B2B social media platform, Oktopost lets users reach out to potential audiences through targeted, well-timed social media campaigns.
- Imcreator.com/free: a great resource for using copyright free images. One of the largest collection of free images and a good alternative to DepositPhoto and the likes
Finding your blogging voice is really about figuring out what you want to write and how you want to write it in that moment. You will find things like format that remain fairly consistent, but the way you present content doesn’t have to be. That is why it is your own personal style. Who says it has to stay the same?
Question, comments, insults? Leave them below!