Have You Found Your Blogging Voice?

I recently wrote a post about what I learned in three months of blogging and in it I stressed the importance of writing in your own voice.

Have You Found Your Blogging Voice

When I first started blogging I didn’t even consider my ‘niche’. I just wrote about what I was doing, my current situation, things that were of interest to me at that time, etc. I quickly discovered that to promote and connect with fellow bloggers my blog needed to have some type of niche in order to reach like-minded bloggers. I struggled with this definition for the first month. I was Irish, newly married and recently emigrated to the US. I liked fashion, food and travel but didn’t want my blog to be categorized so narrowly under any of these things. Getting my head around that mish-mash of interests and circumstances was hard for me and I found it difficult to, as the saying now goes, ‘find my tribe’. I came to accept that my blog is a lifestyle blog that focuses on a healthy mix of all of the above. But what’s more important is that I stopped worrying about fitting in and just continued writing. You will read a billion articles online, all telling you the importance of sticking to your niche and while that is necessary in business, if you are blogging for fun then my response to that is, “who said so?!”

After publishing posts consistently and learning what my viewers liked the most I started to settle into my own blog and became more confident when hitting ‘publish’. I was never overly confident that the content was good but happy with what I was saying and HOW I was saying it. Although you strive to give your readers what they want, it is of the utmost importance to write what YOU want, too. Your viewers have come to your site because they like you and your content, they will return if they love it. If they leave, so be it. More will come.

As I said in my last post, I have seen people switch niches a lot. There’s many reasons for going beyond the limits of your niche. Perhaps you are after getting bogged down in an area you no longer have anything to write about due to changes in life circumstances. For example, you had a travel blog but are now settling down into motherhood and want to focus on writing articles on parenting. Or you have been blogging about college life but are now entering the working world. There’s an array of reasons to re-brand your blog but there is NEVER a reason to not be true to yourself in your writing.

Which brings me back from my tangential rambling to the idea of writing in your ‘voice’. Of course I don’t mean ‘voice’ in the traditional sense  but the portrayal of your personality through the words you write. You are unique and your writing style should be too. If you are a really funny and bubbly person but write in a monotonous tone with none of the humor you possess naturally then your content will not be authentic. And although we live in a world where we can fake happiness, good fortune and popularity quite easily via social media, your blog will expose a greater portion of yourself to the world. Make that section of your life that is on show, honest. Writing is powerful and people are perceptive beings. Posts repeatedly written in any voice but your own will be transparent and shallow. Your readers will not trust you or your content and won’t engage.

The first thing I notice when reading blog posts, or any piece of writing for that matter, is the writing style. Now I’m not saying mine is good. I’m a serial user of cliches and slang which is considered vulgarity and terrible writing by some (or most). In the world of professional writing I would more than likely be be condemned! I do strive to improve my writing skills and blogging refreshes a great deal of lessons already learned about writing but when it comes to writing posts I often skip the  rules and mechanics of composing the perfect piece of literature as I try to write them as an exact reflection of myself and what I might say in a discussion with a real life person! The wit, sarcasm, humor – whatever you want to label it – is exactly how I converse with people. That is who I am. I’m sure there are people who like my posts, those who can take or leave them and others who’d rather poke out their eyes than read to the bottom. I’m totally ok with that! Well I’d prefer if you held onto your eyes but I’m fine with you leaving. Not everyone shares the same interests and opinions.

The way that I write, is genuine. The feelings I express, are genuine. My sentiments when I comment on your posts, are genuine. Being a genuine person is what I respect the most in any human being. I have no time for any single trait that is a fraction less than honest.

When I borderline stalk every social media platform you use, I love your blog! When I ‘like’ your pictures, I genuinely like your pictures. When I share your content, I really do think you have a message worth sending out. I like all of these things about you because you have probably won me over by writing in your own voice.

For those of you starting out, who maybe haven’t found your blogging voice yet, ask yourself before publishing – is this for the glory of a spike in views, free products, money, etc.? If the answer is yes to any of the above, then I suggest you save your draft and go back to the drawing board.

For those of you pouring your heart and soul into your blog and feeling like you need to start writing as someone else to fit in – stop it! Explore the boundaries of your niche, find new forums to join, freshen up your content but for the love of God, keep writing in your own voice!

If you struggle with finding your voice, what is it about blogging that limits your authenticity?

 

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37 Comments

  1. I struggled to find a ‘niche’ too so now I have just accepted that I don’t really have one and I just post bits and bobs of everything. I don’t think you categorise my voice either but I do try to be honest in my reviews.

  2. This was extremely helpful! I’m a new blogger and I know I’ve found my voice, but your break-down of the niche and how important it is really helped. Great post!

  3. I love this because I connect with bloggers more often when I understand who they are. When there are different voices under one name I can tell that too and it turns me off. I think being honest and sharing about yourself is key.

  4. Great information for anyone starting out. I’ve been at it for a year and just write like i’m talking to friends, because that’s how I’ll get my point across. I have a marketing background, so picking my niche was as simple as asking “who is my ideal reader”.

  5. This is great! While I was able to narrow down my niche for Natural Living I have a feeling it will expand some and on occasion I write the post that has nothing to do with Natural Living. The biggest thing I have learned just like you mentioned is to be true to yourself.

  6. I was like you in the beginning (not the married, emigrated part lol) I just wrote what I liked and decided not to focus on a particular niche and that has worked for me 3 years in. Great post

  7. Amy, this is so great! I can totally relate to a lot of the feelings you are going through. I’m just starting out and am constantly seeing things about “finding your niche” but my life doesn’t really fit into a perfect niche and I think that is okay! I can’t believe your blog is only 3 months old – it looks great and you have clearly found your voice. I’m looking forward to following along on your blogging journey.

    Best, Alex

    P.S. Welcome to the States! I haven’t been to Savannah yet but it is high on my list of places to visit.

  8. I completely agree with you. I was actually talking about this the other day; when I was thinking of attracting more people related to my ‘niche’. But in the end of the day, I will write about what moves me, about what I am passionate about, and that, for me, is being genuine. As much as I’d like to connect to as many readers as possible, I also do blogging for fun. So keep what you are doing, remain faithful to your true self:)

  9. This is a niche that I just love. I promote Strong voice to have a strong life. When I started blogging I had the same issue. What was my niche? I didn’t even have a clue. I started writing to help others find their voices and learn that they have a niche and something to say that others would love to hear about. Great Post.

  10. Great article! Being genuine is 100% why I enjoy blogging so much – connecting with people in an authentic way. I too sometimes find it difficult to place myself or the blog into one ‘niche’. Great read! XO

    Anna || A Lily Love Affair

  11. Amy!! This is beautiful. Yes x10. Authenticity is what makes a blog worthwhile. You can tell when people really care as opposed to when they’re just trying to give people what they want to see. It’s easy to get lost in what everyone else does but at the end of the day, our differences are our strengths 🙂

  12. Great post Amy! I don’t really have a niche either – but that’s because I like so many different things in life. But I also think it’s important to share a little bit of yourself in your blog posts; this is definitely what draws people and keeps them reading 🙂

    Rosie | http://www.rosieromance.com

  13. I’ve often wondered what people mean when they say they like my writing style, but I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the personality thing. I try to just be me and write my blog as if I’m having a conversation with someone. I prefer the same thing when I’m reading blogs.

  14. I find it hard to write when I’m writing about something that I’m not passionate about. So, I’m turning that around and not taking jobs just to earn some cash.

  15. i think its more about the days….some days ,,, you exactly know what i want to talk about on the blog and some times you in out of ideas and your creative juices just stop flowing! i dread those days!

  16. Choosing a niche for the blog is a struggle indeed because I believe that everything is linked to one another. I have a lifestyle blog and there are so many things that I can include in it. I also do food and travel related posts so I have just defined my niche by the target market not by topic really.

    Fatima | http://www.blogsbyfa.com

  17. I think “to be true to yourself”, not playing anyone but being yourself is a key! Authenticity! I just can’t believe your blog is only 3 months old!!!!

  18. Loved this: “But what’s more important is that I stopped worrying about fitting in and just continued writing.”

    Putting our heads down and just writing seems like the best way to allow our writing voices to emerge on their own.

  19. Being true to what you blog will naturally bring out your “voice”. I think, it is such a shame if we’ll fake everything we put into our blog because one day, somehow, people will get to know the real us. And it is not good if we fake just to fit in.

  20. I am new to blogging, but I’ve been in the corporate world for many years. I struggle with sounding to corporate and it should be more like a conversation with friends.

  21. Great post, I will be sharing. I was all over the place when I started. Now I feel a little more focused. I have my demographic and niche. I still write in my own voice but now I post twice a week- once for my readers and once for me, by that I mean Monday’s are aimed at blogging and biz tips while Thursdays write about things I enjoy, experience have tried or just rants I find entertaining lol

  22. Great post! I changed my niche a while ago. Somehow had to do it. My personal life changed a lot and I didn’t want to be that personal any more and stopped writing anything too personal. At the same time i changed the name of my blog and unfortunately lost a lot of my readers – partly because they couldn’t find my blog any more but partly because of its content (I think so).

  23. For me, it’s not blogging that limits my authenticity. I’m introverted and have a hard time letting people in. My goal for blogging to help me get past that. I’m not “fake,” I just don’t get very deep (yet). I have lots of post ideas, I just need to let my thoughts flow and write them.

  24. Great post! I’m trying to have some type of health, fitness and wellness blog as I’ve been an athlete my whole life but it’s harder than I thought to come up with content for it… As I’m getting more comfortable in this role as a blogger I absolutely want to combine it with a youtube channel as well. Take care!

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