Online Voice – Part 2 – Advice from bloggers on finding your voice

May 5, 2010 at 8:00 am 4 comments

As I mentioned in the last post, I’m presently work on my Northern Voice talk that deals with “Finding Your Online Voice“.  This post is the 2nd in the series. (The first is here.)

I asked a few bloggers I knew to fill out a short survey.  One of the questions was:

“Did you have any difficulty finding your online voice? If so, how did you discover it?  Do you have any tips on that for new bloggers?”

(Yes, these are three separate questions I asked as one.  This made the form look shorter and hence. more likely to be filled in, and I apologize to no one for that! No one!)

Here are some of the astute responses:

Kimli Welsh

Delicious Juice Dot Com

Tips for new bloggers? Be real. Start small. While you don’t have to share as much as I do, you should share SOMETHING – a thought, an opinion, a story. Stick to the blogging rules: no one cares what you had for lunch. Don’t force anything; let it come naturally. Did I mention being real? Please be real. Give people a chance to know YOU, not a false image.
Classifies her blog as:
highly personal, leaning toward comedic (I hope) – I share information about my day-to-day life on a daily basis.

.
Kim Werker

Kim Werker

I find it easy to write, and when I first started blogging (on a different blog), I had no trouble being the voice of the website I was writing for. When I finally started *my* blog, I found the transition to be a little awkward. I felt like I had to be the “professional” me, since I was the person behind some fairly prominent publications in the crafts industry. So I was writing about stuff not related to crafts, but I felt the need to be my professional persona. I didn’t want to rock the boat or say anything that might make a reader judge a publication negatively because they didn’t like what I wrote on my blog.

Eventually, I just ripped the bandage off and started to just be myself. That was a HUGE relief, and it contributed almost entirely to me becoming a better – and happier – blogger. Readers became more engaged on my blog, and I found I had a lot more to say and I just said it as me. (And to my knowledge, my book sales haven’t hurt. :) )

Classifies her blog as:
It’s a whatever-I-feel-like-writing-about blog, with a focus on creativity, business, crafts and books.

.
Erica Lam

The Style Spy

No. Blogging is all about being yourself. The voice online is exactly the way I talk in person and to my girlfriends when I discuss shopping. Showing off your latest purchase, the newest beauty discovery. It’s all about keeping it real and not over-thinking it. For new bloggers, be true to what you believe in, don’t try to conform or copy a popular style of writing.

Obviously the more you write, the easier it gets. And it really should be easy & natural.

Classifies her blog as: Style/Fashion/Shopping
.
.
Isabella Mori

Change Therapy

It wasn’t difficult but it also went through a bit of a process.  I’ve been writing for many years, so i didn’t have to work hard on finding my writing voice. I’m someone who suffers from writers and idea tsunami more than from writers and idea block, so my challenge was more on how to focus so that my voice would not be a dissonant jumble.  what has helped with that was to see what readers were interested in, and also looking back after a few months on what and how i enjoyed writing on such a regular basis.
Classifies her blog as: business/op ed/educational with a good dose of personal
.
Miranda Lievers

Blue Olive Photography

The approach I took and what I’d suggest to new bloggers is to simply be yourself and write how you talk. It will come across more authentic and genuine than if you try to write how you think others want you to write.

And of course, don’t take yourself too seriously ;)

Classifies her blog as:
Business
.

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Online Voice – Part 1 – How I found my voice Online Voice – Part 3 – Why do people care about your blog?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Monica (aka monnibo)  |  May 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Awesome advice! I especially love Isabella’s “dissonant jumble” problem. I find that when reading some blogs, one post will jump from item to item with no underlying thought or idea or reason.

    Because I dislike this way of writing, I found myself doing single-idea blog posts. I sometimes may post twice a day, but for people that don’t want to read a book review, the next post is all about knitting, instead of combining the two.

    Reply
  • 2. isabella mori (@moritherapy)  |  May 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    great post, monica! it’s interesting how everyone says, “be yourself!” (and i agree) i think the next question is, how exactly does one do that? i personally have little problem with it (maybe i’m a bit of an exhibitionist?) but have witnessed many people drawing a pained and blank look when they receive that advice. after all, many of us have grown up NOT owning/expressing our voice.

    Reply
  • 3. monicahamburg  |  May 6, 2010 at 10:45 am

    @Monica That’s great advice! I find I have that issue sometimes – I have too many tangentially related ideas – and they don’t always work in the same post. Breaking it up really helps the reader. I’m with you, I’d often rather read a clear short post, rather than a scattered longer one. Thanks for reading and commenting. And I like your name! ;)

    @Isabella I was just thinking about the “hows” and the difficulties therein – thanks for your comment, it made me decide that a blog post on the subject might be a good idea. Here’s that post:
    http://monicahamburg.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/online-voice-part-4-what-can-you-do-to-help-find-your-voice/

    Reply
  • [...] and suggestions and really stressed being honest to yourself and being real. Monica Hamburg also included some quotes from bloggers. It was great that she blogged about her talk (in five parts!) pre-conference. Dave Olsen [...]

    Reply

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