We have all heard the old adage, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” I’ve often wondered about that. Do you think they said that in Rome, out of frustration, as it was being built? (As in, “I wish Rome could have been built in a day – I’m so tired of the constant construction zones and having to take my chariot through detours!” – Ah, now you’re wondering, too, aren’t you?)
Well, it wasn’t built in a day and neither will your blogging style. Good things take time to develop and not even seasoned writers can sit down to begin writing a new blog (not just a post, but launch a new blog) without having to feel around for how they want to show up in their blog.
Did you stress about what to write, how to start, how to finish and how to sound? This last part is your voice.
If you’re not being authentically YOU, how do you think people will respond to what you write? This doesn’t mean write about your latest bunion flare-up (unless your site happens to be about bunions), but it does mean share yourself with your readers.
Nobody likes an automaton. If you write in a stiff, formal way, that’s fine. . . if you’re stiff and formal. That’s what people would expect. But if you’re fun, engaging, humorous, sensitive, gentle, snarky or a smart-ass, your readers will want to see that in your writing.
Blogging is about engaging and connecting. Educating is in there, but readers want to see “behind the curtain” to who you are, too.
As you’re starting out, you may flounder a bit as to how you sound. That’s okay. We all did at one time or another.
How will you know if you’ve found it? There are two ways. (OK, there are probably more, but these count for a lot.)
- Do a gut check. Do you agree with what you’ve written? Does it flow almost as if you’d said it versus typed it? Does it feel authentic? If you can answer these questions and your gut agrees, you’ve found it!
- Reader comments. Are they increasing? Is your audience growing? Are people coming back? Are comments thoughtful and relevant? If any of these are true, you’re being true to you and people are resonating with that.
But here’s the kicker. It takes time and several posts to get into your groove. Just as if you were speaking in public, it takes time to find your style, tone and voice. Since this is true, experiment. Stretch yourself. Let a little bit of YOU out to see what happens.