How To Find Your Unique Blogging Style
In my interview for the Summit on Content Marketing, I discussed blogging mistakes and how to fix them. Of course, the biggest mistake of all is blending into the faceless crowd, writing without anything approaching a unique blogging style. And unless you are breaking must-read news on a regular basis, you need to stand out from that crowd.
It’s reasonable to ask how each of the gazillion active bloggers can have a distinct style. And the simple answer is, they can’t. And that’s why you can’t remember the great majority of articles you’ve read, and why you bookmark, sign up for or frequently return to only a select few blogs.
On any given subject, there are likely to be hundreds or even thousands of articles. Why should anyone read your article if you simply re-hash commonly written subjects? When you’re reading, do you ever get bored? Do you read the same subject matter 500 times by different people? Let me go out on a limb here and guess that you don’t. So if you’re guilty of what I’ve described, why do you think others will read what you wouldn’t?
A short while back, I wrote “Viewing Customer Experience With Consumers Eyes.” Well guess what? Boring blog articles make for bad Customer Experience.Boring blog articles make for bad Customer ExperienceClick To Tweet
So How Do You Find Your Unique Voice?
Have you seen all of those articles telling you how to be authentic? I confess to never having read one, but suspect at least some are talking about blogging style.
The short answer is, the element that can make your blogging style unique, is exactly what makes you unique in person. You have to capture that essence.
Before going into this in a little more detail, it’s time to step back a little….
What Should You Write About?
Nobody can tell you that exactly, but what you shouldn’t do, is pick the current hot topic, read a few articles on it, then write your own article. I’m sure most of us have been guilty of this, but it just doesn’t work! Why would anyone bother to read an article that has clearly been written by someone who has just learned about the subject and has added no value?
As already discussed, there are likely to be hundreds of articles on any subject you choose to write about. So how can you find subject matter that hasn’t been done to death?
Unless you’re on the cutting edge of change, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll do that. But maybe you can present something to a new, or relatively new audience? Of course that would entail you adding a whole new context to appeal to your specific audience. This would make you what I’ve referred to previously as a Second Level Communicator. Just because some people have seen a subject more times than they wish they had, doesn’t mean that your target audience has. So that’s one place to look.
As for specific subjects to write about, nobody can really tell you that unless you’re a professional writer.
It can be really difficult to find inspiration writing what you feel must be written, if it’s not a subject you have some level of comfort or interest in. So when people submit a tired article or clearly need a nudge, I advise them to write to their passion.
Back To That Writing Style
There are so many writing styles that work for particular authors because you know as you read it, that he or she talks pretty much the way they write. A few examples (of people I’ve not yet mentioned on Curatti), along with an example from each:
- Lisa Sicard, for her friendly style. It’s not possible to read her posts and not feel how loving she is: Networking: The Essential Antidote To Blogging Alone
- Scott Aughtmon, (in my opinion) the ultimate storyteller: What Content Marketers Can Learn From An 8 Year Old Boy
- Greg Satell, aka Digital Tonto will sometimes deliver a history lesson and equate it with some aspect of Digital Marketing: Marketers: Rethink The Customer Decision Journey
- Tony Zambito is like everyone’s favourite college professor: How The ‘Content Illusion’ Is Leading Marketing Astray
With each of the above, you just know that if you chatted with them in person, all of the personality that comes through in their articles would be evident.
I could have given you examples of intellectuals, people who write irreverently or inject a lot of humour, excited futurists, geeks and more.
The point here is, the people who I like to read aren’t writing from a forced persona. And I can only suspect I’m in a very big majority there.
Forced Personas AREN’T The Way To Go – Neither is Personality Free Writing
Beyond the famous words (falsely) attributed to Oscar Wilde, if you try to write from a persona, you’re likely to fall short in some ways. The persona will be based on something you want to be or portray. Unless you are a brilliant actor or great comedian, you’re simply not going to be able to pull it off believably or enjoyably for others, for very long.
Of course, you could forego personality altogether and just stick to the facts. But unless you have a serious and regular inside scoop, why would anyone bother to read your work? Everyone already has bloggers they like. Most will have room for an occasional addition to their reading list. But they need to like YOU! If people like you in ‘real life’, and your personality comes through in your blogging, they’ll like you in the virtual world also. Simple really! Right?
If you find writing a chore, or perhaps even bore yourself when you write, I hope some of the above tips were useful to you.
As a multi-authored blog, we receive anywhere from 5-20 inquiries from prospective new authors weekly. In a particularly busy week, we may well receive in excess of 10 article submissions. At least half of those that I read have my eyes rolling up into their sockets by the time I’ve forced myself to read the first 2 paragraphs.
We’ve given hints to many of those who have fallen short. A small, hardy few come back with another effort. Perhaps the best example of turning an article from something we couldn’t post, into something that blew my socks off and was greatly appreciated by our readers, was this article by Liaquat Ali Hamiya. The published article was his 3rd or 4th attempt. It was one of the most deeply satisfying experiences of my 3 ½ years of daily article posting for Curatti. And it was a prime example of someone finding and writing with his true voice.
What Do You Think?
Do you have any advice you’d like to share with either budding writers or those who are trying to find a unique, genuine blogging style? Is there anything I said that you disagree with or would like to embellish? As always, I’ll be happy to engage all-commenters.
Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_stokkete‘ / 123RF Stock Photo
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