I spoke with Joel Friedlander recently about quite an assortment of topics.
He tenderly broached one issue with me during our conversation: I don’t have a blogging voice.
Well, hmm, he happens to be right.
The first drafts of my posts are far different from my final drafts. I’m a tad snarky, familiar, and I break a lot of grammar rules.
The final draft, consequently, turns out a tad, well, sterile. It’s as though I’m back in the newsroom doing my best to write an objective article on a topic I have strong feelings about.
So as I ponder this issue I can’t help but turn the question around: Have you developed your blogging voice?
Let’s look at a few examples.
Arlene Miller, a grammarian and aka The Grammar Diva, has a clear voice.
- She’ll end sentences with multiple question marks.
- She uses exclamation marks throughout her posts and her books.
- She’ll even use an ellipsis, which she tends to edit out of my books, by the way.
- Most important of all, she’s funny.
- She doesn’t take herself too seriously.
Now let’s look at Rachel Thompson. The salient feature of her voice is that she’s snarky, and that’s a compliment because while I shy away from that voice, she fully embraces it.
Joel Friedlander from TheBookDesigner.com is casual, friendly, and helpful. If you were to meet him at a conference, you’d find that his writing voice matches his personality.
Joanna Penn’s style is complete honesty. I’m not saying that the above writers are dishonest. No, not at all. But who else posts pictures of themselves hiking with walking sticks?
Call me crazy but I think part of Joanna’s success stems from her well-written books and her open nature. She’ll post pictures of herself with her husband on Facebook. She talks about her struggles and triumphs. She even posted her income. That’s full disclosure. And I think that other indie authors appreciate that level of honesty and will support her even more because of it. I find her open nature endearing, don’t you?
6 Tips for Finding Your Blogging Voice
How can you and I find our blogging voice? Here are some suggestions:
- Be original.
- Imagine you’re writing for one person. Write a detailed page about that reader, including age, gender, reading and drink preferences, etc. (I wish mine would like martinis, but I suspect she would rather spit out a martini than swallow one.)
- Read your post out loud. Does it sound like you?
- Write about what you’re passionate about.
- Mix it up until you find your groove.
- Always be honest.
If I’m brave, in the next few weeks I’ll be experimenting with my blogging voice until I find one that fits. Let me know what you think along the way, eh?
About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks, and blogger at Bowker’s Self-Published Author blog. She’s written several social media books including The Author’s Guide to Goodreads, and Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writer conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.
Don’t forget to join the next Conversations with Frances with Joel Friedlander on October 4, 2016.