Three Ways to Identify & Develop Your Unique Blogging Voice

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How do you find your writing voice, really? In educational settings, we've been taught to curb our writing to a particular tone and format, with, in most instances (unless it's a creative writing course), tailoring the way we write to these parameters, instead of letting our own voice fully shine through. With a blog, you can instead make your personal writing style a priority, but I've discovered that with that, it can be daunting in the beginning, as this is the first time the opportunity to write in your own voice may be publicly available.

After teaching a few semesters of a Fashion Blogging Bootcamp course, I realized that some of the biggest hang ups weren't regarding how to add in an image or a hyperlink, but rather how to come into one's own with a writing style that felt most comfortable.

I've devised three tips that can help to break out of the “paper writing mode” or a “business proposal” formality that people are so used to doing, and instead flourish in your own words.

Start a Diary

I know it may seem cliché, but this is THE best way to find your own voice. It doesn't matter if you write about the events of the day or thoughts that may be more introspective;  just the act of doing it, and doing it consistently will make a difference. As highly functional and convenient as Google Docs and Evernote are, don't use them as your diary.

Instead, compose it on paper with a pen, which, although is more time-consuming, will work to your benefit. It will slow things down a bit for you to think more thoroughly about the words and sentences you develop, and you may not feel like writing a lot, so it will aid you in becoming more concise.

Understand Some of the Gentle Guidelines of Writing Online

Now that you've got a diary in motion, think about how you would adjust this to the web. Remember what you look for, or what bores you, when you read something online, and keep that in mind for the editing stage of your post. That's right, you should go ahead and write it all out, and then go back in and refine it. I use WordPress and prefer to do this in the preview mode, toggling back and forth between that and the editing window to make my changes.

It's really important to make your writing number one and not detract from that, but don't forget to return to the post to add the key online visual elements like headings, bolding, italicizing, hyperlinking text and visuals to enhance the reader's experience.

The editing phase is also a good point to look over your word count and paragraph breaks, making sure that you aren't going to lose your reader with a post that could easily be shortened.  Introduce a “more” option for them to click on and continue reading at a crucial point if you feel that it's getting too long, and be sure to use a title and keywords that will signify what the reader can expect, but don't hesitate to execute your wordsmith skills and do it in a creative fashion.

Read, Read, Read, Practice, Practice, Practice

I'm not the first person to ever suggest reading more, but trying to do it in an analytical sense can elicit some great takeaways for your own writing. Let's say that you were super duper into “The Hunger Games” trio of books by Suzanne Collins, reading them all in a weekend. Reread a few pages of it and/or think about what kept you engaged with the texts; was it the plot, subject, the writing style, the way the chapters were broken up?

Continue to read as much as you can, in any medium, in or out of your blog's category (i.e. fashion), and when you feel yourself deeply enthralled and reading rapidly, take pause and think about what's “doing it” for you with this content.

Like anything in life, the more you practice, the better your changes of improvement, so continue to write, write, write as much as you can.

Remember that just because you write a post in your blog doesn't mean you have to publish it, and just let the writing flow until you feel incredibly pleased with it — or don't think about it at all!

Do you have any writing tips to share? Post in the comments below!

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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About The Author

Blogging at her site Fashion Pulse Daily since 2008 and working on fashion's editorial side since 2003 has lent Julia the acumen to think creatively and endure in the colliding worlds of blogging, fashion and beauty. New York City is her backdrop for inspiration (and many a outfit photo), where she is often found on her couch, feverishly typing away at her latest post, with her trusty feline at her side. Follow her on Instagram , Twitter, and Pinterest.

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27 Responses

  1. Erica

    These are some inspiring tips for the new year. And reading more DEFINITELY helps. It increases your vocabulary and makes you more comfortable with your own writing style. Thanks for this great read!

    Erica
    http://twenty-five-seven.com/

    Reply
  2. Miami Culture Maven

    Great advice for a new blogger. I’m not really new, just now deciding to take it seriously. Thanks for the encouragement, keeping a diary.

    Reply
  3. Hilmarie

    Thank you for the tips. Sometimes we do tend to rush about posting that we forget to step back and really evaluate the content and the approach.

    Reply
  4. Sarah Blodgett

    This is great advice! As a comedian turned blogger, I spent many years in comedy finding my voice and I’m doing it again with blogging. Something that has helped me is taking writing classes outside of my field. I took an adult ed class at a local college in journalism. I had no intentions of becoming a journalist (I wasn’t even thinking about blogging at the time, I just did it to improv my writing skills for comedy writing), but I learned a lot about editing and it sharpened my overall writing skills. I try to take a writing class in a new field every once in a while just to get a new perspective on writing and see what works for me.
    Kisses,
    Sarah
    http://everydaystarlet.com

    Reply
  5. Toni Styles

    Great tips to get the new year off to a successful start!

    Practice definitely makes perfect; as a blogger you will learn as you go and one day, you’ll have your light bulb moment, when everything makes sense and comes together.

    http://rhythmandruffle.com <3

    Reply
  6. Tiff

    Definitely–read and write more than you do now. Then double it. I think that’s key to finding your voice. At the same time, a tip I’d like to add is that it comes with time. Some people will find their voice a lot faster than others.

    Don’t force it, it’ll come naturally!

    Tiff | AMtoPM

    Reply
  7. Onianwah

    I’m definitely going back to reading this year. For some reason, ever since I started blogging, taking up a book in hand has been difficult but this year, I plan on going back to it. The good Lord knows how much benefit accrued to me from the tons of books I read in my teenage and adolescent years.

    Barbara
    http://www.barbara1923.com
    Lagos, Nigeria

    Reply
  8. Lotta

    Thanks for your insight. Due to my business background, I struggled with letting some of that formal “speak” go and let more of “me” in my blog.

    Reply
  9. Gracious Store

    What a great advice with which to start the year! I do agree that READING is the best way to learn and acquire knowledge that will help you to get started in getting your own voice in blogging sphere. You cannot write without an in depth knowledge of what you are writing and you get that knowledge by reading other people’s views and understanding on related issues and topics.

    Reply
  10. Atelynn

    Thank you for these tips. As one who started a blog (early last year), but never did anything with it other than my first post…this is inspiring. I journal a lot & so this is a great perspective on how to go about looking at blogging.

    Reply
  11. Sabina @Oceanblue Style

    I have been writing for over 20 years now, also professionally. But still find your basics here terribly useful reminder! Thats why I keep coming back! USEFULNESS 🙂 Great works. Sabina @Oceanblue Style

    Reply
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  13. KaSonndra

    At some point near the end of 2014, I had my “light bulb moment”, that day when everything came together as Rhythm and Ruffle described. The world of blogging gave me an opportunity to be me. Sure I’d had the creative writing courses, but the formal language was killing my true voice. Now, I feel as though I finally get it. I use the WordPress App to jot down my thoughts and then later on, I tweak them into an article. I also read as many blogging sites/articles ad I can. Learning is a continual thing. Finally, I keep discovering great sites like this one on a regular basis. Love the site and the tips!

    KaSonndra
    http://livewellbefabulous.com

    Reply
  14. Mazari Zoio

    Hey there! Just started a Blog and I really enjoy reading your articles. As i´m new to the blogosphere I’m still quite shy when it comes to writing…I understand that “practice makes perfect” but what concerns me, is if my writing is actually manifesting my personality…expressing you´re self through writing can be tricky…
    Would really appreciate some tips on “how to improve your writing personality”, if that makes any sense…;)

    http://www.rawlegacy.com

    Reply
  15. Bruna Marconi

    Thank you so much for the tips!
    I’m searching for all kind of tips for blogging and I was a little bit worry about my writing, my post are really superficial and I’m not enjoying. I already have in my hands a book that will be my diary. I’m working hard to have a quality content on my blog and IFB is helping me a lot.

    Again, thank you for the tips ♥

    http://www.blogmafiadamoda.com

    Reply
  16. Francesca B.

    It is true that when you are looking for something, it comes to you, like this post, Julia. Thank you for deigning so clearly the map to success! I find the fashion-sphere too crowded and hard to break into, or make your voice heard – I am expressing the frustrating stage of my blog here. I believe the turning point will be mastering the balancing act between writing your own diary (empathy is always a plus) and your audience in mind (the reader that wants to hear from you, values your opinion). From your words, it seems to me the ahah moment will happen when you click within your niche.
    Looking forward to reading your posts and good luck to all.
    Francesca

    Reply
  17. gbemi

    I definitely need to do more reading. Been thinking of keeping a diary to organise my thoughts rather than the phone docs thing. This will sure help

    BuzzedbyBeauty

    Reply
  18. Kelly Brito

    Such great read. The diary suggestion was not cliche at all. In fact, was very creative and interesting. From the tons of posts I read (or wrote) about finding one’s blogging voice, I not once read a suggestion about a diary. Good one.

    Reply
  19. Megan

    Great tips! I have several blog posts that I’ve never published. I keep them in drafts for a couple of reasons a) the topic was important enough to me to document and b) I might be inspired by one of the drafts, finish it up or tweak it and publish it for a great post one of these days!

    Reply
  20. KaSonndra

    As a writer, I still find myself discovering new and unique things about my blogging voice. It’s a different world. I cannot stress how important it will be for bloggers to read in order to find your voice. Read everything. Fiction, non-fiction, ads, newspapers, magazines… the content for each of these mediums has its own unique voice. Eventually, you’ll find yours the way I did. Thanks for this great article!

    Reply