Do you feel like you’ve found your voice online?
Many say it’s a lifelong task to truly find your voice as a blogger, business owner and creator.
I’ve been writing since I was 4 years old. I would tell my mom stories as she dutifully wrote them down in a journal with flowers on the cover. So I’ve been honing my writer’s voice for 30 years. (Eek!)
Yet, when I started my online presence, it still took me awhile to trust my own voice. It took experimentation and time to slowly sift through my doubts and fears to find my online voice.
The process of finding your voice online is a personal one, and looks a bit different for every platform creator and blogger.
Which is why I asked these 43 creators, bloggers, and business owners to share how they found their online voices.
I encourage you to check out their websites to learn more about them after you’ve read this post.
Check out this infographic for the highlights, or skip ahead to read the full responses.
Chris Guillebeau, Traveler, Writer, and Entrepreneur
Finding your voice is a lifelong journey, but for me I found it through striving and experimentation.
I wasn’t necessarily striving to “find my voice,” I was striving to find my life—my authentic self.
Once I began to understand what I was good at (and just as important, what I was motivated to do), exploring and experimenting with strategies of expression came much easier.I wasn't necessarily striving to 'find my voice,' I was striving to find my life.Click To Tweet
Alex Tooby, Instagram Expert
This little thing you’ve probably heard of… trial and error! To find your voice you need to be willing to put yourself out there, take risks, and make mistakes.
I transitioned from freelance graphic designer, to running my own social media consulting business. I was excited to get my first few clients only to realize that I didn’t actually enjoy what I was doing. Writing tweets and Google+ posts about someone else’s business didn’t bring me the joy that I thought it would.
So I decided to hone in on my passion a bit more.
I knew I loved social media and my graphic design background gave me an appreciation for quality visuals, so as you may have guessed, I fell in love with Instagram instantaneously.
I then decided why not ditch all of the things that don’t make me happy, and focus on the ones that do? That’s when everything started getting better for me. I now run a successful business creating Instagram Marketing e-courses for business owners and I’ve never been happier, or had a better income!
Without getting my feet wet in other areas of business I never would have found out what I was best at, or what made me the happiest. So no matter what you do, don’t wait, take action, take risks, and put yourself out there! Your voice will soon follow.
Sue Anne Dunlevie, Blogging Expert
Here are my three best tips for finding your voice (I followed them to find my voice).
- Speak your mind: The old adage, ‘you can please some of the people some of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time’, will always ring true.
- Accept the fact that not everyone will share your view: Have the courage of your convictions and say what needs to be said.
- Be honest: If you never take chances, you’ll never fail. If you never fail, you’ll never grow. None of us wants that.
Dre Beltrami, Branding Expert
Finding my voice was a long journey for me.
The first thing I had to do was stop devouring other’s voices as I had completely lost mine by doing so.
Next, I did a lot of writing & speaking exercises where I’d take my ‘robotic marketing’ content/posts and speak them out loud into a recorder as though I was just chattin’ up my bestie. Then I take those recordings and listen to them over and over so I could get reconnected with how I rolled when the ‘professional pressure’ was off.
It took being very conscious of the actual ways I said things, the frequently used words that litter my vocabulary, and just being brave enough to write the way I really talk.
The whole finding my voice thang really clicked for me when I realized that blogging and writing copy are NOT the same beast as corporate or educational writing, which were the only writing I’d ever done. Once I was able to let those hang ups and limitations go and write true to my form, the comfort grew and eventually became second nature.
And hot damn if it isn’t a hell of a lot easier to write these days…and write quickly! ;)”I found by voice by being brave enough to write the way I really talk.Click To Tweet
Adam Connell, Blogging Expert
When I started blogging I didn’t consider following any specific steps to develop my blogging voice. I just started writing, and kept on writing. Eventually my writing style developed and I found what I was most comfortable writing about.
For me, it all comes down to writing about what you enjoy. Passion is the key to allowing your true voice to shine through. It takes time, but when you persevere, you’ll reap the rewards.Passion is the key to allowing your true voice to shine through.Click To Tweet
Marianne Manthey, Design Expert
I’m not sure that finding my voice was an actual conscious decision, but I just started writing as if I was talking to a friend who wanted to know how to do something. I like to throw in playful words here and there (like “Yay!” and “totally”) to make the tone of my writing casual and approachable, but it’s all the way I actually talk in real life.I found my voice when I wrote like I was talking to a friend who wanted to know how to do something. Click To Tweet
Ileane Smith, Blogging and YouTube Expert
When I started blogging in 2009, commenting on blogs was one of the ways I developed my writing style. The conversations would go back and forth and in the comment section of a blog post much more often they do today.
Now, we’re seeing video and live streaming platforms come to the forefront. It seems like everyone with an iPhone can start their own broadcast show. I recommend experimenting with platforms like Periscope, YouTube Live, Blab and Facebook Live. They will help you hone your public speaking skills and your writing skills at the same time.
I have tutorials for Blab, YouTube Live and Periscope on my YouTube channel and my blog if you need help getting started. I really hope to see more people putting aside their fear of getting on camera and jumping on a live stream so they can engage and interact with their audience in real-time.Jumping on a live stream will hone your public speaking skills & your writing skills at the same time.Click To Tweet
Tor Refsland, Blogger Outreach Expert
Of all the cool stuff that I have done in my soon 1,5 year of blogging, from getting 20,231 page views from my first strategic post, winning several awards, interviewing Neil Patel – to being interviewed on John Lee Dumas´s #1 business podcast EOFire, I honesty must admit…
…that finding my voice a.k.a writing style was definitely the HARDEST thing to do.
Because when you enter the blogging space for the first time, and you have never done anything remotely similar before…
…it´s like being a kid and changing school in your senior year at junior high (and if you are wondering, yeah, that actually happened to me).
You start in a new class as the new boy or girl, and the other kids know each other from the early stages of childhood. The strong relationships have already been formed YEARS ago, and the same goes for the class community´s unwritten rules and the hierarchy of popularity.
You are insecure, but worst of all…
…you are AFRAID.
Afraid that you are going to do something weird that will make you stand out.
Because that will turn your new classmates into a pack of hungry hyenas, and they will eat you alive.
So what do you do?
You go every morning to school and all you are thinking about is what you can do to FIT IN.
You are desperately craving for other people to like you, but you are so afraid to show your personality, that you will seal your personality behind a fake exterior, looking and acting like everyone else.
But here is the kicker
People won´t be able to have the opportunity to judge if you are a person they like or not, if you are not…
wait for it…
showing your PERSONALITY.
The same goes for blogging.
When I first started writing, I was afraid to something wrong.
I was afraid that people would dislike what I wrote.
And hey, it´s scary as HECK to go out of your comfort zone and show your private thoughts with the world, right?
So what did I do?
I tried to emulate successful bloggers. But it just made me look like a mini-him or mini-her.
Who wants to be a copycat?
Then I started to focus on studying the writing style of the best bloggers out there.
Note: There is a big difference from studying the best book authors and the best blog writers. The way they write is completely different.
I studied their openings. Their transitions. Their conclusions. Their call to actions. But more importantly, their flow and how they managed to get their personality through.
I had a big challenge since my background was in the IT-business, and the only type of writing I had done in the last 4 years was long, formal, detailed and boring reports.
So if I didn´t want to put my readers to eternal sleep with my writing style, I had to “forget” everything I thought I knew about writing…
…and start to learn to write again.
This time I was going to learn blog writing.
I started to ask myself the question: “How would I say this sentence to a friend?”
So I started writing like I talked.
And the results?
I found my writing style. But more importantly, the way I write is now reflecting my personality.
And 95% of all of my accomplishments is a direct result from me being able to find my unique writing style…
showing my personality.
You might be thinking “Okay, Tor. Finding your writing style sounds cool and all that. But does it REALLY work?”
Judge for yourself…
I won the “Most epic blog post” award on Jon Morrow´s blog Boost Blog Traffic (now called Smart Blogger).
And my blog got awarded as the #50 Best Personal Development Blog in 2016 by Wisdom Times (Tim Ferris was #2).
I have also gotten great feedback from a lot of influencers about my writing style.
Want more success with your blog?
It all starts with YOU finding your voice.
Do that NOW.95% of all of my accomplishments are a direct result of me being able to find my unique writing style.Click To Tweet
Ryan Biddulph, Ebook Writer, Blogger, and Traveler
By falling in love with writing I found my writing voice.
Because after I decided to really enjoy writing, and to have fun with it, I wrote a bunch each day. And as I wrote a bunch each day I stripped away the self conscious garbage which diluted my writing voice.
Write, write and write some more, I say. Sure hasn’t hurt me 🙂
But first, make sure you REALLY have fun writing. Don’t work hard; have fun, and then the writing itself and your writing practice is the reward.By falling in love with writing, I found my writer's voice. Click To Tweet
Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Sad to say, it took some time to find my voice.
Though, to be fair, for the first 5 years, my focus was on a service business and I was blogging to help promote it.
But in that time, I discovered several things:
1. I loved to write!
2. I loved to write about social media.
And third, I discovered a real audience for articles about social media, articles that detailed how to do things.
In the years since, I’ve written many different kinds of articles on a variety of topics, but it’s always the How To articles that resonate the most and perform the best. That’s my voice. The Content Marketing Practitioner who constantly asks questions and experiments, and then shares those findings with a hungry audience.I found my voice by seeing which articles resonate the most and perform the best.Click To Tweet
Rebecca Tracey, Business Coach
I’m not sure if I ever “found” my voice… because I don’t think I lost it in the first place.
I used to write more like I write, and now I write more like I speak.
Reading posts out loud definitely helps them to sound more like me.
Ditto with leaving them for a few days and coming back with fresh eyes.
A glass of whiskey while writing never hurt either.I'm not sure if I ever 'found' my voice... because I don't think I lost it in the first place. Click To Tweet
Kyla Roma, Business Coach and Digital Strategist
The most reliable way I used to find my voice as a business owner and blogger was maddeningly simple: I used it.
I blogged once or twice a week for years, I thought about what I loved about other bloggers and my favourite novelists. At times, I read a lot and other times I stopped reading completely when I felt too aware of how I was writing, or was worried about accidentally mimicking my mentors.
I’ve written at home while a plumber crashed through our walls, at my day job between tasks and in coffee shops when writing started to feel like coal mining.
I’ve allowed myself to try new things without being too concerned about their success. I’ve tried writing listical posts, doing case studies, podcasts, webinars and anything else that seemed like it might be a fun way of creating content. I’ve written by dictating, writing a post from start to finish, and by working with a copywriter when writing is just too hard for a season.
I read my posts out loud before I publish them, and make sure they sound like how I speak. I have a subscription to Grammarly to make sure they make sense.
I try to remind myself to feel encouraged that almost all of our favourite books were written by authors who wrote in tiny chunks of time diligently stolen away from daily life.
Mostly, I’ve found my voice by remembering that publishing is the goal and that I can be flexible in my methods along the way.The most reliable way I used to find my voice as a blogger was maddeningly simple: I used it.Click To Tweet
Brent Jones, Freelancing Expert
Finding my voice as both a blogger and a solopreneur took time.
I must admit, when I first endeavored to build my online, service-based business back in 2014, I was at a bit of a loss. I was a fairly persuasive writer, but I found myself second guessing my professionalism in everything I wrote. I wanted to be taken seriously as an independent freelancer, and I often found myself writing in a stuffy, corporate manner.
What I quickly discovered was that I came across dull, arrogant, and unable to relate to my target audience.
It wasn’t until I let a bit of my personality shine through — my awkward, quirky side — that people started to resonate a bit more with what I had to say. After all, my audience and my clients were buying into me, not just into the services I offered.
As the saying goes, “”People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.””
I took it a step further and began writing as I would speak everywhere that I could… that included blog posts, email broadcasts, social media posts, proposals, and so forth. I also developed more comfort in simply being myself by producing video content, which I found to be highly effective at engaging with my audience.
As unoriginal as it may sound, my best advice to new bloggers and solopreneurs is to simply be yourself. No, you don’t need to reveal everything online about your misadventures from last weekend, but you do need to remember that people buy from people they like and trust. And there’s something extremely attractive about genuine authenticity.It wasn't until I let a bit of my personality shine through that people started to resonate a bit more with what I had to say.Click To Tweet
Farideh Ceasar, Launch Expert and Musician
Experience & Experimentation.
Before my current business, I was a musician. I learned through thousands of hours on stage to be really honest about who I am and how to share my story.
When the crowd lost interest, or we were out of touch, I noticed that I wasn’t being myself. At the end of a really great show, even when I was messing up, as long as I was myself – the show went great! Actually, the MORE I could be myself, the better the show went.
When I started my online business, I guessed that this would likely be true here as well. However, I was nervous to discover what parts of myself and how much of my story to share.
We don’t have to share everything about ourselves to have an authentic voice. I started with small stories here and there and found readers who adored my quirky ways and funny stories. I deliver business advice but I didn’t have to be boring or conservative – I could be myself.I learned through thousands of hours onstage to be really honest about who I am and how to share my story.Click To Tweet
Shannon Hernandez, Writing and Content Expert
I found my voice as a business owner by writing everyday and speaking the truth.
I found things in my industry that infuriate me, and I wrote pieces about how to make the content and copywriting world a better space for everyone who works in it, but mainly for the clients who need our services. I’ve written strong pieces on why I am so against content mills and why cheap copy hurts brands.
I’ve also found my voice by appearing on lots of podcasts, hosted by others. There’s just something that gets me going when I’m live and people are asking me questions about why I do what I do, and why I am so passionate about helping people with the words for their brands.
I use this same method when I coach others in their own content creation.
You must take a stand, be authentic, and voice your opinions, because wallflowers generally don’t get recognized. This doesn’t mean you have to be rude, but you must speak up for your brand and what you believe in. This, to me, is a brand voice that attracts attention!You must take a stand, be authentic, and voice your opinions.Click To Tweet
Catherine Just, Photographer
I found my voice as a business owner by taking action and creating my business.
I shift and grow as I go. I find what is true for me by creating offerings and putting them out there in the world and seeing how it feels to me and to the community I’m serving.
I’ve put things out there that I put my heart and soul in, but after it goes out to the world I realize it’s not actually want to be doing or saying… so my voice develops by using it.
I can’t really know my vision or find my way or platform or focus without moving into whatever excites me at the moment and putting in on for size.
I write the way I talk. I don’t think about it being or sounding professional or coming off a certain way… I’m just myself. That’s the voice I use the most.
The one I use all day long. I give myself permission to change and shift and that is as much a part of my voice as what I’m standing firm in.I give myself permission to change and shift. That is as much a part of my voice as what I'm standing firm in.Click To Tweet
Kathy Pine, Web Designer and Coach
The truth of finding my blogging voice, is that the more I blog, the more I feel like I get more honest – more authentic. As much as I have always tried to be authentic, I also find that with more practice, I get closer to being able to share my true deep thoughts, and feel safer letting them shine through.
When I first started blogging, I wrote simply for me. But, when I realized that the best blogs were geared towards the audience – and answered a “what’s in it for me,” I changed tactics. And it became lonely – trying to think of what people cared about and trying to be an “expert.” I had so many pieces of advice to give, knowledge from my career as a web designer that I could give to both freelancers and entrepreneurs… but I didn’t feel passionately about these articles (best wordpress themes, marketing tactics, etc.).
So I mixed in articles about other things I cared about too – I knew my blog was a pathway to finding my passions – and I began writing as well about parenting considerations, inspiration sources, productivity and systems for moms to make life more easy, manageable and fun. I found that I was way more passionate about these topics… and it took some time to weed out how I could truly have a blog that reflected what I was passionate about, but I knew it was the only way I would keep my blog up, is if I was excited about the community and discussion I was creating.
I still struggle, sometimes, to weigh writing about my passion with trying to be helpful…. But I certainly have found that the only way I can feel good about my blogging is to write from the heart. And that, is how I found my blogging voice.”The more I blog, the more I feel like I get more honest – more authentic.Click To Tweet
Lacy Boggs, Blogging Expert
I find that the fastest and easiest way to create unique copy is to uncover a brand hook.
It could be a personality trait, part of your story, a metaphor you use, etc.
For example, my brand is based on the noir/secret agent metaphor, which informs a lot of my copy, like the idea that I go “undercover” as your writer.
In addition, I have a film degree, so a lot of times I’ll use film metaphors and language in my copy as well. Once you have that brand hook, everything else becomes a thousand times easier to write, because it gives you a lens through which to focus.Once you have a brand hook, everything else becomes a thousand times easier to write. Click To Tweet
Yoneco Evans, Business Coach and Podcaster
For me, it started with unplugging from all the other noise.
We spend so much time reading, admiring, and following other people, that we don’t even notice ourselves morphing into them. So, I took a step back to figure out what I want to say and how it feels most natural for me to say it.
What are the conversations I want to lead? Whom do I want to engage in those conversations? What are the things I’d never say or write about? What part of myself do I most want to share in a particular post?
Figuring those things out were key for me and a reminder that I actually LIKE writing.Finding my voice started with unplugging from all the other noise.Click To Tweet
Lisa Haggis, Branding Expert
Two things have made a big difference for me: first, writing what I feel most drawn to say at any given moment. When the passion for a topic is fresh and alive, both the content and the personality flow a lot easier.
The second thing is finding the right format for my content. As an over-thinker, traditional blog posts give me too much opportunity to edit out personality and human mistakes (and they can come across as all-business as a result.) I’ve realized that I’m best in more impromptu situations, like answering questions or creating live video. From there, I can repurpose content into written format if I wish!Write what you're most drawn to say in a given moment, and find the right format for your content.Click To Tweet
RM Harrison, Business Coach
I’ve always had a pretty strong “voice”, which comes through most naturally in real-time conversations with people.
So the key to finding my writing style was to approach writing like I did my conversations.
Translating my voice into good content still isn’t a perfect process for me, though. Positive feedback from my readers and followers has helped me to refine my message. But my secret weapon has been my fabulous writing coach, who helps me keep my writing grounded, clear and focused.The key to finding my writing style was to approach writing like I did my conversations. Click To Tweet
Kathryn Brown, Productivity and Work-Life Balance Coach.
I think that there were really three strategies I used to find my voice in my writing. In fact, I still use these same strategies any time I write a piece of content — a blog post, content for a master class, or copy for my website.
The first strategy I use is to talk to other business owners as often as I can. I love to get on Skype (or in person!) and just chat with them to find out what they do in their business and to share what I’m up to as well. How this helps me is that it makes me really clarify how what I do fits into our online space. It allows me to listen to their struggles and lets me ponder how what I do might help them.
The second strategy is that I write every. single. day. The writing isn’t always business-related, but it is a daily practice that allows me to flesh out new ideas that may very well show up in the content I write. It also means that I publish blog content weekly, and by writing daily, I always have plenty of ideas that can be developed into a blog post.
The third strategy is probably the most impactful one for me. I look at my blog as a conversation that I would have with one person.
I remember when I first started blogging, I would pretend that I was having coffee with someone.
I’d start the conversation with a question — and ask what they thought about a topic. Then, I’d think about how they might answer and how I would respond to keep the conversation going.
If I was having trouble “finding the words” to type, I would pull out my smart phone and record this “pretend” conversation and just talk. I’d do this a few different times, and then play back the recordings and really listen. In fact, I’d take notes of key phrases I’d use, how I tended to transition from a question to an answer, what my “”filler”” words were and how to use them to my advantage.
What I noticed was that I developed a rhythm to how I talked and I used that to structure my posts and my content in general.
But, just like with everything, my style is a work in progress and my style will continue to evolve as my business grows.I look at my blog as a conversation that I would have with one person. Click To Tweet
Brenda Errichiello, Editor and Writer
For me, there were two key steps in finding my online voice.
The first was simply practice–it’s been something I’ve been developing over four years of writing and working online.
The second, more immediately actionable, way was letting go of the idea of impressing someone with my writing. When I began to relax and become less attached to making someone feel a way about me or have a positive opinion of me because of my writing, my online voice shifted into a much more natural, much more conversational version of itself…and I stopped cringing every time I looked back at something I had written months before.I found my voice by letting go of the idea of impressing someone with my writing. Click To Tweet
Kerstin Cable, Language and Online Education Teacher
I am not sure I really found my voice – it was always there.
My first post stands on my blog even today and it feels true to what I was trying to do. The “how” was to commit to a theme, to talk about what I care about and to work hard on developing my style.
The quality of my post is what’s changed: I am a way better writer now, and can structure blog posts to fit in with what I want them to achieve.
Robin Follette, Writer
A simple statement made by a friend helped me realize my voice has always been here. “Write the way you speak.”
I’d felt like I needed to write in a way that matches the well-established bloggers.
Everything changed when I starting writing the same way I speak when telling stories.
Relax. Be yourself. Your readers are interested in you as a person as well as what you have to offer.Relax. Be yourself. Your readers are interested in you as a person as well as what you have to offer.Click To Tweet
Karen Hutton, Photographer
For me, it’s been a two-pronged approach. First, getting super clear on what I most love, what I want to talk about, create around, then what I want to do with that, how I want to be of service in the world. I have to measure any of my results against that, because no matter how well things are going, if they don’t make me happy, then it makes no sense.
I have to be really honest with myself about what feels best, makes me the most joyful, determine those things that I would do for nothing I love it so much. For me, there are a few things… and luckily, they all tie together.
From there, it’s been a matter of experimentation. Having ideas, trying them out, measuring responses to in social media, in comments on my blog, in opportunities that happen and in my business.
I’ve learned a lot this way about how I want to show up, how to make myself heard in the way I want to be. It’s helped me figure out how to harness all of my talents, skills and point of view into a focused voice that resonates through my being and work whether I’m writing, speaking, photographing.
It’s consistent. And it grows and evolves as I do, because the process I use to stay in touch with it is dynamic, alive and evolving too.
Finding your unique voice takes a combination of soul-searching, honesty, discovering ones’ truth, action and discernment. It’s not easy, but it sometimes feel like the most worthwhile work we can do.Finding your voice takes a combination of soul-searching, honesty, discovering ones' truth, & action. Click To Tweet
Rachel Wolany, Self Development Blogger
My voice was never the problem. I knew I was a great storyteller. Especially when I was comfortable with the people I was around. However, I lacked confidence when sharing the same great stories with strangers.
My struggle was internal. Wanting to break out and share my ideas but never having enough guts to do so. Hour upon hour and page after page of writing left without an audience.
It began when I decide to face some of my biggest fears. First I started up at a Toastmasters Group. Public speaking in front of strangers. A harrowing experience leading up to the talk, then a thrilling exhilaration after having met my first challenge. I did this on and off for about ten years. Yet it felt as if I was still hiding. I had to go further.
My next step was YouTube. I wanted to post some of my ideas on the net. See if I could do it. The angst I felt writing the project, practicing, filming and then publishing.
That’s when I started my blog. The build up to this left me with sleepless nights and continued torment. So much so that I got sick of it. Moved forward and got it done.
I’ve been blogging a little over a year now, and it was probably one of the best things I have ever done. It was only yesterday I reflected on how scared and pressured I felt before pressing the publish button on my WordPress site.
Now it seems that I enjoy the whole process and I don’t know where I would be without my voice.Finding my voice began when I decided to face my biggest fears.Click To Tweet
Missy Miller, Mom of 7 and School Bus Conversion Expert
I found my blogging voice by listening to the way I talk.
It also helped me to ask my close friends to tell me what words and phrases that I frequently used when talking to them. Then, I sat down and wrote a blog post without thinking about who would read the post. I just wrote on paper the way I talk.
When I learned to see my screen as a person sitting across from me at my kitchen table while we had a conversation, my voice flowed through the blog post.
See your computer screen as a person sitting across from you at your kitchen table. Click To Tweet
Laura Williams, Business Coach
Finding your blog voice is a case of recognising and using your actual voice. Of coming across like an actual human being that you readers can relate to. Getting your ‘real you’ out there on your blog is the easiest way to find your voice.
So, how do you recognise the ‘real you’ in the first place? Especially if you’re used to censoring yourself in real life not to upset people. Or cause an argument. Or because no one ‘gets you’.
Here’s my tip. What are you like on a night out, when you’ve ‘had a few’? (At the point *before* slurring your speech and falling over then telling everyone you love them before bursting into tears and going to sleep in a corner) When we’ve drunk a bit we lose our inhibitions, we don’t internally edit before we speak, we become more ‘us’ without worrying what people think.
Do you get more chatty? The one dancing on the tables? Are you always the decision maker? Or in charge of the money? Are you the one that looks after the friend crying in the corner? As for me, I let my closet exhibitionist out and become a dafter, chattier, more giggly version of me!
When you do your final blog post edits, read your post out loud as that uninhibited version of you instead of the you that’s concentrating on following a million ‘blogging rules’ to make your post ‘perfect‘. My first drafts are always very serious and, I admit it, a bit dull! So I go back through and add in my ‘me-isms’ (the little side comments, weird words, exaggerated statements and millions of exclamation marks!! And even occasionally an emoji ;))
You don’t have to be loud, or shocking, or aggressive for your voice to stand out. You just have to be unmistakably and consistently you.
You don't have to be loud or shocking for your voice to stand out. You just have to be unmistakably you. Click To Tweet
Lisa Tanner, Freelance Writer
Writing posts used to be a challenge.
I had all these images in my mind about what my posts “should” be like. I wanted to imitate this blogger or that blogger, so I followed all the “blogging rules”. Posts took me forever to write and weren’t enjoyable.
Then I started creating my course, with a desire to monetize my blog. I was writing highly personable content, and a lot of it. When I was about halfway through, I looked back and couldn’t believe how easy it was to knock out.
That’s when it hit me–I don’t have to sound like anyone else. I am me. My voice matters, and I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not.
Since finding my voice, my posts come together faster. They’re also more enjoyable to create. I’m not trying to sound like someone else and constantly editing to maintain that fake voice.
My voice matters, and I don't have to pretend to be someone I'm not.Click To Tweet
Jennifer Ross, Heath Coach
Finding your voice/unique writing style isn’t as hard as it sounds, but somehow I managed to make it really difficult. Hopefully in these few words I can make it easier for you to find yours.
Honestly I don’t think this is something that can be taught, or learned from a book or a webinar because it is truly unique to you.
I found mine quite by accident even though it was there all along waiting patiently for me to recognize it and use it. Writing has always come easily to me and then all of a sudden it didn’t.
I had a laundry list of shoulds and should nots that I had been told to follow for blogging. Great advice but trying to write while accommodating that long list and trying to figure out what my readers might like to read created a huge writers block for me.
I avoided writing, I no longer found joy in it and I was frustrated.
If I couldn’t write then the least I could do was read. It was interesting to see which blogs drew me in and kept my attention. I started to notice that I loved to read ones that had a personal touch to them and told a story. If it started to read like a text book I never finished it. It also felt like the ones I loved were joyfully written by the authors.
I threw out the list of what I should do when writing and started to write what felt good to me, what I wanted to read and what brought me joy while writing. Giving myself that freedom allowed my voice to come through and once again the writing became easy and fun again.
Giving myself freedom allowed my voice to come through.Click To Tweet
Sara Garska, Health Blogger
I started my blog in October of 2015. At first, I wrote intermittently and not very well. But I did keep writing. As I look back, I still like some of the posts I wrote during the fall.
In January 2016, I started journaling every day. I would spend about 20 minutes first thing every morning writing about whatever came up. Some of you may recognize this technique from Julia Cameron’s books. She first wrote about it in The Artist’s Way. I have used it off and on for about 20 years.
Sometime this winter, I began trusting my voice. It has surprised me. I intended my blog to be a light hearted story of my post-divorce single life in a big city. Instead, I find my voice is about what I eat, how I move, and how I think. My most recent post was about forgiveness. I can honestly say, that even if no one else ever reads it, it is my best post to date. And I feel that way—because it motivates ME every single day.
I love exploring the craft of writing in these relatively short pieces. I truly want to share something meaningful to me that could be helpful to others, and I try to do it in an efficient and interesting way. Time will tell if that resonates with other people. At this time, my views have tripled since January so that is some confirmation that I am on the right track.
When I began trusting my voice, it surprised me. Click To Tweet
Amanda Settle, Expat Blogger
I think the key to finding my voice as a blogger was to write about something I really cared about, something I’m passionate about.
To begin with I simply wrote and a unique voice began to develop. It didn’t happen overnight, but one day I realised it’s there. There’s a piece of the web that sounds uniquely me.
Of course my voice isn’t me exactly, I can’t replicate myself online. It’s the feelings and style that my writing evokes. My readers began to construct a person based on what my writing made them feel.
Personally I decided early on to write in a way that I wanted to read, the type of writing that got my attention. I’m put off when people try to sound clever by adding too many adjectives. We lead busy lives and tend to read while doing a million other tasks, so the writing needed to be able to fit into those lives.
Mine is a personal blog, a life of food, thoughts and photos on faraway shores.
My aim is that my writing reflects those things. That it comes across as sincere and well informed in the advice I give.
Passionate when I’m writing about the places we’ve been and the things we’ve seen. I also think it’s a little vulnerable, especially when it’s about the everyday things that we all experience.
I wrote and a unique voice began to develop. There's a piece of the web that sounds uniquely me.Click To Tweet
Margaret Sloan, Artist and Writer
I am fortunate to have spent 15 years working for a magazine staffed with inspired writers, critical editors, and copy editors who were rabidly devoted to correct grammar and sparkling writing. When I started the job (as a fact checker), I realized that, although I’d been writing for years, I had few grammar skills. Intimidated, I stopped writing for nearly a decade.
During those years of not being a writer, I watched and learned. I questioned the copy editors, I read many stories, and I got lots of practice rewriting copy for fact and for fit. Magazines are tight on space; every word has to work like the very devil.
Picking up the pen again, I found my voice had improved. Or possibly I’d finally developed a voice. One thing I knew: I now had skills that let me nail my thoughts into paragraphs that were square and true.
I think I’m still looking for my unique voice. I look for music in my writing. I try to lighten my words so I don’t bore readers to death; I don’t want to hear them yawn. I try to be crisp, elegant, surprising, funny, and clear.
I love words and how they fit together. To paraphrase another writer (I am sorry to say I can’t remember her name), I collect words and carry them around in my pocket where they clack and clatter like beads. I love to string them into sentences, then shake them apart and string them again, this time in a different order.
My voice will always be that of a writer totally gobsmacked by love for words. I guess you could say I’ve developed my own unique voice simply because I’ve got a terrible crush on language.
I’ve developed my own unique voice simply because I’ve got a terrible crush on language. Click To Tweet
Jenna Fletcher, Food Blogger
I like to think that I would like and be friends with everyone that reads my blog.
So when I write my posts, which are all mainly recipes, I act as if I am in my kitchen cooking and chatting with my friend. I talk about the things that I would talk about with my friends- like my toddler’s latest antics- and keep my tone conversational.
By essentially pretending I am talking to a close friend as I cook and create my content, I create a piece of the web that is warm and inviting, which is ultimately what I see my brand and website being. This approach wouldn’t work for all niches but I feel it works very well for me and my content.By pretending I'm talking to a close friend, I create a piece of the web that is warm & inviting. Click To Tweet
Amy Jae, Writer
I have kept a journal for the past 15 years … pouring out my thoughts and ideas with with ease. But every time I sat in front of a blank page with a blinking cursor, I would freeze. To me, “real” writing was frightening and I felt like a child stumbling to connect words and sentences.
Sadly, this lack of a writing voice kept me silent for years.
Then one day, as I re-read a journal from 10 years earlier, I was struck with the flow and cadence of the words. I found myself wiping tears as I remembered the day I’d written those words and the emotion and truth captured on those lined pages. I went straight to my computer and typed it (almost word for word) into a blog post.
Since that day, I have adapted a number of journal entries into blog posts. They feel like ME because they are written in my most humble, vulnerable moments – moments when I don’t think anyone else listening! I feel safe in the privacy of my bedroom, sitting in a coffee shop, or curled up on my hammock, pen flying across the pages of the book that “no one else will ever read.”
Now that others ARE listening, they often remark how personal and heartfelt my words seem. Like I’m writing TO THEM.
In this stash of carefully guarded journals (I’m not sharing everything!), I have discovered an almost endless source for blog posts! My journey over the past years is now inspiring others as well as reminding me of the struggles I’ve faced and the truths that helped me grow to the woman I am today.
I feel great joy as I translate these experiences into posts that tell my story to the world! I had my voice all along … I just had to redefine “real” writing!To find your voice, redefine 'real' writing. Click To Tweet
Lisa Northey, Coach
For me, finding my voice continues to be a process.
But, everyday I believe I get closer to my voice, to my truth.
In a weird sort of way, the process is less growing up — as you might expect — than a grounding down. It’s more about settling into the roots of who I am than about who I “ought” to be. This has not been easy.
Before I blogged, I had an idea of what I should sound like, thanks to all the incredible blogs out there. But readers can smell the funk of posturing just as easily as they can smell authentic writing. And being exactly who YOU are — vulnerable, imperfect, quirky — gives them permission to more boldly and readily claim who they are. And that’s exactly what the world needs: YOU, unmasked.What the world needs is YOU, unmasked. Click To Tweet
Gina Karas, Scrapbooker
Finding my voice as a blogger was actually pretty easy for me.
I love writing and I love scrapbooking, so writing about something that I love is a piece of cake! I can talk for days all about scrapbooking and the creative process.
Talking about my struggles comes easy as well because I feel that being authentic helps to motivate and inspire others to keep trying new things.
My blog includes tips and techniques, as well as interviews from leaders in the crafting industry, so I think that I encompass a well rounded view of scrapbooking for my readers.
There are times when I’m scared to write a certain piece because of how it can be perceived by others, but I work through it and get to a point where I can present the material in a way that is less controversial, but still includes my voice and my views.
The writing process has its ups and downs, but if you’re writing about something you love, then the struggle is totally worthwhile.If you're writing about something you love, then the struggle is totally worthwhile.Click To Tweet
Sarah Blodgett, Lifestyle Blogger
Finding my voice as a blogger came easier to me because I had spent the last decade as a stand-up comedian.
In comedy you have open mics where comics try out new stuff in front of a small audience and get instant feedback… and most audiences are more than happy to tell you when it doesn’t work.
So when I started blogging, I learned that it’s those early stages when you have a small audience that you can really play around and try out different styles and vibes to see what feels like “you”. That way, when you start to gain a following, you’ll have already found your voice and, hopefully, your audience.
When you have a small audience, play around and try out different styles to see what feels like “you.” Click To Tweet
Ani Mercedes, Artist, Photographer, Educator
Hello?…hello?…Is this thing on?
Oh, you can here me?! Great!
What’s that? You could always here me?! Whaaat?!
Sharing anything online is like karaoke. If you’re shy about singing, your performance is gonna suck. If you sing like no one’s watching, pump up the whole bar so everyone’s singing along, and pick a song that you love, then you’re gonna kick *$$!
My first blog was private for 1 year, until I showed it to my best friend who *loved* it and encouraged me to share it with the world. I timidly did, and was surprised by strangers writing and commenting on how helpful it is.
Once I realized that (A) my knowledge could truly help a complete stranger transform their life, (B) shared content as if I were sharing it with my best friend, and (C) did a monthly revenue step back with my accounting software (btw, I use Quickbooks), did I realize my mic was on and I could be heard loud and clear.
Go forth, and sing your heart out!Sharing anything online is like karaoke. Go forth, and sing your heart out!Click To Tweet
Katina Davenport, Author, Blog Coach, Content Strategist
I found my voice when I realized my passion for writing and was willing to tell my story.
I realized I had so much to share.
When I became willing to put myself out into the noisy social media world my voice became more defined.
I believe you will find your voice when you can take everything you’ve learned over the years and relate it to what you’re teaching on your blog.
That connection is more powerful than you know. Don’t be afraid to share those experiences. They will inspire your readers.Take everything you've learned over the years and relate it to what you're teaching on your blog.Click To Tweet
Jamie Jeffers, Mom and Frugal Living Blogger
Finding your voice as a blogger takes time. It’s a mixture of what your readers are looking for and your own unique style. Finding the best combination of those two things is not a quick or simple process.
Each of us has different “real world” behavior, depending on the situation. Your voice in church is different than your voice when you’re playing with children. And that’s different than the voice you use when you’re out having fun with friends.
None of those voices are phony. But all of them together makes you, you.
Finding your voice as a blogger isn’t about being fake, or trying to be popular with a crowd that you wouldn’t usually hang out with. It’s about discovering which of your unique voices works best with the message you are trying to get out to the world.Which of your unique voices works best with the message you are trying to get out to the world? Click To Tweet
Jen Mackinnon, Homeschooling Blogger
The easiest way for me to find my voice was to use my voice when writing.
When I write I aim to write the way I speak.
I learned this from reading other more experienced stories from bloggers.
When I finished a piece, I read it out loud. Does it sound like me? Is it genuine? Does it convey the feeling I am trying to express? I ask myself these questions because I want my readers to meet me, the real me.
I don’t want to be someone else, and using someone else’s voice won’t do that. I don’t do perfect. I don’t do fake. That doesn’t help them or myself.
It is easy enough to lose oneself online, to be influenced by those around us. This is different from being inspired. By all means be inspired, but be you. This will reach others and help you to be encouraged as well.I want my readers to meet me, the real me. Click To Tweet
Jane Tabachnick, Publicity Expert
I found my voice over time, by listening to my audience.
At first I wrote what was on my mind, or what I thought interested my readers. I listened to their feedback, and watched which posts get the most comments and shares, and have refined my voice based on that.I listened my readers and have refined my voice based on that. Click To Tweet
Like many of these creators, I finally found my voice online by trusting my own words and wisdom. Have you found your online voice? What worked for you? Share in the comments below.