7 Days to Making Your Blog Blossom > Day 4 , Speak from the Heart
Good morning! And how are you today?
Over here in LingLand, life is going along quite peachy indeed. Martial-arts-wise, I have finally (oh gosh yes, finally!) taken my first baby step from being utterly incompetent karate sparring-wise to actually making a rather decent showing for myself! I’m ‘way proud of that – it’s all coming together (yay!).
As if that wasn’t enough, I’m also preparing Camp Ling (the amount of effort there is staggering, ah well) for the kids! And I wrote Ultimate List – 101 Quality Resources To Help You Skyrocket Your Blog RSS or eMail subscribers, and oh yes, did have to deal with my youngest who thought that chasing a TwitterBudgie around the office was Fun Indeed ("But Mom, I thought you wouldn’t find out!" ARGH!!!!). Hopefully I’ve nipped that action in the bud and won’t have to deal with it again (youngest is now banned from my office where the budgies live until further notice).
Sigh. Parenting – it’s a hero’s journey.
But I digress.
And that means…it’s time for Day 4 of Making Your Blog Blossom!
A stampeding herd of texas Longhorn steers
Okay now, got that image in your noggin? Excellent!
Answer for me the following question:
Which steer garners the most attention?
It’s the one in the lead, right? The one whom everyone else is following.
Did you know your blog can be viewed in the very same way?
It’s true! Chances are, unless you’re blogging about raising fossilized clams, you’re NOT the only blogger on the Internet who is specializing in your particular niche.
‘Matter of fact, you’re probably competing against more bloggers than the number of text messages teenagers send during their waking hours!
So how can you blossom your blog and ensure interested parties read your insight first and foremost?
Hmmm? Think about it – there are tons of other problogger or make money sites you can read…why are you reading MY particular take on growing your blog instead of all the others?
I’ll tell you why – it’s because I’ve internalized the following Blogging Commandment:
You stop imitating others…and write from your heart instead.
Such an easy concept to internalize…yet it takes a lot of courage and self confidence to execute!
And here’s how you can do it too.
Before you begin – Ask yourself…what’s the best aspect of your personality?
Think about your interactions with your friends and family. What’s your conversational quality?
- Do you have a dry sense of humor?
- Will you do anything for a laugh?
- Do you revel in debating until the aforementioned cows come home?
- Do you have stark opinions that you’ll defend until pigs sigh?
- Do you pun until tires beg you to imitate them? (ie, Re-Tire, get it? Retire? Get it? Huh? Huh? Gosh I slay myself! Ho ho ho! )
One of the best ways to make your blog stand out from the rest of the thundering herd is to develop your own unique blogging voice.
A super easy way to achieve this is to infuse all of your writings with your heart and soul.
I do this all the time myself! Once you’ve subscribed to my feed (did I mention subscribers get a secret download as my way for thanking them?) and have read a selection of my works, you’ll realize that I’m:
- A weee bit zany (like football is a weee bit popular)
- A weee bit educational (most of my posts have 1-2-3 steps to help teach)
- A weee bit appreciative of the finer things in life (witness my Gourmet Blogger Breakfasts and Insane Luxuries)
- A weee bit into the Martial Arts (I’m the only karate mom who participates in sparring with senseis half my age)
- A weee bit into raising kids (otherwise known as Grey Hair Enablers)
And just about all of my writings convey that! I have a unique blogging voice and unique style that simply cannot be duplicated….because nobody else is ME.
Nobody else is YOU!
Are you taking advantage of this undeniable fact?
So! Let me ask you again. What’s the best aspect of your personality?
Once you have that down, infuse that into your writings. Don’t be afraid to be unique! Don’t be afraid to shine!
Don’t be afraid to be YOU.
The blogosphere doesn’t NEED another Barbara or another Darren or another Liz or another Chris or another Bill or …. Fact is, nobody CAN become them…because nobody else has their own unique experiences and insights and gifts they bring to the table.
Luckily, that’s not relevant at all! It’s not the cold hard facts the above people offer that makes them unique and readable…it’s the way they write about them.
The playing field is therefore leveled….and it’s your choice to give yourself permission to carve out your own unique style and niche within an utterly over-saturated market.
Once you have internalized the best aspects of your personality, move smoothly to:
Step 1 – Learn how to allow your emotion to color your words
Yes yes yes, I know….it’s generally considered bad form to allow emotions to come out during arguments or verbal discussions. But! Blog writing should come from the heart!
Here are some excellent resources for learning how to write creatively, write from the heart and more:
- Do You Write From Your Heart?
- How to Write Intelligently from the Heart
- Write From The Heart: 10 Ideas
- How to Write a Story
- How to write posts that people will actually read
- How to write effective text
- How To: Write a Blog that People Actually Want to Read
And here are some blogs that focus on great writing (you’ll want to add them to your feedreaders!):
- Confident Writing
- Men With Pens
- Writing on the Web
- Angela Booth’s Writing Blog
- Content Done Better
- I’d Rather Be Writing
- Inky Girl
When reading the above, take your time to really internalize how they can apply to your own unique situation. Some teachers advocate brief, pithy and to the point-ness and write like bold sword cuts across the army of an advancing enemy…while others prefer to wield their words like an artist’s paintbrush, crafting a multi-hued masterpiece of emotional brilliance.
Either style works perfectly so long as it’s YOURS.
Step 2 – Infuse your blog posts with your newly uncovered unique blogging voice.
Blogging as only you can do is called "writing with your own unique blogging voice."
Here are some of my own special number 1 tips:
- Whenever I write a blog post, I talk to myself and my TwitterBudgies outloud. I listen to how my voice sounds, how the words flow…and I’ll say to myself,
Self, are my intentions coming through? Am I communicating effectively or is my writing as engaging as watching shower mold sprout on the bathroom faucet?
If the answer is "effective!", life is joyous indeed. Any other answers that tend towards shower-moldness require me to return to the drawing board and try again.
- If I find myself using the same word twice, I’ll meander by Thesaurus.com and search for alternative phraseologies. That site is a godsend for crafting unique posts!
- I let things simmer. For example, I wrote most of this post at 7am this morning – it’s now 5 hours later. I’ve already re-worked several paragraphs to tighten it up.
- I do good grammar! I talk the betterist of everyone in my, my….ummmm my family! Yeah! That’s the ticket! I talk real good, and I make certain my writings reflect the betteristness of them!!!!!!
In other words, I try to ensure my grammar is reflective of my ability to communicate. You WON’T see chatspeak and you WON’T see grammar mishaps that make Kindergarten teachers weep with frustration!
I’m not asking your to become the next Homer but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE…make certain you know when to use "they’re" and "their", not to mention "you’re" and "your" ! Poor grammar is the scrouge that grates eyeballs and makes people run away screaming from your blog.
As always, Monty Python says it best!
Want more ideas? Take some time to enjoy:
- 5 +1 Steps to Your Authentic Writing Voice
- Express your personal brand through your blogging voice
- Finding Your Writing and Blogging Voice
- Finding Your Blog Voice
- Finding your Blogging “Voice”
- Find Your Blogging Voice II
- Getting Your Unique Voice, Your Literary Authority and Your Authorship Noticed on the Internet
- How to Find Your Blogging Voice
- Know Your Audience and Establish a Voice
- Increase Your Freelance Income by Finding Your Unique Voice
- Liz Strauss: The Voice Behind the Blog
- Personal Blogs and Personal Voice Ain’t Dying, They’re Thriving
- Supercharge Your Content With Voice
- What Is The Sound Of Your Blogging Voice?
- Where’s Your Blog’s Unique Voice?
- What Do You Bring to the Blog Table? A Remix or Your Own Special Recipe?
And then finally:
Step 3 – Find corresponding YouTube videos that mesh with your style.
People like videos.
People especially like videos that add the the whole blog visiting/reading experience!
I always try to add some humor videos to many of my posts – making people smile some I really enjoy doing.
I add YouTube videos by switching to HTML or SOURCE mode in my blog posts and copying the provided embed code. Other tips can be found at:
- 2 Steps To Add Youtube Video to WordPress
- Easily Add Videos to Your WordPress Blogs
- Smart Youtube
- Viper’s Video Quicktags
- WP YouTube 2 Plugin
And that brings me to:
In this lesson, you learned how to develop your own unique blogging voice, thus giving yourself a superb chance at competing with probloggers via a level playing field. In other words, you now have the ability to lead the thundering herd.
And of course (you really didn’t think I’d close a post without this now, did you?) an opportunity now arises!
(remember, there’s no such things as problems in real life – just misunderstood opportunities)…..
HOMEWORK – One great way to enable your blog to blossom is showcase passion about …. about ….. what do you think it should be about?
Thus, until tomorrow! (and don’t forget, if you think any of your friends would benefit from these tutorials, please do share them! They’ll thank you for it…guaranteed).
#BEGIN highlights of this blog writing post:
Beginners blogging tips: Be yourself and nobody else!
Intermediate and/or Advanced blogging tips: Proactively make certain that appeal comes out in all your writings.
#END highlights of this blog writing post
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