I've been reading a lot of e-books and blog posts with great advice about finding your voice. These experienced bloggers and designers have drilled into my brain how important it is to have a consistent and unique voice that is true to who I am. I've been told to ask myself, am I being me? Am I reaching my target audience with my voice? Am I talking to my readers like I would talk to a friend? Am I being true to my brand?
I like to write on the blog the way I talk in real life. I want to to be real with my readers and writing any other way would just be more work for me. So I've been watching the way I talk, especially the way I talk to my best friends so I can see just how it is that I talk in real life. Then I came upon a problem. I discovered I have two ways of talking to people. Either I am less than serious, fast-paced, sarcastic, and scatter-brained OR I am serious, passionate and long winded.
When I get started talking about something I'm super passionate about (like design or blogging) I can go on for days and I put on a serious and well, dare I say, a preachy voice. It's just what I do and I can't help it! So my worry has been that I am too preachy here on my blog because I use my preachy voice.
Well. This is the conclusion that I've come to. Everyone's been telling me to be me, so I'm going to be me. My good friends put up with my preachiness when I'm talking my passions and they can have fun with me when I'm being scatter-brained. If you want to stick around and put up with me and be my friend, I would love that. But if I'm not your style and you can't take the preachiness/scatterbrainedness then I'm okay if I'm not your cup of tea.
I have finally discovered voice. I'm glad to see that my fingers seemed to discover it a long time ago and that I have been writing true to myself for as long as I've been blogging now. It just took me a while to realize what the heck I was doing.
So my thoughts for you on finding your voice in your blog and brand?
Be you. Anything else will be difficult and more work for you.
Talk to your readers like you are talking to a friend. They will notice you being real with them and they will start to see you as a friend.
Be as unique as possible. When I'm looking at my reader, without the blog design I sometimes forget which blog I'm reading. The writer's voice is sometimes all I have to identify by. So be unique and memorable! But don't try too hard to be unique that you're forgetting to be you.
Don't act like you know everything. Unless you do, then by all means go ahead. I'm not an expert on, well, anything really so I make a point to show where I am uncertain and that I don't know it all. Your readers might offer good advice or at least they won't be critical of your ignorance.
Don't imitate. You won't pull it off. You'll look like a fake. And oftentimes your readers know exactly who you are trying to copy. And it looks bad.
Be personal. Share details about your life. If all you do is present information to your readers, your readers don't get attached to you and there is a huge disconnect. Just remember to not overshare...
And remember, some people might not like your voice. Get over it. Remember that the people who do appreciate your voice and your words are the people you want hanging around anyways. Let the haters go.
If you're looking for some good resources on finding your voice, here's some great posts that helped me out!
Braid Creative- A Personal Brand Exercise For Sharing Yourself Online
ALT BLOG- Keep It Real
Noisette Academy- Finding Your Blogging Voice
Blog Bunch- Finding Your Blog's Voice
IFB- Writing Voice