Monday, October 27, 2008

What's Your Blogging Style and Voice?

I subscribe to about a dozen blogs, many of which cover different kinds of topics, but all of which I find relevant to my personal life, my business life as a writer, and my "future" life - meaning that which I aspire to and have not yet achieved. I think all really good writing, and particularly blogging, has elements of these 3 components, because when you think about it, aren't they what really make up our lives? We are consumed with what we are doing in the everyday in terms of our careers and relationships, and much of what drives us is our future goals. After all, if we had everything we wanted, why bother getting up in the morning?

Conversely, if we are so frustrated by what we are doing everyday that we wanted to scream, or strangle someone, or throw ourselves off the nearest bridge (you get the idea...), that's no good either.

The bloggers I like somehow encompass all these elements by being thorough, passionate about the present and the future, and yet not long winded. They are also authentic in their relaying of an anecdote or case study, so I never have to ask myself: are they just pulling my ponytail? I wouldn't say length is a determining factor - I have read many long blog posts that I really enjoy - and also shorter posts of only a few sentences that also bring a point home.

I like Problogger, aka Daren Strouse, because his blogs always have great content delivered in a very conversational tone. I feel like he is sitting right next to me chatting even though he's all the way in Australia! He also is one of the few bloggers I've seen out there who makes really good use of guest bloggers to enrich his site. I can also say that dosh dosh has truly changed my life. His posts are always very thorough, informative and readable.

Some bloggers are very focused on lists and tips and write in that manner. Some feel that being humorous is very important. Some are very into quantifying things and focus on metrics, statistics, and the like. Others are "microbloggers," and only write a sentence or two. To me, it is like being at the grocery store--I like to have a balanced shopping cart and it gives me more components to experiment with when I get home.

The most important thing in terms of branding and establishing a solid online presence, is to not stray wildly from one style to another - it will confused your readers when you want to establish a clear identity. Also, be mindful that if you're actively looking for a style, you probably need to take a step back because you're not going to just find it, like a great t-shirt at a garage sale. You need to find your voice, and it may be as simple as reading over some of the letters you used to write, or an e mail you sent, or a conversation you had a day or a week, or a year ago. Your voice is there waiting to come up, you just have to discover it.

What is your blogging style? Has it changed from what you originally set out to do? If you were stranded on a desert island with only a laptop (and of course, wi-fi), who would you log onto?

2 comments:

Susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

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caroline jaffe-pickett said...

Hi Susan, thanks for your comments and please subscribe if you like my writing! I also have a monthly e news you can subscribe to on carriefreelance.com.