There are so many sites out there with blogging and social media advice. I’ve been writing online for a while now and I’m still learning so much. Technology is changing right and left and it can almost be a full-time job trying to keep up with it all.
One thing I’ve learned along the way, is that no matter what changes – I need to still be “me.” I need to keep my own voice. It’s too easy to see what someone else is doing and try to adapt that to fit yourself. You can do that in a way, but sometimes you have to go against the grain and simply decide that being “you” is more important than being SEEN by everyone. For if you do this, the ones that read your words will be the right audience because they will see that you are authentic to your own life and world.
So, here are 5 ways that I’ve been able to distinctly keep my own voice and heart in my blogging and writing.
1. Use the layout that you like. There are trends in blogging layouts. Some only show “snippets” of a post, some have a cover page, and some are only on white backgrounds with a header. Personally, I like to be able to scroll down a page and see the whole post. I don’t enjoy having to click to “read more.” But that’s just me. And that’s my style. So my recommendation would be to use the format that works best for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s the new trend or not. Be “you.” If you like a cute background, use a cute background! Just make sure that everyone can clearly read your words.
2. Use the blogging platform that you find to be the easiest. In a world that says “Use Wordpress or bust,” I have stuck with blogger. I’m not great at coding or using complicated systems. Blogger is easy, simple, and it’s been reliable for me. I did purchase my own domain so that I don’t have a “blogspot.com” address – but I went through blogger to do that. Simple is what I need and simple is what I use.
3. Write about what you love. If you only want to write about your kids, then write about your kids! It won’t feel right to write about other topics. If you are passionate about knitting or fashion, then write about those. There is an audience out there for everything. But, you also don’t have to stick to one topic alone. It’s YOUR blog. You can do whatever you’d like! So, if you have a cooking blog, and your heart just really feels like it needs to write on a story in the news – go for it! Your audience will enjoy getting a glimpse of you that is out of the norm. For me, I write on whatever topic is on my heart and where God prompts me with that. It usually ends up being mostly on faith and learning through life’s ups and downs with a little bit of lifestyle and beauty thrown in from time to time. I enjoy writing on life in general.
4. Talk to people. Let people get to know you. If people leave a comment, comment back! You don’t have to reply to every single one – but a blog is partially about relating to others. If it’s just for you, you might want to keep it private. But if it’s public, others want to get to know you and talk to you. Reply to comments if you’re on twitter or instagram. Relate to others on your facebook page. No audience wants to feel ignored all the time. It can get harder the more responses you get, but it’s important to remind others that you aren’t “above” them. You are ONE of them. You can do this on any level you feel comfortable, but it truly does reinforce who YOU are.
5. Ignore the advice out there if it doesn’t “fit” you. If you don’t enjoy having to have an email list just to grow your blog…. don’t! If you don’t have the time to participate in different discussion groups…. don’t! If you don’t like using SEO words in your posts just so you will be listed in Google… don’t! You will be discovered by the people who find your words meaningful, helpful, or relatable in some way. We all only have so many hours in a day. We can’t do it ALL. Use the platforms that matter to you and ignore the ones that you don’t enjoy or have trouble grasping. It’s okay.
There are definitely certain rules that seem to work for growing an online presence. But overall, I’ve found it’s important to enjoy what I do. Don’t focus on popularity or success. Focus on passion and joy and the rest will truly follow if it’s meant to be.
**I’d love to connect with you on the many different social networks I’m a part of. You can find me here:
Blog – http://beautyinthestorm.com
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/dionnasanchez
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/dionnasanchez
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/dionnasanchezwriter
Google Plus - +DionnaSanchez