What's Your Blog Identity?).
Because we’re confused, many of us end up mimicking what the majority of other writer-bloggers are doing. Since most writers blog about “writing” and dish out “writing advice,” new bloggers end up making writing the focus of their blogs too.
After all, if it’s working for others, why not do the same thing? If writing a post about Twitter mistakes or how to land an agent seems to draw readers to a blog, then why not try it too? Why not write about the things that attract readers, even if the subject has already been covered in a dozen ways in a dozen places?
Thus cyberland sees a steady stream of new writing-related blogs that add to the already over-saturated market. Yes, the industry is indeed filled with more writing blogs than a person could ever read.
So, what should a writer do? Should we steer clear of blogging about writing simply because there are already so many other blogs covering the same stuff?
As I’ve struggled to find my blogging focus and identity, I’ve realized that the primary reason I started blogging was to give public voice to the writer inside me. I wanted a place where I could “talk” about writing and the many struggles that accompany it. And I have the feeling many other writers feel the same way.
Because we’re passionate about writing and books, those topics naturally becomes the FOCUS of our blogs. We enjoy, even need, the outlet to discuss this important aspect of our lives. (As a side note, I think non-fiction writers should attempt to center their blogs around the topics of their books.)
But how can we stand out from the thousands of other writing blogs out there? How do we keep our blog posts from being a re-hashed, boring version of what someone else is doing? Here are just a few of my ideas:
1. Find our unique blogging voice.
Letting our uniqueness come through takes time and practice. We can try writing different ways—funny, inspiring, poetic, sassy, mother-like, or serious. When we experiment, over time we begin to see what we like best and what resonates with readers most.
2. Tell our own story.
We’re all so different, in such varying circumstances and situations. None of our writing journeys are the same. We should share about our writing experiences from our completely unique perspective with our gifted story-telling abilities.
3. Be creative.
We writers are creative-types, aren’t we? Does everyone need to have bullet points, numbered outlines, or bold sub-headings like good-old organized me? Or can we take information and display it in a variety of different and creative ways?
4. Let our passion show through.
The posts I enjoy writing the most are usually the ones that get the most comments. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Readers can sense when we’re invested. As I plan out my posts, I try to think of topics that are burning inside me, things important to me, issues I’d like to discuss with others.
5. Write with the reader in mind.
Write for ourselves from the heart, but write for our readers from the head. We want our readers to “get” something every time they visit our blogs—wisdom, inspiration, encouragement, insight—something.
We can use the above principles to not only make our blogs stand out, but to also make our books stand out. With the millions of books out there, we have to work hard at writing in our unique voices, becoming good story-tellers, being creative, letting our passion fill the page, and writing with the reader in mind.
So, yes, there are thousands of blogs, the same way there are thousands of books competing for reader’s attention. And we just have to do the hard work of learning to stand out—with both our blogs and books.
What do you think? Are there too many writing-related blogs? Do you think it’s possible to have a blog that stands out (no matter the focus)? And if so, what other tips do you have?
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