When you’re a blogger, you’re essentially spilling your whole self onto the Internet and being seen by potentially hundreds of thousands of people worldwide every day. It’s therefore really hard sometimes to be confident about who you are as a writer. You might be super-confident in real life, yet when you come to write you feel the pressure from other websites where the blogger seems so together, popular, witty…beloved. You can feel a little…small. You can even find yourself writing in someone else’s voice – uh-oh! But there’s no need – you are you, and that’s the best ever person you can be. Ever!
Here are a few tips on how to grow confidence in your own authentic, amazing, superstar blogger voice.
Write how you speak
Imagine you’re writing to your best friend when you create a post – that removes formality and allows the real you to shine through your words. I see loads of things where the writer obviously feels a sort of performance anxiety or something, just because they’re blogging not chatting, and as a result their words come off like the equivalent of a telephone voice. Not good. You might feel you’re your true self when you’re chilling with friends, losing this verve and savvy once you sit down to type. You’re most likely correct to think this (trust your instincts!), so get typing like you’re writing your wittiest, most charming email to your best mate.
Write like nobody’s watching
Do you sometimes write something brilliant, then delete it in an attack of feeling silly, then rework it, then hate it, then restore it, then worry it’ll offend someone, then delete it again, then have a cup of tea? Same here. Don’t. Just write your stuff like no one in the world will read it. Check it for sense. Publish. Move on. There you have authenticity.
Nurture your confidence
Be mindful of how you treat yourself. Don’t run yourself down and think, “no one wants to hear what I have to say.” You wouldn’t say that about another new blogger, so don’t be dissing yourself. Collect in your mind all the likes, follows, favourites that you get and know that no one forced these out of the person behind them. They truly liked what you put out there! You have as much right to a place in the blogosphere as the blogging superstars. They’re just further down that road than you are.
Don’t copy, however unintentionally
It can be very easy to mimic your blogging hero while you find your feet, especially if they were the reason you started your own blog in the first place. When I studied art at A Level, we copied techniques from the famous artists in order to experience them and learn stuff. Obviously, this is a brilliant way of getting involved in things, and absolutely OK in the short term, but if you want any credibility, respect or growth, then you need to turn away as soon as you can, take the stabilisers off and be brave enough to walk your own path. If you find it hard not to be swayed by what other bloggers are doing, just stop reading their blogs for a while. Sure, it might be what inspired you in the first place, but it’s time to concentrate on your own story now.
Find your own niche and style in your own sweet time
You’ll find your style if you’re patient and allow it to happen naturally. Don’t force a style. Just be yourself and it’ll become apparent all by itself. My blog has had its twists and turns even in the short space of a year. As it beds down and becomes an extension of my actual mind, honed into what my audience is actually interested in reading about, rather than a bit of a flounder about the wedding world with no direction or focus, my style is blossoming, organically. And do you know the other benefits to this way of doing things? For one, it’ll never stop being your authentic style, your voice, your self, but also you’ll never become boring or run out of ideas because your style will change, as will the things you like to write about. And that’s OK! We all develop different interests and outgrow old ones. If we didnt, we’d still be into NKOTB or Care Bears now. And no one wants that. Maybe a little…
Who loves ya, baby?
Your writing will appeal to some and not others. Cherish the ones it appeals to and don’t worry about the others. It’s not an insult if someone isn’t into you. It’s just how it is. You know the saying about not pleasing all of the people all of the time… Engage with those who genuinely love what you do and I promise you you’ll feel a million dollars. Every. Single. Day.
Welcome mat not doormat
With putting yourself out there comes the attraction of some people who want to take away your confidence and happiness. Yuk! It’s always been there in the world, but somehow the Net allows an easier potshot access. Maybe it’s the anonymity. Who cares? Don’t take any crap. Your blog, your space. Own it and feel strong. Don’t be put off by negativity or mean sorts. People are invited to visit your blog and are made welcome there, but if the snark comes out, then off they go. You the boss.
Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate?!!
You’re fabulous and creative and your words are important. You have a voice and it’s great that you use it to connect. Keep going, don’t stop, don’t force change, but rather allow it to happen as and when it does. Authenticity isn’t something you do, it’s something that you get described as having while you’re busy being you. Amazing, talented, super-duper you!!