Blogging, in essence, is a form of self-expression.
It’s much like finding your favourite shade of red lipstick.
You know, the one you save for those ‘date nights’ or those days when you just need something to lift you out of the mire of nappies, bills and temper tantrums (that’s the kids’ ones BTW). That lipstick, took weeks, even months to find and it suits you to a tee.
So you want your blog to compliment you as much as that perfect red lipstick. Perhaps, even more. So let’s get to it.
No muddling along in copier grey tones
Being yourself, as a blogger, is really the most important factor in enjoying the ride and being successful.
It gives you the confidence to experiment and try new things.
Don’t regurgitate what you’ve read or seen elsewhere – no one likes staring at another person’s vomit (unless it’s your own child’s of course, and you still don’t like it, but you have no choice in the matter)!
If you’re not being yourself on your blog, it’s pretty hard to inject your personality into a skin that really is someone else’s.
Readers want to feel connected to you, that they ‘almost’ know you – warts, imperfections and vulnerabilities included.
Therefore, an important part of building your confidence and community, is knowing who you are and what you want the world to see.
Be real – but not me, myself and I
Keep in mind that no one likes a bragger.
There are ways to share your windfalls and new things you’ve acquired without looking like a superficial reality TV star. Mix good news into a post about other things and it will be received, acknowledged and appreciated far more by your readers.
And if you’re blogging about your work or business, a post that reads as one long advertisement won’t go far in the blogosphere. Readers just won’t come back.
The same holds true for posting about how busy you are. Don’t go on about it – share your nightmares, but not so it seems that your life is an endless reality program where everyone lives on intravenous caffeine hits.
The fact is, we’re all busy; while they’re reading your blog there are kids fighting in the background, a jug boiling over, a baby is crying and their cat is scratching the legs of the kitchen table.
We’re all living in the same time capsule that’s rapidly filling with sand and running out of air, fast. It’s not just you, so temper your whining.
Some humility goes a long way.
Bye, bye blah
When you sit down to write, think smart, sassy and sizzling.
You don’t want them to feel they are sitting down to a bowl of vanilla ice-cream; you want them to eat double mint choc-chip, with attitude!
How do you create content that makes people come back? Or better still, subscribe? Make sure it’s dynamic, interesting, enjoyable, fun and ALL you – but for your readers.
The mummy blogs that stand out and people crave to read, aren’t a generic model. They don’t try to fit in with everything else.
They scream personality.
And give us their author’s unique, quirky, and fresh perspective on life, thoughts, things and topics.
What they do is share their own experience as they see it.
Different isn’t the silver bullet
That doesn’t mean you have to be ‘different’ to mummy blog – it just means you need to write to your strengths, know your readers and don’t pretend to be anything you aren’t.
People want specialised rather than generalised content.
Write about a niche – people can then relate to it on a more specific level. To do that, the key is in determining who your readers are.
Create a fictitious ‘ideal’ reader – down to exact details about where they live, what they do, how they feel about certain things and what their dreams are.
Then write to this ideal reader.
Always hold them in your mind when you write a post and try not to stray too far from ‘that person’s home’ in your post journeys.
Readers should feel as though they are having a direct conversation with you, then they’ll come to feel that they ‘know’ you.
Strange as it may sound, the most successful mummy blogs (and blogs in other categories) are tightly focused on specific, narrow niches. Put simply, the theory is that the narrower your niche, the deeper you can carve out your groove and the more committed your readers become.
Blog readers quite often unite over something they are passionate about. There is more chance of that happening if your blog is niche-ified (OK, I made that word up).
Of course conversely, you may not care who reads what you have to say and instead just want a place to vent, express yourself or keep a running record of events in your life.
If that’s the case, it’s not so important – and as it’s your place for you, go get buck wild!
Hit the keyboard
To help you get ideas about your own ‘perfect shade of blog’, read other blogs, books and papers….leaflets, signs, posters…anything!
It’s all grist for the mill of creating your own blog style.
Listen to the voice the author uses when they write, but don’t panic about finding your own voice, it will come with time – just get started.
Your voice develops the more you write.
Blogging is very amateur – you don’t need to be a writer. No-one sets themselves up as an expert or a critic. You will learn along the way – and that’s the beauty of entering the University of Blogging – you never stop learning.
Readers want to relate to you, as an everyday person. Just write about your experiences, feelings and ideas about places and things.
But, a good blogger is willing to be themselves.
Do you have that courage? Are you comfortable letting your differences shine? Are you willing to let your voice (whatever that is) be heard for what it is?
If the answer is yes, then get out there and blog with moxie – and face any difficulty you come across, with spirit and courage.
Sound like you?
Ready, set, go
Do some research and digging around, take a little time to navel gaze, figure out who you want to be listening, what inspires you and get started.
And, one final thing to remember.
Wear that perfect shade of red when you’re creating your ‘special shade of blogging’ and writing to your ideal reader.
If you build it, they will come.
If you blog, they will read.
If you wear it, they will know.
What’s your shade of lipstick?
Tell us all what your writing mojo is, and how it’s helped you create an online community. Has it made your readers feel closer to you – almost a friend? Does it make your job easier to slip into the groove when you sit down to write your blog post?
Share your thoughts with us all in the comments.
Other posts in the series: