Discussion Post: Who are You?  Finding Your Voice as a Blogger

Who are You?  Finding Your Voice as a Blogger

I’m celebrating my 2nd Blogoversary this week (I’ll be hosting a giveaway soon to celebrate that, by the way, so stay tuned!) and as I start my third year, it really has me thinking about how far I’ve come and what some of my biggest challenges were starting out as a newbie.

I think where I struggled most, aside from the actual mechanics of setting up a blog and getting started, was figuring out who I am as a blogger – finding my voice, so to speak.  When I first joined the community, I was easily intimidated because there are just so many bloggers out there with these confident, energetic personalities who have amassed tons of followers.  All I could think was “Who is going to pay attention to shy, awkward little me when there are all of these amazing and vibrant personalities out there?”

 

Now, that said, while I know it may be tempting to try to model your blogging voice after bloggers like that, if I could offer one piece of advice to new bloggers, it would be this…don’t do it.

Why?  Here are my thoughts on the subject as they have evolved over the past two years, every time I have doubted myself and felt like maybe I should do something differently:

  • Even the biggest blogger started out small and had to find his or her way as well. Maybe they now have thousands of followers but chances are, it has taken them years to build that kind of following. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with personality. It’s all about putting in the work to make your blog and online following grow.
  • If you model yourself too closely after a “big” blogger, eventually someone is going to notice and probably say something and, ugh, who needs that kind of stress and awkwardness in their life? Not to mention if what you’re trying to do doesn’t really reflect who you are as a blogger, are you really going to be able to keep it up long-term?  Or want to, for that matter?
  • Why would you want your blog to reflect someone else’s personality and style when you have a personality and style of your own?
  • Wouldn’t the blogging community be boring if we all sounded exactly alike?

When I think about the bloggers I enjoy interacting with the most, it’s not necessarily the bloggers with the most effervescent personalities that I’m most drawn to.  Yes, of course I enjoy those vibrant and energetic bloggers too, but the ones that reel me in and keep me coming back are those blogs, big or small, where I feel like I’m getting to know the blogger a bit each time I visit and read their posts.  Whatever their personality happens to be, it comes shining through and I feel like I’m making a real connection with someone.  And I honestly don’t think I’m alone in this.  Aren’t many of us in the blogging community trying to make connections with people we think we’ll like and share interests with?

So, that said, the point of my post is that even when we’re having doubts about whether we’re good enough, we should still strive to be ourselves, no matter what.  If you’re a bubbly, energetic person, then by all means, make your posts reflect that, but if you’re quieter and more subtle, that’s cool too.  And if you’re a ranter, rant away! In short, you be you and your confidence as a blogger will grow, and, best of all, your tribe will find you. ♥

 

 

37 replies
  1. Erica Robyn
    Erica Robyn says:

    Wahoo! Happy soon-to-be bloggiversary!! 🙂 This is a great post!! I’m also very shy. When I first started out, I was trying to be more like a few bloggers I was following. But it just wasn’t working. I’m not good at writing book reviews that you would read in a newspaper; I’m MUCH better at writing down all my personal feelings about a book. I was actually just talking to my fiancé about this. I feel like many of my reviews are the same, but I like to keep them pretty high-level to avoid spoilers. 🙂

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      And I’m the same way. I don’t think I could ever write a book review that would be anything like one that would be seen in a major publication, but I’ve definitely gotten more comfortable with just saying what I personally enjoyed or didn’t enjoy about a book.

      Reply
  2. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog
    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog says:

    I totally agree with this. When I started I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to blog like and tried out a bunch of things and probably modeled a lot after other bloggers. Eventually, I settled into my own style and what not. I agree I like the blogs the most where I get to know and interact with the bloggers.

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      My journey was a similar one. Looking back it seems like it should have been a given to just be myself but it was almost like I just didn’t really know who I was, lol.

      Reply
  3. Angela
    Angela says:

    What a great post, Suzanne! I totally agree that bloggers need to be themselves – I mean, isn’t that the reason we probably started our blogs? To get our own thoughts and feelings out there? I think you can tell when a blogger is authentic and honest. I like when everyone has their own style, it definitely makes things more interesting!

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I agree. I think it would be so much less fun if we all sounded the same. And yeah, I find that it’s pretty easy to tell when someone is being themselves vs. trying to be something they’re not. It feels like they’re putting on an act. I may not be the most exciting blogger in the blogosphere, but I’m 100% me, lol.

      Reply
  4. Daniela Ark
    Daniela Ark says:

    So true about trying to emulate your favorite “big” bloggers!

    This reminds me of a post I saw once and disliked the situation very much!

    A “big” blogger wrote a very looooong post complaining about other bloggers intimating his/her style. The examples were SO specific that one of the blog’s visitors felt personally singled out by it and tried to defend herself and I UGH just dreaded the entire situation because:

    1) If I were such a big blogger and people were imitating my style I would have felt flattered [I think 🙂 lol ]
    2) EVEN if I didn’t like to be imitated I don’t think I would written a post about it.
    3) I felt SO bad for the other blogger!

    So I couldn’t agree more with you on that being so stressful and awkward!

    I think many of us bloggers fall into trends unintentionally before they find their own voice something to keep an eye on! Excellent post!

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I remember seeing a post like that not too long after I started blogging. And I felt the same way you did. Even if I was irritated that it seemed like someone was trying to be like me, I just can’t imagine writing a post calling them out on it. I knew it wasn’t me since I had barely even started posting at that time, but it seriously made me reconsider joining in for a while there because the hostility made me so uncomfortable. For the record, I’m glad I kept going with my blog because that type of attitude seems to be the exception rather than the rule in the community but I will say that I never visited that big blogger again, lol.

      Reply
      • Daniela Ark
        Daniela Ark says:

        oh I’m so glad to read this Suzanne because I also felt like I didn’t want to join ether but thought I was been too sensitive! I’m glad we did continue. I haven’t seen any like that anymore. I did see other negative posts on other topics that also made me uncomfortable [like “Why don’t follow your blog” which seemed to be very popular three years ago] but as you said not the norm at all, The community is very positive and supportive so I am very glad we both kept going 🙂

        Reply
  5. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    Congratulations on two years!!! I agree, finding your voice is hard. I think it’s such a challenge to properly convey your personality traits, when you are limited to only the written language.

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Thanks! And yeah, it’s almost surprising how challenging it really is to find your voice. I know I made it a lot harder than I needed to when I first started out but am now much more comfortable just being me.

      Reply
  6. Whimsically Meghan
    Whimsically Meghan says:

    Firstly, happy blogiversary! That’s always exciting! 😀
    Secondly, this was a great post! I loved reading it because I agree, why try to be someone you’re not. I think if you’re getting into blogging for the followers/likes/comments/stats then you’re getting into it for the wrong reasons. Sure it’s exciting to get all the followers and such, but that’s not what it’s all about; like you mentioned it’s about getting to know the person behind the blog, that’s the exciting part, to find book-minded friends! 🙂
    Also, that quote from Oscar Wilde is one of my favourites!

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Thanks! And yes, I agree 100% with everything you said, especially about getting to know the person behind the blog. That has been one of my favorite parts about the bookish community.

      Reply
  7. Lauren Becker
    Lauren Becker says:

    Congrats on two years blogging! I feel like you’ve been here for so much longer. lol Love that Oscar Wilde quote – he has some goodies, but this one is SO true. Honestly, I love all types of bloggers, with different types of personalities and ways of writing. It’s like your IRL friends – mine aren’t all the same type of person and I love that, so I’m not going to follow all the same type of blogs/bloggers.

    -Lauren

    Reply
  8. Verushka
    Verushka says:

    Happy Blogoversary, Suzanne! This is such a good post for new and all bloggers to read — I still find myself always working on my voice and what I am like on my blog.

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Right? I’m the same, although the longer I do it, the more comfortable I am with letting more of my personality come through with each of my posts.

      Reply
  9. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight says:

    Yep, I definitely agree you should be yourself and write with your own voice on your blog! I also like when the blogger’s personality comes through 🙂 But it can be hard. When I first started blogging, I was kind of stiff; when you’re planning out what you’re saying and editing it and everything, I had this tendency to be all careful with my words. But eventually I got more comfortable with it, and here I am! Lol.

    Reply
  10. Dania
    Dania says:

    Amazing post! I’m still trying to figure out how to find my own voice as a blogger since I’m pretty new (happy blogoversary btw!), and you’re right, I should just stick to being myself and not get intimidated by big bloggers.

    Reply
  11. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks
    Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks says:

    I need to clap to this post, because it’s so important to say things like these 🙂 I do notice some people just trying to match the voices of popular bloggers, especially if the newbies are younger – I know I was a copycat in my teens as well, it’s easy to fall down that rabbit hole.
    I’ve always felt like it’s very, VERY important to have your own voice, but 1.5 years in, I still feel like I’m only finding mine, and I’m not sure if I have one 😀 but at least I know I’m not trying to be like someone else 🙂

    Reply
  12. Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads
    Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads says:

    Happy blogoversary and I just love this post!
    It’s true that as a beginning blogger it’s tough to look at all those big bloggers and not want to be like them a bit. But in the end, we start blogging because we want to share our thoughts and personality with the community, so why not just be ourselves? Truthfully, even though I’m not a beginning blogger anymore, it still gets hard sometimes, but then again I’m super happy just being my own little self and letting my own personality shine through a bit on each post 🙂

    Reply
  13. Di @ Book Reviews by Di
    Di @ Book Reviews by Di says:

    I LOVE THIS POST!

    I’m a tiny blogger, and I love it. I love just plodding along at my own pace and with my little corner of the blogosphere. I think everyone should write their blogs and their reviews as if they are talking to a friend so you can really get the idea of who the blogger is behind that computer, you know?

    Because you’re totally right, it’s the connection that you feel that draws you in! And I’m EXACTLY the same way.

    And I LOVE your line that your tribe will find you! It’s so true. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Jovita
    Jovita says:

    This is a wonderful post Suzanne. I’m also very shy and I had a difficult time when I first started out. Back then I did crafting posts on my blog, when I switched over to bookish things I didn’t think anyone would care about my thoughts on books. Now I just go with whatever makes me happy. Happy blogoversary!

    Reply

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