Guest post by Mary Agbesanwa of A Millennial's Diary
It has been estimated that there are over three hundred million blogs online.
That is a lot of blogs. A lot of content and no doubt a lot of people writing on the same topic, whether that is health, beauty or anything else. In a world where there is increasingly a lot of content, how can you make sure that your blog is authentic and stands out from the crowd?
Whether you are new to the blogging community or you have been around for a while, here are 16 tips for the Black British Blogger community on how to effectively find your voice as a blogger.
1. Find your topic. What can you talk about passionately? What are the topics in the videos you could stay up all night watching or the books you can’t put down?
2. Read! Go out and read. Get your brain working and thinking about the content out there on our topic. I promise thoughts and ideas will start coming up more frequently if you are reading thought-provoking content. I recommend setting up a Flipboard account, a news aggregator which pulls a variety of articles on topics you chose into your own dashboard.
3. Practise, practise, practise. It took me seven blogs on different topics ranging from music to writing fairytales and dabbling in fashion to find my forte with career blogging. It takes iterations and continual production to become good and to find your voice. Forget about the followers and keep producing content! You will eventually find a style and topic for you.
4. Invest in gaining expertise. I completed a LinkedIn Learning course on blog writing and loved it! I could listen in my own time and learn at a leisurely pace. Spending time to improve your craft is important. This may be through watching videos on Youtube, getting a LinkedIn Learning or SkillShare account to learn from online videos or go to face-to- face events where you can learn first-hand from those who you admire.
5. Discipline. Be disciplined about blogging. The worst thing about finding a good blog is realising that they blog erratically or very infrequently. Consistency is key.
6. Set aside time. In 2018, I have set myself the target to blog fortnightly, which takes me about four hours at the weekend. Set blogging goals where you set aside a specific time to write, when it will happen and what you will write. For instance, promise yourself to write for three hours a week, two hours on Saturday morning and an hour on Wednesday night. This sets a realistic expectation for yourself and stops something you love feeling like a burden you never achieve.
7. Join a community. There is power in community! Join communities like this one to share ideas, hacks, and experiences. For me, running a young female professional network has been great to bounce ideas with other young women, bloggers or not.
8. Keep true to your voice. Remember your content always needs to come from you. If a topic
is feeling forced or not genuine, leave it sis! Your blog is exactly that, yours! It is not what your
readers want to see (which is especially hard as you get a larger following).
9. Recognise what drives your creativity. For me, I have the most ideas when I go to events
and have interesting conversations with others or can immerse myself in a good play at the
theatre. What environment helps you generate new ideas?
10. As long as you have secured 1 fan you can get 1000 or 1 million. Gary Vee said it best when he said, 1 is better than zero, which is the idea that if you can secure 1 consistent fan you can get 100, 1000 or 1 million. Don’t think about trying to please others, if you are being authentic the crowd will come.
11. Watch and learn. What are the best in your game doing? If you are a beauty blogger, then which beauty blogger inspires you with their content? Write down what makes them great and think about how you can adapt their methods for your content.
12. Let go of editing perfectionism. Editing perfectionism was a major problem I had when I first started writing. I would write a piece and then edit it, then wait a week and then edit again always feeling like it could be enhanced just that bit more. No. Sometimes done is better than perfect so stop over editing. Editing is vital but over editing is restrictive and can make your work less authentic.
13. Change is good. Recognise that your writing style / topics of interest will change as you and your interests do. That is exciting!
14. Are you on the right platform? There are so many blogging platforms out there from Medium, Wordpress to Blogger. Which platform do most people blogging on your topic use? Which platforms user experience do you like the most?
15. Act like you have 1 million followers already. Make sure your content is good from the get-
go or at least the best it can be. You are competing with the best in your game so make your
content just as high quality.
16. Understand what it takes to tap into your platform. Do you understand how the YouTube
algorithm works? Take time to understand what works well on your platform and how you can use this to get your content seen.
Overall, finding your voice as a blogger is not an easy process. It takes time, consistent effort and trial and error but it will definitely be worth it if you are passionate about what you are talking about.
This post was written by @MillennialMaryA who is a Management consultant and also a blogger on Medium at A Millennial’s Diary — sharing her insights and lessons learnt as a young
professional in the City.