One of the biggest challenges a blogger faces is the search for one’s writing style.
Write like yourself… what does that even mean?
It means to know what best suits you as a blogger, and what best suits your personality.
Are you funny? Serious? Formal? Informal? Do you have an encyclopedic knowledge of the world? Is English your first language?
As you write more and more content, your style will develop naturally.
But there wouldn’t be any reason to write a blog post if I didn’t have some cool tips for you… you know… so you can end up writing like yourself much, much faster than other folks (who obviously don’t follow The Art of Blogging.)
1. Read (at least) one book a week.
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”Stephen King
To write well, you need to read.
Of course, you mustn’t limit yourself to books; you can also read newspapers, magazines, and, obviously, other blogs.
By reading a lot, you can see how folks are writing, what style, words, and sentence length they choose, and you can craft your own style based on that of others.
If you want to blog about fitness, you need to read about fitness. If you want to blog about food, you need to, obviously, read blogs in that niche.
Even though the basics of blogging are similar, no matter the niche, the tone and style often reflect the topic.
Also, if you do not know what goes on in your niche, how do you expect to know what to blog about on a consistent basis?
Contrary to popular belief, inspiration does not find you. It is necessary that you go after it. You must feed your brain in order to be inspired to write.
Make sure you don’t limit yourself to one topic or medium though.
I routinely read scripts and comic books, even though they are not what I usually write.
The truth is that you connect some interesting dots if you notice a link between seemingly unrelated fields.
2. Analyze your own speech.
How does your voice sound in your mind? What kind of words do you use? What about sentence length?
Most often, the style you use is different from the way you write. Odds are you try to get your point across in as few words as possible.
Allow your writing style to reflect your inner dialogue, and make it a goal of yours to rid your articles words you wouldn’t say out loud.
3. Write for your ideal reader (and your ideal reader only).
On WordPress, there’s the real potential of reaching millions.
And because of that, we try to please everyone.
The bittersweet truth is that there will always be someone who doesn’t like your writing style, your thoughts, or your choice of words.
Instead of trying to write for a faceless and nameless crowd, think of your ideal reader.
You’re not restricting yourself by doing this, you’re simply choosing a style and a way of expressing yourself that is consistent, original, and meant to translate feelings and emotions in a way that another human being can understand them.
Also, there’s never just one ideal reader out there, but there are millions of bloggers who try to please everyone and end up pleasing no one, not even themselves.
4. In order to write like yourself, you must first write like a bunch of other people.
In order to know good writing from bad writing, you need to read a lot. Then, and only then, will you be able to write bad stuff and be aware of how bad it is. Also, you will notice that your words are not your own. They belong to the writers/bloggers you admire most.
Do not panic.
Keep punching those damn keys.
There’s always room for improvement, so experiment, publish, repeat…
It will take years of frustration, of failure, of overcoming obstacles in order to grow your awareness of your own writing style to a point where you can almost instinctively know what works for you, and what doesn’t.
5. Don’t be delusional.
Most bloggers don’t know why some articles are easy to write, while others feel like a chore. Why some blog posts get read, while others not so much.
They do so because they are not willing to face their limits. To understand that you can always become better, as long as you are willing to accept you are not as good as you’d like to be. Yet.
Yes, this hurts, but this kind of pain is a sign of growth.
If you are not writing from a place of passion, you need to reconsider your options.
Do not let your own emotions overwhelm you, but rather think in terms of strategy. What more can you do to become a better blogger? What is it that you need in order to enjoy this process more?
Ask yourself the hard questions, and you will be able to write like yourself.
You cannot write like yourself it you do not know what others are writing about, how are they writing, and what style readers prefer.
Of course, the real struggle is figuring out who you are.
You begin to write like yourself the moment you know for sure who you are, why you’re writing that particular piece, and who you’re writing it for.
And, yes, this is not easy, but it’s worth it, because a powerful and engaging writing style makes the difference between a zero and a hero.