Here is the first thing you should know:
There is no winning formula to blogging. That is because there is no winning formula to having a relationship or being a person. Blogging is almost like a transactional medium. The blogger writes a post, the reader reads the post, and commenters provide feedback. Blog writing is more a two way street than book writing, and unlike a book a blog has no determined end. It is relational, give and take, push and pull.
And just like there are no two identical relationships–all blogs are different.
Sure, read blogs long enough and you’ll notice similar elements. Maybe daily posts, maybe lots of links, maybe sidebar ads. You might notice similar layouts. One thing you won’t see though is bloggers who share a voice or a perspective.
For better or worse, there is no winning formula for blogging. This series will not be an a+b=c prescription for success. Many women have blazed a trail of their own blogging. Their purposes and voices are as varied as they are as women. But, one thing is true–their voice is what makes their blog.
And also hear this. Your voice is not just your words. Your voice is also what you choose to bring attention to, the images you show, the topics you engage. Your voice is your perspective, with your dialect, and your style. Your voice is your online persona–you, only not.
So, in this series…I cannot tell you that if you do this or that then the crowds will come. I cannot tell you if you have stellar headlines or know a certain social media trick then you’ll have commercial success. But, I can tell you this: your voice is the thing to cultivate. Your voice is what makes you stand out, and your voice is what will keep you going.
A few examples of bloggers with a distinctive voice:
Tsh at Simple Mom: Tsh blogs with an air of authority and professionalism. It is rumored that she has a .pdf prepared to answer any question. :)
Elise Blaha: Elise is a creative powerhouse. She tells the story of her life and work through well styled yet casual images, bold typography, and bright color.
Promise Tangeman: Promise is a creative communicator, crafting brands for other creatives and teaching on her blog a little bit along the way. Her trendy personal style, the edgy look of her blog, and the “how to” type nature of a lot of her posts define her voice.