For months, I’ve wanted to respond to a post written by a fellow LexBlogger. Not required, but you can read the post if it interests you. Crazy Third Option is a great blog to add to your reading list anyway, so I highly recommend taking the time.
The post, “Do you blog like you speak?” is a great take on finding one’s voice in a blog. Finding a voice is by and large one of the most difficult aspects of starting any blog. I should know. It’s taken me nearly a year to get into full swing and that’s with constant feedback.
While finding your voice is crucial for a blog’s foundation, how you use that voice will determine your success.
Join the Conversation
A blog is like making a comment in a conversation. Likely, your topic didn’t fall out of the sky and into your head. More likely, you’ve been listening to others discuss the topic through their blogs, news, social-media, or in-person conversations. For myself, I share my different circles of influence with one another. My social circle knows about work, work knows about my social media focus, and my social media followers know about my social circle. I’m a sharer.
You don’t need to be an open book like myself. However you draw inspiration for your blog is up to you and can be from many sources. Inevitably, your blog will be a reflection of your reactions to dozens of conversations (both in-person and online). Recognize the sources that influence you and posts that you’ve written as a “response”.
It makes perfect sense to talk about a topic before blogging about it.
Keep the Conversation Going
Unfortunately your not going to have someone tell you every day that your blog posts are hitting the mark. Heck, you’d be lucky to get a comment, good or bad, on your work. In order to improve your blogging abilities, you need feedback. Without feedback, the void of the internet wins and no one wants that.
Sharing your posts through social media helps, but getting likes or comments is unlikely as you build a following. The best and surefire way to get feedback is actively talking about your blog. Bring posts up with friends, family, and co-workers. Ask them for their thoughts over a meal or cup of coffee. Take the hint that something is wrong when they hesitate to give you feedback. Look for the people that will give you the honest, detailed criticism you need to improve.
As you pump out posts on a regular basis try to remember to talk about them with others. Nothing builds passion more than sharing that passion with others.
Move to the next Topic
It’s natural for a conversation to lead from one topic to the next. Your blog will do the same. For most people their blog takes on a niche or focus. You might think that your friends and family will get tired of you talking about your blog, but try to remember to keep the conversation moving or transitioning between posts. They are also there to support you. Likely, if they are not interested in talking about your blog either make the content more appealing or give them a healthy break.
Moving from post to post is where your listening skills will shine. The way to keep an in-person conversation going is by listening and then responding. Your blog needs to do the same. While you have a voice, and that’s great, remember that your audience also has a voice. That goes for the people that have read your blog and those that have only talked to you about the topics you’ve covered.
Take note of your friends and family’s impression of your topics. Listen to their comments. When you get readers commenting online, you’ll be ready to continue the conversation of your blog where it needs to go. In other words, don’t expect anyone to read your blog if you’re not listening to what anyone has to say. This is the give and take of blogging. This is also how you join a community. Listen, respond, listen, respond, listen, respond…
I’m still learning. I’m also trying to practice what I preach in each of these posts. I talk with my Fiance and my father on their thoughts. I try to ask specific questions to my fellow LexBloggers. Occasionally, I get a “good job” or a like on social media. I’m still not sure what my followers look for. I’m also not sure what I want to give them, but I try to focus on common mundane rhetoric, like blogs. If there is ever a topic you think I should cover, I’d love to take the criticism.
As always, thank you for reading and I hope that you have found something of value to add to your everyday rhetoric repertoire. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. Likewise, please like the post on social media or follow my RSS in your feed reader. Thank you!