As I struggle to Post exceptional blog reading Monday through Friday, these 3 Experts have nailed the basics to successful blogging. Join Sherrie’s Always Write for this week’s edition of Freelance Friday as we welcome Hannah Wilson, Benjamin Thomas, and Wendy Greene for valuable instructional information on Writing Voice, Interviewing, and Blogging Aesthetics.
A large part of blogging is discovering your unique writing-voice and employing it in every post. But what exactly is a blogging/writing-voice & how does one go about discovering it? Simply put, writing-voice is your unique way of describing things, your vocabulary, your punctuation, and even the general rhythm of your writing. In short—it’s all about style. The work is all in discovering and developing your personal style. Generally speaking, once you accomplish this, readers will be drawn to your work.
Now, perhaps you are staring blankly at the screen right now, totally at a loss for what I mean by “style”. A tip to help you further grasp this concept would be to pay a visit to a few of your favorite bloggers’ sites and read a post or two aloud. Pay attention to the details! What patterns can you find? Do they write in ALL CAPS very often? Are there dozens of GIFs scattered through the posts? Do they like to make up crazy words or do they just stick to using a thesaurus? Do they tend to use more metaphors or technical language? How would you describe the sound? (Quirky, serious, flowery, etc…?) These are the basics of blogging style.
But how does one develop or discover their unique style? Well, that’s the fun part. You should experiment! Try to write the same piece of information in several different ways, changing something every time you rewrite. Writing a post in the way you normally speak is a good place to start. After that, mess around with channeling a favorite character/celebrity, writing how they might talk on the subject. Dabble in narrating what you are doing as you write, because (*wink*) it can be a fun way to change things up. There are many methods—test them out. But once you find a voice you are comfortable with, try to stick with it. Much like the way you learn to recognize your favorite bloggers by their “voice”, your posts should sound recognizable every time followers return.
In the end, it’s not overly difficult to develop a writing-voice. If you just remember to be consistent, be yourself, and just have fun with it, your style will shine through and make your blogging experience much more enjoyable, not only for you but for your readers as well.
H.M. (Hannah) Wilson is a Christian teenage writer who loves anything novel-related. She enjoys: playing several instruments, watching movies, reading big books, and doing her best to honor the LORD in all things. She travels the gambut of writing, blogging, writing movie & book reviews, story ideas, magazine articles, character sketches, and has more than one WIP simmering at this writing. As you can see, Hannah is passionate about writing and feels that it’s one of the most satisfying things she has done so far in her life. I love that she’s just fine with being a self-claimed quirky girl. Check out her blog at PlottingerTwist.Blogspot.com
When it comes to blogging I’ve got one piece of advice, have fun! Most people who take the time to blog do it because they find it rewarding. Me, I love off the wall creativity, and blogging is just an extension of that.
The theme of my blog is on writing, authors, book reviews, and occasional poetry. I really enjoy connecting with people, so conducting author interviews is like Häagen-Dazs on steroids for me.
Jane Friedman, a publishing and digital expert, says we need to have a cornerstone topic for our blog. This is a central topic that you can focus on to help attract readers to your site. A blog can have many topics but there should be one central or thematic vein.
My cornerstone topic is interviews. Here’s a window into the method of madness:
1. Determine what day of the week you’ll post on and be consistent.
2. Determine the reason you’ll interview beforehand.
3. Select people who you have a genuine interest in.
4. Develop your pitch. This is how you’ll approach potential interviewees.
*Be courteous, introduce yourself and tell them why you’re contacting them.
*If they’re somewhat famous find out if they use a publicist.
5. Ask and you shall receive!
6. Start with people you know.
7. Follow up by email and social media.
*This is especially true for busy individuals.
8. Plan ahead. Give yourself time to complete the interviews before the posting date.
Benjamin Thomas is a Poet, Aspiring Writer, Herald of Imagination, Kung-fu Coffee Slurper, Social Journalist, ENFP, Award-winning Klutz, Skilled Snacker, and claims to be “No one in particular…” You may find Benjamin hanging out on Twitter @thewritingtrain.com. Don’t miss Benjamin’s frequent interviews of astounding writers on his blog.
Benjamin Thomas’ Blog The Writing Train: Join the Locomotion
Hello everyone! I’ve been blogging for about four years now and one thing that has really been tough for me is consistency in my aesthetics. My very first blog was very messy. I had no idea what I was talking about, the graphics were a mess, and I kept going back and forth between interests.
So we’re going to talk about your blogging aesthetic and why you need to be consistent. “BUT WENDY, WHAT EVEN IS AN AESTHETIC ANYWAY?!?” You ask.
An aesthetic is basically the type of blog you have or the general visual theme. This is very important because it will be what readers come to expect from your blog; your trademark.
Now, the beautiful thing about blogging is that you can do whatever the heck you want. However, you have to find a balance. You can’t be entirely off the wall all the time. It would be like if Apple changed their logo from an actual apple to a unicorn riding a skateboard—no one would recognize it. Branding is so important. The same goes for blogging; what makes your blog your blog?
The first thing I want to talk about is your writing aesthetic.
Do you have a book blog? A writing blog? A movie-review blog? A what-my-goldfish-does-in- the-bathtub blog? If so, your readers will come to expect certain things from you. If you just can’t decide what you want to write about week after week, your content may be more conceptual (like your unique sense of humor, writing style, etc.). Whatever it may be stick with it. Your blog is like your personality; people will love it for what it is. It may take a while to find that one thing, but you’ll get there.
The next thing is graphic aesthetic.
I hardly know aaaaanything about graphic design. I literally JUST CAN’T. I am the Jar Jar Binks of the graphic world (useless and ruins everything). But never underestimate the power of an attractive blog. It doesn’t have to be fancy; it just has to be unique. You can use the pre-made templates they give you on WordPress or Blogspot, or whatever you use, but make sure to add a dash of your own creativity in there. YouTube is a wonderful place of learning *tosses confetti in the air* SO USE IT. It’s magical.
But the bottom line is to BE CONSISTENT. Once your train gets moving, don’t let it derail. Readers will immediately recognize your blog design or instantly know it’s you just by your writing style alone. Having that bit of identification is so, so important. If you keep changing your face, your audience won’t know who you are.
So find your aesthetic. Cultivate it. Use it. Whatever grows from there will be beautiful and reflective of you and your personality. Let me tell you, that’s all the aesthetic you need.
Thank you so much for reading! ^_^ Wendy
Wendy Greene (as she likes to be called) is an aspiring writer, successful bookworm, and admittedly not so successful socialite. She walks on stars and rides on dragons, seeks to glorify her Savior, and spends a lot of time in the kitchen. Chocolate runs in her veins as well as bad metaphors. She enjoys making art, walking on beaches, seeking adventure, drinking coffee, and pretending she’s an opera singer (even though she says that she sings like a beached whale). You can reach Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org or on her blog at WendyGreeneBlogs.Wordpress.com
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