Are you blogging through a filter or letting it all hangout? Maybe blogging with finesse can help bring your blog to life.
The decisions you make for establishing a writing voice and style need to match your business, align with your values, and fit with the intent of your audience.
You may be making a mistake if you haven’t thought about both audience and business needs in determining your blogging and content styles.
If you don’t tell tiny stories like Henneke suggests when you blog, you chance delivering sterile content. Content that doesn’t draw people in, excite, or inspire them. You risk being bland, of ringing the same as everyone else in your space or being unrelatable.
But, being likable through the content you create is imperative in blogging. You are the guide while customers or prospects are your story’s hero, according to Donald Miller and his StoryBrand framework.
So, tiny stories are one extremely useful way to show your personality, share your passion, and offer your unique voice. Spin every tale towards promoting your hero onward and upward from your kind guidance and generous help.
Make sure what you share about yourself helps to deliver a unique message that resonates with your readers, listeners, or viewers—whatever the case. Make it meaningful and win a bigger audience.
I’ve always done business from the heart. Still, exposing too much of me, personally, in my writing style feels hard to do. I’m not used to exposing myself in conducting business, and I can’t handle haters. I want to be my authentic self, yet it seems scary and awkward to show too much in public.
Also, I question the authenticity discussion anyway. In my thinking, if you’re trying to be authentic, then, aren’t you being inauthentic by creating your authenticity? Hmmm.
Be True to You When Blogging With Finesse
While there are buckets out there filled with writing advice especially for the web, you have to find your own place to fit. Your own unique spot that only your tiny but powerful voice can occupy. Tiny among the crush of content, yet powerful in uniqueness only you can bring.
Recently, it was my pleasure to write for Blogging from Paradise, world-travel blogger Ryan Biddulph’s website. If you didn’t catch the posts, here you go:
- How to Find Your Blogging Paradise
- Do You Stress About Dress for Success?
- How to Find Your Marketing Heart for Blogging
- Is There an SEO-less Way to Win in the Digital Space?
- Why Better B2B Needs to Get Human
It was so fun, freeing, and exciting to write there with Ryan’s more freestyle format on all topics blogging. Plus, Ryan inspires me (thanks, Ryan!) to publish more, experiment with blog writing voice, styles, even lengths and media types I use in blogging. But, when the posts were going up there, for him, I somehow feel like he was giving me the okay to slip outside my typical writing comfort zone.
If you read what Ryan writes—it doesn’t matter where—you recognize his one-of-a-kind writing style and unique blogging voice. His advice is often contrary to blogging gurus and he’s unapologetic in deciding with whom he interacts. I love when he spoke out on video one day to say, “if you’re racist, don’t follow me.” That’s being true to himself, and saying it aloud too. Way to go, Ryan!
But the real beauty happens when other people understand, and relate to, the impressions you share and make, in relaying your stories. Even business tales.
Be Relentlessly Helpful to Others
When what you share helps other people out, your content gains meaning to an audience.
But, don’t stress. Every blog starts with an audience of one. Every post is written to help just one person.
With each one person you write for, you help, you connect with via your content, you grow. Being relentlessly helpful ultimately brings business back to you and helps you grow an audience.
A goal to create and produce useful content is inspiring, freeing. The chance to speak from the heart and share stories only you can tell makes it more fun.
Too many people are afraid to have fun doing business, to enjoy the ride, and to appreciate things as you go and grow. I promise you, work feels like work when you take things too seriously, forget to feel gratitude, or don’t allow for a little fun within your business mentality.
Sticking too strictly to the rules crushes creativity and muffles personality and your business blogging shows it. You blend in rather than stand out.
Sameness squashes your chances to rise above the crowd in your space.
To float above takes thought leadership, not reiteration. You need persistence, creativity, and a positive spirit moving you forward in new ways. When you keep moving, you don’t have time to lull in fear or not create and write for business success. It’s just what you do. And do again.
But, staying true to yourself while you’re trying to “do it right” is scary, risky.
You can sum up Henneke’s digital business in a word: SUCCESS.
Still, she questions herself, saying in the article linked above:
I’m not even sure I’ve found the gleaming detail in my business story yet.
Or perhaps it’s Henrietta?
With her purple hair and big pointy nose, Henrietta seems memorable.
And she feels like a symbol of discovering my voice—in writing, in drawing, and in business. A symbol of doing things my way, and sticking to my personal values.
When Henneke’s newsletter lands in my inbox, I’m always excited to read it. Sometimes I wait until I have a few more minutes so I have time to savor and take it in. Why? Because I know I’ll find something useful to me and I know I’ll get another peek into getting to know Henneke. I love that we read many of the same books and writers, for instance, and that Henneke enjoys cooking. But, I’ve also made changes in my writing style, word usage, and use other writing tricks, thanks to Henneke.
HINT: Get Henneke’s FREE Snackable Writing Course and gobble up every bite!
Henneke and I both anticipate what Ann Handley has to tell us fortnightly via Annarchy, her Sunday newsletter because blogging with finesse starts with writing with finesse.
I know Ann likes me because she might say something like, “what’s up, buttercup,” to start the conversation with her usual sunshine and cheer.
Henneke (of course) thinks Ann writes specifically to her, fortnightly, but the truth (sorry Henneke) is I’m 99.8% sure Ann is talking to ME, in particular. I know about Ann’s Tiny House where she writes, and about her doggy baby—you have to see the recent “Sweet 15” birthday bash pics— which only make me like Ann even more. And, I know about her recently made friends, one from a costume shop near the airport in Vegas, and another, from Mexico City, Ann’s young man event escort, a student of marketing, now comrade.
Check out one of my earliest SlideShares where I present you quotes from Everybody Writes because, trust me, you can use them immediately to improve your web writing. I was still reading the book while applying tips to my writing from the fantastic Ann.
In her Newsletters, Ann shares other intimate details with me like the marketing history behind the somewhat famous Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup. I love Ann’s loving memories of trips to the library with her mother as a little girl. Okay, okay, now I’m revealing, it’s true. Yes, I’ve been busted laughing out loud or crying real tears reading my letters from Ann! You may find them handy, too.
I use digital tools cause Ann told me to, find useful websites, and even make new social connections, like Drew Davis, from my recent post on making videos. And Drew is, yep, one more unique marketing voice, not afraid to reveal himself.
So what am I thinking? Braver me? Fewer filters? What’s your take?