Do you question the logic of launching your own blog or blogged book? After all, there is an overabundance of information on the internet. And, if you work in a competitive niche, you might think no one will want to read the words of yet another expert. Plus, you might feel nervous about having your thoughts and ideas criticized, challenged, or compared to the established authorities.
When I started my travel blog, I was self-conscious about committing words to a page and hitting the publish button. I had a severe case of imposter syndrome. There were so many amazing and established travel blogs; how could I possibly compete? Why would anyone be interested in what I had to say?
If you’re struggling with your own case of imposter syndrome, remember you have something new to say. You have something that nobody else can deliver—your experiences and personal opinions. No matter the industry, you have a unique perspective to add.
However, when you’re filled with doubt, it’s too easy to play it safe. The challenge is to step up and play big instead.
Find Your Blogging Voice
When I look back on my early blog posts, I can see I lacked conviction about what I had to say. I blogged about random topics. Anyone visiting my blog would have been underwhelmed by the generic posts I churned out. I wasn’t my authentic self, and that was a problem. My initial blog posts were safe and generic because I didn’t want to put any readers off with my opinions. I wanted my content to have as broad an appeal as possible.
The more travel blogs I read, the more middle-of-the-road content I encountered. When I read my blog, I realized I was doing precisely the same thing.
As soon as I started writing about topics I was passionate about and had an emotional connection to, I found my voice. I wrote from a place of authenticity and expertise that set me apart from the other travel bloggers.
Find Your Blog Audience
Finding my voice also helped me find my audience.
When you find your voice, not everyone is going to like what you have to say. You will lose some casual readers but have a greater chance of building a loyal following. That’s the power of planting your flag and staking your claim to a corner of the internet.
Don’t believe me? Try this simple test. Read a post from five or ten blogs within your niche, and see which ones strike a chord with you. They won’t be the generic fact-filled posts anyone could have written. The ones written by bloggers sharing an opinion or personal insight will resonate the most. And you’ll identify easily with them, too.
Question Your Motivation
To find your voice, you need to establish a strong angle for your blog and blogged book. Find a way to write about topics that makes them uniquely yours. To abandon writing generic content and establish a noteworthy online presence, I defined my motivation to write.
What about you? What is the motivation behind your desire to blog or blog a book?
Here are some prompts to get your creative wheels turning and help solidify why you write and why your audience will be interested in your content:
- What aspects of your niche interest you the most?
- What topics are you passionate about?
- What beliefs or perspectives are you most opposed to?
- What topics are you most familiar with?
- How can you use your first-hand personal experience to approach a topic differently?
- What training or experience can you leverage?
- What aspects of your industry align most closely with your personal values?
- What personal struggles or challenges would your readers easily recognize?
- What insights or experiences will bring the most value to your readers?
I use these questions to create a list of topics I felt the most compelled to write about. It didn’t take me long to discover that it’s easier to create content when you care about the subject. This passion shows up in your writing and helps your readers connect to your words.
As soon as I identified what I cared about the most, I was able to focus my attention on the topics to which I had the most substantial connection. Now my travel blog features independent travel with a focus on slow travel and connecting with the environment and community.
Make Your Blog Stand Out from the Crowd
My writing style and opinions won’t appeal to everyone, and neither will yours. But I’ve seen the benefit of finding my voice, moving away from writing safe and generic content, and writing about what I most value. My travel blog now attracts more comments, and many of them are from returning visitors. They like what I have to say and keep coming back for more because we’ve established a bond through a common area of interest.
Humans are storytellers, so engage your readers by sharing your personal experiences. Then include industry data or concepts to add weight to your point of view. This is a much better approach than just regurgitating facts and figures that readers can get from many other sources.
Even in a fiercely competitive niche, it’s possible to add value to your readers. You can share ideas and write about your passions, which is so much more rewarding than churning out generic content to garner broad appeal.
Raise Your Head!
If you’re thinking of starting a blog or looking at ways to develop an existing blog, it’s time to raise your head above the crowd. Take a stand about your beliefs. Share your ideas. Discuss topics you feel passionate about. Describe your experiences. Write posts on subjects you care about deeply. Your audience will recognize you as a kindred spirit.
By sharing your personal insights, you create a connection with your readers and give them a good reason to return to your blog again and again.
What stands in your way of launching a blog to share your expertise? Tell us in a comment below, and please share this post with another blogger.
About the Author
Jay Artale abandoned her corporate career to become a digital nomad and full-time writer. She’s an avid blogger and a nonfiction author helping travel writers and travel bloggers achieve their self-publishing goals. Join her at Birds of a Feather Press where she shares tips, advice, and inspiration to writers with an independent spirit.