Finding Your Blogging Voice

Do you remember your very first Blog post?

You had been “stalking” those DIY or Crafting or Decorating or Cooking blogs for weeks/months/years and you finally worked up the courage to start your own!

The templates confused you, you had no idea what a widget was and html code sounded like something you would have to learn to become an astronaut.

Blogging Voice Label

You finally got it all set up and ready to go and then there it was.

That blank page staring you in the face, daring you to fill it with something.

What do you say?

How do you start?

What if no one reads this?

What if they do?

How terrifyingly thrilling was it to hit that “publish” button and see the screen filled with your life, your words and your photos?

When I started blogging I felt like I was on a high for those first few weeks.

There was this whole “follow” thing where this little number on the sidebar would go up and up (and occasionally down!) and people were actually leaving me comments!

And then, I started getting sucked in.

I entered the “Blogging Bermuda Triangle”.

You know, that mysterious world where you find yourself spinning in circles trying to figure out just what kind of blog yours will be. You’re lost, confused and not sure if this was such a good idea after all.

I mean, they never did find Amelia Earhart’s plane did they?

Other bloggers seem to have it all together. Their photos are perfect which must mean that their homes are perfect too, right? They manage to do a million projects in one week while that paint can you’ve had sitting out for a month mocks you every time you walk by it.

Then you start wondering if your blog should be more like theirs…sound more like theirs…look more like theirs…

You’ve reached a pivotal moment in the life of a blogger.

The moment where you ask yourself if you want to continue and if you do continue, how do you define yourself?

How do you Find Your Blogging Voice?

Frankly, this is something I’m still trying to figure out myself!

But, I’ve come up with 5 tips that I believe will help you focus and gain confidence as you strive to find your blogging voice!

Finding Your Blogging Voice Tip #1

only one you graphic

Yes, I know. That sounds a tad bit like we should all be holding hands while chanting “I’m OK, you’re OK”. But, there it is. The truth is often just that simple. There may be hundreds, even thousands, of DIY/Decor blogs, but there is only one You. And, if you believe that you have something to offer or to teach or to share then do it! But, be like a race horse. A race horse wears blinders or “blinkers” when they are running. It keeps them focused on the goal ahead and not distracted by what is happening around them. In Blogging, it can be very easy to look around and judge yourself based on what you see happening for others. This is dangerous territory. It can lead you into believing that there is something wrong with you. Now, granted, we can all strive to be good “students” of blogging. And to truly be successful as a blogger we SHOULD always be a student of blogging. We can learn the meaning of “SEO” and the best time to “pin” and how to code a button. But, always remember that You are what sets your blog apart!

Finding Your Blogging Voice Tip #2

know your audience

When I tell people that I’m a blogger, they either look at me like I am speaking a foreign language or they say something like, “oh, you mean one of those things where people write a bunch of stuff about their kids?”. Granted, I do share things about my children once in a while. I mean, come on, they are hilarious! And, while the grandparents love those posts, our blog isn’t really written with them as the intended audience. Sorry mom and dad! One of the most important things to determine when starting a blog is to WHOM you are speaking. Are you blogging to share your thoughts about faith, politics, culture? Then write with that in mind! Are you hoping to inform? Inspire? Motivate? All of the above? Then, write with that in mind! Are you a food blogger and wanting to share your favorite recipes? Then, don’t just include the recipe. Share some of your kitchen tips and tricks. Maybe even share a time a recipe didn’t work out as planned. No matter the genre of your blog, always ask yourself “why do I enjoy reading my favorite blogs?” and then keep that in mind as you write each post.

And when a reader leaves you a comment saying, “I really think you should be doing more of this or more of that” just remember that it is YOUR blog and that they can go jump in a lake  find what they are looking for elsewhere!

Finding Your Blogging Voice Tip #3

talking to friends

Now, some of us are open books by nature. We strike up conversations with the person next to us in Wal-Mart and absolutely HAVE to tell everyone within earshot the price we paid for the sweater we’re wearing, even if they didn’t ask in the first place. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear about a bargain right?

Others of us find it more difficult to let people in and share our thoughts and feelings. We might be horrified at the thought of telling someone the price of the sweater we’re wearing!Remember that there is no right or wrong when it comes to being “YOU”.

But, always keep in mind that when you open yourself up to others, even a little bit, they feel that they can relate to you. You find commonalities and forge bonds. It’s up to you to decide how much or how little of your life to share. You don’t need to tell everyone about your aunt’s cousin’s boyfriend’s dog’s hip replacement. But, you COULD if you wanted to! And you might just find that someone else is in the same situation. Or finds the same humor in said situation. That’s a win-win either way!

It’s hard to believe this when you first start blogging, but you will develop REAL friendships with people you may never meet. And, they will do so much more than leave you nice comments about your DIY projects. They will be cheerleaders congratulating you on your success. They will support you when you doubt your abilities. They will encourage you when you open up and share your heart…your burdens…your troubles.If that doesn’t define “real” friendship than I don’t know what I does!

Finding Your Blogging Voice Tip #4

self deprecation

Have you ever visited a blog and realized that while the author might be sharing beautiful photos and fabulous projects, you just don’t really have the sense that there is an actual person behind those words and images? You see their face on the sidebar but somehow it just all seems detached. It’s hard to picture them ever accidentally spilling paint down the front of their shirt or trying to attach rose petals to a foam cone and burning their fingers on the hot glue and then tossing the whole craft into the garbage.  I’m not saying I’ve ever done those things either!

You see, I believe that in order to really develop a connection with your readers you need to be willing to put yourself out there and yes, even be willing to laugh at yourself. Share those projects that are colossal fails. Tell us about the times when things didn’t quite go according to plan. Keeping things “real” is what bridges the gap between author and reader. Who doesn’t love knowing that other people have issues? That they make mistakes, mess up and are generally just like the rest of us. We all want to know that we are “normal”…whatever “normal” means!

Finding Your Blogging Voice Tip #5

blog voice will change

It is just one of those inevitable things in life. Just as a young boy will mature and grow and his voice will change, so will your blogging voice. There will be new experiences, challenges, successes and yes, even failures. All of these things impact us and the way in which we write each blog post and share our journey. As we get older we tend to get more comfortable in our own skin. Things that used to be hindrances no longer affect us in the same way. Oh sure, we are always a work in progress! But, I’ve found that the older I get, the more self-assured I’m becoming. The same is true of our life as a blogger. Your voice might start out in one octave, squeak and squawk for awhile and then settle down nicely into the groove of an octave (or 2 or 3!) lower. And then, you will find yourself feeling more comfortable in your blogging “skin”.

As much as I’m sure he’d like to, that adolescent boy can’t fight his changing voice. So, I’d like to suggest that you don’t fight your changing blog voice either. Let your life’s journey, and your blogging life’s journey, mold and shape you. Embrace those squeaks and squawks!

They are all apart of the refining process.

 

Blogging Voice Label

Well, there you have it! My 5 Tips for Finding Your Blogging Voice.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 3 years as a blogger it’s just how important it is to stay true to yourself, and your voice. In the midst of new adventures and experiences, that will be the constant.

Do you think you’ve found your blogging voice?

If so, what tips can you share?

If not, what do you think is keeping you from feeling confident in this area?

Looking for more great tips? Check out the Blogging 101 series written by my sister.

My hope is that you will not only find your blogging voice,  but that in this finding, you will feel more confident and secure in who you are as a blogger. Let your voice be a reflection of your talent and creativity. Let it be encouraging and supportive of others as they pursue their dreams.  May your voice be used for building up, not tearing down.

And let it always, always be a reflection of your heart!

 

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Comments

  1. What a great post and as a new blogger I needed to read this! I’m certainly not there yet but it’s becoming clearer. I’ll check out your sister’s blogging 101 series..

  2. Great post Vanessa! I started my blog almost a year ago.And looking back and reading you can see how my voice has changed.I address my readers differently.I was not sure how to start my posts and that has changed.My home has changed big time.When I saw actual photos of it on line I realized the home I was living in was not what I really wanted for me and that changed.
    But yes I always blog the way I post.And my responses to post like this I also type the way I talk.I am just myself.I have not felt comfortable showing a messy house.Not sure if I can do that.I mean if I have company over which I feel my readers are.I am inviting them in my home.I always have a neat and clean home and I would never want them to see a messy house.I feel the same about my blog too.Sometimes if you see an image like that it’s hard to get it out of your head.I just don’t want to go there LOL!Although since I am a bit of a neat freak my home is never as messy as I think it looks!
    xx
    Anne
    Anne recently posted..White Sofa Slipcover And A Mantle ChangeMy Profile

  3. Great tips, Vanessa, and I could relate to all of them – spilled paint and all!
    Angie recently posted..Down at the Corner Store – Bel MoniliMy Profile

  4. Fantastic! All new bloggers should read this! I’m still new, and trying to find my voice. It is hard to not compare yourself to all the other fabulous blogs out there! Thanks for posting this.
    Cori O’Shaughnessy recently posted..Fashionable Friday: Brown Boot Victory!!My Profile

  5. What a great post Vanessa! Having been blogging for over three years, I think I’m closer to finding my blogging voice, but it has been a challenge and I am still in what others call “baby blogger” status. After getting left in the dust by everyone who started around the time I did, I felt totally like giving it up so many times. I’ve never guest posted, been in a magazine or any of the cool things my peer group has, but somehow I still think I have something that is different to offer. One thing I have done is stick to what is truly me. It’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon of trends but I have tried to do my own thing which may be why I still have only 700 followers, lol. While I admit it is disappointing at times, I do value and appreciate each person who reads and follows along whether it’s 2 or 2000.
    Anita recently posted..Christmas bedroomMy Profile

  6. Super post. I think my blog has changed a lot, and my pictures have definitely improved. I have made some of the most wonderful friends, and you are right, they really are friends. People I just love. All of your suggestions are wonderful. Thanks. Hugs, Marty

  7. such great tips! i often find myself worrying about my blogging voice but when i stop thinking so much about it, i find that i do my best blogging. just be yourself – that’s the best tip :).
    Gina_AcuteDesigns recently posted..a castleMy Profile

  8. I have really been struggling with this very thing lately. It’s so easy to lose yourself when so many others are doing the same thing you are. Thank you so much for the tips this morning!
    Jennifer recently posted..Manic MondayMy Profile

  9. One thing I’ve found is that over the years, my voice changes, just as I do and my interests do. I think that’s the sign of a good blog…one that evolves and changes and grows. It’s too easy to become stagnant and maybe some of those blogs that have “content” but no context have fallen into the trap of being stale. Being true to yourself, speaking in your own voice is the best way to be — in a blogging world or in the real world. I’ve even published a blog post and then deleted it because it didn’t sound like me. Being able to edit ourselves is a huge plus! Great post!

  10. Great tips Vanessa. I especially like the first tip. There are some very talented bloggers out there and I would love to be as interesting as them but I think I am ok being me.

  11. Hi Vanessa! A year into this I wish I could have read this post, oh, about a year ago! ;) It does take time to find your voice and define your style. Advice like this from bloggers who’ve had the experience, role models like you, is really encouraging to so many just trying to find their voice or their niche. I’m still pushing myself to speak in my own voice, share my feelings openly, mistakes, insecurities and all ~ but when I’m able to relax and really pour myself into a post…those are always my favorite posts, and so well received. Thanks for this great advice!
    Sherry recently posted..Improving Our Storage & Organization ~ At Inspiration Cafe TodayMy Profile

  12. Lol, an adolescent boy, you are funny girl! Loved these tips, really you are right on! Thanks for keeping it real, sharing from your heart and inspiring us all to make sure we keep our voice real!
    ange recently posted..No More Perfect Moms! I’m ready, are you?My Profile

  13. Thanks for sharing! I can relate to a lot of this! I started my blog about a year ago and it is still pretty small beans. I know that much of that is because I am not able (or feel as though I am not able) to give it the time and attention it needs. I don;t post nearly as much as I would like, this summer I went a whole three months without posting anything and since then I have only gotten a few things up. I work full time and often (especially in the summer) we are traveling to see family on the weekends. How do other bloggers find the time to do the projects, take photos, edit them, etc? I was so excited when I started my blog last January and I still am, however I am now carry this shadow of doubt about if I can really do it or not. I hope some of you will share your thoughts with me!

  14. Love this Vanessa! Great post!
    Anne@DesignDreams recently posted..Making Easy Peasy HeartsMy Profile

  15. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I needed this, especially this morning when I’m already having doubt about my new blog! It’s scary putting yourself out there, but I love how you compare it to the “changing voice” of a young boy. It’s all about finding our voice, right? I’m scared, but most of all I’m excited – at least that’s what I keep telling myself!

  16. Great reminders for all bloggers – rookies and veterans alike. When I started, it was not my intention to do so much DIY. I was going to focus on home design and furniture, but the DIY is what seemed to take the lead based on all the feedback I got so it is definitely a lesson in transition and adaptation and just going with the flow. Have a great day!
    Shari @ Turnstyle Vogue recently posted..DIY Family Gift Exchange – Part OneMy Profile

  17. Great post! A friend sent this to me. I’ve been questioning my voice, and how I fit in the blogging world, for a while.

  18. Oh, that Blogger Bermuda Triangle is terrible! I was lost in that time-sucking space for way too long, but am slowly and surely swimming my way out …

    Great post Vanessa! Some great ideas and themes to think about.

    :) Linda
    Linda @ it all started with paint recently posted..easy shrimp fried rice recipeMy Profile

  19. Great post! Apart from all things tech / html, this is the biggest challenge for bloggers, in my opinion. I’m still struggling with that sometimes, feeling like the biggest blog loser on earth ;-) On other days I look at my blog and think, “Oh, this isn’t too shabby!” But I think I managed to concentrate on the topics that I feel most passionate about, DIY / craft ideas and recipes.

    I really love when people are funny and write exceptionally creative stuff at the same time, those are the blogs that I do enjoy reading most. My biggest tip is: Don’t get sucked into the sponsored posts hole – too many bloggers who are reaching a certain number of followers are offered free stuff and then it’s giveaway after giveaway after sponsored post. They lose what drew people to their blogs in the first place – and most of the time, I’ll stop following if this becomes a permanent thing.
    Anja recently posted..Craft Challenge: Scrap Fabric Owl Doorstop by CraftboticMy Profile

  20. Such a great post and very inspiring. Every blogger, new and old should read this post and even anyone who is thinking about blogging. It’s so true. I especially like the point of remembering why you started in the first place. Never lose sight of you and why you started. Good stuff! Thanks so much for sharing this!
    Ellora Drinnen (@CreatvlySouthrn) recently posted..Save Money On A Budget and Free PrintableMy Profile

  21. This is such a great post Vanessa! When I look back a year ago at my first post I can’t believe anyone would even read it! The pictures were terrible and yet I got so many positive comments, that is what kept me going… I have grown and changed a lot and yet there are still some times when I stare at the blank page and wonder what in the world to blog about!
    XO Cindy

  22. Thank you so much for such great tips! Have a great weekend!
    Leslie

  23. These are all great tips for new bloggers – thanks so much for sharing them. I admit that it’s challenging to write posts in a conversational tone, especially after so many years of writing in a school or work setting in a professional way, without using any personal narrative.
    Lori recently posted..House TourMy Profile

  24. Pat Toler says:

    Great Tips! I went to the Southern Bloggers Conference with hopes of kicking off my blog
    the first of the year. So far, it hasn’t happened, but I am still working. Simultaneously
    considering the big life change of moving Mom, who has alzheimers,to ours house. My sister
    already blogs about that! Anyway, like your tips and plan to save them!

  25. Vanessa!
    Such fabulous tips – it’s been a little over a year and I can look back at my older posts and cringe just a tad!
    My have I’ve changed – with more to come I am sure!
    I think I heard my voice squeak and I need some Clearasil!
    Here’s to growing, changing, evolving, but always being ourselves!
    Thanks for sharing friend!
    Kelly

  26. What a great post! All so true too! Thank You :)

  27. Great post Vanessa. So true, so true. I still struggle at times to find my blogging voice. Then when I just think I have it all together, I find myself questioning if I really do. It’s a very complicated set of emotions that accompany being a blogger…but I enjoy it immensely…especially the friendships (you especially!).
    Judy recently posted..Easy Desk UpdateMy Profile

  28. I love, love, love this Vanessa! You totally captured how it feels both at the beginning and as you go along your journey. Would you mind if I shared the link on my So You Wanna be a Blogger site? I think a lot of new bloggers (and not so new!) should read this!
    Melissa-TheHappierHomemaker/SoYouWannaBeaBlogger recently posted..Adding Categories to your Tabbed Menu in BloggerMy Profile

    • At The Picket Fence says:

      You may absolutely share it on your So You Wanna be a Blogger site Melissa!!! :-) I’d be honored!

  29. Can I be just like you when I grow my blogging voice? What a wonderful post and you are so right about changing your voice as you blog. I am almost ashamed at my initial posts and appreciate how much I’ve grown in blogging. Again, thank you for your words and for always inspiring!

    Andrea xxoo

  30. Beautiful post Vanessa! Blogging has been fun and challenging and yes, my voice keeps changing!
    Thanks for always sharing from your heart!
    Cindy
    Cindy recently posted..2012 REMINISCINGMy Profile

  31. Very timely post, Vanessa! After 2+ years of blogging, I still have times when I question my blogging voice; right now, in fact. Just about the time I’m feeling comfortable, something changes. Blogging is a constantly intriguing exercise in getting to know myself. Same for you?
    Susan @ My Place to Yours recently posted..Epiphany!My Profile

  32. Love this post Vanessa! I went on a blog hiatus for almost a year while we sold our old house and moved into a new one, I’ve really been struggling to find my ‘voice’ again, and trying really hard to get back in saddle after such a long break… Thank you for making it easier!

  33. You guys are always so helpful! Thanks for all the encouragement! I feel I still have so much to learn!
    Deneen recently posted..Incredible Edible Valentine’s Day CardMy Profile

  34. I have loved watching your blog change and grow, Vanessa. You and Heather have done it with grace and style and many are blessed because of it!!!
    Thanks for sharing your world.
    xo
    lynn
    Lynn Richards recently posted..Love and HeartsMy Profile

  35. Hi Vanessa, love your blogging voice tips. I’m pretty much a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) kind of person, so the blogging voice thing was easy for me. The voice on my blog is exactly what I would say to my friends I see in person. I’m not sure I could pretend to be anyone else. I’ve done the professional third person, stiff writing long enough as an engineer so I knew for sure I didn’t want to do that again. So for me, it was a relief to let me hair down, take my boots off, and tell everyone that yes once again, I spilled something on my shirt. I think your tips are spot on, and I agree that I love my blogging friends. I may not ever see them in person, but they ARE my friends.
    Anita @ Cedar HIll recently posted..Cowgirl Up #48 with Guest Host Thistlewood FarmsMy Profile

  36. Great post, and NO. I do not think I have found my blogging voice. On my very first post I compared myself to Charlie Brown’s teacher. Wok wokwokwokwokkkkk… She woks on and on but nobody hears what she’s saying. I still feel that way. Wouldn’t you think after 3 years, I would have found a voice?

    Wok wokwokwokwokkkkkkk
    Debbie recently posted..So The Color Of The Year Is…My Profile

  37. Thanks for such a great post, Vanessa! I think this can be one of the more difficult aspects of blogging, the big, “Who am I?” question. (Still struggling with that squeaky voice, myself!)
    Miss Charming recently posted..Design Crush (Lindy Allen Dining Room)My Profile

  38. Thanks for this. Sometimes it IS difficult to know which direction my blog is going in…and it’s VERY hard to share those mistakes. I would rather give up one of my most sacred secrets than make a big boo boo in front of everyone. Something I realize now…I need to work on! Thanks!!! ~Tammy
    Tammy Killough recently posted..What is LoveMy Profile

  39. Great post, I find it very encouraging and helpful

    Cynthia
    Cynthia recently posted..Some 2012 FavoritesMy Profile

  40. Thanks Vanessa…such a fantastic post with so many great tips….I have learned so much in a year..and still learning….thanks to The Picket Fence for always being so supportive and encouraging to all your readers and fellow bloggers!!….

  41. Excellent advice especially is one is seeking to earn income with their blog. Over the years, I’ve had my share of detractors…thinking here of a woman who told me I was “prickly” because I told her if she didn’t want to read my blog, she shouldn’t visit -smile-… and figure she has her own demons she’s trying to escape.
    Are you familiar with Vicki’s Grow Your Blog Party? Her button is on my latest post and she’s helping folks grow blog readership. Like you, Vicki is one of those people who helps other people and her blessings grow accordingly.
    Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm recently posted..YOU need to know…My Profile

  42. Well done! You are so right, and you said it all so well. I’ve been blogging for 4 yrs and my voice keeps changing (sometimes because I want to try to be like some other blogger). Many times, I become discouraged and think I’m not doing this correctly. I have to remind myself that what is right for one blogger is not necessarily right for another. You did such a good job of putting so many of my thoughts into words. Thank you for this excellent post. laurie
    laurie recently posted..SNOW BIRDS MINUS THE R.V.My Profile

  43. This is such a perfect post for the new year! I think we all struggle at times, blogging is not always easy but the friendships make it all worth it! You really hit every topic and nailed it, thank you for sharing this. Hope you have a wonderful week.
    XO
    Kristin
    ps thanks for linking up :)

  44. Vanessa,
    Such a super post! Yes, I think it is easy to try to emulate the blogs you admire but, the real growth doesn’t happen till you get into your own groove! You captured that really well in this post!
    Sherry
    Sherry recently posted..A Winter WreathMy Profile

  45. These are such great tips and SO SO true! I feel like I’ve really come to terms with WHY I blog — and WHO I am as a blogger. I blog because I have learned so much from others and I want to share how I’ve applied what I’ve learned. I blog because I have things I want to share to help others. I blog because it’s fun. I blog because I’ve ‘met’ such wonderful people. Who am I as a blogger? Someone who’s life is not swallowed up or defined by her blog — I blog when I can or when I have something to share, not just because I haven’t posted this week, or last week . . . or the week before. I’m so happy we’re NOT all the same — that would be pretty boring :)
    Lauren recently posted..Crazy for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  46. Ah, great advice, Vanessa! I think I’m still finding my blogging voice… I get impatient sometimes, but then I realize that the journey to find it is part of the fun. :)
    xo Heidi
    Heidi @ Decor & More recently posted..Four Happy ThingsMy Profile

  47. Vanessa, this is such a great post! Finding my own voice is something that I’m still working on. Comes more easily some days than others. I just try to be myself, but sometimes I get caught up in “I’ve got to write something because I need to put up a post!” To this day, I’m just amazed that people read our blog and at the incredible friendships that I’ve made while blogging.
    Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads recently posted..Always Something to do in the GardenMy Profile

  48. Thank you so much for creating this series of Blogging 101 posts. I’m slowly but surely working myself up to trying my hand at blogging.

  49. oh Vanessa, such a great post. I am struggling with finding my blog voice and also what direction I should head with my blogging. DIY crafts, painted furniture, junkin’, or maybe all. I’m just a little confused in case you can’t tell :-) Reading this post has helped. You write wonderfully.
    Kathy, Petticoat Junktion recently posted..Ready for SpringMy Profile

  50. omg – vanessa – i love love love loooooooooooove this post! thank you SO so sooooo much for sharing. so so so very true. on all points. and the post really came in at a time when i felt like i needed a little blogging pick me up, so thank you darlin!!!

    thank YOU!!!

  51. Great post! I’ve been blogging for about two years though not as consistently as I would have liked last year. I’ve found pretty early on that the posts that got the best responses were the ones my friends said sounded like me. I’ve stuck to that formula as much as possible over the years. I’m a small blog but at least I’m a genuine blog. Thanks for sharing!

  52. Thank you for the insight. I’m new to the blogging world, and it’s hard not to compare myself to others. It’s even hard to stay true to my own style when I see all the fabulous things everyone else is doing. I just need to remind myself that I’ve done well in the real world being my true self, the world of blogging shouldn’t be any different.
    Cheryl recently posted..Powder Room RedoMy Profile

  53. What a beautiful post, Vanessa! I started blogging way back in 2007, before I knew anything about other blogs. I’d only read one blog at that point and was intrigued at the idea of a blog’s being something of a window on a soul. The one thing of which I felt very certain was that I wanted to use my words for good–that is, to impart grace with them. I am grateful that this hasn’t changed; that’s still my deepest desire!

    Having started in early 2007, I then I ran into some big life problems and stopped blogging entirely, only to re-start in 2009 after having read Nesting Place, The Inspired Room, and A Soft Place to Land. SInce then I’ve found most of my audience through various house-related posts, but I’ve always felt that I “fit” best as a reflective, spiritually-oriented voice. So now I’m happy to be working with theme of “reflections on heart and home.” I don’t fit very neatly into a niche, but I’m being myself. Thanks for the reminder that I’m the only person who can do that! :)
    Richella @ Imparting Grace recently posted..Word of the yearMy Profile

  54. Love this post. I looked at my first few posts when I started blogging way back in 2009. They were pathetic! I had about 4 followers for a year and then I started reading, networking and mingling with other bloggers. My posts have come a LONG way since then and I am always learning new things. I began with blogspot and moved to wordpress in 2010 (I think). I LOVE wordpress. I must admit that sometimes I do feel invisible or a like a little fish in a BIG pond when I see other bloggers with thousands of followers. I have not broken 200 yet. It depresses me sometimes and makes me doubt myself. Lack of comments can get you down too but then I think, “People are really busy and don’t always have time to leave a comment.” I will keep moving forward with my little blog, perhaps like the tortoise in the “tortoise and the hare”. I love doing it and someday I will get to where I am going.

  55. What great advice! Thank you for sharing this! Even after only one year, I look back at my first post and realize I hadn’t yet found that voice. It’s an evolving process, and can be frustrating and joyous! Thank you for showing me that what I’m thinking is “normal” and part of that process.
    Karen @ Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza recently posted..The Tinkering RoomMy Profile

  56. Great Tips Vanessa! Good to know you have been there too:), Jen
    Jen O’Brien recently posted..Cable Knit & Getting The Look For LessMy Profile

  57. Tina@Repurposedlife says:

    Great post Vanessa! I have been staring at that blank page, trying to figure out where to start. Wondering how to find my blogging voice. You have shared 5 really good tips. Thank you!!! Tina

  58. Great post, Vanessa! Lots of good tips to share and you really write so well and express yourself nicely. We’ve all been there, that is for sure. I’m about to hit 6 years and wow, oh wow, at the changes I’ve seen in blogging. Amazing!

  59. Sandra White says:

    Hi, so enjoyed this post. I am right on the edge of the fence and contemplating starting a blog. It is scary, because you want it to be right. Your post tells me to relax and that mistakes will be made along the way and to just be yourself.

  60. Wonderful post, and great for newbies and oldies alike. I am confident in my voice coming across as far as that goes, it is a ton of other things I have to learn in this process. btw, I am that girl in line at Walmart that will strike up a conversation with you:) and tell you about my bargain. Have a great day!

  61. Hi, Vanessa

    I love this post! I can relate to everything you wrote. I am in the middle right now. LOL, my voice is changing and so is my blog. I have a different vision and it’s evolving. I so appreciate you writing this post and I am always grateful to you and Heather for taking time out and sharing. Thank you.

    Hugs,
    Vanessa
    Vanessa recently posted..What To Do With Old Christmas CardsMy Profile

  62. THE MOST HELPFUL post I’ve read since I began blogging less than three months ago. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
    Melinda

  63. Great post! I had been blogging for about three years before I found my blogging voice. Once I found my voice and stopped trying to emulate other blogs that I had been reading for years, blogging became so much more fun and fulfilling.

  64. Thank you Vanessa! You are such a wonderful writer. And a funny one too! I find my blogging voice changes with my mood-that could be dangerous, I know. I do like to be real, and down to Earth…no pretending here. I also find that focusing on what I think my blog should be, rather than what others say/think it should be, works best. It so nice to be able to have my own little personal style of blogging, and actually have people read it, and like it :) So fulfilling!! My goal is to be different and I hope to inspire. You girls most certainly inspire me, and have from the start. XO from Red!
    Julie recently posted.. Clock MakeoverMy Profile

  65. Great post Vanessa!! I still remember way back when you started out. You have come a long way girl!
    Pamela recently posted..Treasure Hunt Thursday #89My Profile

  66. This is a very thought provoking and encouraging post, Vanessa. The friendships I’ve made blogging mean the world to me! And I think these same principals apply whether or not one is a blogger. Great life lesson!
    Sharon recently posted..cozy cottage foyerMy Profile

  67. Such great advice! Thanks for the needed reminders – especially about sharing the failures – there are plenty! Take care, Laura
    Laura @ Finding Home recently posted..Printable: If You Don’t Ask…My Profile

  68. Great information and advice, Vanessa. I appreciate your generous spirit!

    Jeanette @ Creating A Life

  69. Thank you for your helpful post. I think so many blog all start looking the same. The ones I actually ENJOY reading are the ones who are different. I hope around a lot for inspiration or eye candy, but the ones I always return to, are the ones who stand out. Just sayin… Blessings and kind favor to you and your sister.
    Michal recently posted..The Children’s Hour at 17…it’s possibleMy Profile

  70. Fantastic post, Vanessa! Thank you!!
    Claire :)
    Claire @ A Little Claireification recently posted..“50 Shades of Pink” – Mini Valentine Ombre CakesMy Profile

  71. This was excellent! I needed to be reminded and refreshed! *said in my squeaky voice*

  72. Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been struggling with this very thing lately. I loved the part about “I’m okay” and

  73. Sorry…hit enter on accident/purpose….
    Loved the “your voice will change like and adolescent boy.”

    Thanks again, great post.
    Angela recently posted..How to Clean RetainersMy Profile

  74. Your tips about blogging were invaluable to me last year when I started my blog, and they continue to light the way. Thank you!

  75. Awesome! I added one of your buttons to my blog with a link back to this post. i write for me – and to share some of what i know. I hope to print my blog someday as a journal for my kids. You make some good points here – I have not monetized my blog, but a lot of what you say applies…

  76. Tip #6 – Don’t run from your voice. (Or at least when it catches you, cry Uncle.)

    I wrote an “ideas” blog for nine months because I was running from my math voice.

    One day I heard the Usborne math dictionary call me from the bottom rack of the Houston Museum of Natural Science gift shop. It said, “It’s time to start the math blog.” I listened. (It was pretty creepy.)

    I had been saying in blogger forums, “You just can’t write a math blog.”

    Apparently, you can.
    Bon Crowder recently posted..Getting Math on Shark TankMy Profile

  77. Vanessa, I’ll be blogging two years this September and I still fly by the seat of my pants. I have no plan.. I blog as I go. Real life, projects, no projects and never perfect. I thought a book club would be fun, so next day, started a book club. I want my blog to be ME. Because that is all it can be. I do project I like, since I live in my house. Nothing ever as a trend. Nope. Chevron. Super trendy. Don’t have a drop. Chalkboards. LOVE em. So I’d put them everywhere if I could. haha. Anyhow.. it’s late. I’m rambling. Hugs!!!!
    Shannon @Fox Hollow Cottage recently posted..Announcing Fox Hollow Book Club {vote on our 1st book!}My Profile

  78. Erica Lane says:

    I love this! So very true.

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