For this post, I would like to use the blog Geekologie as an example. When this guy (who remains anonymous for unknown reasons) writes a post, it’s very clear to everyone reading it who the author is. Some blogs suffer from the disease that I like to call “forgettable authors.”
The best way to tell if your blog is suffering from this disease? Put together a post and have one of your writers (or a guest writer) put together a similar post. Then ask a few people which one you wrote and which one was written by a random author. If they can easily determine which post you wrote, then you’re well on your way to developing your own writing style! If not, then you have to find a way to stop your writing from becoming so generic.
Before we talk techniques, let’s take a look at some of the benefits that your own writing style can give you.
Readers Want You, Not Your Blog
Many readers visit a blog because they have a personal attachment to the blogger behind it. This is a positive, since it’s just another way to ensure the loyalty of your visitors, and bloggers like Derek Halpern do a great job of this. When you put together a guest post, people who have read your posts on your blog will recognize you immediately, and people who have never read one of your posts before will remember your style.
This also means that if you decide to ditch an old blog and start a new one, you’ll have no trouble bringing your audience with you. Some blogs, like Mashable, are megablogs due to the sheer amount of information and writers that they have on hand. Other blogs, such as Seth Godin’s site, rely on a certain individual to be successful. If Seth Godin were to move to a different domain or start a new blog completely, I can almost guarantee you that his readership would follow him.
All of that stuff is great, but how can you start developing your own style? Here’s the first tip I have for you: do what feels comfortable.
If you’re an extremely boring person (which I hope you’re not), all is not lost. In fact, writing in an encyclopedic and soporific style could be your hook! Many people appreciate straight, esoteric articles, and you could become their go-to-guy!
Another tip would be to use humor, but not just any kind of humor. You need to be funny in your own way – the way that someone differentiates Dave Chapelle from Frank Caliendo. At the same time, don’t just insert lame jokes into your posts for the sake of it. People will appreciate the effort you’re making, but it won’t give you the style you’re looking for. If humor isn’t “you,” then go for something else.
Formatting is another unique way to create your own style, and if done right, can be huge. Going back to the Geekologie example – he always uses
strikethroughs in his articles to supplement his jokes. Derek Halpern is another example – he makes post SCANNABLE by using CAPS on certain WORDS in an article, at the same time creating realistic emphasis.