Firstly, I mean no offense to any of you “aristocrats” out there! I’m sure you’re all very lovely people. And if one of you ever invited me over to your lai–err–castle, I would without question and with a sense of excitement enjoy a cup of tea and crumpets as I listened to you recount your recent fox hunt extravaganza. But lets be real here, birds of the feather stick together, and us mere peasant types don’t share much in common.
OK, my apologies, I kid I kid, please don’t sic the hounds!
And yet, it’s VERY unlikely that even a single noble blooded aristocrat will ever get offended by reading this. So I doubt I hurt too many feelings — which is precisely my point! Artificially adjusting the way I write to appeal to that specific demographic of readers is just as childishly silly as changing the way I express myself to impress my colleagues.
In hindsight, it’s easy to pinpoint how I went wrong:
Even prior to writing my first blog post I had this foolish misconception that I needed to write these superbly well articulated and grammatically awe-inspiring posts. As if the goal was to sound as intelligent as possible so that I can win a sort of confidence game against other bloggers.
I must admit though, when I first started writing there was definitely a lot of self-enforced pressure to “thesaurus” the shit out of every verb, noun and synonym as I worked towards crafting the perfect combination of witty verbiage and mind blowing insights. What can go wrong right? It was obvious I was overreaching, and I realized that this is not who I am and or who I ultimately want to attract with my content. So then why the fuck am I writing like it? It was so obviously NOT me.
Looking back now, the initial posts I published felt pretentious, and I cringe at the thought that I put even a handful of you through that train wreck. Definitely not what I wanted my writing to convey!
Luckily, I caught on early enough to steer myself in a more satisfying direction, and managed to pick up on a few great insights as to why writing the way you speak is far more beneficial in the long run.
Oh and this isn’t about the eers, ums, and ughs we tend to fill our sentences with as we grasp for the appropriate words. Writing the way you speak wasn’t meant to be taken literally, instead what I’m aiming for is your own unique style of expression that you deploy on a regular basis.
Staying True to Thyself:
Lets not kid ourselves, most people tend to have an uncanny ability to sniff out bullshit. Your readers will get annoyed if you’re not being real with them! Yep, like that one guy we all know that one-ups everybody and always has Disney quality stories to tell. I noticed that ever since I stayed true to myself in my writing I very quickly enjoyed a much higher level of engagement and consistency across my posts.
Being Clear and Concise:
Another thing I realized is that no one really enjoys reading those overly complex posts riddled with rarely used vocabulary we constantly need to lookup as if we’re digesting a research paper of sorts. Most readers just want to quickly devour an article when they have a moment of free time and move on.
Generally at this point we hope our posts are enjoyable enough for the reader to give our writing some thought and come back to read future posts. Oh, and if on top of all that they share it with their friends, that’s a big bonus!
Attracting the Right Crowd:
Your blog is an extension of your character. Your unique humor, that ability to get a point across, and even your politics will seep into your posts. If you want your readers to be of similar mindset you need to attract them with your writing.
It’s also very advantageous to grow a community built around the things that you truly care about on a personal level, because you will not only be able to continue to write about all the stuff you enjoy, but you will also build a support system that will only get stronger as you expand.
At the end of the day, our blog is an extension of our brand. And for a brand to be successful, people need to be attracted to it, respect it, agree with it and ultimately engage with it. A brand isn’t a brand without an active community built around it (shameless plug!), and so, it’s very important to continue growing a brand that you yourself can connect with on a personal level.
And so, just as quickly as I started “talking”, I finished. No fancy conclusions.
Thanks for reading!