This is probably the only time I’ll ever encourage you to fight.

But before you pull out your gloves and put on that oh-so-sexy UFC uniform that you’ve had stashed away in your closet for God only knows what reason, I have a confession to make: I’m probably one of the most sensitive people you’ll meet.

And it’s not a good thing.

I might not always seem like a sensitive soul on the surface but it’s true. Give me one wrong look and I’ll worry about what it meant for days.

With that obnoxious hyper-sensitivity in mind, you can imagine how much of a struggle it was for me to start blogging and putting my thoughts, ideas, opinions out onto the interwebz.

What will people think?

What will people say?

What if people *gasp* don’t like me?

It’s a scary (read: terrifying) feeling to open your soul to be judged by the masses.

In fact, it’s so scary that most people avoid it all together.

The fear of putting yourself on the line is one that business owners like you know well. You’ve done it already so I know you have the courage to start exposing your thoughts and opinions too. But there’s just one problem.

If you’re shaking in your boots while you hit the “Publish” button on your blog, chances are you’re not going to sound too authentic. Chances are, your blog is going to sound more like it was written by a robot than a human.

Enter: The Fight

I promised you a fight and here it is!

If you’re like many bloggers, when you sit down at the keyboard your thoughts are on your audience.

You think, and think, and think about what your audience wants to hear.

  • Are you giving them what they’re looking for?
  • Are you positioning your audience as the hero of your story?
  • Are you delivering the right information to help them through every stage of the sales process?

Coming up with content for your blog is hard enough. When you finally find that perfect topic, how do you write in a way that serves your audience AND stays true to you?

As Sally Hogshead said in a recent blog post, “Are you focusing so much on the other person (your customer, your client, your manager) that you’re losing your you-ness?”

If you’re cringing right about now because of how familiar that sounds, don’t worry. It’s happened to the best of us.

Breaking Past the Scary Side of Creativity

Writing doesn’t have to be scary. Staring at a blank, white page on the screen in front of you doesn’t have to fill you with anxiety.

It also doesn’t have to turn you into a people-pleasing robot.

After searching for years, reading other people’s blogs and trying to find that magic tip to help me break fast this fear and embrace my voice, I discovered one thing that helped. Just one. Fighting.

The Three Step Process to Finding Your Fight

If you could change the world tomorrow in any way, what would that look like to you?

I’m not trying to get you to conjure up your inner beauty queen and talk about creating world peace or saving all the puppies – even though that’d be nice – I am trying to get you to think a little bit about purpose. That purpose – or fight, if you will – comes from inside of YOU.

Here’s how to find your fight.

1. Define WHAT You’re Fighting For

My fight is to change the way business owners approach their marketing writing.

It frustrates me to see business owners toss up a “free” website with self-centered copywriting filling the headlines and paragraphs just so that they have a placeholder online.

Note: I put “free” in quotes because even though you’re not paying out of pocket for a website on Wix or GoDaddy, you’re paying big time in opportunity cost.

Words matter. They matter so freakin’ much that I put it on EVERY SINGLE PAGE of my website. It’s my fight. It’s the concept that I can speak to with absolute 100% certainty and passion because I believe it in my core.

What’s your fight? What’s your purpose online?

It’s a deep question but it’s one that deserves a healthy amount of thought.

2. Define WHO You’re Fighting For

The people you’re fighting for matter just as much (if not more) than your big picture purpose.

You can’t write a blog post to the masses and expect it to sound like your authentic self. Narrowing your focus and writing as if you’re speaking to the ONE person in this world whom you help will make your writing significantly stronger.

Right now, I have my perfect client in mind. I’m not thinking about writing to my mom or my husband because neither of them need this information. I’m writing this to the person who I know can benefit the most from this fight.

The person may or may not be real (although in my case, he is), as long as you have a person with a face, a name, and a story.

Who is your person? Who are you fighting the good fight for?

3. CONVERSE!

Let’s face it. Keeping your thoughts, ideas, and passions locked up inside of you isn’t healthy. It’s not healthy for you, your business, or the people you’re working so hard to help.

With your fight and your person in mind, it’s time to start the conversation.

This is where your blogging voice comes through.

Spark conversation with the person you’re fighting so hard to help. Talk about things that get you heated, passionate, and excited.

Let your thoughts pour out on paper.

Don’t edit as you write. Instead, follow Ernest Hemingway’s advice: Write Drunk. Edit Sober.

And, whatever you do, DON’T pull a Pete Carroll and overthink every play, phrase, and word.

Just write what’s on your heart. Write in a way that makes your excitement for your reader’s success so palpable that he has no option but to get sucked into listening to your story.

The Takeaway

FIGHT FOR WHAT AND WHO MATTERS TO YOU.

Your voice will come out naturally through your passion, excitement, and undying belief in what you’re saying.

Go ahead and give it a try. Then share your non-robotic blog post with me in the comments below. I’d love to read it (truly!)

16 thoughts to “Finding Your Blogging Voice

  • Lauren Black

    I love this! I just started blogging recently and feel like each post has a different tone of voice. I need to stop focusing on trying to reach the masses and really just write as ME! Thanks for the insight!

    Reply
    • kimberly crossland

      Glad you found it helpful! It’s an easy rabbit hole to fall down (appealing to the masses, that is) but once you refocus just a little bit it can do wonders.

      Reply
  • Michele

    Love this, especially thinking about fighting for people.. It puts the focus on being there for others which is less intimidating than trying to write the perfect post, etc.

    Reply
    • kimberly crossland

      Absolutely!

      Reply
  • Nathalie

    Great post about fighting for what matters to you! I think this can also be applied to interactions with fussy clients too.
    Sometimes they don’t know what’s best for their business but they’re too focused on the little things that they ignore your professional opinion.
    Good for you for fighting for what matters!

    Reply
    • kimberly crossland

      You’re absolutely right, Nathalie! It can apply to finding your professional voice offline too. Great insight.

      Reply
  • Robyn Petrik

    “Your voice will come out naturally through your passion, excitement, and undying belief in what you’re saying.”

    That’s my favourite bit from this great post! People talk so much about finding their voice, but everyone already has a voice. We just need to be better at letting it out.

    Reply
    • kimberly crossland

      Amen!

      Reply
  • Lyn

    Thanks for a great, thought provoking post! I love the reminder that we aren’t writing for EVERYONE and we don’t want to lose what makes us us!

    Reply
  • Martin Lindeskog

    Kimberly,

    I haven’t lost my “me-ness”. As the matter of fact, I picked the word, EGO blog / podcast / dojo / sole trader, for a reason! My fight is to create a second renaissance, spreading better ideas on new media, business philosophy, and the good life.

    The subtitle for my podcast show, EGO NetCast, is now added on iTunes as: Food for Thought. I want to have active, thinking individualistic listeners.

    I would be great to have a conversation with you on how to find your blogging voice and other things that you are fighting for! 🙂

    Talk soon again!

    Best Premises,

    Martin

    Reply
    • kimberly crossland

      Martin, I’d love that too! In the meantime though, I’ll tune into your podcast. Cheers!

      Reply
  • JS Hann

    Love your posting!

    Reply
  • Brian Belfitt

    Finding the blogging voice is very important because it helps in expressing your feelings and thoughts to your readers. Being passionate and having faith in what you believe in, is equally important. It can be difficult to voice out your thoughts in the beginning but it’s not impossible to overcome it.

    Reply
  • Rich

    Awesome perspective on a common topic. Had never thought of this as “who am I fighting for?” Just made something I’ve been thinking about a lot simpler. Appreciate this!

    Reply
  • Laurie

    I am relaunching my blog of seven years, and by this time I know what my voice is. It’s a jolly one, but I don’t always feel jolly when I sit down to write. Quite the reverse, actually.

    Part of creating is getting past my crankiness, doubt and fear. That’s my biggest challenge, getting to the sunny part. Once I’m there I’m good for a few hours of work. That’s a feeling worth fighting for.

    Reply
    • Kimberly Crossland

      It IS a feeling worth fighting for. You have that right! Have you tried writing from other locations to get there faster? Sometimes, talking into your phone while out for a walk can help. Or, working from a coffee shop.

      Reply

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