I’ve made mistakes with my blogging. Oh lordy, have I made mistakes. But that’s life, right? You need to make mistakes to grow, become a better person, and all that other self-improvement junk stuff. The problem with blogging is that you make your mistakes in a public forum – a public forum that is always awake and never disappears. Never ever. Lucky for me, one of my first blogging mistakes was to not use one of the various well-recognized and well-developed blogging platforms so my early blogging mistakes are now gone. Poof! Where did they go? I like to think of those early mishaps are in an Internet graveyard somewhere resting peacefully knowing that they have served me well as learning tools.
So, what’s this huge mistake I’m alluding to? Not finding a blogging voice/writing style to match the purpose of my blog. I wrote my initial blogs as if I were writing a legal treatise. As many of you know, I’m a recovering lawyer and sometimes that legal mumbo jumbo just seems to come flying out of my fingers without conscious thought. Now, don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing blogs like legal treatises if – and it’s a big if – your blog is meant to promote your legal business. It may even be okay if you write legal thrillers, but that’s pushing it.
But promoting my legal services was not – and is still not – the purpose of my blog. I started a blog to develop an author platform – whatever that is – and promote my writing in the vague hope of selling more books. My books avoid legal topics like the plague and, therefore, there’s no reason for my blog to sound like I’m still an uptight lawyer (because being a lawyer totally made me uptight).
I needed to find my blogging voice. How did I do that? First off, I looked at the purpose of my blog – promotion of myself as an author. What kind of blogging voice/writing style would promote my books – without actually shouting buy my books! over and over? The vast majority of my books are humorous. Why not try to write funny blog posts? If a potential reader stumbles upon my blog and likes my snarky humor, maybe their appetite will be whet and they’ll actually buy one of my books. Sounds like a plan to me.
Naturally, blogging is different than writing a novel and there’s no law that says you need to use the same writing style for both. But be careful. I’m a voracious reader and blog follower. It happens on a regular basis that I try a book from a blogger whose blogs are witty and fun to read, but I don’t end up buying her book because it’s serious as a heart attack. There’s nothing wrong with serious – even if I sometimes avoid it like the plague. But if you’re using your blog as a marketing tool to reach potential readers, a disconnect between writing styles may not be the way to go.
What does everyone else think? Should a writer maintain the same writing style on different forums? Or am I full of it? Comments welcome.