How often have you, as a blogger, been told to write authentically?
How frequently have you read the advice to be authentic and your audience will find you?
Sure, you should absolutely write authentically. Yes, if you are authentic, the right people will find you.
How do you do that?
How do you write authentically? How do you balance all the social media dos and don’ts with being your true self?
Here are my 5 steps to authenticity that apply to anyone creating content:
- Write like you speak. Nothing makes your work sound weirder faster than trying to write in a way that you think sounds “smart” or, really, anything other than your natural voice. Focus on being conversational.
- Cut the jargon. Related to the point above, jargon alienates most readers. Unless you’re writing for a technical audience who you’re sure knows what you’re saying, cut the jargon. If someone has to look something up, you’ve probably lost that reader.
- Edit for concision. Aim for clarity, not length. Check out these 5 editing tips to learn more.
- Write in active voice. Whenever possible, write in an active voice rather than a passive one. Check out this blog post for the hows and whys.
- Read your work out loud. Always. You could probably do away with tips one through four if you simply read everything out loud. Trust me on this one. Here’s more.
Not one of those tips will take you much longer to complete your piece, but every single one will improve your work.
If you want to dig into this topic more and really examine your blog for authenticity, check out my eBook, Authentic Blogging. With tons of worksheets to go along with the content, you’ll come out the other side feeling confident and self-assured in your writing!
I’ve attended all but one of the annual BlogPaws conferences (darn chemo ruined my perfect record), and this year’s was a remarkable experience. They’re all wonderful, of course, but this was the first year I got to speak.
That’s me. Speaking.
I need a haircut.
Anyway, it was an absolute pleasure to chat about authenticity in blogging. I truly believe that the key to long-term success is being completely, wholly true to YOU with your blog. In a cluttered online environment, discerning readers can pick out who’s being honest and forthright versus those bloggers who are just shilling. That isn’t to say you can’t earn money on your blog; you can and absolutely should–as long as you’re doing it authentically.
On that note, I’m thrilled to announce that I’m nearing completion on my passion project, an eBook on being an authentic blogger. There are some design issues that still need to be ironed out (in other words, I suck at design and am seeking help) before it can be released, but… stay tuned!
I’m absolutely thrilled to share that I’ve been selected to speak at the 2015 BlogPaws. I’ve attended the conference a handful of times – only missing one so far – and learned so much.
This year, I’ll be speaking along with Karon Thackston in the advanced track. You can check out all the sessions on the conference page, but our talk is Advanced Strategies for Attracting & Keeping Readers Authentically.
I couldn’t be more excited. Authenticity is one of my passions – living authentically, writing authentically, speaking authentically. My portion of our talk is going to focus on writing strategies to convey your authenticity and, in turn, retain a loyal readership.
I hope to see you there!
OH! And if you haven’t yet registered, here’s a discount code to use at checkout: BP15-Speaker-10off