As promised, here is the second article on the series detailing my take on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers. You can check out the full list here and then check back every Sunday for a new detailed article on a specific habit.
The First Habit of a Highly Effective Blogger…. Be Original. Be Yourself.
I realize the irony of saying ‘Be original’ as I steal the idea of the 7 Habits but actually that works into my whole explanation for this second habit of an effective blogger. Read on…
What it looks like when you are a cloned blogger….
- Tries to be just like another blogger or a number of other bloggers. There is no differentiating factor, subject, content, etc…
- Lacks serious originality.
- Uses the voice of another instead of taking the time to develop her/his own voice and style.
- The blog design, colors, layout, looks like every other blog out there. A reader would be unable to tell the difference between your blog and a dozen others.
- Steals another’s voice or content without adding anything of her own.
- Plagiarizes content, claiming as her/his own. (Don’t even get me started on this one! As a blogger it drives me absolutely INSANE!)
What it looks like when you are a unique blogger…
- Knows his/her own voice and uses it on all content. This includes not only blog posts but also all social media channels, etc…
- Offers a personal, unique perspective of what others may have already covered.
- Avoids posting something just because others are doing it. Maybe everyone else is writing about award show fashion but if it doesn’t work with your content, message, voice you ignore it.
- Each post is stamped with the bloggers originality.
- Borrows ideas from others but always with his or her own spin on things. (Hence how I can use the 7 Habits taking another’s idea and flipping it to be my own.)
How to become an original, unique blogger….
Work hard at developing your own voice. As a journalist, this is something we work at all four years in college. We try hard to develop our own tone while sticking with all the usual, expected rules of writing. My writing tone tends to be fun and casual, certainly not very formal. I’ve worked hard at developing the conversational tone with all my writing over the years. It certainly doesn’t happen overnight. You need to work at it. Write, write and write some more.
Keep your content and voice focused on your blog content, on your niche. The coordination of voice and content are crucial to a well-written blog. Just imagine if a business-oriented Wall Street Journal article took a casual voice in reporting, or if Lucky Magazine read more like a business publication. The voice and content combined are essential and something it’s important to work on developing over the years. It’s okay. It takes time.