Blogging: Stay true to yourself

2009 October 1
by velvet

You’re sitting down in front of your computer, with a blank blog post staring straight at you. You have the topic (a certain experience) at the top of your head and you’re raring to go. Then the doubt creeps in. Will this interest my readers? Which angle to this story shall I take? Would it need beefing-up? And before you know it, your fingers have frozen right before they’ve hit the keyboard.

mirror to the soulI’ve experienced this on various occasions. When this happens, I get up, go for a short walk, get some fresh air, sometimes scream out in frustration (it helps 😉 ), then try to clear my mind before heading back to my computer. I’ve learned to handle these doubts by staying true to myself. I believe that’s the most important element of writing a great blog post. The article has to reflect your very soul. Don’t be afraid to show your emotions. I’ve realised that to enable people to really connect with the article, it has to be a true, unadulterated reflection of your experience. People connect easily with emotions. Choose a specific aspect of your experience and elaborate: Why was I moved by the experience? Which emotions did I feel? How did I react to them? It helps to talk out loud while you’re typing away – write as if you were verbally relaying the story to a friend. Try to strike a good balance between the informative aspect and your personal experience.

If you stay true to yourself and your emotions, and infuse sufficient amounts of these into your articles, people will be able to relate a lot easier and be moved to come back for more.

9 Responses leave one →
  1. October 1, 2009

    I think you have a really good point on staying true. For me, I just found it too hard to write a blog. So I ended up trying to conquer birds with one stone. I wanted to make an online presence to help with my self esteem and second, I decided to make a photo blog. I find it much easier to just post pictures than to say any words. Of course I can’t really express what I want sometimes, I think it does allow me to show how I’m feeling.

  2. October 1, 2009

    And that, in a nutshell, is why I love reading your writing! :)

  3. velvet permalink*
    October 1, 2009

    Thank you for your comments Beck & Stephanie. :-)

    Becky, a photo blog is cool too. As long as you’re happy with your own posts and your enthusiasm shines through (in words or pictures). That’s what it’s all about.

    Best regards,
    Keith

  4. October 1, 2009

    Great post Keith, and I think we can all identify with your thoughts. As you eloquently put it, “people connect easily with emotions” and for most people a post is made richer by describing not just what you saw or heard, but how you felt at the time, the smells and tastes of the foods you ate, in short transporting us to the place and time of your story.
    I have had days where I worry why one post is read so much more or less than another, and yet to survive long-term as a blogger you have to enjoy what you do and believe in what you write.
    As Stephanie has already said, you do a great job of it and bring a lot of enjoyment to others; so keep up the good work :-)

  5. velvet permalink*
    October 1, 2009

    Wow, thanks for the comment and the kind words Andy. Really appreciate it.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  6. October 1, 2009

    I like what you said about trying “to strike a good balance between the informative aspect and your personal experience.” I often get wrapped up in describing my experience and forget to add useful details that might help another traveler. I don’t want to write an online guidebook, but I do want to add guidebook-ish elements. What does everyone think about the “informative aspect?” How much and what kind of info works?

  7. velvet permalink*
    October 1, 2009

    Hi there,
    I think a great travel article has an informative aspect as its foundation. It’s the personal touch – relaying your experience – that brings the article to life. For instance, if you’re writing a rather factual article like “Ten sights to see in Paris”, instead of just listing the sights and how to get there, best viewing times, etc.., add personal anecdotes about something you experienced at any of these sights. This will provide your readers with an additional reason to visit these sights; that is, to re-live the same experience you had.

    Best regards,
    Keith

  8. October 21, 2009

    Hey Keith– For me, at least right now, it is motivation and lack of energy to actually do the writing. I’ve started so many posts — you should see my draft file.. tons of topics and ideas.. sigh…. Just been really bummed lately and feeling ugh… blah, blah and blah! Physically not feeling well either. I’ve got the blues of some kind…… sigh again.

    Thanks as usual for sharing your thoughts and ideas! Hopefully, this blockage thing is just temporary!

  9. velvet permalink*
    October 22, 2009

    Hello Aye,
    Gosh, that’s awful. Your health is the most important thing. Try to get it health back on track and the motivation will gradually return. I bet it’s a temporary thing. Don’t fret. Everyone has their down days. Did you read my interview on the Travelrants’ site? I’ll send it to you. There are some blogging tips there you might find helpful.

    Big hugs,
    Keith

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