Wednesday, 6 February 2013

My Two Mums - Blog with your own unique voice

We are Kirsty and Clara from My Two Mums, we started blogging in Jan 2012 to document Clara's pregnancy and our adventures into parenthood. We've been married 2 years and live in the gorgeous countryside with our little boy, born in July 2012. We both bring different views to our blog. Kirsty loves photography, gadgets and playing Xbox whilst Clara loves Theatre, music and swimming. We adore being parents and can't wait to have more children.

We’ve been blogging over at My Two Mums for almost exactly a year, but feel we’ve learnt a lot in 12 months.

When starting out, neither of us read many blogs. We had a few that we read every so often but we didn’t realise how big the blogging community was. Our blog was born from an idea  to document our journey into parenthood and also as a place for families in the same situation as us, looking to start a family.

It can be daunting starting a blog, especially if you have ambitions for it to become a great read. Once you’ve written your first post and clicked publish, it can almost feel like you’re sat waiting for someone to read it and tell you it’s great. Realistically if you’ve not told anyone about your blog apart from those you know, the only person likely to read it is your Mother (that’s if your Mother is lucky enough to be told you have a blog). We found ourselves reading more and more blogs each week and commenting and building up relationships across social media. If you want your blog to be read, you have to put yourself out there. But just don’t fall in to the trap some new bloggers tend to do.

There will always be big blogs with big readership who are funny, take great pictures and tell fantastic stories. They have worked hard for their readership and I’m sure are appreciative of each and every reader. What they will not appreciate is a new blog attempting to replicate their blog in every way possible.

The best advice we can offer is to blog with your own unique voice and in a way you feel comfortable. People will want to hear your stories, told in your voice. If every blog looked and sounded the same, people would stop reading what you had to offer. Don’t feel like you have to be something you’re not to succeed. Even if just a handful of people read your blog every week your readership will start to grow through word of mouth or via social media sites. It can be difficult at first to truly find your voice, especially if you’re not a natural writer. Neither Clara nor I come from writing backgrounds yet I feel we are able to put across our adventures quite well. We feel this is entirely down to practice and enjoying writing about what we write.

You may find your writing style changes as you progress; our first blog posts are very different from our posts today. When we started out, we were writing the way we thought people would be most interested in. The posts ended up very bland and quite rigid as they lacked either mine or Clara’s personality. We fell in to the classic trap of trying to blog in a way that wasn’t our ‘voice’. As we grew more comfortable with sharing our adventures we began to write how we spoke. If you’re a regular reader of our blog you should start to recognise which of us wrote a post before we reference the author. When writing I like to imagine I’m speaking the words I write to someone present in the room, if I can’t hear myself saying something a certain way, then I won’t write it.

A few months in to blogging I feared I was starting to lose my ‘Voice’, after I published one of my favourite posts “The Journey has begun..” The post was published as part of an annual LGBT linky. I wanted to put together a post talking about our first attempt to get Clara pregnant without sharing too many graphic details. I told our story in a way I felt would be fun to read, but it still to this day feels very different to the rest of our posts. I feel this was due to the pressure of a linky. There was potential for our post to be read by a lot of bloggers I respected and I felt pressured to write something outstanding. Rather than concentrating on putting my voice into the post I wrote what I felt people would want to read. It proved to be a popular post, yet I remained unsatisfied with the way it was written. It was after writing this post that I realised I was much happier with posts we’d written with no concern over who read them.

Don’t be afraid to grow and change your voice as you progress, it can by worrying to want to change the way you write for fear of losing readers. But many readers will follow you on your journey as you establish your voice. Doesn’t be afraid of losing readers along the way, this can be a huge worry for many in truly finding their voice. But in the same way you don’t get on with everyone you meet in life, some people who read your blog will end up deciding it’s not for them. We’ve found at times when we’ve had mini rants on our blog they can prove to be controversial and at times have lost us followers on twitter. But just as in life we have rants and get frustrated we share this on our blog too, staying true to our ‘voice. As long as you stay true to yourself and blog from the heart you will enjoy blogging much more than trying to be someone else and please everyone.

Your blogging voice can always change and grow in direct reflection from your audience. This is why we encourage new bloggers to go read and comment on as many blogs as they can. It’s important to support other bloggers if you wish to be supported yourself. Just as you would tell a story to your family in perhaps a different tone to your friends, you may find yourself blogging in a different voice depending on who shares and comments on your posts.

All big blogs had to start somewhere and may have taken years to get to where they are now. Just enjoy sharing your stories and photos whilst reading and commenting on all your favourite blogs and remember to support the smaller blogs you come across as they can be fantastic hidden gems.

Thanks so much ladies, I cannot agree more that is is important to remain you when you are writing a blog.  People turn up and read because they like and get YOU!

Come back tomorrow and join in with Reasons to be Cheerful, where I share some blogging gems with you.

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