Finding Your Voice after Guest Blogging

Guest post by Jocelyn Anne

Editor’s Note:  I particularly found this guest post to be very refreshing.  Guest blogging is by far one of the best things you can do to build your blog, however, it can be stressful and draining. 

This post presents some helpful recovery strategies that I use, too. 

There’s something about blogging that has the distinct possibility to mess with your writing voice, especially that is, when it’s guest blogging.  When you start guest blogging on a consistent basis, you can really get caught up on in trying to fit so many different styles, so many different “personalities” that somewhere along the way you go back to your own blog and can’t figure out who the heck you are.

Were you funny once upon a time?  Sarcastic?  Sassy?  Witty?  Was that stifled by rude blog hosts?  Overly demanding bloggers?  I remember particularly well one site owner responding to my outreach e-mail with a rude outpouring of how my tone was just awful and absolutely wrong for their site and too bubbly and too friendly and too this and too that.  I sent her an email right back assuring her I could match any tone I needed to, and I did.

Turns out after I got her to accept one, she asked me to write a second article for her.  But, sometimes I finish up a week of guest blogging trying to be too informative, more dull than I want to be, funnier than I typically am, or injecting more stupid selling points than I feel okay with.  Then I sit down at my own computer, at my own blog, and I feel lost.

If you’ve been guest blogging for awhile, I’d say there’s a pretty good chance you’ve encountered this or are in the midst of it now.  Fortunately, there’s a cure.  (I think!)  First, I’d suggest a short break.  Just lay off guest blogging for a little while.  Your creative mind gets stifled so quickly when it’s forced to fit into boxes it’s not accustomed to, and when there is no let up, it’s likely to stage a revolt.  And, really, can you blame it?

Second, look harder for the blogs that you actually like and/or respect.  Sometimes we think it’s good to just get our blog link out there wherever we can or get traffic from any and all directions possible.  But, number one, that doesn’t help your voice at all.  And more than that, if it’s not a blog that you particularly like, then you probably wouldn’t read it on a regular basis, and the people who are reading that blog on a regular basis are highly unlikely to like your blog anyway.

So, we’ve got you taking a break and weeding out the generic blogs who are willing to take your post but that you could care less about and who probably aren’t going to provide you with good, solid, reliable traffic anyway.  But, both of those are “iffys.”  Ie: if your job depends upon you guest posting whenever and wherever you can as much as possible, neither of those are going to be feasible.

This means you have to create a definite distinction between the writing you do for “you” and the writing you do for “them.”  Create a different writing environment for each.  If you want to do your personal writing on your laptop in your living room on the couch, then do your guest blogging from another computer in a different environment, like the public library.  The more distinction you can create between writing, even in the act itself, personal vs. guest, the easier it will be when you sit down and want your voice to be your voice.

Go off the deep end a little bit.  Okay, so you already know that your voice is a blurry at the moment.  To keep your own voice strong when you need it to be, then one option is to look at your guest blogging as your chance to go crazy.  Don’t go just a “little” away from your own voice.  Don’t be a little more sales-like, a little funnier, a little more serious, etc. That creates too much of a blurred line between the two.

Be outrageously sarcastic, outrageously serious, outrageously different then who you are as a guest blogger.  Who really cares!  You can attach the article to any pen name you want if you aren’t trying to build up your personal name and you’re just doing link building.  That way when you write for yourself, there’s no crossover between you-you and you-guest.

If that overwhelms you just as much, then create one separate persona.  Get a name, a birthday, a past life history, a future life history, all of it.  Get particular.  What does Jocelyne Anne III like to eat with her pizza?  Does she dip her French fries in ranch?  Is she in love?  Happily married?  A mom?  A party girl in her 20’s?

Whatever it is, take her, Jocelyn Anne III, into every guest blogging avenue you walk into.  That way there is you and there is Jocelyn.  There are no 100 other people you try to be when you guest blog.  It cuts confusion in your mind immensely when you only have to worry about two voices.

Finally, remember who you are and what you believe in when you write for you.  Forget that you were trying to sell someone Girl Scout cookies in a blog yesterday.  Today is just you and your audience and that’s all that matters.

How do you find your voice after guest blogging?  What strategies could we add here?

Jocelyn Anne is a freelance writer who enjoys writing to help others keep on writing. She also does writing for Air & Water, a heating and cooling company specializing on portable air conditioners.

Comments

  1. Hi Jocelyn! Here’s a little technique i use when anyone asks me to write a guest-post:

    New readers find my blog everyday — but they’ve never read my older articles.

    For a guest-pots, I pick from some of the most spectacular articles I’ve ever written, ones that I was so proud of, ones that never attracted even one visitor via search engine. I rewrite it, bringing it up-to-the-minute and attaching hot, fresh links to authoritative or high-regard sources. If there’s any breaking news I can add, I do it. There you have it— a beautiful new post — a guest post any blog would be happy to publish!

    • Kiesha Easley says:

      Hi Dave!
      Now that’s a very resourceful guest blogging strategy! I love it! You should write a guest post for this blog about your process for doing that – like you could take us through an example post in which you do exactly what you’ve mentioned here. I’d love to read it and I’m sure my readers would, too!

  2. I used to do a lot of guest blogging and I found the same thing. I was trying so hard to write something that was imformative, interesting and engaging, that all my energies were directed at these posts rather than my own site. I now do exactly as Dave Lucas suggests. I write my best stuff for me and rewrite it for others. The guest posts can often end up better than the original so I think it is a win-win situation.

  3. It’s really hard to present yourself differently in different blogs. I would rather like to remain what I’m.

  4. Tushar Agarwal says:

    i am personally a big fan of guest posts.
    if you believe in the theory of minimum investment and risk and maximum returns, this one should take away all the prizes

  5. Guest postting is great indeed but has some disadvantages. One is that the reader will not understand what is with that and you can lose him like a reader. I know some cases when a blogger wrote a gues post for a bug blogger but a few loyal readers have not agreed with the ideas exposed and were disappointed.

  6. Hi, Jocelyn,
    Interesting article, I never taught of that, but it seems guest bloggers can also get an identity crisis, as actors can, too. Being invited to do a post on someone else’s blog can be a compliment, but also drains energy, as you probbaly tend to do your best job and give the maximum effort into it.

  7. I have never tried guest blogging myself but I admire people who do it as they have courage to share their points with the other. I understand that this is a great responsibility to write an article which is appreciated by lots of people. Surely they need a break to gain some strengths and to create a new nice post.

  8. All I want to do is writing for my own blogs – about things that inspire me and fell like they are worth sharing. Being myself is my highest priority.

  9. Dennis Edell says:

    I must disagree, wholeheartedly. In other words…heeeeell no. Match what? Are you serious??

    Any blogger wanting my guest post is going to get ME period, as I in-turn would never even think of asking, much less demanding, someone put on a different face for my readers.

    Quite frankly i find that absurd. The #1 point to accepting guests is to introduce your readers to a different voice, as it were…not some clone with a different blog.

    Or did I read this post wrong?

  10. Great blog topic, Jocelyn Anne. My brother recently wrote a guest article for his friend’s blog and I didn’t realize how much stress it caused it until I saw it! Thanks for the strategies and I’ll forward him this article. Thanks!
    -Jen

  11. I always thought that remaining in character was a great method to use when guest posting. Wouldn’t you be a bit “put off” if you went to visit the guest poster’s blog, only to find out that his/her writing style and humor are completely different? You’re post has given me quite a bit to think about, Thank you very much Jocelyn.

  12. You make a blogger almost sound like a ghostwriter, trying to fit so many different styles, so many different “personalities”… Maybe modern pharmaceutical research can come up with a cure for guest blogging hangovers.

  13. Many people try to imitate the style of the main blogger of the blog when it comes to the guest blogging. Recently one of the blogger told me that she is going through my blog posts to get the idea of my writing style. I asked her to speak her mind and style instead of me……According to me, does not matter where you are publishing a post, just be what you are

  14. I think the idea of having guest blogger is to get a new views and different opinions in your blog. If you are asking the guest blogger to rewrite to suit your style I think it is missing some good things about actually having a guest blogger.

    • I have met some very nice bloggers that are happy to take your content, but I have also met moody and mean spirited bloggers as well. If I run into a mean spirited blogger my first thought is to run in the other direction as I am not one to jump through other people hoops like a trained dog. So to end this rant, I agree that making someone write in a style to mimic your own misses the point entirely and then you miss an opportunity for the reader to have a new fresher experience.

  15. .Whichever way you participate in guest posting is effective in terms of growing the audience for your blog…How Guest Blogging Increases Blog Traffic.When you write for another blog youre introducing yourself to the entire existing audience for that blog. On the other hand when someone writes a guest post to appear on your blog you can be sure he or she will promote the guest appearance and drive traffic to your blog.

  16. it is batter to take part in guest posts.

  17. Hey all! Sorry, I forgot to check when this went live…! Yikes. Thanks for all the feedback, glad some of you found this useful. I really love the ideas about using the first round for your own site and then re-writing the second time around for others. It’s always a bit painful to let go of something you really like (kinda like a painter selling their artwork?). BUT. I hesitate to do that. No blogger wants any duplicate/semi-duplicate content, so it would be a fine line between writing and re-writing, I think.

  18. Maritza Spence says:

    The #1 point to accepting guests is to introduce your readers to a different voice, as it were…not some clone with a different blog. You make a blogger almost sound like a ghostwriter, trying to fit so many different styles, so many different “personalities”… Maybe modern pharmaceutical research can come up with a cure for guest blogging hangovers.

  19. I think that stretching yourself to experiment with different voices makes you a power asset. Look at all the actors out there. Sure we like a great “hero” type but when that’s all they play we get bored of them. I think of Jim Carry. He started out as a loud month funny guy. He was not just good, he was great at it. Time went along and we pretty much expected the same out of him. Then he did the Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind. After that my respect for his acting ability grew. Now he’s not just a good comedy guy, he’s a good actor. Spread yourself out and try some new voices. You can be a good tech blogger, or a fantastic writer.

Speak Your Mind

*

RSS and Marketing Services