Did you miss me?  I had every intention of posting this a week ago, but then life got in the way.  But here it is, Part Two of my series for new bloggers.  I know, you’ve been waiting in anticipation, checking in every day, only to be disappointed that there was no post from me.  Your wait is finally over!

Finding Your Blogging Voice

Finding my blogging voice was probably the second hardest part of starting my blog.  How do I want to present myself to my readers?  I started thinking of all the pitfalls of choosing the wrong voice long before I started to blog; one of the reasons I kept putting it off.

I had been lurking on several blog sites for about a year before I started my own.  I noticed fairly quickly a pattern of post voices from certain bloggers.  Some bloggers only posted about how they hated other REALTORS, their clients, and all consumers.  Other bloggers posted as if they were news reporters, no emotion – just the facts ma’am.  Some would just steal other people’s blog posts and publish them as their own, ventriloquists.  And still others were very cheerful, but not entirely helpful or informative.  As I started to gravitate toward certain blog sites and bloggers I began to see a pattern for what I like.  I tend to lean toward the straight-talkers.  The bloggers that present a clear message and have their own spin on the blogs topics.  I like to read the blog in the voice of the blogger.  So, what was my voice?  Who did I want to captivate?  Who do I want to become my "blog groupie?"

I think there are some very important questions to ask yourself before you start writing blog posts.

1.  Who Is My Audience?  – What type of reader do I want to attract?  The consumer?  The fellow REALTOR?  The "I’m angry as all heck" guy?  Or the "Everything is Just Peachy" guy?  – I quickly came to the conclusion that I wanted to attract the consumer that wants to learn about the market and is not afraid of honesty.  I did not feel that my blog site should focus on REALTOR to REALTOR issues and I stay away from those.  There are other avenues for me to express my professional concerns outside of my blog site.  Do I attract other REALTORs to my blog?  Absolutely, but I do not write for them.

2.  What Emotion Do I Want to Portray? – The worst for me is reading a post and sensing negative emotions from the author.  Angry writing does nothing for me.  It actually turns me off and I will stop following an angry blogger.  My #1 Rule for Blogging – Don’t Blog When You Are Angry or Sad!  You may regret what you wrote.  I think emotion and passion are important aspects of any blog, but you have to be careful what message you are sending to your readers.  I try to make sure I am in a positive and stable frame of mind when I sit down to write a post.  I don’t want to be tuned out because I come across as an emotional waste basket.

3.  Do I Get Personal?  There are some topics that a real estate blogger should just stay away from!  These would include anything that violates the Code of Ethics!  But, I also believe that allowing your reader to get to know you is very important.  I had a major break-through with this when Lisa Sanderson MeMe’d me.  (A MeMe is a blog post that another blogger has asked you to write that answers specific questions about yourself).  Writing my first MeMe allowed me to loosen up and just be me.  So, I still stay away from sensitive issues like my personal political views, my religious views, and keeping my family life as private as possible, but I understand the importance of having my readers learn who I am.  I want my readers to hear Me through my writing.

Finding your blogging voice takes time.  But, once you find it, you will feel a sense of relief.  All of your blog posts will start to flow.  You will find it easier to pick topics, easier to write, and easier to sustain the energy it takes to be a successful blogger.  So, here’s to finding our voices and keeping our voices.  May as many people hear us as possible!