Why Copying Other Bloggers Is Never Sustainable
The best place for an actor to search for their character is inside themselves. Some (the bad ones) work from the outside in, looking for some external source to copy, shape and mold. But their performance looks like a performance, a copy of something else and it loses it’s authenticity. Could the same be said of blogging?
As the “Guest Blogging Rage” begins to build in popularity many bloggers are attempting to fill the pages on other more popular sites. In endeavoring to be published, we study the voice(s) of the regular blogger and we attempt to assimilate. But do we in the process lose our unique voice, our critical brand? As a whole will the blogging community lose the “diversity” that it is longing to propagate?
How can we find that voice inside of us that will make our blogging unique?
Finding our Voice.
An actor (a good one) finds his or her character by imagining themselves to be an ugly lump of wood, or a block of granite, and henceforth understanding that within that lump exists a rare, real and refined character.
The “character” is then found by the methodical and painful process of chipping away everything that is not the character. I believe as bloggers, writers, and human beings we find our voice the same way… chipping away external influences, things like market tastes, financial viability and all other forces of appeasement that may get in the way.
We need to listen, turning our inner ear inward, calling forth our creativity and not someone else’s. The search for our own voice is a life-long process, for our voice is in a constant state of flux, evolving with each life experience. How we feel and how we express ourselves is not set in stone; it’s liquid and it moves and flows on the great river of life.
Finding a Platform for your Unique Voice
Assimilation is the very thing that will prevent you from finding your own unique home in the blogosphere. You will merge into the ethereal swirl of 100 million plus blogs on planet earth. Your unique voice is your point of difference. It will make your blog stand out from the crowd.
And wonderfully unique content is a giant “magnetic force” to the greatest search engine on earth… no not Google… PEOPLE. After all, it is people who drive Google anyhow, we thread the web and create signal to content, not robots.
I like to think of it again as a type of casting. The actors who stand out are not the classically beautiful people, but the ones who are truly and beautifully unique; who are truly personal in their expression, that’s what makes them irreplaceable, that’s what makes them unique.
The Blog Topic Really Doesn’t Matter
It’s easy to get hung up on the topic or the structure of your blog; whether it is suitable for this blog-site or a particular audience or market. With the right amount of research and experience, you should be able to blog about just about anything.
To further reference my analogy, a really good actor never sees any character as beyond him or her. Somewhere inside them they believe exists every person, the impulse to do every good and dastardly deed that any human being has ever committed.
So the topic you choose or are asked to blog about is not really so important. What is more crucial is the finding of your unique voice. This is found simply by discovering how you truly feel about the subject. There in lies the “gold nugget” in all creativity. And to find the gold you are going to have to do a little digging.
How to Dig for Gold?
Everyone likes a formula, or a set of steps for doing a thing, especially in the field of blogging. So many articles with “Seven Steps to…” To be honest I’ve done it a lot myself, but I do not believe it possible to prescribe you a formula for finding your own voice.
People are different and every person is unique, I can’t find a recipe to create you. You are more like the wind or a poem, unpredictable, untamable and with a mind, thoughts and opinions of your own.
So instead of creating a set of steps instructing you on where and how you will find this creative gold that will make your “blog unique.” I have decided to write down a few lines of prose…
Go to that quiet place,
where there’s only you,
and that friend;
who calls and beckons forth,
the humble voice inside of you.
That place, that space, oh yeah…
Go where it safe,
Nowhere else will do.
Geoff Talbot is an innovative actor and film-maker living in Hollywood. He writes a popular daily Seven Sentence Blog for creative people. He has a big dream that he’s still chasing.
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