Resurrecting this blog through the 30 Day Blogging Challenge has led to me revisiting my old posts – articles I wrote when I was very very new to blogging.
Reading my old posts evokes fond memories of when my writing was, first and foremost, for me. It served as a vehicle for my self expression; to get things off my chest; to provide some light entertainment to my small group of readers.
I had no ulterior motive with my blog. And so, I wrote freely and creatively, with some of my sentences turning into semi-streams-of-consciousness. I injected jokes and made-up words. I didn’t sensor myself or over-edit.
I wrote with a very authentic ‘voice’ back then, and I feel like now, I’ve lost it a little bit.
And up until this week, I didn’t know why.
Then I was talking to fellow 30 Day Blogger Jessica about it on Monday when it hit me.
My writing has become tainted by the internet marketing schtick.
It’s been adulterated by the external forces of conversion rates, sign ups and sales funnels.
It fell out of the online business tree and hit every sales and marketing branch on the way down.
And yes, I know exactly how this happened.
Since I started my podcast and business, I’ve had a thirst for knowledge on how to make my writing more effective. Because if your writing ain’t no good, you ain’t gonna get no readers. And with no readers, you ain’t gonna get no sign ups. And with no sign ups, you ain’t gonna get no customers. And with no customers, you ain’t gonna make no money. Savvy?
So instead of reading health, fitness and lifestyle blogs for my own inspiration and enjoyment, I started reading business blogs to help me:
- Write for my intended target audience (“Determine your ideal customer in 5 easy steps!”)
- Be more productive (“5 must-have blog post templates”)
- Be more seductive (“Drive more traffic with these 10 attention-grabbing headlines!”)
- Increase my conversion rates (“How to write web copy that sells”)
And so, my writing changed. My headlines became more clickable. I was more strategic with my topic choices.
And my sentences got shorter.
I didn’t even use paragraphs.
I wrote one sentence per line.
Because people are lazy.
And don’t like paragraphs.
They like lists.
That’s what the internet marketers told me.
And so, the goal of my writing changed from “hey, read this if you want, it’s a bit of fun!” to “hey, sign up to my shit! Subscribe to my shit! Buy my shit!”
(I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s the whole damn point of most stuff you read on the internet.)
Now, I understand you DO need to be strategic when you’re writing for business. And I have learned a LOT about being more effective as a writer. But I feel like I’ve been sucked in so deep, my own voice has become somewhat diluted. And I’m terrified of becoming a generic, salesy internet marketer whom you frantically attempt to block from your Facebook feed.
So I’m going to make a conscious effort to bring more of my own voice back into my business writing. Surely there’s a nice balance you can reach, right? Time will only tell.