What’s Your Big Blogging A-Ha this Year?

just do you It seems that just about all of us get a nostalgic and reflective this time of year and I’m not immune. I love me some reflection, look back and ponder the future time too!

As we wrap up this year, I want to share with you my big a-ha that has changed my blogging and ask you what insights you’ve found along that way too.

Own, Embrace and Share Who You Are

Bloggers have a unique advantage online that companies, corporations and traditional media just don’t have.

We have ourselves and our stories. We can teach, enlighten and empower with a greater personal connection because it’s easier to share who we are with our readers than it is for those “big guys.”

A blogger can share the same message, sentiment or tip as a corporate, nameless, faceless website but we’re so much more engaged with the blogger that we learn more, feel more and ultimately get way more out of that interaction. Then we naturally visit that blogger more.

Even though doing this is technically easier because we don’t have to pass through 3 editors, a legal department and a million other hoops to post, being open, honest and authentic can be really, really hard for a lot of us.

What if people don’t like me?
What if no one reads my blog?
What if I’m just full of crap and people find out?

This year, bringing more me to my blog was the mission.

I felt a big wall between my regular interactions with clients, many of whom I’ve become really close with over the years and have seen them go through marriages, babies, job loses, new businesses, you name it and the ease of those interactions versus how I wrote on the blog. If you read any email from me and a blog post it was almost like 2 entirely different people were talking.

And because of that separation between who I really was and how I presented myself in posts, I had a really hard time writing content. It felt super forced, uninspired and boring. Moving into my more authentic voice has been a slow progression over the year and I look forward to seeing how develops in the years to come.

I started to work on more authenticity in posting by recording my thoughts on a certain topic and then listening back to the audio.

Some of the better rants I had transcribed to get a real side by side comparison of how I normally write and how I speak when I’m really jazzed about something.

Sometimes, I think we edit ourselves right out of our own posts by worrying too much about what other people will think. Any audience worth having, just wants the real you.

Through this exercise I was able to see certain speak patterns (like heaven help me I say “So” a lot!) that are very “me” but I dull way down when I write. Sure, some of that is good because you can edit stuff to sound better, but I think sometimes we edit ourselves right out of our own posts.

After seeing those transcripts and how much me was missing from my posts, I was able to step into them a bit more and little by little get more comfortable sharing the information people wanted to hear, but doing it my way.

There are a lot of different ways to pull more of your style, favour and vibe into your writing. This way worked for me but if you fell like you’re hiding behind endless editing and that your posts don’t capture the real you, start investigating ways to pull more of your authentic self into your blog. That’s a huge reason people will come back!

I’m going to wrap up this last post of the year with a quote that I tell my daughter all the time and this year, finally started listening to myself:

“You just do you, no one does it better.”

Soooo, what’s your big lesson learned this year? Any blogging a-ha’s rock your world? Are you like me and needing to bring more you into your blog?

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required Email Address *

Comments

  1. says

    Not to worry what others think… I have been holding this blog to myself because I have been so scared that I would get laughed at. I am a fitness geek by trade and have never been very good a writing. So I am letting that all go to go for it!!! Here’s to 2014!

    • Rita Barry says

      That sounds simply brilliant Rory! The writing will come, speaking as a numbers, math science, spelling challenged person :) One thing that’s stuck for me was the quote by Ira Glass that our skill takes a while to catch up with our good taste. So for awhile, sometimes years, we know it’s not where we want it to be but we just can’t get it there, yet. Write with as much abundance as you can manage and you’ll get there!

    • Rita Barry says

      Thanks Michelle, it’s funny, a lot of us do it, don’t we? I read something the other day about how a lot of people seem really lame/boring online and when you meet them in person, they are almost always a million times more awesome than you thought. Guess it’s time to bring the awesome online!

    • Rita Barry says

      Smart mom ;) It wasn’t until I had a daughter that this advice really hit home for me. It’s so much easier to see the light in others than ourselves but when we think of the sites we go back to again and again, it’s always those authentic people that author them. No coincidence there!

  2. says

    My big blogging a-ha transcends blogging to fit my entire life. I’ve had to learn that I need to respect my limitations! I tried doing a 31 Days of Blogging blog challenge that required a post to go up every day. Aaaand unlike many other bloggers participating, I tried to do this without any pre-writing (as I had heard about the challenge mere days before the start of it). Well, I also have a chronic illness that flares up with stress. It happens entirely too often that I take on more than I can chew, thinking I can handle it. Between another flare up this summer and the one that resulted from the 31 Days challenge (yes, the challenge kicked my illness into gear!), I have learned (am learning?) to carefully consider each task before taking it on. Prolonged stress is harmful to everyone and I think we all need to learn to respect our limitations. Thankfully, I just so happen to have an illness that will force me to respect my limitations if I don’t do so myself!

    • Rita Barry says

      That is one powerful and hard to ignore lesson! I can’t even imagine doing that without a stress-induced illness, that’s an awful lot of post writing!

  3. says

    Rita, I just wanted to say how much I have been enjoying your blog the second half of this year! I couldn’t put my finger on WHY it was different, but now it is clear – it’s the real you! ;) Not that I didn’t enjoy it before, but for me the difference is NOW I look for your post to come out and read it usually within the day. Before, it went to my reader and I played “catch-up.” Now, I read it right from the email link usually right away. It is one of those things that I say, “Will this take 5 minutes or less to read?” Who cares! Rita wrote it.

    Thanks for being an inspiration to me. I think my a-ha moment is still coming and that has been helped by you and what you have been teaching me through our communications and also Blog School. I am learning to have more confidence in myself, but I still have some work to do on that. Actually, I will be glad when the holidays are over so I can focus on my blogs and bringing the real me out too. Not that I don’t enjoy the holidays, they’re just overwhelming at times.

    Thanks for sharing this post!!

  4. Rita Barry says

    I just realized that my blog ate my comment from weeks ago so here it is again, paraphrased: You’re awesome and thank you! What you said right there is what makes all THIS worth it for me. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you these past few years. Can’t wait for the next few!

Trackbacks

What do you think? Leave your thoughts below.