4 Quick Steps To Finding Your True Voice

The idea of starting a blog appeals to businesses and individuals – over 170 million are doing it – yet it is difficult to settle on a good topic for it.  When I started my blog, I decided to talk about web apps and provide advice to their creators.  I have been building web-based products as a developer and a product manager for over 13 years, so it seemed like a logical choice.

As I continued to generate blog ideas and think about what I wanted to write, I realized that there was a disconnect between my stated mission and those ideas.The things I was inspired to write about were not fitting into the mold I had created.

As a result, the things that I actually ended up writing about, did not really fit my blog’s stated theme and purpose. I ended up not even writing about most of my ideas.

I read countless articles and blogs about writing.  Almost all of them state that one of the key things is to “find your voice,”  but don’t talk about how to do that.  It’s tempting to define your voice as something you know a lot about or something related to your job.  However, you can’t really “define” your voice, as it is already defined.  It’s pretty inherent to who you are, and  I don’t think it is possible to change it to what it ought to be.

You have to find it.

After countless uninteresting posts and uninspired brainstorms, I read an article about how “your title does not define who you are.”  I started calling myself a web product geek, not a product manager. And I wanted to write about business issues founders of web-based startups face as they create new products and get their companies off the ground, so I did.

In hindsight, I could have gotten to this more quickly. Here is a simple exercise to help you skip over my problem.

  1. Write down 10-20 one-sentence blog post ideas.
  2. Tag each idea with 5-10 keywords that either describe it or associate with it.
  3. Count the number of times each keyword is mentioned.
  4. Check for patterns among the most frequently occurring keywords.

I hope this helps the people similarly conflicted about their true voice.  I would love to hear how well this works for others and how it could be improved.  Happy blogging!


This was originally posted on Rublev’s blog, If You Build It.

Image by Flickr

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