A Purposeful Blog?

I loved Kristin’s guest post here on the B2B blog because she expressed what happened to me and many other bloggers…

We started a blog on a whim or for a reason which no longer exists.

That is the funny thing about blogging.  What you THINK it is and what it ACTUALLY can be once you are in the middle of it are two very different things.

I started my blog as a substitute for emailing a dear friend and to go digital with my scrapbooking.

I started by posting pictures of my kids and writing silly things about my life.

*Fast forward three years*

I now continue by posting pictures of my kids and writing silly things about my life.

What?

Who lets Holly write unsupervised here?

It may seem the same, but the end result is really quite different.  I have enjoyed creating a corner of the internet that is all my own.  It is my little kingdom over which I have complete control.

The way my blog looks and reads all creates an environment that I want to hang out in and attracts an audience with whom I want to chat.

Your space looks and sounds different.

That is how it should be.

But how do we take it to the next level?

How do we not get lost in a sea of blogs that are a few pixels different from ours?

I believe what sets a blog apart is its authenticity of tone.

Holly’s handy dandy hints to convey TONE AUTHENTICITY (totally getting that trademarked later):

  • Set a tone on your blog.  The way it looks, what you write about, what pictures post all help tell that story.
  • Make sure that all your posts support that tone story (oooo…totally getting that trademarked too).
  • Consider that what you DON’T publish may be even more important than what you DO.
  • Your audience will know what to expect when they visit if you are always consistent with your tone.
  • When considering writing opportunities, only take ones that will add to your tone story.

So the bottom line is…stay real.

If your passions are family and you write about your personal experience living on a budget, then stay true to that.  Your audience has gathered because that is what they want to hear from you.  Does that mean that you could NEVER EVER write about taking a vacation where you might have spent a little extra?

No!

Just approach the subject from your tone story.

For instance, I can’t cook.  I really can’t.  And it is unlikely that you will be able to help me in this area.

So, on the rare occasion that I post a recipe…it is from that angle.

Look what I made!  If I can do it ANYONE with a pulse can too!

Or…

Look how I burned down my house!

This is where Business 2 Blogger can either help or hurt you.  It is our hope that we help MATCH you with opportunities that fit into your blog, not detract from the story that you are telling.

This is also important for our businesses…because no matter the size of your blog, you have readers and if you are presenting a product that fits your blog (and them), it is a super happy karma thing.

Let’s hug.

What challenges have you faced in figuring out what tone to set on your blog?

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Comments

  1. Nicely put, Holly. You really can keep writing about whatever it is that strikes you, but try to keep the same tone….If you’re silly, be silly. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a serious moment now and again, but you don’t want people thinking your blog has Multiple Personality Disorder.

  2. As a new blogger I really want what I put “out there” to be consistent and coherent, thanks for the great tips.

  3. I’m a new follower. :)

  4. Oh and I’m a follower of the Blog :)

  5. Thanks for the great tips – i am not following!

  6. Ha Ha – TYPO – I am now following! :)

  7. I am following!

  8. Hi! I’m a new follower… great blogging tips!

  9. I’m following!

  10. I’ve found that I’ve gotten bored with my tone. Sometimes what I want to write about doesn’t fit the “mommy” theme. Because I am also still a women. But I have the issue where the name of my blog has mommy in it. *sigh*

    BTW, I’m following you publicly on Google Friend Connect as Tethered Mommy.

    Maggie at tethered mommy dot com
    http://www.tetheredmommy.com

  11. Great article. I am trying to fine my TONE, but I will!

    Following!

  12. Great tips! I didn’t start out to set a certain tone on my blog, but I’ve been careful to be true to who I am. That means turning down opportunities that don’t fit, or ads that I’m uncomfortable with. I focus on being ME, so authenticity naturally follows.

    New follower; thanks!

    • texasholly says:

      Sometimes things are hard to turn down, but in the end I think it is really worth it. It is true that when you write about what is in your heart it usually has some cohesiveness.

  13. I’m following!

  14. I’m a follower via Google Friend Connect

  15. Great tips! I’m following. (And by the way, I can’t cook either.)

  16. Following

  17. I couldn’t agree more, tone is so important! I’m a follower.

  18. Good point! But I think I personally have multiple personality disorder, so this one is hard for me… Maybe if I limit it to just 2 personalities? :)

    I did start a second blog to alleviate some of the issues, but it’s hard to maintain multiple blogs.

    Anyway, I love to shop (Target or otherwise) and am totally following…

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    • texasholly says:

      It IS hard to maintain multiple blogs. I have seen some blogs cohesively write about different things in different categories, etc. But I do think that adds a degree of difficulty in the tone department.

  19. I’m a blog follower

  20. I am following you on Google Connect. I started out writing about dogs and have morphed into a gardening and product review site.

    • texasholly says:

      Ha! I love that. I think a natural progression is good…maybe that change has helped you focus more on what you really want to write about. But who doesn’t like a good dog story thrown into ANYTHING?

  21. Lovin’ the fun of B2B, of course I’m following!

  22. I’m following! :)

  23. I’m a new follower!

  24. I’m a new follower!

  25. This is so very true – I’ve been blogging for 3 years as well, and even though a lot has changed on my sites, I like to think that I’ve always stayed true to who I am.

    I’m following! :)

    • texasholly says:

      I know from being over there that is true! Isn’t it funny how things kinda evolve over time. Even though we might be writing almost the exact same content as three years ago it is presented a bit differently.

  26. I’m following!

    I think it is also important to vet all opps. If I get a pitch from a business, I do a little Google research to read up on them. If they are bad news, even if they are offering me $$$, I pass.

  27. wendy wallach says:

    Been following since I joined B2B and it is one of the better blogger sites I currently am a member of.

    madamerkf at aol dot com

  28. I’m following!!

  29. There are several things I want to do to my blog to make it more user friendly and likeable….but I’ve just been sitting on it. I do feel like I’m pretty true to me with it, but I’d like it to be more…….I am a new follower, although I’ve been a part of B2B for a while now…….I’d love more ideas from you on how to be good at blogging! thanks!
    Suzanne

    • texasholly says:

      In my case there seems to be seasons of blogging…times when I get a lot done and make changes and write a lot and then times that I kinda coast. Since we are all fitting blogging around our REAL lives…it makes total sense. Sometimes it is a matter of inspiration and most the time a matter of TIME!

  30. I’m following, the reason I started was because I was always finding good deals, contests and things I wanted everyone to know about, besides my own family, so I decided to let the world know :) Thank you so much for the tips. Have a great day :)

  31. dorothy l says:

    new follower and new B2B member my biggest challenge for me is learning the technical parts of having a blog.

    • texasholly says:

      That was an issue for me at the beginning as well. I still feel like I learn something almost every day. It is such a slow process, but I feel like if I am headed in the right direction it is a good thing.

  32. already following on gfc!

    great post!

  33. i’m a follower, and i love target!!! pick me!

  34. I’m following as “Alecia Stanley” and am a preferred member. Thanks for the entry! Hope I win!!!

  35. New follower!

  36. What a great post.

  37. I’m now following your blog!!!

  38. New follower! :)

  39. I guess I have too many personalities! HaHaHa! I have 4 blogs for each one but, seriously, it’s helpful. People know what to expect from each and I try to stick to certain ‘criteria’ for each, with the exception of my primary blog where I do my reviews/giveaways. Blogging has made all the difference in my ‘world’. Maybe I’ll share my story sometime.

    From day one: I follow this blog. I even ‘like’ you on Facebook. I am most definitely a ‘Preferred’ member.

    • You sound like me. I ended up setting up several blogs and contributing to others when something I wrote didn’t fit my original blog. I wrote this for B2B because most my audience isn’t bloggy…see how that works???? hahaha.

      Anyway, having several places to put something really helped me hone in on the tone and subject matter of each blog.

  40. Thanks for the tips! I follow :)

  41. I’m a blog follower!

  42. I’m following!

  43. The trouble I have had with setting the tone is being too serious. But blogs are fun, so I’ve lightened my tone (or have tried to) and am having more fun.
    Thank you…and I follow,

    Elizabeth

  44. I totally agree!

    And I’m proud to now be following :)

  45. I started my blog after visiting knitting blogs and saying, “Oh! I’d love to do that!” Post pictures of my work and works-in-progress (which was kind of redundant, since I already did that on Ravelry), But I figured, “Oh, I’ll write wee tidbits about the fam, too”. Well, I posted once, then it pretty much sat there for a year. During that year, I started visiting other people’s blogs a lot more, reading, commenting, entering their giveaways, whatever. I started LOOKING at the buttons on the sidebars. I saw Book Blogs, Mom Bloggers’ Club, B2B, and others. I joined; I started reading and socializing a bit. My blog is NOT a knitting blog – I still don’t think there’s one knitting-related post there (well, except for the one that says, “I’ll bet you thought this was about knitting….” My vision is that it will be about things that interest me, INCLUDING some knitting. The past week … all book reviews … I’m actually thinking about starting a separate book blog. I’m not out to make money from my blog, but if someone pitches something that I’m genuinely already interested in .. I’ll take a product for review and one to giveaway to my readers. If I review a book and particularly like it, I’ll offer one or more for a giveaway. That’s about it. I like entering giveaways, so every week, I make a post about the great giveaways I’ve found that week. Again, I like entering giveaways, so every week, you’ll find at least one on my blog. and I host a Sunday Share Linky for blog giveaways. I think that as long as I stick with those features (that my followers actually come to EVERY week), the rest will fall in place.
    My FIRST giveaway, however, was a freebie (on the company’s part). I didn’t get any product to review, and I found out the hard way that with all of the work that goes into a review and/or giveaway, that freebie was the last! LOL! I’ve already decided that I won’t do any paid insertions; my blog is not up there to make money from. Other people do, and that’s cool with me, too. It’s really about what makes YOU happy to write about, after all.

    • I love that you write a knitting blog that isn’t about knitting. That sounds exactly like something I would get myself into.

      Giveaways are really hard work. I totally agree with you on that!

  46. I’m following!

  47. Well of course I’m a “follower”. I’m that kind of gal.

  48. I’m following you.

    I’m a blogaholic. Can we start a support group?

    http://www.amusingreviews.blogspot.com

    http://www.amusingmother.com

  49. I like to think that my blog has evolved since the beginning of it’s life. Sort of like we evolve as we go through our lives. I tweek and update several times a year. Right now I’m working on makeing it more user friendly… unfortunately it’s taking me longer than I thought it would. But I should be done soon. :) Thanks for such a great post!

    I’m a follower and have been FOREVER! :)

  50. Follow? Of course I follow! I’ve been following for AGES. I’m in that mass of followers somewhere as Latsyrc728. Holla! : )

  51. I’m following the blog, now.

  52. I am a beginning blogger and am thankful for any and all tips I can receive. I am also following B2B on GFC

  53. thanks for the advice.
    I start to blog on one of my passion saving money and organizing.
    My blog is in spanish.
    Thanks
    LIlian Hurn

  54. My tone is pretty humorous and upbeat. If I have to put in something not so upbeat, I put it into a rhyme which makes it sort of funny. Now I am learning how to put reviews in my blog. Next question to start a review site or not?
    BTW, I am now following :)

    • Rhyme is always good.

      Love that.

      That is an issue I have had…what to do with some of those reviews that are of interest to me, but not necessarily what fits on my blog. There are some review sites that are collaborative – if you could find one you liked, that might save you a lot of work and set you up with an instant network.

  55. I’ve changed my blog “niche” so many times it’ll make your head spin. I still think that I don’t fit into any one niche and hope I don’t ever. I go through phases as every woman should!

    I’m a GC follower and a preferred B2B member and I love Target :)

  56. I already follow!

  57. I’m already a follower, B2B preferred member, and a B2B follower. Thank you!

  58. I am a new follower

  59. I’m a new follower

  60. I joined:)

  61. I make sure to write about the things that inspire me to write – most frequently my kids’ moments (both happy and sad), and then my struggle as a working mom. If I’m inspired, my tone comes out. I have a few posts where I can see my tone wasn’t as authentic, and you can feel the forced nature of the post itself.

  62. following fabulously :0

  63. I couldn’t agree with you more. It can be difficult to find your voice and tone when you start, especially after reading some things other bigger bloggers post about each other. I had a hard time figuring out where I fit into the blogging world then I finally gave up on thinking like that! It’s my blog and I’ll write about what I want in the way that best suites my personality.

    • I know. I found myself reading really popular bloggers and then trying to emulate their style and in the end that just didn’t work for me. It was a wake up call…and pretty cool that what seems to work for me is me.

  64. I’m a new follower :)

  65. Following :)

  66. Wonderful tips. I’m a follower of course.

  67. I’m a follower & preferred member under the name Christina Linnell
    Love you guys!

  68. I am a new follower!!

  69. I’m a NEW follower of B2B blog. Great site! :)

  70. I am a follower :)

  71. *following for sure* I love reading different blogs!

  72. Jamie Riley says:

    So true how your blog begins to take on a life of it’s own…many times a completely different life than you had intended! Look forward to you reading more of your posts;)

  73. Julie Venske says:

    Following!

  74. New follower. Great advice, especially for a newbie such as myself! Thanks so much for sharing with us. Peace. :)

  75. I’m already a follower. :-) Hoping to buy some flip flops from the dollar spot. LOL!

  76. Loved this blog post and the guest post by Kristen on the ups and downs of blogging your first year.

    Today is my one year anniversary of blogging (happy birthday to me! er, my blog) and I’ve definitely learned a lot. I started a pop culture blog (Pop Culture Junkie.net) as a place where I could muse endlessly about whatever hot to trot star I love at the moment. (Hello, Robert Pattinson!) But as you said in your post, your interests and passions somewhat morph over time — and then you run into the dreaded feeling of growing out of your blog. Or at least I did. So I started blog #2 on life. But geez, two blogs is becoming more like a j-o-b instead than fun!

    It’s funny how you talk about tone because I feel like I totally write different on my pop culture blog vs. my life blog (Life At Thirtysomething.com). I don’t even know why, but I feel like my voice changes. I go from 30 to 13 and back again every other day between blogs! It’s exhausting!

    Anyhoo, it’s addicting no less, and I’ve found my passion. Now, if only I could figure out a way to make this my full time job, then we’d be all set!

    Oh and I’m a Google friend. If you want to be my Google friend too, I would love you forever. :)

    • So fun. The thing is that as your blogs evolve it will probably resolve and give you an outlet for whatever you happen to be thinking/feeling.

      Thanks!

  77. Larry @ Cakeblast says:

    Hi there! I’m a new follower :)

  78. Krystal says:

    This is a fantastic post! I think so many of us struggle with finding our “tone story” (you totally should trademark that! lol), and it’s so important! Thanks for writing this :)

    I’m a new follower!

  79. I try and mix it up…often, the whole “need therapy” things creates a downer tone on my blog. But, I think that’s also part of my charm…people know I’m neurotic and have issues, so they wait for that one day I’m on my UPswing because when I am, I can really be funny. ;)

    I think.

  80. I am following your blog and look forward to more excellent posts like this..
    http://www.thriftymommastips.blogspot.com/
    and http://www.thriftymommasbrainfood.blogspot.com/

  81. I am a new follower!

  82. I am a B2B Preferred member, a B2B Blog follower, and am leaving a comment. When I win this sweet Target Gift Certificate I’m adding $9 to it, and buying the ‘Merona® Dark Wash Mid-Rise Bootcut Denim Jeans’. :-)

  83. Deb Anderson says:

    Follower! Some very good tips. I can write the blog, I just can’t come up with catchy titles. :)

  84. Now that little blogging angel on my shoulder is going to be saying “Watch your tone, missy!”

    I’m following!

  85. I was already following!

    I’ve struggled with setting the tone on my blog (well one of them) but I’m getting closer to what I want it to be. Completely Random is not a good description of a blog. If no one knows what to expect, they aren’t likely to bookmark you for future reading.

  86. I am following :-)

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    I know right where to look now! So, I am now a follower, in my Google Reader,
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    Thank you and take care!!

    Laura

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