7 Tips to Finding “Your” Writing Voice

Have you ever stumbled upon a blog and thought…”Was this written by an android, a robot or was it a Martian?7 Tips to Finding Your Writing Voice

Maybe it was produced by someone that had a personality bypass.

Whatever it was, it didn’t seem human.

That, I think touches on what a “voice” is.

It is about being human, displaying a personality and willing to be vulnerable.

Then the real fun starts.

Writing and creating from the “real” you is your voice. That can be daunting and  exposing. Your internal conversations start the jabber….”What if I show a side of me that no one likes or thinks is stupid?

Looking daft or dork is not cool.

In fact we were all raised on the human craft of hiding behind a facade when the school playground often rewarded the strong, the fake and the facile.

Many childhoods are lived in quiet desperation of hiding the real “you.”

Being grown up means accepting yourself for all its glorious imperfections.

A formula, an evolution or a revelation?

I don’t have a process or a magic potion to finding a writing voice or an expression formula but let’s have a look at what happens when you start to create, write and express yourself in an online world.

The journey commences.

I am curious and wanting to express my insights. I write. I record and express myself. The publish button is struck! The blog post is live and the YouTube video is online!

No clapping or cheering can happen until you step onto the stage.

There the music is revealed, the words are displayed and your design is exposed.

Whoa!…on the internet two billion web users can see your thoughts and concepts in black and white and high definition in all its wonderful glory and imperfection.

If you are honest the world will show up and say “fabulous” …work harder and maybe “well done”.

Your genius that is you is on display.

Don’t like what you hear? Then there is more work to do. The fun stuff is in growing….not shrinking!

That is sometimes a painful revelation but is part of your journey of personal evolution.

The unique you

There is only one “unique you”. Own it and embrace it with two arms and welcoming introspection.

It’s all you’ve got.

The strange thing is that creating a writing “voice” is more a journey of subtle growth that happens by stealth and mundane action.

Sitting down to write in the small hours. Staying up so late that the next morning you ask yourself…”Was that necessary?”

It is turning up and “doing the work”.

Influencers and stealing ideas and inspiration

I have had some strange influencers on my writing and expression including Jeremy Clarkson of “Top Gear” fame.

An introduction to a car review that is is 900 words of fun, humour and stories and 100 words of features and functions about a Porsche, Ferrari or Skoda with maybe a telling pithy insight.

That is it.

Who would have thought that. Inspiration from a car magazine writer.

Inspiration comes from content and creators who can be geeks, intellectuals or artists.  These can be taken from any walk of life and whose ideas are so good that you want to steal them.

Just ask David Bowie.

The only art I’ll ever study is stuff I can steal from

What is your voice?

So what is you?

Your persona and humanity is multi-dimensional and many faceted. It is a jumble of experience, thoughts, expression and passions.

Here are some tips to find your voice.

1. Show your personality

Your voice is your personality on display… warts and all. Place a stake in the ground. Put your hand up and say “this is what I think, believe and feel”. I believe in this and I am sharing it.

When that happens people start trusting and listen. This is how I am and this is how I talk.

That is an insight into your voice.

2. Display your humor

Is you humour dark, dry or ironic? Don’t let your children, friends and family’s seemingly innocous non appreciation dissuade you. Press on.

Have fun.

Sometimes the crowd doesn’t get it. You are not creating for the masses…only those who are fans and believers.

Some of them live in a distant town on the other side of the world. They are your neighbours.

3. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes

The audience you want to communicate with will help you define your voice. How you write will be be also woven into who you are writing for. It must be kept in mind that most people read at a grade school level. Trying to be smart and clever by using big  words and complicated sentences will just make them click away.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

4. Expose your imperfections

Accepting that you are not perfect but a product of a life journey can empower you to realise, write and reveal the naked you. People will find a voice that is transparent and full of bumps, scrapes and scratches with a rich  voice tapestry much more interesting than a mass produced sound of blandness.

People read books and watch movies to see life’s dramas in all its glory. That is much more interesting than a manufactured sound.

5. Reveal your passion

Allowing the passion that drives you  to radiate and express your ideas and creativity will allow the genius that is you to shine. Passion is not a singular word but a synergy of interests, skills and focus that is wrangled and woven together.

Put passion on display.

A primary passion might lead the pack but all around it are the chorus of sounds that make the symphony rich and deep. Put them up to the light, place them on a pedestal and let them sing.

Talk and write how you “feel”.

6. Tell your stories

Your voice can be evolved as you tell your stories that make up the days and years that is your life. Those stories can be tales of woe, insightful experiences or even just plain side splitting fun.

Tell those tales and let them communicate a powerful message.

7. Develop brand “you”

Can you write down a few key words and phrases that could encapsulate you and could be turned into a caricature or a logo. This is more an art more than a science but is worth a try.

Sally Hogshead is an author that wrote the book “Fascinate”. Her byline is an insight into her brand voice.

A hogshead is a barrel that holds 62 gallons, so what’s your name smartass

Now, that is part of her voice and reveals her personality and sense of life. You can’t borrow or steal that line but you can learn from it.

What about you?

What is your voice? Are you putting your personality on display? Are you willing to be judged.

Now that is a scary thought.

Are you telling your story and revealing your passions. Don’t hide behind a faceless set of words. Are you willing to stand up.

We stand outside the arena and say “I am going to go in and kick some ass when I am bullet proof and perfect. That is seductive. The truth is that you will never be perfect” – Author Brene Brown “Daring Greatly”

Let the words you create speak for you.




Want to learn how to create a powerful blog that has “your” voice?

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

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Download and read it now.


Image by Shutterstock:


  • http://qwikr.me/qrkim Kimberly Reynolds

    Wow! This spoke to me. It is exactly what I am struggling to do. I started with a couple videos after #smmw13 then followed up with a blog post that I would have never had the courage to write before. I’m still trying to find my voice…well, I know my voice, I am still trying to harness the courage to use it. I still tend to “water it down” in my writing, but progress is being made. Thanks for the affirmation that I am on the right track. :)

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Congratulations Kim. You have made the first few steps. Now it is about putting a brick in the wall every day. Nothing more nothing less.
      Keep going! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzzette.crawford.9 Suzzette Crawford


    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks Suzette. I will take that as a cheer. :)

  • http://twitter.com/jenillustre jennifer illustre

    Thanks for reinforcing my musings about source of my frustration. When blogging for a brand without Google authorship, your personality kind of gets drowned. There is then the risk of getting edited out. It works like some kind of a marriage. Always a compromise.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      I don’t know if you have a blog Jennifer but writing for your own blog is very important rather than giving other people all your voice.:)

  • http://twitter.com/susan_e_winter Susan Winter

    Thanks for this fantastic article Jeff. As a writer in many different mediums, it confirmed what I’ve felt inside. I just shared this link on Twitter knowing it will be helpful to others.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks Susan. I think we all want to find our voice and express it. We just have more mediums now.
      It is also important to find the right one(s) that suit us

  • http://www.ananova.com/ joanna

    hah, that it. Thank you for sharing :)


  • http://www.facebook.com/olga.martin.5876 Olga Martin

    Wow, this is great… what do they say ‘be careful what you wish for.” Thanks Jeff! I’ve been hoping to find something just like this so that I can put all of my feelings, quirks and vulnerabilities out there.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Sounds like you are about to start a journey!

  • http://twitter.com/charlesroper Charles Roper

    Reading this I was strongly reminded of the following TED talk by Brené Brown:


    It resonates with the advice here perfectly. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      This post was not only inspired by Brene (whose quote I have included) but also Seth Godin, Steven Pressfield, Jeffs Goins and Stephen King…the list goes on :)

      • http://twitter.com/charlesroper Charles Roper

        Ha, yes I see the quote at the end there. I missed that section of the post for some reason – the jumpy reading nature of a web user perfectly demonstrated. Goes to show the post really does thrum with the energy of Brené and the others. :-)

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ Davina K. Brewer

    Be brave enough to be judged – that’s it. Write the WIIFM for the audience, and know they may not always get it, get you – and won’t be shy in telling you. I show my personality thru my humor, trying to make business fun, and reading about it as entertaining as it is educational. May not always work but it’s the closest thing I have to being me. FWIW.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks Davina and yes the judgement thing is a big one for most. I get a thicker skin every year!!

  • Sonya Bradley

    Very timely post for me. As I keep staring at the posts sitting in “draft” for my blog, worrying they’re just not quite ready. But, I guess there’s only way to find out. I thoroughly enjoy your posts.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Sonya I know you can do it! Just “ship it” and enjoy the ride. It is the only way to grow. :)

  • MD Golam Rabbani

    Writing voice is important for a killer article. I am going to apply some tricks from you. Brilliant job. Thanks.

    Also visit my Article Writing Tips

  • Louis Porter

    You raise a very interesting point, and I agree that articles are much more effective once you inject a bit of personality.
    I would be interested to know how you would approach doing this on a commercial blog, for say a brand?

  • http://copyeffect.com Josh

    I am quite new to this writing industry and have been reading a lot about “how to find your writing voice”. This specific post of yours led me to creating my own website/blog and I added an interactive guide based on this. I wanted to help aspiring writers the same way you’ve helped me and would like to hear your thoughts about it. I hope it is okay… Here is the link I found your post both very informative. Please continue to share your insight. I have been reading and sharing your post through my twitter account as I know that the information you are sharing would help many aspiring writers. I have created an interactive tool to help newbie writers in finding their writing voice, based on the information you’ve shared here. I would love to hear your thoughts about it. Thank you! Here is the link: http://copyeffect.com/interactive-guide-find-your-writing-voice/