Edna is my nagging-back-of-the-mind blog voice. Edna likes to criticize every little thing I write. Edna loudly questions whether my audience will like each post. Edna makes me feel like I’m tiptoeing on eggshells on my own blog. Edna says unhelpful, condescending remarks that make me want to pull my hair out. Edna is a politely passive-aggressive bitch who doesn’t go away.
Sound familiar to anyone else? We have all known an Edna in our lives, and a version of her is ever-present for us bloggers. I personally like to picture Edna with a cane and if I start to venture out of this theoretical blog topic/voice structured comfort zone, I get whacked in the head with it. Edna thinks she is caring and helpful, but let’s face it: she isn’t.
We want Edna to retire in Florida and only send us Christmas cards. But how do we make her go away?
We ignore her and ramble like this:
Many renowned bloggers advise us not to post content we wouldn’t share if it was someone else’s. Unless you’re verging on creepy, you probably don’t share a lot of my posts. I get it, they’re mostly about my life, so why would you feel inclined to share?
But if I choose not to primarily post content that makes others immediately want to share, share, share… does that make me an unsuccessful blogger? Am I just shooting myself in the foot and wasting time, energy, and money with this blog because it has no chance of amounting to anything?
I like to think that’s not the case. I follow bloggers who are considerably successful with loyal audiences, despite not producing “how-to’s” left and right. I’ll be honest with you: I’m not good at “how-to” posts because I barely know what I’m doing most of the time. I don’t really think I’m in much of a position to tell you how to do something, when in reality I’m pulling that content out of my you-know-what. When I do publish those types of posts, I spend several weeks drafting them and making sure I know what I’m advising. That seems more fair, right?
So if I’m not a blogger who is an expert in this or that field, why the heck are you reading anything here? Why should you care what I have to say?
Because blogging isn’t all about getting wrapped up in sharing your expertise… sometimes it’s just about putting a creative spin on our life experiences and being able to relate to one another. I go through life events that aren’t completely out of the ordinary, and I like to share without holding back my own weird voice. In fact, the posts where I’m entirely myself are turning out to be the most receptive.
I think about influential bloggers who do just that—like The Daily Tay, and see how many people love her? They don’t visit her blog for its resources, they are drawn to it because she puts a spin on life’s happenings in her own unique voice. Her followers connect with her, not necessarily her blog.
So why does it seem so outrageous to blog about whatever comes to mind? Why are we bloggers getting so hung up on the “right” type of posts? Quality content comes in all shapes and forms… and I’m not a perfect person, so I don’t see why my content should try to be.
But Edna has my best interest at heart.
She is annoying because she cares. She wants me to grow as a blogger and earn an income, which is why she worries about every little detail. She doesn’t want me to mess up even one thing, and she’ll be as vocal as necessary to get her message across.
Thank you for your concern, Edna, but your presence is doing more harm than good.
True, I’m still figuring out what I’m talking about on this blog, especially because my life has done a complete 180 since I started it in September. It began as a project to sharpen my personal branding skills and keep me busy during unemployment while living at home with my parents. Now I have a marketing career and hardly have the time to look at my own social media accounts, let alone write crafted posts. I quickly grew to love blogging and I see the potential it has. What exactly is that potential? I have no freaking idea. All I know is that I do not have the time to blog, but here I am anyway.
So I deserve to listen to myself.
I act fancy all day long. I spend my days writing and perfecting proposals, creative briefs, digital strategies, and those %@#$& RFPs. I create content for our clients, using their brand voices and conveying their messages. It’s my job, that’s what I do and I’m not complaining.
However, this [insert frantic hand-waving to this blog] is mine. Nobody is paying me what to say, or how to act, or what brand voice to use, or what photos to post. It is entirely my choice to push whatever content I want and let me tell you, it is a liberating feeling.
Whew, it feels good to get all that off my chest. If you read till the end of this, wow I’m impressed. Which means you must not think I’m completely boring, so I shamelessly ask you to follow me via your preferred method (don’t worry, I got loads to choose from).
Like Alanna summed up in a tweet rant, blogging doesn’t mean you have to blog about blogging. You can blog about anything you want because you created this blog, so you have that choice. And it’s time to listen to my own advice and say goodbye to Edna.
How do you tackle that ever-present nagging, cynical, passive-aggressive blog voice? What’s most important to you when it comes to expressing yourself on your blog? And most importantly: what’s the name of your Edna equivalent?