This is a guest article from Martin Dasko, the founder of Plutus Award-winning blog, Studenomics (Second and Third Annual Plutus Award, Best Blog for Teens and Young Adults). On his blog, Martin covers financial freedom by 30 without missing a party. Martin also also released a book on Amazon, Failure to Launch No More.

Martin Dasko

“You need to brand yourself.”

This is the most useless advice on the web. I branded myself as the best guy on the planet with my ex-girlfriend, but she didn’t believe me! Branding yourself isn’t good enough. You have to find your voice so that as a writer you stick out and never run out of topics to tackle.

This leads to the most common statement that you’ll hear from anyone that gets into writing.

“I don’t know what to write about.”

Seth Godin once mentioned how we all run out of things to write about, yet none of us run out of things to say!

Don’t lie, you always have something to say (unless you’re a nervous wreck on a date).

Where am I going with this? I want to help you find your voice so that you can be in this game for the long run. It’s easy to come sprinting out of the gates. It’s difficult to stick around for the long haul. I’ve seen way too many bloggers give up right before hitting it big.

How do you find your voice so that you can stand out and never run out of things to write about?

Have a captivating story to tell.

What’s your story? Why are you blogging? What’s going to help you stick out?

You need a story. Without a main theme to your blog, you’re going to get lost. Nobody wants to a read a general blog that just covers a bunch of random topics. We all enjoy blogs with a story behind them.

A couple examples of compelling stories:

  • Traveling the world with the intent to visit every country while building a business.
  • A family working together to crush their debt.
  • Young dude trying to get in shape while traveling.

I could go on. Just look at a popular blog in your niche. Chances are that there’s a compelling story behind it. This allows the blogger to stick out and consistently create content.

Pretend you’re having a conversation with a friend.

We all struggle with how to write and how to approach our articles. Everything changed for me when I heard a podcast with Tim Ferriss. He mentioned that he wrote his book as if he was having a conversation with a friend at a bar. I’ve since taken this approach.

When you write an article pretend you’re talking with a friend. You never run out of things to talk about with your buddy. These are always the most entertaining discussions.

Just because you’re typing into your laptop it doesn’t mean that you have to be boring. You’re not in school.

You’re not writing a dissertation! You’re creating content for the whole world to see. Readers love transparency, authenticity, and honesty.

Be polarizing.

“If you’re remarkable, then it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise — ever. The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out.” — Seth Godin

Do you play it down the middle? Do you play it safe? That’s not going to land you any loyal readers. You’re never going to stick out if you don’t pick a side.

This naturally leads to…

Offend some people.

It’s okay to offend some people. I’m sure parents get offended when they read Studenomics. I know for a fact that I’ve offended some casual visitors. I’ve even received hateful comments and emails.

Guess what? I don’t care! I want to attract like-minded folks and scare away those that are not the right fit for Studenomics. You can’t be everything to everyone.

You need to niche your blog down to find your voice. When you find your voice, you need to stick to it. Don’t worry about scaring some readers away. You’re only making space for those that are going to appreciate your work.

Commit to a publishing schedule or something like that.

When you first start writing, it’s easy to be filled with motivation and bravado. What happens after a few months? What do you do when the motivation fades?

I suggest you create a publishing schedule so that you force yourself to sit down and write. When you have a unique story with a specific perspective, you can always think of something to write about.

When you have a publishing schedule, you’ll be held accountable by yourself and you readers. The more you write, the easier it’s going to be to find your voice and stick out.

That’s how you can find your voice and overcome writer’s block forever.

What’s your story going to be? Are you okay with offending some people? I would love to hear your thoughts.


2 Comments

Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life · April 6, 2015 at 9:16 am

I know I’ve offended people in the past and I certainly make no secret of my views, but those are some of my most popular posts.

I would argue that all those things you mention- your voice, story, etc. – are pretty much the definition of “branding”.

    Martin · April 6, 2015 at 11:39 am

    You’re correct. I just hate it when someone tells you to brand yourself and leaves it at that.

    What were these offensive topics?

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