There Are Weird People Out There Just Like You (Tip #25)

Last Update: April 09, 2019

When I started my first site, I had no idea what to write. I felt like no one would listen to what I had to say because I didn't know anything. Some things I tried to do to increase my "authority" were

  • Say "we" and "us" instead of "me" and "I"
  • Write formally instead of in my own vernacular
  • Make products sound really good even though I never tried them

Looking back at some of my content - it really was obvious (to me) that I didn't know what I was talking about, and I was just trying to make a sale. I basically took the content from the sales page of whatever it was I was promoting, and re-wrote it without giving any more insight or value.

You Need To Find YOUR Voice

As I started reading other blogs, I began to realize that there are HUGE differences in the way people write. Some people are very casual in their blogging, others are more formal and professional.

Some like to write super-long 3k-word blog posts, others keep it around 1200 words and link out to expanded reading. Some writers mix business and pleasure, writing about their personal lives as well as niche-topic, and still others keep everything as private as possible.

These are just FACTS about what people write about. The actual styles are harder to describe. Suffice to say, no two people write in exactly the same style.

What really struck me was that I really disliked some of the blogs that seemed immensely popular. I tended to agreed with people that got a lot of backlash for things like using too much profanity or voicing an unpopular opinion.

I began to realize that you will have an audience, no matter who you are, as long as you write honestly.

After that, I began to change my writing style to be more authentic. I figured of those content creators were getting hate online, but I agreed with them there's got to people out there who would support me even if I had an unpopular or unique perspective.

Find Other "Weird" People (Just Like You)

You are not weird or different. You are not the only one like you. There are likely thousands of people who think just like you and desperately want to read your opinion. No kidding.

If you have ever searched for something online and been disappointed by what you found, there are likely others that agree with you. That means there's a market to fill, and it's your job to do it.

One of the hardest things for people when the start is getting the confidence to write. It can be an awkward and frustrating experience. But remember that there are people out there that hate everything else except what you write.

By NOT creating content you are depriving them of the information they need!

Hater's Gonna Hate

For me, I'm now comfortable knowing that some people will agree with me, and others won't. Some will like my style of writing, others won't. Whatever. If you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one. I'd rather have 10 faithful followers than 100 that don't care.

Recently I wrote a blog post called This Chicken Is Worthless, using raising a baby chicken as an anology for working on your website even though it isn't producing results (yet).

Of course, some vegan had an issue with the fact that I mentioned eating eggs in the article. Should I rewrite and tailor the article to his needs? Nope.

Use the same philosophy with your writing. Create content for people who are excited to read what you have to say, instead of worrying what others have to say.

Are you struggling with writing? What's your biggest stumbling block at this point, and how do you plan to tackle it? Without a budget for outsourcing, you are going to need to figure out this writing thing, so make a plan.

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JJCarter1 Premium
Great post Nathaniel, and I appreciate your honesty behind it.

Finding your voice is one of the many challenges - not only in the larger scope of life, but also in the world of blogging. Sometimes it takes a lot of writing before you find it, and I think that's normal. Each word gets you closer to discovering your voice though, so everyone should keep writing and keep learning what makes you, you. Because those words will soon touch many other people as well. And once they do, you've made a deeper connection with others, and with yourself.
nathaniell Premium Plus
Right - with so much competition in the blogging world, you really DO need to find a voice, and stick with it. Otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy tying to figure out what everyone expects of you.
Jay Gumbs Premium
I like this. I found my writing voice in a different way. I called it the "Grandma Method" where I would imagine someone I loved dearly (in this care my grandma) had asked me a question and I had to answer her honestly and give her all the info necessary to help her out.

For example, if I want to write a review of Auto Content Penguin Killer (made up product), I would imagine that my grandma had asked me "Son, what do you think of Auto Content Penguin Killer?"

Would I tell her it's a great product everyone is using to make $10,000 in 2 weeks and lie to her that I tried it? Just because I could make up to $450 in commissions from 1 sale? How would I feel after?

Or would I tell her the absolute truth because I truly want to help my grandma to not get scammed and lose money?

As you said, you just need to write for one person and you can be sure that there are lots of other people out there just like that one person who would benefit from your content.
nathaniell Premium Plus
Great idea - write for my grandma. It makes things simple and honest.
choppydo Premium
Very good advice Nathaniell! You put a concept I was trying to wrap my head around into words beautifully!
nathaniell Premium Plus
Glad I could help. I know in that the fitness niche is very competitive, which is just more reason why you need to find a unique voice, and speak to a specific audience.
Zaragozana Premium

Great post. Thank you!

As for me, I'm still thrashing around with the whole 'How much of myself do I put into this?' issue whenever I write anything. As in privacy. I'm having a whole existential tussle right now with how much I need or am willing to tell people about my personal life in order to be successful in my online endeavours.

I'm perfectly happy talking honestly about personal and emotional journeys and sharing experiences in order to help, inspire and inform others. But it's the details that start to become a stumbling block to my flow. How can I honestly tell people of how flipping hard it is homesteading where I live, in the very specific part of the country I live in, if I don't tell them where it is, with its particular climate and soil?

It's as though I'm spending as much time obfuscating who I am and where I live as I am on writing helpful, interesting stuff for people, just so that I don't end up with a bunch of homesteader stalkers turning up at my door who worked out where I live by dint of piecing together disparate details from my various posts... (Do I sound as paranoid to you as I do to me?)

So, as for your 'find other weird people' I'd say a big 'YES!' But then I'd add 'But how do I write about homesteading just for them when I can't tell them 'I live on a rocky island off Newfoundland and grow all my crops exclusively in seagull poo. My goats are unique in that they are raised entirely on seaweed.' So that all the other people living on rocky islands suddenly go, 'Ohhh, I can homestead in seagull poo too!'

I'm not sure that this is the kind of response you were inviting, Nathaniell, but I'll leave it here just because I'm finding the privacy thing my main stumbling block to writing, not thinking up the central content. For me content just flows from whatever happened outside with the animals that morning, and I start from there and invariably something practical and helpful comes out of it. The sort of thing I'd have looked to read a few years back when I was just starting out with homesteading.
nathaniell Premium Plus
I used to worry about the privacy thing too, but have definitely relaxed about it. People know where I live by state, city, country, and until recently, my home address. Email marketing companies generally make you use a real address for your business, so unless you have a PO Box (do now) you have to use your home address.

Don't take this as advice, but my thinking is this. There's SOOOOO much information out there than can be used as a breadcrumb to find out who you are. There are online people directories, facebook accounts, business registrations, online profiles, and more. Even just by using your last name...or even your first name and a city you are seriously narrowing things down for people to find out who you are, where you live, etc.

The point is not to scare you, but basically, if someone wants to find out about you, they will. When enough tech knowhow, there's a lot they can find out, even getting an IP address just from a personal email you send to them.You need to be really diligent and tech-savvy for total privacy. I don't have the patience or skills to do so. Whatever. I'm not worried about it anymore.

A general level of privacy is OK I think. Just don't volunteer minute details, and I think you'll be OK. That's just my philosophy.

And regarding your particular niche, I think this fits perfectly into the theme of my post. Think - what if there are 200 potential homesteaders out there thinking - "I can't do this. I live on a rocky island.". Imagine the disservice you are doing them by NOT writing a post about how you use seagull poo!

Weird people in weird situations only feel that way until they find like-minded individuals. My goal personal goal is to reach out to those weird people and show them that they are not so different. I think there is a huge potential for you to do this in your niche. Others might not be on an island, but they could be in an equally non-homesteader-friendly place and could desperately need your advice. This will spell faithful followers to you and $$ in your pocket.
Zaragozana Premium
That's a really comforting take on it, Nathaniell. I was just talking to my husband and laying out all my saucy doubts and fears and he took much the same approach as you. He also said my idea of marauding stalking homesteaders was a really bizarre scenario. Which, of course, it is.

I've actually been that worried and blocked by the privacy thing that just today I posted a blog about it. It's talking about my Spanish language site, which I'm focusing on right now over the homesteading site, and the ramifications of the fact that part of what I do is teach people in person here in town, sometimes in my own home, as well as having Spanish lessons on Youtube, and curriculum and bilingual books for sale. It has started to get complicated. If you get a chance, perhaps you could give my blog a read and see what you think of those specific issues.

I know that tongue-in-cheekness doesn't come across well on the screen. I'm sure you don't really believe I live on a seagull-poo-covered island off Newfoundland. That would actually be really cool and heroic.

Just between you and me, I live in Florida. Now, that may sound like a simply lovely place to grow food and raise animals. So much easier than that island I invented. Well... let me tell YOU....[cue two hour rambling rant on how hard life is with nematodes, parasites, selenium deficiency, fire ants, brown widows, rattlesnakes, alligators, tropical sun and winter freezes and sand and limestone hardpan instead of soil...]

Luckily for me I think there may be a few weird people in Florida who'd still be interested in my yawnsome ideas! I just have to find them. 'Write it and they will come!' Moo ha ha!
nathaniell Premium Plus
Sorry to disappoint you, but I actually thought you lived on an island, fed goats seaweed, and grew your crops in seagull poo. I did not detect ANY of that tongue in cheek writing. LOL. Sometimes meaning is hard to convey in writing.

Sure, you can PM me your blog and I'll take a look at whatever you want.
Shields Premium
I think this is a great article; it is so genuine and so out-reaching and also stream of consciousness. It touches deeper than information. It makes me think that YOU KNOW US here at WA. That makes sense because you gave you article to us, at the moment maybe only us. You may be asking, "How do you feel about me, how genuine am I, how much like you am I?" We, in turn, answer those questions with our comments, and you discover more of your audience/readers by spending a moment or two longer to evaluate the person who wrote the comment because that person is also an article writer and a critic. This is absolutely one of the best learning tools I've ever come across, and I learn many, many unexpected things from comments.
All your tips have been worth reading. So thanks!
nathaniell Premium Plus
I'm glad you enjoy the tips and you are right - WA is an awesome learning tool. Thanks for taking the time to comment.