This post is a continuation of the Witch’s Guide to Magickal Blogging, a four part series meant to help you take the steps you need to in order to start writing your magickal blog. If you haven’t read Part 1: Where to Start yet, please head on over there now. Part 2 covers finding your voice as a magickal author including tips for making the leap from wanting to write a blog to actually writing one.
Step 1: How to Find Your Voice
Even if you’ve written before, your voice as a witchcraft and/or paganism writer is likely going to be different. ‘Voice’ is essentially your style as a writer and covers things like formality of writing, tone, punctuation, etc. Some authors use a lot of personal anecdotes, and others speak factually; some use evidence or sources, while others don’t. (I do suggest, if you want to have a credible site, give sources of information at the bottom of your posts, just so your readers know you aren’t making up information.)
The only way to find your voice is to start writing and publishing posts. This is so hard to do, and I get it, but you have to take the leap. You’ll risk publishing posts that you aren’t completely happy with down the line, to which I say: welcome to blogging. No one is 100% happy with every post they write. There are some posts that I feel aren’t my best work, and they end up being popular, while other posts that I adore are barely ever viewed. There’s never going to be a perfect overlap between writer and audience, and that’s okay.
Luckily, when your blog is in its infancy, not many people will be visiting it anyway. For example: The first year I wrote this blog it was viewed a total of 400 times; the second year I wrote this blog it was viewed 6,000 times. A huge improvement! While I was sad that no one saw my writing that first year, now I’m glad that no one did, since my articles weren’t consistent at all.
If it makes you feel any better, it wasn’t until about two years into writing Astra Anima (y’know, this blog) that I felt like a found my voice. I just slogged through, looked at the feedback I got, kept adapting, and now I’m finally confident in what I’m writing. And posts still flop! That’s just the nature of writing online. Some of my most popular posts on here were ones that sat in my draft bin for months while I wondered if they were ‘good enough’ to publish.
If you haven’t already, brainstorm a list of articles that you would like to write. Then pick one and get to typing. Repeat this process until you have ten test posts; these will become the launch posts for your blog, and will help you figure out what type of magickal blog you want. Of those ten posts, ask yourself, which is your favorite? Your second favorite? Use these as jumping off points for your blog.
Before you launch your blog, have your About page filled out, and clean up your ten test blog posts so they can go live immediately. The About page is usually viewed quite often, and magickal folks like to know who the author is. Those ten blog posts can be released once a day for ten days, or you can publish them all on day one, that’s up to you. There won’t be any subscribers yet, so there will be no ‘post dump’ to scare people away. Readers often shy away from a blog that has one post, but if there are ten posts up, that’s a good sampling of what your blog will be like.
There’s a teaching method that I (and every teacher) uses in the classroom that is called “everything on day one.” The principal is that everything you’re going to have the class do all semester/year, you do it all on the first day. Let’s say in a class you’re going to have students read, write, listen to lecture, discuss things in pairs, and discuss things as a class. On the first day of school I will have students introduce themselves to someone seated next to them, introduce themselves to the class, I’ll explain a short assignment to them, then have them write that assignment, and finally have them read and respond to another student’s assignment. It takes the whole class, but it’s everything that we’re doing that year all in one day. Your initial blog launch can follow that same “everything on day one” strategy using your ten test posts as a guide. Those ten posts have the potential to represent running blog features that will be posted regularly for years. If a reader sees one post, then quickly browses the remaining posts, they will form an idea of what your blog will be like going forward.
Try to balance launching with a sample of good writing, with no putting too much pressure on yourself. Writing a blog should be something you do because it’s enjoyable, not a second (or third) job. When ever I started to feel like writing was my ‘job’ aka when it started to feel like work, I would take a break from it. There’s nothing wrong with taking breaks from publishing posts when you need to.
The other big fear that people often have when they start blogging is that they will run out of ideas. There have been days, weeks, and even months when I felt like I had nothing to say and had zero inspiration to write. Trust that your muse will come back; also, we’re magickal, so you can just ask them to come back and give them an offering! Regular features will help you when you’re feeling less-than-inspired. Another helpful way to get inspired to write is to read; the more I read, the more I write, there’s just a connection. Reading also improves the quality of your writing, and exposes you to different authorial voices, which will help you develop your own.
I hope that you found Part 2 of A Witch’s Guide to Magickal Blogging to be helpful. The next installment will cover blogging tips and tricks. Blessed be, friends!
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