Creating Your Blogging Voice
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When you launched your blog, did you develop a plan first, or did you just dive in?
Although it may be easier just to start writing, you need to decide on a number of factors, including the voice of your blog. A good blog needs a clear and consistent voice that is communicated on every page. Consistency helps you create a brand and build a trusting relationship with your readers.
The Elements of a Blog Voice
What does ‘blog voice’ mean? It sounds simple but it’s made up of a number of different elements including personality, beliefs, tone, style, and type of content.
Voice is the distinct personality, style, or point of view of a piece of writing or any other creative work. Voice is what Simon Cowell is talking about when he tells “American Idol” contestants to make a song their own and not just do a note-for-note karaoke version. — Julie Wildhaber
Some questions to ask include:
- Is your blog going to be strictly factual or opinionated?
- What values will it speak to?
- Is the tone going to be casual and friendly or more professional?
- Will your focus be on recent news items, write reviews, or offer how-to information?
It’s especially important to let your personality come through. Otherwise your blog may seem dull and formal. As well as supplying information, it needs to be engaging and speak to your readers’ emotions.
Your Ideal Reader
The best way to determine the elements of your voice is to imagine your perfect reader. If you can picture this person clearly, you can write as though you were speaking directly to him or her.
It may take a bit of research. Find out which demographics are important parts of your market. Find out what they like and dislike. Learn about how they feel, what they want out of life, and how they see themselves. Some people even draw a physical picture of their ideal reader and look at it when they write!
Your Blog’s Image
Once you’ve got a clear image of your readers in mind, create an image for your blog that will appeal to them. Consider your business’s unique selling proposition. The key question to ask yourself here is ‘How is my blog different than other blogs in my industry?’
The answer to this question lies in the specific niche you choose for your blog. One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is trying to be everything to everyone. The truth is that no niche is too specific (unless it’s a market of one person). You need to carve out a unique place for yourself in the blogosphere that will set your blog apart.
Finding Your Voice
Finding your unique voice is something all writers must do. If you’re going to blog, you’ve got to consider yourself a writer, even if you don’t have formal training or professional writing experience.
Read different blogs to see how the voice differs. Some write in a very personal style, some are humorous or slightly outrageous, some write posts that are short and to the point.
Find your own style of writing that you enjoy and that resonates with your readers.
Do you have a clearly defined voice for your blog? How did you come up with it?
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These are thought-provoking questions and interesting to think about after blogging for ten years. Going back to the beginning, I thought about some of these things. I had figured out the audience I was writing for and the topics I would write about. Since I had been writing for a long while, my voice was there. However, over time, that voice, the topics, and the image have evolved. The community of readers has been extremely generous and they have influenced some of the topics and directions I’ve chosen.
Linda, I always think of you as a shining example in the blogging world! Your style is distinctive, engaging, helpful and supportive.
I try to show my personality (my voice) in my blog posts, because I want (prospective) client(s) to get to know me. Also to show that organizing can be fun. So many people I meet think of it’s a bleak task to suffer through. I also want to impart some tips and information for my blog readers.
It’s super important for your readers to feel they know you, especially when you’re blogging to promote such a personal service. Good job!
I remember learning about “voice” when my girls were in school. Each writer has one, and it is important to nourish and cultivate that. I think blogging provides a unique opportunity to use your voice because it is a type of writing done frequently and consistently. When I read bloggers posts over time, I get a true feeling that I know them, which I think is terrific!
Yes, I agree – most of the time. I read a few blogs that feel like they could be written by just about anyone – maybe they’re not comfortable writing in their own voice – and as a result I don’t feel the connection that I do with others such as yourself.
You know, I didn’t think of this until I was about three years into blogging when I started hearing about “blog voice.” What helped me the most to figure out my blog voice, I used the “Read Aloud” features in Microsoft Word. It allowed me to hear my “blog voice” and what I should adjust to make it more friendly and less formal. Thanks for talking about this.
Wow, so you discovered your blogging voice by using your physical voice – very interesting!
Some great questions to think about. I am really going to think about this. I am feeling a shift in my blogging style where I really want to share more personal info about myself (within reason of course) I know those are the blogs that I prefer to follow.
I’ve seen you doing that, Kim, and I really like it! Although many of your earlier posts talked about your clutter group, so I found those to be unique as well.
I guess it depends on what I’m writing about. If it’s something I hope will be motivational, I picture myself in front of a Women Make a Difference audience (a local networking group to whom I have presented a number of times). And, well, now that I’ve said that, I realize that some of my blog posts have followed such presentations, and thus have that feel. Others are more personal, and, I suppose, written for my long-time followers more so than potential new clients. I LOVE when someone I know reads something I wrote and remarks, “It sounds just like you!”
It’s great that you do that, even if you weren’t conscious of it before. I definitely recognize your writing style when I read it!