Your blogging voice is integral to your brand. Consistency is key, and it should carry over to platforms like social media and email newsletters.
Think of it as your blog’s personality. For popular lifestyle blogger Emily Schuman, you’ll pick up on a more relatable, down-to-earth voice as she connects with her audience on everything from motherhood to tips for entertaining.
Other influencers take a more combative approach (think Jordan Peterson) as they seek to connect with an audience that is anti-“woke.” We can debate the views of someone like Peterson, but we cannot deny that he knows his audience and uses a voice that speaks to their outrage at the state of certain things to connect with them.
There are several questions you can ask yourself to find your blogging voice. Let’s take a moment to explore each one.
What tone do you want to set?
Do you want your blog to be informative? Entertaining? Inspirational? The tone you choose will affect everything from the topics you write about to the way you interact with your readers. Fortunately, there are a few simple exercises that can help you decide on the right tone for your blog.
Spend some time reading other blogs in your niche. What kind of tone do they use? What do you like and dislike about their approach? How could you do things differently? Take some notes and use them as a starting point for brainstorming the kind of tone you want to set for your own blog.
Think about your target audience. Who are you writing for? What kind of language will they respond to? Are you trying to appeal to a wide range of people or a specific niche? Keep your target audience in mind as you develop the tone for your blog.
Consider your own personality. What kind of voice do you want to project through your writing? Do you want to be formal or informal? Silly or serious? Witty or straightforward? The tone of your blog should be an extension of who you are as a person. Otherwise, it won’t feel authentic.
Who is your audience?
Knowing your audience is essential for any writer. After all, you can’t write something that will resonate with readers if you don’t know who they are. But how can you get to know your target audience if you don’t have any readers yet?
Consider who your ideal reader is. What are their demographics? What are their interests? What motivates them?
Reach out. Use social media, forums, and blogging platforms to connect with potential readers and learn more about them.
Be willing to adjust your approach. Do so based on what you learn about your audience. The better you understand them, the better able you will be to connect with them on a deeper level.
Browse and even participate in comments sections. You may want to avoid the knockdown-dragout fights that go on there. (Timesucks, one and all!) But reading them can be a great way to see what matters to your target audience. And what the hey, join in on a fight every now and then. You could end up honing your style and voice in the process.
What type of content are you creating?
If you’re writing an educational article, make your language clear and easy to understand. Creating a video? Consider whether you want it to be more like a traditional TV commercial or something more creative and viral.
No matter what type of content you’re creating, though, always keep your audience in mind and adjust your connection accordingly. Also, think about the presentation itself.
Take time to get comfortable with the camera, for instance, when shooting a video. That means knowing where the camera is at all times and having a sense of how you should deliver your lines for maximum impact. This could take several takes to get right.
Sticking with the written word? In that case, think about the articles with which you connect the most. Do you go for a higher-educated audience? If so, your language will be different than if aiming for the more casual reader.
Your voice should also be consistent across all platforms. If you’re formal on your blog but slang on Twitter, for instance, it can be jarring to the audience. Don’t be so misaligned that your readers end up questioning whether you’re you or some guy whose Twitter handle is similar to the name of your blog.
What are your values?
Look at the far-right and the far-left in the United States. What would you say are the values of each? Moderates might define the far-left as “progressive” and the far-right as “conservative.” Others may say that the far-left is “liberal” and the far-right is “right-wing.” No matter what words you use, though, it’s important to understand that each side has a different set of values.
The same goes for your blog. You have values, and those values will shine through in your writing. You may not be aware of them, but they’re there. If you’re a Christian, for instance, your faith will likely come through in your posts (assuming you’re not hiding it).
Think about what you believe in and why you believe it. What are your core values? What motivates you? This will give you a better understanding of what your voice sounds like and how it comes through to other people when they choose to read you.
Now that you know all this, it’s time to put it into practice!
Start by writing down your values. What do you believe in spiritually? Why do you believe it? What about your social politics? Fiscal views? What do you prioritize?
From there, look at your content. Are you writing educational pieces? If so, how can you make them more relatable to your audience? Write down some key points you want to make, and then think about how you can best communicate those ideas through facts, figures, or illustrations (verbal and/or visual).
If you’re creating videos, the same goes for you! You don’t have to be a Hollywood superstar, but you should have a good handle on how you want to come across on camera. Do some test runs in front of the mirror or with friends/family. See what works and what doesn’t.
And finally, keep all this in mind as you move forward in your blogging career! As your audience grows, your voice may change slightly to better reflect the diversity of those who are reading/watching you. But as long as you stay true to yourself and your values, and you remain honest with your audience, the connection will remain strong.
Your Blogging Voice Is Yours To Mold
Do you run a business? Start with how you interact with your customers. Then, try to transfer that to the content of your blog. Of course, a good content creator can do this for you, but only if you set them up for success by letting them know what your expectations are.
Not sure where to start? With over a decade of experience creating engaging content for businesses of all sizes and industries, I can help you create something that’s uniquely you while being customer-centric and, above all, driving sales. I am eager to help you establish your blogging voice and take it to the next level. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help in any way.
[Featured Image by PixaHive Creative Commons License]