Does your blog voice make you stand out from a crowd?
What do Johnny Cash, Tupac Shakur, and Sarah Brightman have in common?
They all have remarkably identifiable voices.
If a song by one of these artists were to come on at a restaurant, it would be easy to pick out the vocalist. Not only is their pitch, inflection, and sound noticeable, the message they share can be easily identified as well.
Is your blog voice identifiable in the crowd of other voices?
Before you ever put words to the page, take a moment to consider the choices you are making with your blog voice. It may be the first thing readers ever recognize about you, especially if you’ve never met in person.
The most important thing to remember when choosing your blog voice is it must be your own. If you’re trying to mimic someone else’s voice, you will run into consistency problems (unless you’re a trained ghost blogger). Chances are, the main reason you’ve taken to blogging in the first place is because you have something to share with others. Words are the gateway to your expertise and experiences, and how you choose to mold them will ultimately reflect on you and your business.
Let’s take a look at a few different “voices” prevalent online. These examples may help you develop the voice that fits your content the best.
Developing Your Voice
The technical voice
Some professions demand a technical voice. The target audience recognizes the language used, and it works for them. So, if you’re an engineer or architect, you might want to consider using a technical voice in your blog. This might also be the best fit if the blog is particularly about developing or building things, utilizing a how-to blogging style.
The academic voice
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Will you have information digested by employees or scholars from colleges or universities? Will there be scrutiny? The academic voice will be helpful while sharing this high-quality data. If you think students and faculty will look at your content and cite it in their work, then the academic voice is the right fit. Look into which reading level will work best for your industry.
The creative voice
If you have any friends or family members who are artists, you might have a firsthand glimpse of a creative voice. Typically, this content is interesting and includes elements of storytelling, poetry, or prose within the walls of content. Or other times, creative voices are very simplistic: They get to the point and don’t elaborate on much else, because sometimes that’s how creative individuals communicate.
The Style Guide of Your Blog
After finding a blog voice, realize consistency is important. Will you say “I” in your blog? Or will you use “we” and reference the blog content as it comes from a group or an organization. Will slang words be permitted in your articles, or are you sticking to a higher level of communication?
Will you capitalize the first letter of every word in your blog titles? Will you include subheads in all of your posts? Do you plan on adding images, and if so, how often will these images be included in blog articles?
It might sound as if I’m asking a lot of questions, right? All of these elements need to be agreed upon after your voice is determined, but before you start creating your posts. Create a styleguide that answers these questions. Trust me, it will save you a lot of time and headaches down the road. It’s easier to negotiate these agreements before you start writing, than edit every blog post for consistency.
Keeping Your Readers Engaged
Creating interesting articles is a way to maintain a reader base. If you’re consistently creating great content, it will help your readership grow, as current readers will likely share your content.
But how else can you use your blog voice to enhance the reading experience? Well, how exactly do you plan on creating the content? Will it be all business all the time, as you publish valued content all the time? This might work well with some readers, but it may become too dry for others.
Stories are one of the most human experiences encompassed by writing. We can all relate to stories, and they can easily stir our emotions. Perhaps a variable approach is necessary: 75% of the time could be devoted to painstakingly accurate information, and the remaining 25% could be about providing an anecdote.
After you find your voice, you can try out the content mix that works the best for you and your readers, and then stick with it. The hardest part of preparing and starting will be complete, so you can dedicate all your time to creating the best content for the right readers.
How was the process of finding your blog voice? Let us know in the comments section below.