Finding your blogging voice is one of the most important things you can do if you want to stand out. It’s not secret that the blogging world is busy, busy, busy. There’s millions and millions of blogs out there but don’t worry, there’s space for us all.
If you want to distinguish yourself from all those other blogs, however, you need to do it through your written content by finding and using your own blogging voice.
Developing your blogging voice isn’t something that you can just make a decision on. It comes with time and practice. There are a few things that you can do, however, to help you with the process.
What is a Blogging Voice?
First off, you need to know what we’re talking about here. So, what is a blogging voice? Well, it’s the tone of the blog. It’s the use of language, sentence structure and “sound” of the words within the blog. Your blogging voice is what invites readers in, makes them feel at home and want to read more.
Having your own blogging voice will help you stand out from all the other blogs out there. It will help you attract readers and become more engaged with them. Your unique blogging voice will help build trust with your audience.
Select a Style
Do you know what style of blog you want to have? A huge part of your blog’s style is the tone it has. Create a list of words that describe the tone you want your blog to have. For example, you might want the tone of your blog to be honest, friendly and laid back.
Whatever style you choose for your blog, ask yourself if that is who you are and how you talk (more about that below). But choosing three adjectives that are the total opposite of your personality will mean that your blogging voice is completely unnatural and forced. This will be difficult to maintain and, in some cases, won’t be at all believable.
Once you’ve decided on a style and tone, keep it in mind every time you write. When you’re editing posts, ask yourself if it’s “enough” – humorous enough, chatty enough, formal enough. On the other hand, if the occasional post doesn’t fit your style don’t panic. You might have a blog that’s full of jokes and sarcastic comments but one day decide to share a difficult, personal story with your readers that just doesn’t fit your chosen style and tone. That’s fine, just go with what feels right for those particular posts.
Write How You Talk
Everyone speaks differently and has a different approach to conversation. Not only will writing how you talk help you stand out, it will also engage your audience in an online conversation. One thing that really draws readers into a blog is authenticity. Using your own voice will bring that without even having to think about it.
To make sure my posts sound like me, I read every post I write out loud. Sometimes I find myself changing the sentences to what I think sounds right in my “out loud” voice.
Write “to” Somebody Instead of “for” Somebody
Sounds a little strange, right? Think about it this way, if you sit down and write about an adventure you had at the weekend for your company’s in-house magazine it will sound a certain way. If you’re having coffee with your friend at work telling the same story, it will sound completely different. With me?
Before you start writing, you need to have your ideal reader in mind. Create a mini profile of your ideal reader – their age, gender, geographical location, employment, hobbies, personality, etc. Then write to that person. Write like you are speaking to them directly. This way, when your readers will feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Personally. Like your blog was made just for them.
It also allows that conversation that I mentioned earlier to flow. If your readers feel like you’re speaking to them, they’ll start speaking back to you. And we all know that engaging with our audience is the best way to build a successful blog with a loyal following!
Follow All the Rules and Break Them All
Say what?! When it comes to blog writing, you want to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. Sloppy writing won’t get you very far. Things such as grammar and sentence structure still apply in the blogging world and getting these things right will help your portrayal of professionalism.
On the other hand, in establishing your own blogging voice you’re going to want to break a few rules too. If you’d talk in short sentences, write that way. If you’d start a sentence with “and” or “but”, forget what your English teachers taught you, and just do it. Creating paragraphs and sentences that don’t strictly comply with everything you learned at school won’t automatically discredit your blog or your authority. If you do it carefully and it becomes part of your unique style and voice, it could work wonders for your blog and its following.
Only Write About Things You Love
If you want to stay true to your voice, you have to stay true to yourself. If you start writing things that you couldn’t care less about, it will show in your blogging voice. Your words will sound disinterested to your reader the same way your voice does when you’re speaking to your friends about something that bores you.
When you’re passionate about the subject, the words will flow better. Just think about how much you could talk about something you love. Think about how you could ramble on for hours and hours to anyone. The same goes for your blog. If the words are free flowing, it’s easier to “say” them in your own voice. If you’re forcing the words out onto the screen, your thoughts and the whole process of writing will be broken. And that will interrupt your blogging voice, making you appear disengaged from the audience.
Write a Lot
Finally, and most importantly, write a lot. Your blogging voice isn’t something you decide on and it just happens. Your voice will grow and develop with your blog. Through trial and error, you’ll find a voice that fits. A voice that becomes completely natural to you. And that voice is your own unique blogging voice.
Have any other tips for developing your own blogging voice? Let me know below.
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