30 Days to a Better Blog: Perfect Your Voice
Because a website is pretty two-dimensional, your writing needs to jump off the page and engage your audience. Your voice is what makes your blog unique. It’s what differentiates you from the masses. It’s what keeps people coming back again and again.
If you haven’t yet perfected your voice, this is the month to do it. I already wrote an article on five tips for finding your voice. Start there to figure out exactly the voice you want to portray. Then you need to perfect the voice you’ve established.
- You’ve chosen your voice. But is it really you? I’m a firm believer that your voice needs to be pretty authentic. If someone meets you in person, will they be shocked to find that you’re nothing like your blog persona? That’s not a good thing! Stay authentic … but make it
- You … only better. If you think you’re a little flat or stale, feel free to up the voice a little. As long as you keep it consistent you can add more sarcasm, humor, personality, etc.
- Ask someone to define your blogging style. Is that the voice you’re going for? If not, figure out what’s going wrong.
- Try a video blog. I find that my vlog style tends toward a mix of snark and wit. Maybe even more than my blog voice. If I can translate that to my blogging, I’d be golden!
- Stay consistent. The best way to perfect your voice is to stick with it and stay consistent. Have a favorite catch phrase? Use it often. Want to sign off your posts with a quote or saying? Do it every time.
How do you perfect your voice? Share in the comments below.
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What is a blog voice? No, I’m not speaking to podcasts, I’m talking about the word choices in your blog, articulation, sentence structure, and the way you present your ideas.
Finding Your Voice
As a fiction writer, voice is extremely important to get your reader involved with your plot and into your character’s head – and in the same vein, your blog voice is extremely important in getting your reader involved with your content! But how do you do it? How do you work to have a unique voice that engages your community and entices your readers to come back and follow you? Here are my top tips for finding your blog voice:
- Read other blogs.
Browse through blogs on your topic. Read blogs on other topics. What voices resonate with you? What blogs make you want to come back and see what they have to say tomorrow? Now take a deeper look at the content and determine the technicalities of the voice. Is it a conversational tone? Is it snarky? What elements stand out for you?
- Evaluate your blog topic.
Some blog verticals don’t lend themselves to all voices. Analyze the goal of your blog and what you want to portray. Are you educating your audience or building a community? Are you speaking to friends and family or your peers?
- Evaluate your audience.
You need to look at your audience. Not only that, you need to evaluate the kind of audience you want for your blog. And those may not be the same thing. If your audience responds to your methodical lists and detailed evaluations, you may want to stick with that. You can always experiment with a different voice to see how they respond and whether you pick up new followers.
- Stay authentic.
In developing your voice, you need to stay pretty true to yourself. It’s very difficult to force comedic writing or adopt a new dialect. I absolutely adore Heather’s voice on dooce.com, but it’s not something I could ever emulate. As much as I’d like to think that I’m snarky, I’m just not … I have an engineering degree, I’m analytical, and I like lists. If you couldn’t tell!
- Take advice from authors.
In writing fiction, there are gobs of advice from authors on voice, including: Write about what’s important. Write frequently. Experiment. Picture your audience when you write. Write from the heart.
Now it’s your turn. Do you have any tips on voice? Did your voice come easily or was it something you had to work at?
Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni
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