Your blog needs a voice.
Like Pavarotti, it can resonate with power that is full of sophistication. Or, like Dave Grohl, it can scream and shout with disenfranchised angst. It can even sing sweetly like your grandmother or quietly hum in the background like the Andy Griffith Show theme song.
But make no mistake. If you are going to build a tribe—if you’re going to relate to your audience and make a difference at all—your blog will need a voice.
Why your blog needs a voice
Your blog is not you. It is not your personality. It does not have your brain or your body or the sum of your life experiences. It cannot think for itself. It doesn’t have a soul.
But it needs a voice.
Your blog, regardless of how you’ve branded it, is separate from you. It can, by no means, represent all the complicated nuances of your persona.
Even if your blog is about you, it’s not you. It can’t be. Your blog is an entity that is separate from you and needs to be treated as such. Give it a voice. And make it unique.
A blog’s voice is exclusive
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably already realized that there are certain topics on your blog that get more attention than others.
You may have even seen that people have started to associate your blog with a certain idea or theme. You may have vented on your blog in a burst of uncouth sarcasm and anger only to find that your influence grew, albeit accidentally. You acted ridiculous, and your audience loved you for it. Who would’ve thought?
These are all examples of blogging voices.
A voice, with respect to your blog, is a feel or style evoked in your writing that causes the reader to personalize what she is reading.
Your readers begin to construct a person based on the voice of your blog. And
when that happens, your blog ceases to be all things to all people and becomes something very particular to a certain group of people.
And that is okay. That is the whole point.
How to create a voice for your blog
If you’re already blogging, look back at some of your most popular posts and ask yourself, “What kind of mood was I in when I wrote this? What emotions am I portraying here?”
Observe the vocabulary you used, even the punctuation and formatting style. These are all essential elements in creating a voice for your blog. The trick here is replicate what you were doing when you were successful and do it again (and again).
If you haven’t started blogging a lot, you can start from scratch: ask yourself what you want your blog to sound like.
The voice of your blog should be a natural tie-in with its goal. Here are some examples:
- If you are selling real estate online, your blog voice might be personal, attentive to customers, and professional.
- If you are doing technology reviews, your voice may be snarky, clever, and terse.
- If your blog is a personal blog about your life, your voice might be sincere, passionate, and vulnerable.
A good exercise (whether you’ve been blogging for a while or are just getting started) is to brainstorm a list of 10-20 personality attributes that you want your blog to have, and then cut it down to three to five key aspects that represent your blog’s voice.
The next time you write a post, consult that list and use it as a checklist to ensure you’re writing style fits the personality you’ve created for your blog.