Your blogs’ unique voice will strengthen your brand and focus. Your voice is that feeling, thoughts, emotions, reactions, that your writing evokes in your readers’ which causes them to internalize and personalize the content that they’ve read while trying to build a persona behind the author of the blog.
To find your voice is something that certainly takes time. It’s not a rush job. There will be many oscillations, but with practice, you will get better at it and it will flow far more naturally.
In order to truly connect with your readers’ and to build your desired community, you’ve got to do it your own way, in your own style but bearing your readers’ in mind.
Your blog is not all about you. If it’s just about you, then you wouldn’t be thinking of how to grow your audience. You’ll be just fine writing your thoughts on your bedside journal for no one else to read. In as much as your blog may represent many aspects of your thoughts and life, it by no means has all the nuances of your complicated persona which is why it’s also a separate and unique entity.
For the long-term growth of your blog, you’ve got to set a solid foundation. Blog your passion with purpose, with clarity and in your own voice.
How to find your voice
Who is your ideal reader?
When you are writing, at the back of your mind, you have a picture of who your anticipated reader is. Who is this your ideal reader? Once you are able to figure this out, you are more positioned to approach your writing each day with purpose without sweating over the thought of how to say what you want to say.
Take a minute and think in this general direction depending on what your blog style is.
Who is your ideal reader for the post – male or female, age bracket, status: single, married, divorced…
Do they have children or not? Are they working? Do they have expendable cash? Do they have free time? What are their challenges?
This is just an exercise to help you understand your reader a bit better. It would not be precise but helps to build a picture of an audience.
Writing daily stimulates your creative thinking that even when you are not writing, that part of your brain that dissects your writing material keeps working.
It’s not necessarily material that you are going to publish that you need to write every day since you probably don’t publish daily. Create a habit of emptying your thoughts on paper or wherever suits you best even if they are just a jumble of words, just write them.
Over time, it will become a part of you and those jumbled words of yours might even turn into an interesting read.
Give Your Blog Some Personality Attributes
Take a little time to brainstorm on at least 10 personality attributes that you would like your blog to have, then narrow it down to 3 or most 5 key attributes that would represent your blogs’ voice. Each time you write, you would likely find a consistency with these attributes. For example:
If your blog is a lifestyle blog does it come across as open, sincere, heartwarming, friendly, passionate, sensitive, vulnerable, humourous, personal, relatable?
If your blog is health blog does it come across as conciliatory, attentive, advisory, helpful, humane?
These are just examples to help your direction of thinking as per your blog’s personality attributes.
Be Authentic, Be Original
Please avoid bland writing that leaves your personality at the door of your thoughts. This would be selling you and your readers’ short. When you leave your personality out of your writing, you will sound strange and like someone else entirely.
You may have people who inspire and influence your thoughts with their writing, however, don’t run the risk of sounding like them. You’ll just be a poor copy. The same way your unique individuality applies to you as a person equally applies to your blog.
One of the early struggles of starting out writing is the attempt to fit your posts into a mold of what ‘makes an excellent’ blog post; using bold titles, finding the right title, using bullet points, SEO etc.
The temptation to follow rules overrides the impulse to write one’s unfiltered thoughts. By all means, use good rules of making your writing clear, watching your grammar and spellings, but don’t over-filter your thoughts.
Review your popular posts
If you’ve blogged for a while, there are those posts that resonated highly with your audience. Take some time to dissect them. What was on your mind when you wrote it? What mood were you in and what message did you want to convey? What type of vocabulary did you use? Was it a formal or informal style of writing?
You might be surprised at the amount of lessons that you would learn from this simple exercise and the takeaway from this is to imitate your success.
Have a message or purpose
Every blog post out there has an underlying message, even photos – which are known to speak a thousand words. Your post has an underlying message or purpose. What is it? Keep your focus on that message that you are trying to pass on so that your reader can find it and connect with it or with you – the voice behind the purpose.
Pretend that you are not writing to the huge wide world of the blogosphere. Think that you are just writing a letter to that one ideal reader – we pointed out – at the beginning and just write as yourself. Who you are now!
Better still, pretend this is a conversation with one person, where you are saying your mind. This way, you cut out all the self-protective façade and mirrors people tend to put up in front of a large crowd and you’ll find the authenticity in your writing.
Think of how you would be narrating what you want to say as if the person is right there with you.
Please note that authenticity is not synonymous to hateful speech. Displeasure in thoughts could be expressed without denigrating your writing.
Don’t be afraid to ask others for feedback
This is the part most of us don’t like – asking for feedback, but I’ve learned that getting constructive feedback from others is priceless and far more valuable than our ego that tends to stand in the way.
When not sure of what you wrote, ask someone whose opinion you value. It may not be the cheerful all clear green light that you would like to have, but there could be useful nuggets of advice in the feedback.
Now you’ve found your voice
The thing to remember is that your writing is not for everyone, would probably annoy the heck out of some people but you will create a more dedicated readership.
Once you’ve found that voice that belongs to you, you’ll find that your readership engagement increases/changes for the better and helps you to build a sustainable blog in the long run.
Over to you. What does your voice sound like? Is it unique or are you still trying to find it? If you find this post helpful, please share so that others will benefit from it. Check this link for more blog tips.
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