Finding Your Blogging Voice
The mechanics of setting up a blog are pretty simple: create an account with a free blogging site like Blogger or WordPress; select one of the pre-made templates; decide on a name for the blog; and add a few widgets and a blogroll. That can be done in less than an hour.
The next step is a little more challenging. How do you create a blog that’s engaging, informative, smart, witty and well read? Well, if I could bottle that up, I’d be a millionaire for sure.
But there is one piece of the blogging puzzle that shouldn’t be discarded: finding your voice. The beauty of the blog is it’s an extension of you, reflecting your opinions, thoughts and ideas. To grab your readers, they need to get to know you through your blog.
Even the most prolific writers struggle with finding their voice – that style of writing that is uniquely theirs. So don’t give up if you’re stuck, just try of few of these techniques to get started:
- Find your focus. First and foremost, what is the purpose of your blog? It could be political commentary, information on green living, tips for parents or simply a day-to-day diary of your life.
- Reach your readers. Think about who might read your blog and write to engage them. Are you trying to reach people interested in international news, green living, organic gardening or how to discipline a toddler? Don’t write to moms if you want dads to read too. Don’t right for left-wing politicos if you want to grab the attention of all political junkies.
- Write like you talk – for the most part. In many ways, blogs are a compilation of your thoughts and your conversations. That’s not to say your blog should be filled with sloppy grammatical errors, but keep the writing conversational, approaching your blog post as you would meeting a friend for coffee.
- Don’t be afraid. If you have a dry wit, use it. If you have an uncanny ability for description and can really turn a phrase, do it. Play to your strengths and you’ll quickly see a pattern in your posts.
- Write what you know. If you have no interest in cats, don’t start a cat blog. If you don’t know the first thing about computers, don’t start a tech blog. But if you love college basketball, start a college basketball blog. Or if you have tons of great cooking tips, start writing about cooking.
These tips can apply to company blogs as well as personal ones. You company has a focus, an audience and an expertise – all those can be honed to create a well-written blog that gives a voice to your business.
I’d love to hear how you found your blogging voice or if you have examples of great bloggers who have their own distinct voice.