Ah, the blog. The very room in which we’re currently chatting. Having a blog is one of the best things you can do for your business for a smattering of reasons. We’ve already discussed at length how your blog can boost your SEO, so today we’re talking about the less technical side of things: your voice--how to find it, and how to use it to be a better blogger.
You see, each writer has their own writing voice. Yours will sound different than mine, and that’s a good thing. Your voice is your banner of brand personality to the world, and a blog is a perfect place to showcase it and cut up a little while you’re at it. And while we want you to let loose, there are a few key practices that are universally true when developing your writing voice, and sticking to them will make your writing as strong as Arnold in his heyday.
Go Ahead and Write Like You Talk
See what we did there? The days of writing like you’re a living, breathing encyclopedia are over. As the use of the internet and digital communication became more accessible, so did the language. The best way to think of how to write is writing like you talk. Even more so, write like you’re talking to a good friend. Because you’re trying to develop a similar relationship with your reader, right? You want to invoke trust, enjoyment, and the feeling that they are spending their valuable time exactly where they want to--with you. If you sound like a computer program in your writing, you won’t inspire much of anything. Writing like you’re talking to a friend will make you a better blogger and make your reader invest even more in your business.
Bend the Grammar Rules of Old, M'Kay?
Ha! There we go again! Apart from entertaining ourselves, the above headline serves a teaching purpose. “M’Kay,” isn’t exactly grammatically correct. You won’t find it in a dictionary, and if you wrote it on your college dissertation, you’d be docked some points (and rightfully so). But we aren’t in a classroom. Picasso said to “learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.” We think that says it all pretty well, and applies to being a better blogger just as much as it does a painter. Bending the grammar rules is part of the conversational tone we’re trying to set. It establishes a causal sense of closeness without trying too hard. NOW. This isn’t an excuse to get lazy. The instances where you break grammar should be intentional, like making “NOW” an entire sentence for emphasis regardless of whether it’s grammatically correct. What we aren’t saying is to blatantly disregard the whole lot. Grammar really boils down to a universal structure. It helps your writing make sense and helps your reader along. You still want their absorption of your content to be smooth and enjoyable. If they’re stumbling over your misspellings and run-on sentences, they aren’t exactly going to lose themselves in your content.
Know Your Audience
Sheesh, this one is true of all life in general, and probably just an overall good tip. But it’s especially true when it comes to developing your writing voice. You need to know who you’re speaking to so you can speak their language. Let’s go back to the mandate to write like you’re talking to a friend. Who’s your friend? Would you talk to your college roommate and your sweet GamGam the same way? We sure hope not. If your audience is 65+-year-old retired men, you probably wouldn’t want to use slang like “fave, obvi, or totes,” that’s so popular with a younger, typically female audience. Not only will they have no idea what you’re talking about, but they’ll also likely distrust someone who sounds so young and carefree. Likewise, if you’re trying to talk to teenage girls and use words like “fiscal responsibility,” you’ll bore the dad hats clean off their collective head.
Have A Good Time, Kid!
Most of all, just have fun. It’ll translate in your writing voice and your audience will totally be able to tell. We love this topic, and we’re having a downright blast talking about it, and it shows (if you don’t mind us saying so). And, if we were miserable and hated talking about this topic, that would be completely tellable, too. We’ve all been there, where writing each sentence feels like pulling teeth. When you write like that, your readers get the same pleasant feeling. Odds are, if you’re writing a blog for your business, you’re talking about your niche--which hopefully you enjoy. So just revel in it. This is your jam, your expertise. Let loose a little and show your readers who you really are and how much you believe in what you do. Because if you believe, they surely will too.
Wondering where to start? Pick four or five adjectives that describe your writing voice and tell us below! Having these concrete descriptors hammered out will help as you begin your way to being a better blogger.