How to Find Your Blogging Voice
Whether you’re a full-scale wedding blogger, a vendor who shares current work as part of your website, or someone who only communicates though social media, you’ve probably come across the concept of ‘voice’ and how important it is in building your brand and following. In fact, it’s one of the key ways to connect with your followers and potential clients, to make yourself stand out from the crowd, and to build a strong and sustainable public profile. But what exactly IS this elusive voice, and how do you find yours?
Well, voice is just that – the voice you ‘hear’ when you read someone’s words, and the person you imagine saying them. Writers all have a voice, from the fictional voices of novelists and poets to the non-fiction writers of biography, travel guides, newspapers, etc. Each of them is writing for a particular audience, and each writer or publication has developed a particular style that best embodies their authority or character. And while you may not consider yourself a professional writer, it’s essential to find your voice if you want to engage with your audience and build a community. My writing voice is how my blog readers connect with me, and it’s how potential clients can tell right away that you’re someone they want to work with.
“Most importantly, having an authentic voice is the best way to ensure consistency in tone across your website and social channels, and it’s almost impossible to fake.”
Finding your voice is a journey of trial and error (I’d hate to re-read my very first blog post – CRINGE!) but here are five ways you can get started.
Pick an audience
The best way to focus your writing is to figure out who you’re talking to. Write a description of them (age, interests, personality), so that they feel like a real person, an old friend. You can even give them a name (go on, you know you want to!).
Write as you talk
Writing for social media and blogging isn’t like writing formally (which is why we love it). That gives you a little bit of stretch room with grammar and punctuation, to write as you talk. It might feel strange and wrong at first, but dive into some free writing, or imagine you’re writing an email to that imaginary person you just made up. After a while you’ll find it comes easily, and that’s when you know you’re writing authentically.
You do you
In fact, writing authentically is very much the point. It’s okay to have an idea of the style you like (and other bloggers or writers whose styles you enjoy) but if you try to copy someone else you will always fall down (and readers can see right through it). Your audience wants to connect with YOU, so let them. (Not sure if you’re doing it right? Pass a draft on to a friend or partner and ask them if it sounds like you – they’ll be able to tell you immediately!)
Free writing, or diving in and just splurging it all out on to the page is a great way to get going, but once you’ve put it all down, be sure to go back and rework your draft. Read it out loud to see how it sounds. Check that the small liberties you might have taken with grammar aren’t big ones (after all, there’s nothing more off-putting than writing that crosses over from engaging to unreadable). Read it again, and then again after that, before you click ‘publish’.
Just do it
I’ve read a lot of advice for writers over the years and the best really is: Write. The only way to improve your writing, to find your voice, to develop that voice, to connect… is to stop staring at your screen and actually write something. So. What are you waiting for?