Create Your Blog Voice for Your Business

How to Create the Blog Voice for Your Business

Find Your Blog VoiceMany businesses start blogs without a real plan. After all, it’s easy to do and you just need to start writing. But actually, there’s some serious planning involved and one of the major decisions to make is  your blog voice. Just like you need consistent, clear messaging in the rest of your business, a good blog has a clear and consistent voice that is communicated on every page. Consistency helps you create a brand and this is what builds trust with your audience. More importantly, you need a blog that is not a copy of anyone else but a true reflection of you and how you want to show up to your audience.

The Elements of a Blog Voice

What does ‘blog voice’ mean? It sounds simple but it’s made up of a number of different elements including personality, beliefs, tone, style, and type of content. Some questions to ask include:

  • Is your blog going to be strictly factual or opinionated? (are you going to be a technician or thought-leader)
  • What values will it speak to?
  • Is the tone going to be casual and friendly or more professional?
  • Are you going to focus on recent news items, write reviews or offer how-to information?

Personality is an especially important consideration because your blog can’t be dull and formal. The human aspect has to come through. It needs to be engaging and speak to emotions as well as simply giving the reader information.

Your Ideal Reader

Just like any other time you are communicating your message, the best way to determine all the elements of your voice is to picture your perfect reader. Who do you want to become a fan of your blog? If you can imagine this person clearly, you can write posts to them that resonate perfectly. It may take a bit of market research. Find out which demographics are important parts of your niche. Find out what they like and dislike. Learn about how they feel, what they want out of life, and how they see themselves. Some people even draw a physical picture of their ideal reader and look at it whenever they write!  I even recommend going further and naming this person so you can really connect to them as if s/he was sitting next to you.

Your Blog’s Image

Now that you’ve got a clear image of your blog readers in mind, the next step is to create an image for your blog that appeals to them. Consider not only your readers but also your business’s unique selling proposition. The key question to ask yourself here is – ‘How is my blog different than other similar blogs in my industry?’

The answer to this question lies in the specific niche you choose for your blog. One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is trying to be everything to everyone. The truth is that no niche is too specific (unless it’s a market of one person). You need to carve out a unique place for yourself in the blogosphere that will set your blog apart.

Finding Your Voice

Finding a voice for your writing is something all writers must do. If you’re going to blog, you’ve got to consider yourself a writer, even if you don’t have the training, experience or writing chops. Take some time to read different blogs to see how each person’s voice differs. Some write in a very personal style, some are humorous or slightly outrageous, some write posts that are short and to the point. Find your own way of writing that you enjoy and that resonates with your readers.

So, I would love to hear what your voice is…. Share in the comments.

 

How Personal Is Too Personal for Social Media?

How Personal Is Too Personal for Social Media?

Sharing Social Media informationEveryone says that you should show your personal side, even if you’re using social media for your business. Personalizing your content and interactions puts a human face on your business. This is how you build real, authentic relationships. But there are cases where you can be too personal, and you need to steer clear of these or the results could be disastrous.

No “Big Talk”

The type of personal content we share on social media falls under the category of small talk, not “big talk.” You might mention a place you ate today and how it was. You may show a picture of your dog and share a milestone in his or her life. But you would avoid topics like romantic encounters, touchy political issues, or things that annoy you about certain people, unless those topics are a central part of your branding.  We have all seen how too much politics has made people cranky and frankly rude to one another- even leading to the “unfriending” behavior that is happening all too frequently.

Sharing (too many) Problems

Venting and complaining about your problems is more likely to annoy than engage. However, there is a right way to discuss problems that can actually boost engagement. The way to do it is to share a problem you faced that is also a common problem of your audience. Get them to discuss the problem with you. Even better, offer a solution to this common problem or ask your audience to share theirs.

Oops, I Shouldn’t Have Said That

Before posting anything personal, remember that this goes on your permanent record. Read back over it to make sure it isn’t something that might come back to haunt you later. Once you unleash it upon the world, it could be there forever.  

Data Collection

Keep in mind that any personal information you put out there could be accessed by data collectors for nefarious or otherwise malevolent reasons. If you publish something like your address or share pictures of your children, this could compromise your identity or safety.

That’s Not What I Meant

Before posting, always read your content to make sure that it won’t get taken the wrong way. Stories abound on the internet of people making a harmless joke that blew up in their faces and caused major damage to their brand image. Everyone may not be “in on it,” so make sure that your content won’t be misunderstood.

Think about Others

Finally, tread very carefully with the privacy of others. Don’t share personal details about other people unless these are things you know they are open about, themselves. You can always ask them to make sure before posting.

As you get more and more social, remember the goal is to be engaging and inviting so you can connect with more people.

Get Your Post Read by Crafting Great Blog Post Titles

 

Portrait of cute baby laughing

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The most important part of your blog post is your title. How well you write, how well-researched your content is, or how pretty your images are means nothing if you can’t get readers to click through and start reading your post. And the single most important thing when it comes to getting readers’ attention is your blog post title.

It’s also the most important on-page factor when it comes to SEO. So if you’re hoping for lots of free traffic from Google and all your favorite social media sites, you need to get good at crafting great blog post titles.

Start With Your Keyword

The key with great blog post titles is to strive for a balance between a title the search engines will like and one that your readers will find interesting and engaging enough to make them want to click on it. To get that balance just right, start with a keyword or key phrase that you want to rank for in the search engines.

Open up your favorite keyword research tool – like the Google Keyword Planner for example – and play around with it until you come up with the keyword or key phrase you want to rank for.

For the sake of illustration let’s say our keyword example is “best blog hosts” and the post will be a review of five of the best hosting companies for WordPress blogs. “best blog hosts” is the keyword we want to rank for in this example.

Make It Interesting

Now that we have the keyword, it’s time to make it interesting for our readers. There are plenty of different ways to turn our example keyword into an interesting blog post title. Here are a few ideas:

  • The Three Best Blog Hosts Reviewed – Read This Before You Sign Up
  • Looking For a New Home for Your Blog? The Best Blog Hosts Reviewed
  • My Top 5 Best Blog Hosts Revealed – Here’s Who I Recommend
  • Wondering Who The Best Blog Hosts Are?
  • Is Your Host On The Best of The Best Blog Hosts List?

Do you see how this works? Start with the keyword and then try to think about why your readers would be looking for this information. Focus on what’s in it for them by sharing content that will help them out.

Stay Authentic and Stick With Your Style

Last but not least stay authentic and stick with your own style. This is particularly important if you’re an established blogger. Don’t just copy and paste the blog post titles above. They may not reflect the style and tone of voice of your blog posts. In other words, they may not be you. Balance the need of the search engines to easily find what your content is about and the need to keep things interesting for your readers, with your own voice.

You may find it helpful to write a few different blog post titles down and then chose the one that resonates most with you (and hopefully with your readers).  If you do this, you won’t need to resort to a cute baby smiling to get people to read your post.  Love to see what titles you come up with.