It is important to write in your own voice so that it becomes an integral part of your brand. It tells your audience who you are. If you speak from the heart in your own words, you will be able to create an interesting, appealing online conversation that people will want to follow. Your words will not be sterile, boring, college-paper writing that people would have to force themselves to read (which, of course, they will not do).
Words alone do not captivate an audience. People must connect with you in some way – they need to feel the person and the authenticity behind the words in order to trust you and become a follower. It’s your “voice” that makes the connection.
Robert Frost once wrote, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” If you want them to laugh, you have to be laughing inside as your write. If you want them to feel, you have to project emotion in your words.
When readers connect to your “voice,” they will eventually develop an image in their minds about who you are. The person they “see” may not be anything like the person you present to the world each day; but, to the individual that person will be very real.
Write in a Voice that Fits YOU and Your Niche
The voice you use will be unique to you and will reflect your personality, which means that you may need to tone it down, or ramp it up to some degree. For example, if you tend to be sarcastic in your regular conversations, be aware that it may come across as rude online, which you do not want. Or, if you are very shy and reserved, you may have to write with energy and enthusiasm or people may not believe you.
One of the things that many people love about writing a blog is that they can be any kind of personality they choose – bold, aggressive, argumentative, soft, kind, compassionate, understanding, etc. No one will be the wiser, as long as you can sustain the personality that you choose. In other words, draw from your inner core and be real. The personality has to be a part of you – you cannot fake it and be believed.
The voice you use must match the niche. So ask yourself the following questions:
- If I were reading this blog, what kind of energy and personality would I be attracted to?
- What is my purpose and what kind of audience do I want to attract?
- Do I need to be up-beat and energetic?
- Do I need to be soft, kind and compassionate?
- Do I need to be outgoing and forceful?
- Do I need to be sarcastic and abrasive?
- Do I need to be light and funny?
Now the BIG questions: Can you find an authentic voice that will be successful in your chosen niche? AND . . . Are you passionate about the subject? If the answer is “NO” to either question, find another niche.
In you cannot answer with a resounding YES to both of the above questions, it is unlikely that you will be able to attract and keep followers. Even if you did, you probably would not be able to stay the course for long – it would be too difficult to sustain.
Regardless of the “voice” you choose, a basic rule to remember is to always write as if you were having a one-on-one conversation with each reader. Write the way you would speak to a good friend.
If you want to add value to your reader’s lives, your words must be passionate and alive. You must be believable. The words and ideas you present must be more than merely thought-provoking. They should drive people to action; to inspire their need to get things done now!
If you want to be heard, you have to find a way to be different from the massive crowd of writers that are online today. Find a way to set yourself apart from all the rest. One of the best ways to do that is to speak from your uniqueness and continually find ways to develop your craft.
It is critical to find your own voice if you want to build a loyal following and be able to sustain your effort to create quality content. If you are try to write the way you think you should write rather than from your authentic core, you will burn out, I guarantee it.
If you are struggling to find your writing voice, Jeff Goins provides an excellent exercise to help you in his article: 10 Steps in Finding Your Voice.
Want to read the entire series on branding? Start with the first post: Building a Brand.