Does your blog have a voice?
For the majority of the time that I’ve been blogging (which is close to six years now…) I highly doubt that my blog had a voice. If I’m honest, I felt like I was just posting whatever was on my mind at the time, with no thought for what the big picture looked liked. Of course, when I started this was totally fine, I was writing as a hobby and because I just enjoyed the process. But recently I’ve had more of a desire to make my blog something more, I’ve wanted to give it that spark that make sit special to not only me, but to the people who spend time reading it.
So I came to the realisation that in order for my blog to stand out, it needed a voice. Something about it that’s unique, and special, and well…me.
There are so many active blogs right now, across a variety of niches, and everyone’s trying to draw in new readers, attract brands to work with them and just generally build their profile. If you asked me a year ago if I felt my blog needed a niche to be successful I would have answered absolutely not, but over time I’ve come to realise that my favourite blogs have a strong, unique voice to them and (most importantly) your nice can be you, it doesn;t have to be a topic or category!
There’s been a lot of focus recently on ‘bad bloggers’ or ‘bad blogging behaviour, so now (more than ever) I really think it’s important that we are all authentic in the way that we’re blogging. I love reading posts on other blogs where I feel like the person behind it is really speaking to me.
I’ve been making more of an effort recently to make sure my personality comes through in the way I write my blog posts, and you know what? It’s made me so much happier about the content I am creating, and excited for what I have planned in the future. Instagram Stories has also been integral to this, I upload regularly to mine and really do feel more connected to the bloggers (and therefore more likely to read their content) who also upload regularly to theirs.
We want to feel like the person behind a blog is real. That’s the appeal of blogs to me, compared with the appeal of a magazine, I feel like I’m getting to know an individual, rather than being sold to via advertorials or trend pieces.
When you read your blog, does it sound like you? If a friend was to read it, would they immediately know it was you? I think the answers to both of these questions should always be yes. When they are I instantly feel more at ‘home’ on my blog and spend far less of my time comparing what I’m writing to others (which, by the way, is never a good idea!) or doubting whether the content I am creating is any good or not.
Who are you talking to?
Again, my ‘audience’ isn’t really something I gave much thought to…until recently. I only really wrote my blog for myself, as a hobby, but thinking about who is reading your blog and why their reading it is so important and crucial if you’re looking to take your blog to the next level.
Again, this is where your ‘blogging voice’ is key, it needs to be recognisable so that whoever is reading it immediately identifies it as you and, if they enjoy reading, will come back for more of the same.
To be honest, most people’s audience is people just like them (for example, mine is 20-something women who work in a busy city and enjoy the occasional beauty splurge) so as long as you are writing content that you know you would want to read, you’re all good!
The trickiest, but most effective, way to get your ‘voice’ across is via the titles of your blog post – they’re what draw people in from wherever you are promoting your posts (Twitter for me) and attract a new audience who may not be familiar with you and your content.
The lovely Vix Meldrew gave me the handy tip of ‘authentically click baiting’ my titles. Now, this isn’t about misleading people into reading your content via a catchy title, it’s just about coming up with a zinger of a title that a) makes you feel you HAVE to read it and b) accurately conveys what the blog post is about.
Honestly, this is really tricky, I normally have to give my titles 2-3 goes before I’m happy with them but it is so worth it!
Take your blog to the next level!
Phew, if you’ve made it to the bottom of this post, good on you, have some brownie points! Hopefully, there’s some useful advice above and you can see why having an authentic blogging voice is so key it a successful blog. I’ve noticed my page views begin to climb again since I put more effort into my ‘voice’ and it’s something that I’m going to continue to work on.
Do you feel your blog has an authentic blog voice?