Does Your Blog Have an Individual Voice?

A guest post by Andrew Rondeau of We Build Your Blog.

I’ve been looking at a few blogs in my travels around the net lately and have noticed a bit of uniformity among a lot them.

I know it’s hard coming up with original things sometimes, but individuality isn’t just measured in terms of your subject matter. There are a number of ways to retain professionalism yet use your unique personality to engage your readers and customers.

It doesn’t hurt to be yourself when you write.

Having a strong, individual voice throughout your posts makes you stand out from the crowd. There are hundreds of blogs on hundreds of subjects all over the web. By giving yours its own distinctive voice you stand a chance of being one of the elite who gains popularity.

Writing posts in your own style makes a big difference in how readers perceive you and your blog. People know you wrote it; they know what to expect from you and your brand. If you’re passionate about your subject, your readers can see that.

Develop a more conversational style to stand out.

Writing is about striking a happy balance between having a friendly, open style and retaining the professionalism you want to be known for. Personality helps, but don’t let it take over. Try writing as you would speak to make posts sound like they’re really coming from you and not from a textbook. Visitors are ultimately there to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Have a go at reading your posts to yourself out loud to review what you’ve written. Does it sound natural to you? Is it the sort of thing you’d say? Some people have an auditory style of working, which means they find information easier to absorb if they hear it. Reading your work back to yourself to see if it sounds right could make a difference in what you write and support your universal appeal as a blog writer.

Who are you writing for?

Something that may help you write is to imagine who you are actually writing for. Try to picture your intended audience. Are you writing for a corporate reader or perhaps an enthusiast? A business owner or a hobbyist? Your ideal writing style depends on these factors. Putting a bit of your personality in a purely business post will make it stand out, but becoming overly familiar could make you look unprofessional, so be careful with what you say and how you say it.

Striking the Right Balance for Your Readers.

Putting your own voice into your blog doesn’t mean forgetting proper writing conventions. Don’t let your grammar and spelling lapse or the only comments you get may be corrections of the mistakes you’ve made in your post! Using the English language effectively can make all the difference to what you write and the way it’s perceived.

Good communication plays a big role in what we do. Without it, we can’t get our message across successfully. It’s a key element to writing a good blog, and by developing your own communication style and your own voice, your blog will stand out from the crowd.

Then, simply have fun when you write and be confident in what you’re writing about and how you write.

Your turn: How do you give your blog an individual voice?

Bio: Andrew Rondeau is the author of the free guide “The Income Blogging Blueprint“. You can grab your complimentary copy of his blogging guide at http://www.webuildyourblog.com today.

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If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy How to Find Your Authentic Blogging Voice.

58 Responses to Does Your Blog Have an Individual Voice?

  1. Simon Hay August 30, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    I just be myself and be brave enough to try something unique. I post exclusive content that no on in my field is sharing. I enjoyed your post, thanks, Simon.
    Simon Hay recently posted..Soul Healing and Friends

  2. Scott McIntyre August 30, 2010 at 7:18 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    It’s definitely the case that bloggers can lose their individual voices when they try to write for a mass audience.

    There’s always a danger that their unique viewpoint can become diluted to such an extent that they become just another voice in the crowd.

    I like the idea of picturing your ideal reader and just writing as if you’re having a conversation with them alone. That would really give your writing a personal touch.

  3. T. August 30, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    Unless you write for a Corporate blog or some other type of business related website, I think that a large part of what we are “selling” is ourselves. I write a blog that features both personal essays as well as more formally structured feature posts, but in both cases – I always try to be authentically me because I believe that is what readers are drawn to and why they continue to come back. I know it’s why I come back to my favorites for each new post.
    T. recently posted..Book Review- The Haunting of Hill House

  4. rob white August 30, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Hi Andrew,
    Indeed, finding our voice is the biggest challenge in any creative endeavor. With sincere persistence and practice it reveals itself. I like to expose challenging truths that help readers inquire deeper into their beliefs.

  5. Jean Sarauer August 30, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    T., I’m the same way. Authentic voices and ‘real’ personalities draw me like a magnet.
    Jean Sarauer recently posted..Does Your Blog Have an Individual Voice

  6. {Grow With} Stacy August 30, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Finding your voice is very important and I know that personally it tends to draw me to a blog. There are certain blogs that I return to because I love the voice of the blogger.

    My blog is still pretty new (I started it this year) and finding my voice has been something that has improved over time. More of my personality has been coming out in my posts and I’ve been getting a good response from it!
    {Grow With} Stacy recently posted..Are Blog Niches a Thing of the Past

  7. Tess The Bold Life August 30, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Conversational writing doesn’t come easy for me. I’ve practiced it with some success. I am encouraged today to practice more. Thank you.
    Tess The Bold Life recently posted..Feeling Jealous Shine Your Light On It…

    • Jean Sarauer August 30, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

      Tess, I can relate to that. After having done so much content and magazine writing, I got really good at making my writing fit inside editorial boxes and aligning with their styles. Being able to just write ‘whatever and however’ has taken some getting used to.
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..Does Your Blog Have an Individual Voice

    • Andrew @ Blogging Guide August 31, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

      Tess,

      You are not alone…in fact in the vast majority. We all have to keep trying new ways…new things…new styles.

      Andrew
      Andrew @ Blogging Guide recently posted..Promote Your Blog Using These Ultimate Ways

  8. caren gittleman August 30, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    these are fabulous suggestions!
    I am the opposite of Tess, a conversational style is extremely natural to me. Being “text booky” doesn’t come natural at all!
    The goal of my blog Cat Chat was for it to be just that, a place myself and others can “chat” about topics pertaining to cats.
    I am not a vet or an authority, I am a cat hobbyist/kitty Mama. I have a naturally warm personality and that is what I hope to convey through my blog.
    caren gittleman recently posted..Cody- aka Wascally Wabbit Or Rabbit Boy

  9. Linda August 30, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Hi Andrew,
    I try to imagine I’m talking to the reader and telling them my thoughts about something I’ve seen, heard or remembered. I chat at first but then I try to organise what I write so that the reader travels with me,sharing the scene,and hopefully musing on what I’ve said.
    It’s different every time…

    • Jean Sarauer August 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

      Linda, I like what you said about the reader traveling with you and sharing the scene. Even though we aim for a conversational tone in our writing, we can make our blogs unique by bringing in a strong sense of place–setting the stage, creating sensory pictures, etc.
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..Does Your Blog Have an Individual Voice

    • Andrew @ Blogging Guide August 31, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

      Linda

      Even your comment painted a picture in my head. If you can do that in a comment…that is pure talent and I am very envious!

      Andrew
      Andrew @ Blogging Guide recently posted..Link Building Campaign- How To Prevent Getting Banned From Google

      • Linda September 5, 2010 at 11:58 am #

        Thanks for that, Andrew! I’m blushing now!

  10. Dia August 30, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    Developing a conversational style is one of the best ways we can do to make us have a unique voice on our blogs. The more we write like we are talking to someone, the closer we get to people’s hearts. This is very good point. Thanks for the reminder and sharing :)
    Dia recently posted..How to make a decision that will benefit you

    • Jean Sarauer August 30, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

      Hi Dia. Andrew will likely be along soon, so you’ll have to put up with me for now :) I like to write like I speak, but then clean it up a little. In my natural speech I use a lot of ‘ums’ and speak in incomplete sentences. So my writing is definitely more polished than my speech, but you’re right – if we can write to folks and make it sound as though we’re speaking directly to them rather than just talking ‘about’ something, it draws people in a lot more.
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..Does Your Blog Have an Individual Voice

    • Andrew @ Blogging Guide August 31, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

      Dia,

      You are welcome and I’m glad you took time out to comment.

      I tend to write how I speak. In fact, sometimes, I record what I want to say and then get it written up. It can be more nattural…when speaking.

      Ever tried that, Dia?

      Andrew
      Andrew @ Blogging Guide recently posted..What The Heck Is Social Computing

  11. Sandra Lee August 30, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    This is such an excellent question and one I want to ponder for awhile. It can be easy to lose your voice in the midst of trying to apply all the blogging advice you read. I really want to bring this question to bear as I write my next blog posts. The tips you offer are very helpful. Thanks so much.
    Sandra Lee recently posted..Timeless blogging advice- 12 great links

  12. Arabia Marshall August 30, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    I like this. I was struggling to find who I was writing to but I realized how much I love writing poetry and decided to use my poetry to create a topic to talk about. I have two other cstegories that is for a regular topic and the other one is for encouragement. Then a section for my poetry. I wanted to show that although I mostly write poetry, I can talk about other stuff too. This is topic is a great reminder to continue to be yourself and to show our individuality.
    Arabia Marshall recently posted..Reflection

  13. Pete Stean August 31, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    I’m constantly trying to refine my style, but one question in Andrew’s article pulled me up short. I’ll admit that I actually write for ‘me’ rather than thinking about how someone else might perceive what I write – perhaps that’s a big part of my personal style then?!
    Pete Stean recently posted..Kopparberg Klash Final

    • Jean Sarauer September 1, 2010 at 11:47 am #

      Hi Pete. It would be interesting to see how your writer’s voice may change if you considered the ‘who are you writing for?’ question before you write. Perhaps it wouldn’t change at all, but if you had a clear vision in your mind of who you’re writing for, it may change how you phrase things or your tone?

    • Andrew @ Blogging Guide September 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

      Hi Pete,

      Perhaps it might be worth asking your visitors for their thoughts.

      A simple ask may get your some terrific feedback.

      Andrew
      Andrew @ Blogging Guide recently posted..Link Building Campaign- How To Prevent Getting Banned From Google

  14. Jacqui September 2, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    At this point my blog is an exploration of writing through topics I am passionate about. Initially I had no idea who I was writing for, other than myself. Is it crazy to also be exploring who my audience is?

    As for writing style, at this point it seems to change depending on the subject of the post – some have been more professional (as they relate to my career) and some are more casual and conversational (generally are more about life experiences).

    Is this an effective approach?
    Jacqui recently posted..The Party’s Over…

    • Andrew @ Blogging Guide September 2, 2010 at 11:09 am #

      Jacqui

      I think mixing your approach to your writing style is a good thing. By trying different ways, you’ll get to see what sort of comments you get and what type brings more visitors.

      Just monitor the stats and then over a period of time you can see what is working best.

      Andrew
      Andrew @ Blogging Guide recently posted..How Do I Know What Blogs To Comment And Guest Blog On

      • Jean Sarauer September 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

        I totally agree with this, Andrew. I found that my audience responded to posts that I never would have dreamed would be favorites. It’s all a matter of testing things out.

      • Jacqui September 3, 2010 at 9:15 am #

        So how attached should one be to blog stats?
        Jacqui recently posted..Long weekend…one last hurrah!

        • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 10:06 am #

          Hi Jacqui. I think the key lies in NOT being attached to stats but rather in simply using them as tools for feedback and improvement.

          The stats I find most helpful are things like ‘bounce rate’ and page views, as well as where traffic comes from and average time spent on site. By checking these stats (every couple of weeks or so is plenty), you can see what articles draw traffic and keep readers on site the longest.

  15. Keith Davis September 5, 2010 at 4:31 am #

    Hi Andrew
    Good info, particularly liked “Develop a more conversational style to stand out.”

    The more posts I write the more I see the similarity between writing speeches and writing blog posts.
    Both require an easy to read conversational style with the reader / listener as the focus, which goes on to “Who are you writing for?”.

    You are of course writing for the reader / listener and not yourself.
    Keith Davis recently posted..Two way traffic

  16. Sherryl Perry September 5, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    I followed a link from Tia’s bizchickblogs.com and found you here. Great article. I can really relate to it. I agree that to engage your readers and customers, you have to be real. I always write my posts the same way I would talk to you if you and I were meeting over a cup of coffee (one of my favorite things to do). Sometimes, I write about some pretty dull tips like documenting and organizing but I believe if I can get my readers to relate to me and trust me, they’ll follow me. (I try to throw him some fun stuff when I can.)
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tips to Organize & Manage Your Documents and Email

    • Andrew @ Blogging Guide September 7, 2010 at 5:53 am #

      Sherryl

      Sounds like you have it nailed!

      I like to write as I talk – not always the best English or grammar but I feel it comes across as more natural.

      Andrew
      Andrew @ Blogging Guide recently posted..Working From Home- The Pitfalls And Positives

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 8:47 am #

      Hi Sheryl. Glad you found your way here! Writing in a conversational style is especially beneficial when you’re writing things that might be a little dry otherwise. Great job! And I like the part about having a cup of coffee–I’m a bit of an addict myself :)

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