Bloggers, this is a call to arms. The photos, the site design, and the social media outlets are vital limbs in developing a cohesive blog — but at the heart of the whole operation lies the writing, and more importantly, the voice.
In the past I've talked about how to get more readers through better writing, and given tips on how to be the best writer you can be — but what about the loftier, less tangible element of writing? That damned voice.
Finding your writing voice could be the easiest or hardest part of the evolution your blog. It's more than just talking about certain topics, it's how you talk about them. And as blogger Rachel Seville recently pointed out, it seems like lately there's a lot of similar voices regurgitating similarly expressed thoughts on fashion in the blogosphere.
So how do you keep your blog from being drowned out? How do you create a voice that rises above all of the clamoring noise on the Internet?
How to create a strong voice in your writing…
If you want to make a lasting impression with your readers, construct a voice that balances your personality with a personality you would want to read. Maybe it sounds smooth and crisp like a news anchor, or perhaps it's got a rougher pair of vocal chords, a la Courtney Love — however you choose to portray your writing, what's really important is that your voice reigns supremely over your content.
Essentially, your audience wants stability, they want something they can relate to, return to, and read over and over. From the punctuation to the vocabulary, the reader eventually begins to conceive a particular person behind the article, mentally creating a relationship. Like a favorite coffee shop or favorite movie, the reader will want to come back again, which will increase the longevity of your writing (and blog).
Find your voice by asking yourself the following questions…
What personality traits do you want your blog to have? Are you trying to sound professional? Humorous? Sarcastic? Terse? Sincere? Snarky? Make a checklist if it's easier for you to see it visually, then consult it every time you are about to publish a post. Did you portray the characteristics you wanted to?
Who is your ideal reader? Describe them. What other publications do they frequent? Are they likely to pick up the New York Times or People magazine? Are the scanning The Atlantic every morning or Style.com? Or both?
Who are you? What are your personality traits? Does your writing sound like a version of the way you talk? Do your words flow out naturally? If your writing voice strays far from your actual voice, you may realize it's harder to maintain. The choice is yours, but often times writing in your words correlates to the best results.
Use these tools to elevate your voice…
So maybe, like, you totally, like, talk like this, like normally — and perhaps you want to elevate your written speech.
Create an outline of what you want to say before you say it. Knowing what you are writing about before you start the first sentence can help smoothen out your thoughts.
What's your purpose (or thesis)? What you are saying should be exclusive to you, and not a repeat of what something someone else said. Your authenticity will stand out in a crowd of copycats.
A thesaurus can be your best friend… it's ok. Maybe you have an idea you want to express, but don't know how to quite find that one eloquent word you're missing — hit up the big T, it's a cheat sheet you're allowed to use.
Keeping up with your voice after you've found it…
Keeping up with your voice after you've developed it is the fun part; invent your own terminology, experiment with how you express yourself. You better believe there was no phrase such as”man repeller” or “glamourai” before those bloggers coined them. What will be your mark?
Finally, your writing is up to you…
You may never know where it may take you, so use it to your advantage.
Interesting post. I must say though the only way to create a strong voice is for it to be your own voice. Having your blog only focus on its humor, sarcasm, professionalism could faulter in the long run because each day brings a new mood, I think it’s refreshing to have that be reflected in a blog.
GREAT post! I went to college for Communication, so I’ve taken several writing classes. Some of the lessons I’ll remember forever, and some I forget as time goes on. It was so nice to read a post about the writing. Amid the ways to promote, the comments, the photos… for me the writing is important. Some posts are mostly about the photos, but if there’s even a few sentences, they should be interesting ones. I look at the first few sentences in the preview of a post, and they determine if I’m interested enough to click through and keep reading.
Thanks for the reminders and the new information. I will use it!
This is such a good post. It really helped to get me thinking more deeply about how I sound in my posts and if I’m conveying my personality the way I see myself. Writing is such an important piece of my posts because i think the photos are the illustration to what I’m writing about instead of the pictures saying it all and im glad my readers like it 🙂
I’m always working on this…. Thanks for the post.
It’s a unique challenge to bloggers to maintain their writing voice when they are publishing several times a week! That’s been the hardest thing for me.
Love this article!
Just be yourself & your writing should come naturally!
I think I generally have a strong writing voice mainly because I write as I talk. I write with my personality. But these are some good tips!
This is such a good and necessary read! In the overly saturated relm that is fashion/style blogging it’s diffucult to find your voice and I think this guideline is pretty spot on! Thanks for sharing:)
I THINK YOU CAN RELATE THAT IN EVERYTHING WE DO IN LIFE :)))
ANASTASIA – FASHION DESIGNER