— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) May 4, 2015
Last night at #Blogchat we had an interesting discussion about finding your blogging voice and the importance of tone with the content you create. Maybe it’s not completely accurate to talk about ‘finding’ your voice. Perhaps it’s more about being willing to give yourself permission to share your voice.
But it is my contention that many bloggers, whether they are personal or blogging for someone else, lose interest in blogging because they either aren’t allowed or don’t allow themselves to share their unique writing voice. I saw multiple people in #Blogchat last night referencing ‘write as you talk’, and I think that’s correct. If you don’t feel comfortable expressing yourself naturally, then the very act of writing and blogging can feel forced. As a result, it becomes less like an enjoyable activity and more like a job.
If this contention is correct, then the opposite must be true. Bloggers that embrace their unique voice (or point of view) are more passionate about blogging. And that passion carries through into their writing, making it more interesting to the reader.
Look at the tweet above from Southwest. It was created in a humorous and light-hearted voice. If you’ve ever flown with Southwest, you know that the flight attendants have this same voice. They are light-hearted, fun and energetic. The voice of Southwest’s content on social media is consistent with the brand’s voice across all communication channels. That’s important.
So how do you find or share your unique blogging voice? While I do think it’s more about giving yourself permission to share your voice versus finding it, I do think that writing consistently helps you to refine your voice. For example, over time I’ve learned to share and develop my unique voice here. My readers are primarily interested in information about how to more successfully create social content, and manage their efforts. In other words, it’s a space where a lot of people have questions with few straight answers. So over time, I decided to start sharing everything I knew about creating and managing social content. Even my own content. I share how I create content here, and how effective that content is in helping me reach my goals.
And I purposely share when something goes wrong. This not only helps me communicate to my readers that no one is perfect when it comes to creating social media content, but it also helps me build trust with my readers. This is also why I openly share all the prices I charge for my speaking/training/consulting services. Remember at the first of the post when I talked about how not giving yourself permission to share your voice can contribute to you losing interest in blogging? I hate being vague, especially when it comes to pricing services. I hate talking to a company that needs help from someone like me with building out their social media strategy, and not addressing the pricing for my services up front. If they are wanting more information on a $5,000 service and only have $500, then everyone’s time is wasted if we spend 2 weeks of discussing how we can work together if we are that far apart on money. So I prefer to save everyone’s time and manage expectations by being upfront.
With brands, there are some unique challenges: Finding writers that can write in that brand’s unique voice, disconnects when the brand’s social voice doesn’t match the voice of customer service delivered via other channels, etc.
Whether you write for yourself or an employer, what has been your biggest challenge in finding and sharing your blogging voice?