Creating Your Business Blog’s Voice #blogging

Business Blog Voice

I am a writer because I write…

Hands up… did you start a business blog without any real plan? My hand is up too…  you’re not alone. Many businesses start their blog without a real plan.

As marketing goes blogging is cheap and easy to set up and then all you need to do is add some great writing, which is another blog post entirely.

The reality though, is different, if you want seriously good results then there’s some serious planning involved and one of the major decisions to make is the voice of your business blog.

A good blog needs a clear and consistent voice that is communicated on every single page. Consistency helps you create a brand and is part of what builds trust with your customers.

The Elements of a Business Blog’s Voice

What does ‘blog voice’ mean? It sounds simple, but it’s made up of a number of different elements including personality, beliefs, tone, style, and type of content. Some questions to ask include:

  • Is your blog going to be strictly factual or opinionated?
  • What values will it speak to?
  • Who will it attract?
  • Is the tone going to be casual / friendly or more professional?
  • Will you use humour?
  • Are you going to focus on recent news items, write reviews or offer how-to information?

Grab a pen and paper, and draw six big circles. In each circle write a few words that answers the questions in the bullet points. This will help you identify your own strengths.

Personality is an especially important consideration because your blog shouldn’t be dull and formal, I say shouldn’t be but there are certain types of consumer that respond to that type of content, and you need to know if that’s your customer. If it is, then know that when you write for them, and don’t let anyone, even me, sway you otherwise.

The human aspect of your business blog has to come through.

You need to show you are human beings as people respond better to other people, they don’t respond to logos until they know what that logo stands for. Imagine the Golden Arches of McDonalds, you may think cheap, fast food or you may think greasy fast food as you visualise those arches, but you know the logo and you know what it means to you, and that’s because you see them everywhere. Your blog’s reader is different, they don’t know you or your logo just yet. Human beings are conditioned to respond to other human beings, so make your business blog human.

It needs to be engaging and speak to emotions as well as simply giving the reader information, you may want to tell stories and share other people’s stories, again this is a great way to build connections. If you get comments surrounding your how-to information such as “great advice” then you will be on the right track and over time you’ll start to get emails from your readers as well as comments. Your voice has built trust and respect.

Your Ideal Reader

The best way to determine all the elements of your voice is to visualise your perfect reader. Who do you expect to become an avid reader of your blog? If you can imagine this person clearly, you can write posts to them that resonate perfectly, the reader thinks you are reading their mind when they read your posts. This part is so important that I have a Kindle guide dedicated to working this out – Zero to Targeted Marketing.

Your ideal reader will take some market research.

  • Find out which demographics are important parts of your niche.
  • Find out what they like and dislike.
  • Learn about how they feel, what they want out of life, and how they see themselves.
  • Some people even draw a physical picture of their ideal reader and look at it whenever they write!

I write each blog post as a love letter to my ideal reader. In this post the ideal reader is someone with a business blog that isn’t getting results, they want to know what’s wrong with their blog, they want to generate more leads, but they don’t want to invest in blog mentoring sessions just yet… They may consider investing in a Social Media  marketing guide to getting things right, as they realise how important it is to get their blog marketing them and their business right.

If I don’t write for the ideal reader then I write for a secondary reader, and that may be you. You would be someone who understands the value of the information I share, and you share my content with your audience, and on occasion you recommend me and my services as we’ve got to know each other really well. Your secondary readers are just as valuable as your ideal customers, they need some love too.

Your Blog’s Image

Now that you’ve got a clear image of your blog’s reader in mind, the next step is to create an image for your blog that appeals to them.

Consider not only your reader but also your business’s unique selling proposition.

The key question to ask yourself here is – ‘How is my blog different than other similar blogs in my industry?’

The answer to this question lies in the specific niche you choose for your blog. I write for smart business people, that don’t micromanage and are not afraid to invest in themselves. Often my clients are coaches and other social media marketers who wish to sharpen their skills. 50% of them are recommended to me by readers of this blog.

One of the biggest mistakes business bloggers makes is trying to be everything to everyone.  I have a client that insists that everyone is her potential client, because of this she’s constantly looking for new clients. She’s a generalist rather than a specialist. She doesn’t decline clients that don’t fit her business philosophy. It seems like her criteria is warm and with a pulse. And even though we are in the same niche, I don’t have the same ideal clients and don’t have the same readers to our blogs. It would shock her to know that I have the same traffic as she does (often more) and I don’t have as many social shares, and the reason for this is simple; I know whom I am talking to and why; I’m a specialist.

The truth is that no niche is too specific unless it’s a market of one person. You need to carve out a unique place for yourself in the blogosphere that will set your blog apart. Being the only one in your industry is no longer enough, you have to have more.

Finding Your Voice

Finding a voice for your writing is something all writers must do. If you’re going to blog, you’ve got to consider yourself a writer, even if you don’t have the training, experience or writing chops. Repeat this mantra after me…

A writer is a person that writes. I am a writer because I write.

Take some time to read different blogs to see how the voice differs. Some write in a very personal style, some are humorous or slightly outrageous, some write posts that are short and to the point.

Find your own way of writing that you enjoy and the way that resonates with your readers.

Don’t be afraid to get advice, because forming your business blog’s voice is tough, and it may not be your carrying that voice in the future, it may be someone else. When it’s planned and noted down, others in your business will be able to contribute with ease.

Sarah

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Sarah Arrow

Blogging an issue for you? Social media not quite working how it should be?That's okay I understand. I started blogging back in 2006 and grew into a kick-ass blog coach as well as creator of Birds on the Blog (listed 3 times by Forbes as a top 100 website for women), I'm frequently listed as both a top content marketing expert and as an influential marketer.
You want your blog to make a difference, so subscribe hereand stay in touch, my updates will help you achieve content marketing success.
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16 Comments

  1. Great article Sarah. I actually did start my blog with a plan – but the plan evolved as I began clarifying my direction and digging deeper into my niche. As a classic “Type A” I used to beat myself up for that – not having the definitive plan from day one. Fortunately I eventually got over myself and realized that it’s pretty hard to be “definitive” when most of what you do everyday you’re doing for the very first time. It’s a great ride though :-)

    Reply
    • Thanks Marty :)
      It’s good to read how we’ve grown as bloggers over the years, and what works in what niches and what doesn’t. I love that what you do every day is often for the first time, each day must be filled with wonder and joy :)

      Reply
  2. Sarah,
    I can never thank you enough for all what you share in your writings.. it is so professional, you are so in tune of what you do…

    Yes, having a plan of who, where and why do what you do, is essential when sitting up or to write a blog for earning a living.. or if as you say “create your voice”… I like your quote “A writer is a person that writes. I am a writer because I write.” now I can cal my self a writer since I write haha :-)

    All the best.
    nickc

    Reply
    • Hey Nick, I love your writing. You are indeed a writer :) and one that I enjoy reading. Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

      Reply
  3. One thing that REALLY stuck out to me (in my own words) is that my MISSION is to Be Helpful to the Community. I believe everything else falls under this. Content, quality, originality, etc, etc, etc.

    Thanks for your time and contribution.

    Reply
  4. Hi Sarah,

    “… did you start a business blog without any real plan?” Yes, of course. (!) Then somebody told me to make a plan and I did. Then I forgot about the plan. Then I changed the plan and forgot about it again etc.

    1. Planning can be done only if you manage to pass the first step: finding your niche.
    In my experience when you start and you don’t have a product or, at least, an idea to begin with … you are in the land of confusion. The only thing you know is that you want to start an online business, become a marketer and earn your living online. How ? You have no idea.

    Clearing up the confusion and the fog inside your mind is the first thing you need to do and the most difficult from the whole process. This is where you need help. Unfortunately this is the point where most people do not get the help they need. They just go here and there, try this and that and fail.

    2. Branding
    “Find out which demographics are important parts of your niche.” There are many pieces of advice like this on the net, many lists about what you need to do to identify your niche, your ideal readers, your buyer persona etc.
    The main problem most people have here is that they simply don’t know how to do this. They don’t know how to find out which demographics are important parts of their niche, they don’t know how to find out what people like and dislike, they don’t know how to find out how their ideal reader feels etc.
    What most of them want is somebody to explain these in a simple, practical manner, the whole sequence, step by step.
    Those who don’t need this – smart business people – are a minority. Of course, it depends on who your “buyer persona is. If you target exactly this minority than, it is ok. You don’t need to explain much.

    3. The image you created here is that of a kind of coach or mentor for entrepreneurs. What is the level of the people you begin with? Smart is one thing and trained is a different thing. What is the level of training an entrepreneur needs to have in order to be accepted by you in your coaching sessions?

    Have a nice day

    Reply
  5. My new business blogs are based on two important things: branding and relationship.
    First of all I’m creating a brand, with my graphic style, quotes and ideas. I hope they will become famous :)

    Second, I try to create a relationship. I don’t like to be formal. Formal marketing is dead. But many continue following the old rules. We’ll see who is wrong :)

    Reply
  6. I stick my hand up too often when it comes to the questions you ask! Finding my voice has been an interesting and ongoing practice, the more comfortable and secure in who I am, the more clear and ‘me’ my voice becomes. I like to use humour if I can because personal development can be very dry without it and we know that if we can laugh at ourselves, we’re on the road to change.

    Reply
    • I love your voice Jackie, it’s just like a conversation with you – humourous, useful and interesting :)

      Reply
  7. Hey Sarah,
    Nice post . I love blogs and can’t see how a business can thrive without one these days.
    I would add that it’s good to figure out how reading your blog will help readers. If you’re solving their problems then it’ll be a huge help in getting regular readers.
    Many thanks and Best wishes!

    Reply
    • Me to Mitch, blogging saved one o my businesses and I think it should be made mandatory for every business ut there. thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

      Reply
  8. Before the voice, or at least alongside the voice, comes the subject matter. I am finding that very difficult with a new site we are developing.

    I understand the principle – that the blog should underpin the site, draw people to the site, and push up the page rank ‘from below’, as it were, with fresh content.

    But what to write about? I am still wrestling with that one…

    Reply
    • What to write about… where do I start with that one? I’ll actually pull an audio together for that and you can tell me how useful it is after you’ve listened as I have no idea what niche you will be blogging in! Would that be helpful?

      Reply
      • Yes, I think it would be helpful – to me and to others, I think.

        Reply
  9. Hi Sarah I am so happy I came across this article today. I have been finding my voice lately when I first started blogging I did copy what others were doing and I hated it. SEO, Marketing Tips and all around blogging stuff just wasn’t me ( I was bored)

    Anyways once I started writing from my heart and taking consistent action branding Me I started loving it. Today I am in a new place and it was all because I started following blogs like yours and learning from reading the posts as well as the comments.. Thanks for sharing Chery :)

    Reply
  10. Hey Sarah,

    As you said your voice on your blog is a mixture of the colours, tones, theme’s, the way you write, what you write about and who you are writing to…
    The perfect blend off these things can really attract the right people to your page, the people that will benefit you by reading, commenting and socializing with you and your niche.

    Thank you,
    Kind Regards, Jessica.

    Reply

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