If you want to make a blog into a success then it will need to meet at least some basic criteria. For one it will need to look good and work well on the majority of machines for instance. At the same time it will also be important that it provides useful information to ensure that it is worth the time spent reading it.
One of the most basic requirements of all though is that your blog reads well. In other words, it must be enjoyable and easy to read, and it must have a distinct tone and voice’ that suits the subject matter. If you don’t accomplish at least this much, then people will think your blog is unprofessional and may not trust the information they get from it. Alternatively, they may simply not enjoy reading it and feel as though the information isn’t worth the effort taken to extract it.
What Makes a Good Writing Voice?
Good writing has a voice’. This means that it has a consistent tone across all posts that suggests whether the subject matter is serious or not and that conveys personality while also imparting information. A good voice should be one that is not only entertaining and easy to read, but also one that sounds professional and appropriate for the tone of the site. So how do you find yours?
Well first of all there are some universal truths to consider that will help. The first is that your voice should always be grammatically correct and consistent. This is what will make your site seem professional, even if it is casual in nature. Spend some time honing your writing skills, and set down some hard and fast rules to follow with regards to your editorial guidelines. This is what makes the difference between a site like TheVerge, IGN or TheTimes and ensures that you know you’re reading a professional source of information when you’re there.
At the same time, your voice should also be one that makes reading as easy as possible for the widest range of visitors. Writing in a manner that is overly verbose or complex might make you feel clever, but it will put off a lot of people who come to your site. If something can be said with fewer words, then write it that way.
These guidelines apply to all writing voices, but there should still also be distinctions from blog to blog. This will be the result partly of your topic and niche, and of the tone that you are aiming for. If you have a blog about finance, then you will want to instill confidence and you won’t have much opportunity for comedy so you’ll want to keep your voice impartial and in the 3rd party. Head over the BB.co.uk and read some news articles these are examples of impartial and well written pieces that instill trust in the reader.
On the other hand though, if you’re writing a personal blog or a blog for a small business that you want to feel youthful’ and approachable, then you can throw in more witticisms and be a bit more flexible with your phrasing. Now personal opinions are to be encouraged (it adds colour and challenges the reader) and in these scenarios it will be fine to use abbreviations and slang in order to convey personality. Humour can go a long way to making your blog more entertaining and ensure that people come away from that read in a good mood. For a perfect example try reading the Atomic Dog’ posts over at bodybuilding site t-nation.com. The write there who calls himself TC’ posts on all manner of lifestyle topics on a regular basis which nicely breaks up all the training and nutrition tips. These posts are so entertaining they were made into a book and helped to make the site much more popular even with people who had no interest in fitness initially. Another example is Neil Gaiman’s blog he’s a novelist by trade so it’s no wonder that his blog is so entertaining to read.
And when you do that it should be your personality that you are conveying. This is really the secret to finding the right voice it needs to be your voice otherwise it will come across as unnatural and phony. Generally then, to find your voice you should write naturally as you would if you were writing to a friend but then just tidy it up a little to make it appropriate for your particular blog.
Greg Fisher, today’s featured writer, started Berkeley Sourcing Group eight years ago after realizing the need for efficient processes and coordination between manufacturing firms located in the United States and factories in China. In his leisure time, he indulges in blogging and enjoys making use of social media.