It’s prep week for Blaugust Mentors, so I decided to sit down and write about something that’s been on my mind lately. Prep week focuses on giving some advice to new and upcoming bloggers — so you’ll see a lot of useful information about blogging platforms, choosing topics, consistently writing, picking your blog name/URL — very important stuff!
I wanted to tackle some things that aren’t always so obvious to think about from the start: Voice/Tone and Audience.
These are actually concepts to think about no matter what kind of writing you’re doing — blogging, fiction, bussines, etc. And while you might be going… “Oh gosh, I’m just trying to put some words on the page, when do I have time to figure this out?” …I feel that establishing your blogging voice and knowing who you’re writing for early on makes things easier.
What Attracts People?
Think about those folks you follow on social media. Think about your favorite streamers or YouTubers. What do these usually have in common?
They’ve established a personality (voice) that’s unique to themselves, and that’s something you’ve connected with. You start to like them as a person, and therefore, you come back to see what they have to say again and again.
They don’t have to share anything super personal for you to feel like… Hey, I jive with them, and they’re cool to listen to. If they take time to interact with their audience, oh man, they’re really a hit then!
There’s really no secret to what they’re doing (though it’s not always easy to maintain). They’ve just established a voice/personality and they’re consistent with producing content around a specific audience that responds to it. YOU!
Granted, this can take time and effort to achieve. Often, your own writing voice will evolve and change the more you learn about the craft of writing and the people you’re talking to. That’s totally okay! It’s a part of growing as a blogger.
But that doesn’t mean that when you sit down to roll up a blog that you can’t already be thinking: Hey, who am I writing this for? Who do I want to reach out to?
Do you want to approach things with humor and an honest down-to-earth slice-of-life personality?
Or do you want to be known for someone who says what’s on their mind, no matter how brutally honest it is?
Maybe you want to establish yourself as someone who provides ground-breaking strategies and has an powerful authority over the topics you choose to write?
Different approaches will connect with different kinds of readers. It’s important to consider the pros and cons of the voice and approach you use — will you be able to maintain it over a long period of time, for example. Or will it exhaust you (or confine you) to try to step into the persona that you’re building?
Sometimes even refreshing an existing blog is just about taking a different point of view and changing your voice.
With my blog, I’ve chosen to establish a casual and laid-back personality. It’s very much in line with who I really am IRL, so it’s easy to maintain.
You’ll hear me talk about what’s happened in my gaming life. I like to post things that make people laugh, if possible. I stay away from more somber and serious topics, even if that’s the direction everyone else seems to be taking. And if I do write things like a game review, it’s generally something based on how it made me feel, rather than a professional take on the game.
Thinking about your blogging voice and audience from the start will also help you decide on the overall feel and presentation of your blog. Once you know who you want to be, and who you want to write for, you can center your theme, blog name, and everything else around that to present a consistent face (a brand) to your audience.