Do you have a “voice” as a writer? Finding your individual and unique writing voice helps you succeed as a blogger as well as an author. It makes sense, therefore, that a distinct voice plays a part in your blogged book’s success as well.
Yet, many writers and bloggers struggle to find their voice. When they fail, their work fails, too. I don’t want that to happen to you.
What is “Voice”?
A writer’s voice is your individual writing style. It’s the way you use syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, description, reporting, and storytelling within your blog posts or book. It’s what makes your written work unique from someone else’s work. Just as the way you speak has a unique quality, so does the way you write.
Why Do You Need a Writing Voice?
Your writing voice relates directly to your ability to gain readers, subscribers, clients, customers, and traffic. How you “sound” to those who read your blog posts determines if they enjoy reading what you write. It also makes a difference in how they perceive you—if they feel they know, like and trust you.
Ultimately, your writing voice reveals your authentic self. Since they can’t sit in the room with you and get to know you, your writing voice allows them to do this through the content your provide on your blog—whether this content arrives as posts, parts of your blogged book, special reports, courses or ebooks. (You could, of course, add in videos or podcasts, which allow blog visitors to see and hear you.)
How Do You Find Your Voice?
Sometime writing students are encouraged to experiment with different literary styles and techniques to help them develop their voice. They can try them on “for size” and see what fits best. Writing a lot also helps. Eventually you hit a groove. I found that blogging my book, How to Blog a Book, helped me develop a blogging voice.
Here are 6 more ways you can “search out” your voice and have it come across in your written work.
- Describe yourself. If you know what types of adjectives you would use to describe yourself, such as witty, serious, silly, educated, or energetic, you can then apply them to your writing. Write in that style or with that in mind. Try to have your writing convey that character.
- Write as you talk. Stop trying so hard to sound a certain way. Don’t attempt to be “literary” or “funny.” Just write as you would speak to your best friend or to a client. In other words, be someone you’re not, and don’t make writing a different exercise than speaking. In fact, try speaking a post or part of your book into a recorder instead of writing it and transcribe the audio, or use a dictation program that automatically transcribes your speech. Then just edit for grammar and punctuation. Your voice will come through load and clear.
- Write to your ideal reader. Consider the way your ideal reader wants to read, and then write to this style. Read publications and blogs they enjoy (the most successful ones). Ask yourself if this style is one you can adapt—or one that is similar to your own. If not, then come up with a voice you feel your audience would enjoy—one that feels comfortable and that you can maintain over time.
- Just write. Free write. Do timed writings. Stop worrying, and just find your groove or mojo. Get in the flow. That’s when you’ll discover your voice. (And stop listening to your Inner Critic during this exercise.)
- Read your writing. Don’t edit. Just see if you like what you’ve written. Does it sound like you? Did you have fun writing it? Are you proud of it? Do you think others will like it? Can you reproduce the tone over and over again? Could you speak it? Try reading it aloud; does it sound authentic?
- Ask others how you sound. Ask your friends to read your work. Then ask them if your written words sound and feel like your spoken words. Do your blog posts or blogged book sections align with the “you” they know and love? If so, keep doing what you’ve been doing. If not, try something else.
You’ll find there is no need to yell in cyberspace to get heard if your writing voice comes through load and clear. And when it does, the readers you want to attract will flock to your blog and blogged book to hear what you have to say. In fact, you could whisper and they would catch every word.
Have you found your voice in some other manner? Tell me about it in a comment.
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