Branding your blog is exciting and scary all at the same time. You need to do some intense introspection to decide what it is that your blog is about — what YOU are about. Every aspect of your blog should be influenced by the characteristics of your brand: your projects, your photos, your blog design, and your writing.
Clear branding helps you to do three important things:
- to set your blog apart from others’,
- to reach first time readers,
- to turn those first-time readers into fans or buyers.
In order to accomplish those goals, you need to offer your readers something they can’t find anywhere else. You need to make your blog uniquely YOU.
You can define your brand through your blogging voice. A blogging voice is the style of your writing that sets you apart from others. On Project Runway, you hear the designers talking about their aesthetic. It’s a similar concept. If I were to line up 5 different blogger’s posts side-by-side, you would want your post to stand out as belonging to only you.
In addition to setting your blog apart from others, a strong blogging voice builds a relationship with your readers. It is an honest window into your personality, and that authenticity will build trust with your audience.
Obviously having a clear blog voice is important to the overall branding of your blog. So, how do you discover what your own voice, your BRAND’S voice, is? It takes practice and time, just like every other aspect of blogging. To help you along the way, I have put together a list of practical tips and exercises that you can implement to strengthen your voice.
- Think of how you sound when you write a snappy Facebook status or tweet. That is probably pretty close to your authentic voice.
- Keep a journal on you at all times. If you think of something that sounds good in your head, write it down. We are busy people and are likely forget the exact wording of the thought, or, if you’re like me, the whole thought entirely. That original, spontaneous phrasing will be closest to your own particular voice. There are several good journaling apps available for your smart phone or tablet.
- Analyze your blog roll. Just like you are drawn to friends who are similar to you, you will be drawn to writers who sound like you. If most of the bloggers in your RSS reader have a casual style, don’t try to be overly formal. If you tend to prefer more factual, concise writers, steer clear of slangy wording or it will sound forced.
- Imagine your ideal reader. What is she like? What does she do? What would make her share a post with her friends? Then, write to her, and only her.
- Write comfortably. As often as possible, write in a comfy spot, when you are in a good mood. You are more likely to trust your gut if you do.
- Tell your story. Before you can write a project tutorial in your own voice, practice by writing personal stories. Write about favorite memories or difficult life experiences, anything to which you have an emotional connection. It will be easier to write authentically about topics that are meaningful to you. Whether you publish those posts after you finish them is up to you.
- Ride the wave. If you are having a “good writing night” pump out posts and social media postings and schedule them for down the line.
- Write freely, edit later. When you are in the writing zone, don’t question it. Just go. It’s generally better to edit and proofread on a second pass anyway, so don’t interrupt your train of thought with revisions.
- Come back to it later and see if you still like what you wrote. If it still sounds good to your inner monologue, keep it.
- Be yourself. You are the authority on you! It’s great to be influenced by other writers, but don’t allow that influence to blot out your own personality and style.
IMPROVE TODAY: Hop over to your most frequently used social media outlet and ask your readers this question: If you had to describe my blog in three words, what would they be?
If you are looking to improve your blog writing skills even further, check out my e-book Mad Writing Skills: A Non-threatening Guide to Grammar and Writing for the Creative Blogger.