You can admit it; it’s a little terrifying. The idea of starting a small business blog and putting yourself out there for all to hear and critique, why do normal people do this?! Well, they do it because blogging remains one of the most effective ways to find new customers, lower your cost per conversion, and establish yourself in your niche. That means it’s a fear you’re going to have to conquer if you want to consistently be bringing in new customers.
Whether you’re new to the world of blogging or you’re not sure if your blog is attracting visitors the way it could be, below are three things to ask yourself and consider when building out your blog voice.
Wait – what’s your blog voice, you ask? It’s the tone, the personality and the persona you carry each time you share content on your blog. Master your voice and the rest is a cake walk. Okay, maybe it’s not a cake walk. But it’s way less intimidating.
1. Know who you’re blogging for.
To nail down the voice and tone of your blog you need to understand who it is you’re producing content for. We’ve already tackled the are you blogging for customers or colleagues question so hopefully that’s been settled. [Hint: The answer is your customers.] Now that you know your core audience, it’s time to learn even more about them.
- What does your audience look like: Are they male or female? What age group are they in? How tech savvy are they? What stage of the buying cycle are they in when they land on your site?
- Where else do they hang out: What other sites do they visit online? What blogs or communities do they hang out in? What social networks are they active on?
- What do they want?: What problems are they coming to you with? What are they expecting? What do they believe in? What are their core values? What will they support/speak out against? What riles them up?
Answering these questions will help you to create a better picture of your audience so you know the types of content you should be targeting toward them.
2. Know who you are (or want to be)
Once you fully understand who you’re blogging for, it’s time to take a look within and get to know yourself a little better. You’ll want to look at yourself from a couple of different angles.
- Who are you in your industry?: What is the niche that you focus on? What’s your competitive edge or your unique selling proposition? We all have something that makes us stand out, what do you want to be known for? What type of client are you trying to attract? What hole do you want to fill? Hopefully, as a business owner, you’ve already asked yourself these types of questions.
- Who are you as a blogger: Even if you don’t think of yourself as a blogger, asses the traits you have that may make you good at the job. For some people it’s their humor or wit, for others it may be the gift of storytelling, for others it could an ease at making complicated subjects less so. What do you bring to the table that you can leverage on your blog?
Understanding yourself and your skillset is going to help you hone in on what you want to focus on and accentuate in your blog. Because even though your readers will be coming to hear your information, they’ll also be coming to hear you. There needs to be something about your blog that stands out from all the others out there. It could be your unique take on the industry, how you approach posts, or your style of communicating. Figure out what hole you can fill simply by being you. That’s where the best blogs are formed, regardless of topic.
3. Know what already exists
You don’t live in a bubble and neither do your customers. Before you settle in one who you want to be, take a look at what’s already out there. Who is doing what and who is doing it well and whose doing it not so well?
- If you want to cover your industry by drenching it in sarcasm, is someone else already doing that?
- Or maybe you have a journalistic background so you want to cover things that way? Is there a need for that type of coverage?
If you’re not sure, try it. If it doesn’t seem to be connecting, then try something else.
It’s always helpful to take a snapshot of what’s already happening in your industry to help you pinpoint what you can add and where a need may lie. Because if everyone is writing about the news in the same way, there may be an opportunity for you to go left and do something totally different that your readers would relate to.
Sure, when you first start blogging you’re going to sound a little uncoordinated. But by doing your homework and taking the time to nail down the direction you want your blog, your business, and your brand to go, it can help you find your way and your voice a whole lot sooner.