Marketing August 14, 2020 Last updated August 13th, 2020 122 Reads share

Finding Your Writing Voice: How to Sound Like Yourself

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Finding your writing voice might just be the hardest part of blogging.

It’s completely normal to write something, then hate everything about it the second you’ve finished.

Self-criticism is just part of the trade.

But a big part of creating something that feels right is finding a voice that sounds like YOU.

So, What Is a Writing Voice?

A writing voice is just the tone of your writing, or how your writing sounds to your audience, the kind of energy it gives off, and a style of writing that is recognizable as yours.

Finding your voice when you’re a new blogger can be really hard.

There are already so many other things to think about, and if you’re writing in a niche where research and statistics are fundamental, your voice can easily get lost in all the technical stuff.

There is no one perfect writing voice – you just have to find something that works for you.

How Do You Find a Tone That Works for You?

1. Be Authentic

Given how many bloggers there are already out there, the only way to sound unique is to sound like yourself.

As necessary as branding is, you can’t fake a voice without your audience KNOWING you’re faking a voice. There’s nothing more off-putting to a reader than when you can tell that someone is trying way too hard.

Most bloggers suggest that you write as you speak – and I agree with that to an extent. Remember that when you talk you have intonation and emotion – so when you’re writing, you need to find other ways to bring that same energy.

(A great way to do this is by experimenting through imagery, language, punctuation, and capitalization.) Check out Jorden Makelle’s writing to see a great example of a strong voice.

A good practice to see if your writing feels authentic is to read it aloud and see if it comes out as awkward, or if it feels comfortable and natural.

If it sounds good when you speak, it will sound good when it’s read.

2. Be Consistent

Your voice is going to change and adapt over time – but it should not be changing or adapting throughout a post.

I have seen people write posts where their voice completely changed about halfway through, and that’s so frustrating to read that I never finish those posts.

If you keep changing your voice, it will make it harder for your audience to read, and it can make the post feel disjointed and fake.

Try to make sure that you have some consistency in your writing throughout the post – that the flow, the rhythm, and the energy stays the same. When you stick to writing authentically, this is easy.

If you’re unsure of how to keep your voice consistent, think of it as keeping the style of writing the same. If you started writing your post in a casual, comedic style, you don’t want the second half of your post to fall flat – people will get bored and leave before they even finish.

Again, reading (and re-reading) your post aloud a few times is the best way to make sure that your voice is consistent and that the structure is working from start to finish.

 

3. Write Appropriately for Your Audience

Knowing what kind of post you are writing and who you are writing for is crucial.

A lot of bloggers get so focused on trying to stand out and build a brand that they forget what the aim of the post is.

Finding a good writing voice is about finding a balance between building personality and providing useful content.

If you’re writing a blog or a personal post (like a lifestyle or travel blog), then having a memorable, relatable, and exciting voice is EQUALLY as important as content because the audience is coming back as much for the connection with the author as for content.

But if you’re writing a blog or a post that aims to solve problems or provide information (like finance or marketing), people are coming to the blog more for content then for the author.

You should still try to create a voice that keeps people engaged, but if the aim for your post is to inform rather than entertain, you need to reflect that in your voice.

For example, I recently read a long-form post about marketing. The first 2000 words were concise and informative, which was exactly what I was looking for. But in the last 1000 words, the author started to insert random emojis after each sentence and make a load of jokes that weren’t relevant to the content.

Think about it. Someone who is looking for marketing information is likely to be:

  1. An adult 
  2. A professional 
  3. Looking for facts, research, and statistic-based posts 

So in that circumstance, changing your voice to try to be ‘fun’ doesn’t work and completely goes against what your target audience is looking for. It actually distracts them from the content that would otherwise be valuable.

(This is also a great example of why consistency is so important!)

Keeping your target audience in mind is crucial because it will also affect how you use language and tone.

If you are writing basic guides, but you’re using complex language, that’s going to turn your audience away.

But if you’re writing a post aimed at real estate investors, slang and social media references won’t make you look like an authority in your niche.

4. Think About What You Like to Read

When finding your voice, it’s crucial to find a balance between how you naturally sound, and how you want to sound.

You need to think about the impression that you are giving and what kind of content you are creating.

If you want people to view you as a professional, you need to write in a way that makes people trust you and take you seriously.

If you want people to view you as a friend, then you need to write in a way that makes it easy for people to connect with you.

You should also invest some time in discovering what you like and take inspiration from that.

If you love writing that’s funny, or that’s vulnerable, then use that to help with creating your own writing.

If there’s a style of writing that really makes you cringe, then don’t try to copy it just because you think it’s what sells.

It won’t showcase your best self, and you’ll hate doing it.

5. Practice

To truly find your voice and find what works for you, you need to practice all. the. time.

Every time you write, it will get easier for you to find your voice. You’ll find a style of writing that feels right and sounds good, but that takes practice.

If you ask any blogger, they’ll tell you that the first few posts they ever wrote were awful. You’ll sound stilted, or awkward when you first start, but the more you write the easier it will get.

Carve time out every day to create blog posts, writing samples, journals – anything that keeps you writing, even if you’re not a full-time blogger.

Try to practice different styles of writing – try list posts, reviews, how to’s, think pieces – and aim to get a voice that is cohesive across all of these.

It might take a while – but don’t worry, you’ll get there!

Hopefully, this will give you some guidance, and a little more confidence with your writing. If you have any more tips then let me know in the comments!

DepositPhotos – blog writing

Elle Juliette

Elle Juliette

Elle is a digital marketing and finance writer who likes helping entrepreneurs grow their business and making money make sense. When not writing she can be found at the beach, hiking, or avidly completing crosswords.

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