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Guest

Five Examples of Blogging Voices

By: Guest | March 20, 2012 | 
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Today’s guest post is written by Jayme Soulati.

What the heck is voice? The honest-to-goodness answer is … I have no idea!

I’ll attempt a few tips and provide examples of bloggers’ styles that contribute to voice. Afterwards, I hope you’ll have a better understanding on the quest to find yours.

It takes the better part of a year to get comfortable in your own skin. Attaining voice is part of that 12-month blogging journey. (Hints 1 and 2: Have confidence and be time-tested.)

For me, I write the way I speak and I do it with snark and flowers. Is writing the way you speak considered “voice?” Absolutely, if you can pull it off naturally. (Hint 3: Be natural.)

There’s pressure to find it, have it, and keep it, and how does that work? With consistency. (Hint 4: Practice!)

Five Examples of Blogging Voices 

These examples of styles, tone, personality, and delivery contribute to blogging voice. (Hint 5: Voice consists of more than just delivery.)

Take a look and hit on one that makes you nod your head. (Hint 6: Voice has a LOT to do with tonality.)

  1. Snark. Personal flair is sometimes snark. It works for some and not others. Davina Brewer is one of the best at this. She says, When a smart blogger dares to challenge a ‘social media guru’ or marketing legend, hell hath no fury like fandoms irked when the wisdom of their ‘rock star’ is questioned. And FWIW I really ain’t sure if the ‘star’ status is anything more than a touch of echo chamber celebrity, cloaked in popularity, masked in a bestseller’s book jacket and next week’s speaking gig.”
  2. Grammarian Aristocrat. Shakirah Dawud at Deliberate Ink uses 50-cent words naturally, with flair, and perfect punctuation and grammar. She says, “The ‘green’ movement in English: Many common words are being reduced, reused, and recycled, as we’ve seen with ‘friend,’ ‘heart,’ and ‘action’ as the verb. There are familiar words transmogrified into new usages that, although subject to ridicule, are used more commonly than we like to admit in some circles, like ‘deliverables,’ ‘pushback,’ and the terrible-to-behold corporate verbs ‘incent’ and ‘action.’”
  3. Confident. Jack Steiner has been blogging for more than eight years. That experience exudes confidence nearly untouchable. If you try to pull this off without being time-tested (see hint 1 and 2 above), you’ll come across unnatural and arrogant. He says, “What I don’t know is if that skill translates into storytelling on the scale I am trying to do it. This project is officially bigger than any I have ever taken on before. People have told me they like it. Some have said they love it and a few have told me they really dislike it. That is all fine with me and something I expect. I am not trying to please everyone. At the moment the most important person in this equation is me.”
  4. Natural. Erica Allison, who blogs at Spot On! is a natural blogger in style and voice with ability to create community. She shares her wisdom in a believable way, showcases her personal side, and invites you in with a huge smile. She says in a blog post earlier this year, ”In honor of Valentine’s Day and in the spirit of love, I thought I would share with you my very favorite apps, tips, and tools that make my online marketing efforts ROCK.  I don’t think it’s really possible to LOVE an app or a tool (although I’m certain I’ve been madly in love with a fella before who acted like a tool… ‘wa – wa- waaa’).”
  5. Inspiring. Mature writers speak in a voice that is soft and encouraging. Mark Harai inspires in a heart-felt manner while educating in a positive light. He says, “Having clear goals in mind is so important when you set out on your social media journey. You need to understand how both of these relationships are instrumental to the health and ultimate success of your online business activities. The close online friendships you develop, in many cases, will be those people you look up to and respect. They will teach you new things every day and inspire you to move forward toward your goals in becoming the successful person you know you’re destined to be.”

These bloggers are all very different from each other. Yet, when you read them consistently, you’ll see their voices don’t stray. Whether your emotion of the day is sad, happy, peaceful, or neutral yours should not stray much either. If there are days when you’re forcing it, take a break until the mojo returns.

Voice is something earned, and it doesn’t happen at the get-go. It takes months of practice. When voice is found, the rest of the blogging experience turns positive, too, and your community will respond in kind.

Promise.

Jayme Soulati is president of Soulati Media, Inc., and she blogs at Soulati-‘TUDE! She’s all over the interwebz and is easy to find.

90 comments
ifdyperez
ifdyperez

This is wonderful, @Soulati! Very helpful for the beginning blogger. I'm still on the journey to finding my voice, so this was encouraging to read.

 

CharterHomes
CharterHomes

@Soulati You're welcome - great stuff! :)

Soulati
Soulati

@john_trader1 You rock for coming over today, though. Thanks, John!

Soulati
Soulati

@nemultimedia I know, right?? The comments #RockHot !

SoulKirk
SoulKirk

Facebook Launches A Tool Showing You What Sponsored Stories Look Like In Your News Feed http://t.co/QidyHNTQ rt @JesseNewhart

Soulati
Soulati

@voxoptima You like snark? Do it well and you're golden! Thanks for RT!

Soulati
Soulati

@paulrobertspar Yo! There you are! Are you coming to Social Slam? What's up? You already on hiatus? I've been too busy to make rounds. Sorry

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

Most impressed with the examples Mrs. @Soulati! Great representatives of the styles of voice you mentioned -- and great tips. I haven't been at this game as long as @ginidietrich but agree with her, it's tough to read the early stuff.

Soulati
Soulati

@nancycawleyjean I can't believe @lisagerber selected that pic! Holy mackerel. Was that good form? See what happens when you FB yourself NYE

shonali
shonali

@soulati You're welcome!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

I also think your voice changes as your blogging experience grows. It's pretty embarrassing to see what I wrote five years ago. As your confidence grows, your community provides feedback, and your goals become clear, your voice becomes more consistent and strong. And it'll change, even after you finally have it. Some days (or months, like I'm having right now), it'll be like pulling teeth to get any voice out there. And other days (or months) will feel like you have more to say than days in the week. So find your voice, but be flexible in letting it change as you grow.

barryrsilver
barryrsilver

Jayme,

Wow. Thanks for providing examples and guidance for finding voice. As soon as I finish my comment I plan on sharing your post with my little (and very lovable) tribe.  As someone that has completed 20 mos. blogging (and approaching my 1 yr. anniversary on my current portfolio) I would like to add two suggestions that helped me establish my voice:

1. Blog to a portfolio, Having a general topic area helps determine voice. I would assume a blog about meditation would avoid a voice of snark.

2. Set aside one day a  week for a weekly post on a theme related to general topic.  That helps define voice one day a week and allows the voice to grow from that weekly post.

 

I'd also like to reinforce the idea that finding a voice does indeed take time.  I would say I hit my stride 5 mos into my current blog which was a little over a year from starting.

 

Happy blogging to you.

penneyfox
penneyfox

Thanks for the great post and introducing me to some new bloggers! I'm new to this community and really just started blogging for my company last year. Loved how you didn't just tell us how to find our voice but gave us some examples of folks who have found their voices and use them well.

 

As a newbie, I'm still working through the process of finding my voice. I do find that when I write like a I talk, the post feels more like me. So big thanks for the hints and helping me figure which style makes me nod my head.

Soulati
Soulati

@skypulsemedia Love that word; "shizzle."

KDillabough
KDillabough

Know them all, luv them all. I think when you have something to say that emanates from the muse within, "voice" comes naturally. Great post @Jayme Soulati . Cheers! Kaarina

Soulati
Soulati

@skypulsemedia Thanks for letting me jibe you guys today over @spinsucks @bdorman264 maybe you're mad at me now

ShakirahDawud
ShakirahDawud

This really was a gambit of bloggers, all familiar to me except I sound seriously uptight, lol. But part of blogging is exposing youself to so many voices out there that aren't like yours--no matter how badly you want them to be--heh. Such a compliment to be listed among those who actually has a clear writing voice, Jayme, thank you.

There are some posts that flow for me and others I freeze up on. The frozen ones all tend to come from the fact that I don't know how to approach a topic familiarly, so I'm leaning too heavily on what's out there already to fill in for me. It shows.

There's no getting around that time factor, though. I'm only a year in; it'll be fun to see what more time has in store for all of our voices.

Latest blog post: Thanks for subscribing!

JohnMTrader
JohnMTrader

@soulati You have such an intriguing perspective on things Jayme. Love reading your insight and grateful for you sharing the knowledge!

PaulRobertsPAR
PaulRobertsPAR

@Soulati hi to you. I'll need to wait for the Boston version of Social Slam - I don't travel well. Hope all is well with you.

NancyCawleyJean
NancyCawleyJean

@Soulati ha-ha-ha! LOL! It was a fantastic pic! Maybe that martini helps find your voide. ;)

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR

 @barryrsilver Excellent suggestions, Barry. Thanks for sharing these. So, when you say blog to a portfolio, you mean a central theme? Seems one tip I got when I launched was to have a purpose at the outset; not sure everyone manages that too well, though.

 

Thanks for sharing this forward, and as I don't see your latest post title in your Lifefyre...might you please add that so I can stop in?

Latest blog post: Attend Social Slam April 2012

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR

 @penneyfox You have no idea how brave you are, and I thank you. You just waded through all the banter B.S. from my cronies down below and put up an honest-to-goodness comment that's real and genuine. :-) (If you didn't read the comments first, that's brilliant!)

 

That said, it did take me near 12 months to figure this thing out. Your own tone becomes the most comfortable and welcoming; when you write for a company blog, however, it becomes more of a challenge to keep it friendly yet professional. Thanks, Penney!

Latest blog post: Attend Social Slam April 2012

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR

 @ShakirahDawud Look at you -- sharing your nerves right here in the most thriving community ever. I admire that and a sign of a growing blogger to point out such things...but, you are your own worst critic. I don't see what you do when I come visit; you are a refreshing inspiration.

Latest blog post: Attend Social Slam April 2012

Soulati
Soulati

@john_trader1 You're #RockHot to say so, John. I have no idea; I just do it. Or, is that trademarked? Thank you!

barryrsilver
barryrsilver

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  Thanks for the tip. I know I checked a box that would add "My latest conversation". Now I can't find that box. You'd think 20 mos. of blogging would provide some comfort level with the "latest" technology. Hey, that should be my biggest challenge this week.

penneyfox
penneyfox

 @TheJackB  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Checked out your blog today - love the personal dad stuff! I write a personal blog about my life with my 8-year old son and trying to find balance in my life. I'll stop by your blog again and follow your stories.

penneyfox
penneyfox

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing I don't mind the banter - it gives me a good laugh to stop in here :)

(And yes, I did read the comments first)

 

I've been writing a personal blog for a couple of years and my voice really developed last year. When I started writing for my company, I struggled at first to be this marketing person and saying what I thought the readers wanted to hear. I finally just started using my voice that I discovered in my personal blog and am now writing about my point of view of marketing/social media. Still working through that one so its good to hear that it doesn't just happen overnight.

 

thanks again for the post -- and enjoying the community love here :)

penneyfox
penneyfox

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Sorry to confuse you - I meant a newbie to the blogging for my business stuff and working through my voice.

 

The two identities is certainly a tough one. I'm still trying to find the middle line as I'm sure that my business community doesn't really need to hear about how weird my kid is or about my struggles as a mom. But like I said, I'm starting to find a way to incorporate my voice that I've discovered into my business blog. I appreciate posts like yours to help work through these things :)

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR

 @penneyfox Ohh, so you're not a newbie...sorry to imply such! I have that same issue with a FB page for moi and one for my company. So, I'm always posting for personal brand and rarely for the company. Don't even ask me about having two identities on G+. Oh, forgot; this is about voice; not branding.

Latest blog post: Attend Social Slam April 2012

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