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.

  • J Squires

    Oh man, I’m so tired of every internet startup thinking they need a snarky, comical, pun-loving writer. Take your audience into consideration! Think about your product! Just because some brands have found success with a certain voice doesn’t mean you need to steal theirs. 
     
    Sorry. End rant. This is a great article about voice. I think since a lot of the people doing the writing for blogs and articles are copywriters and in some cases, just random folks from the creative team, they aren’t used to the conventions of writers who work with voice on the regular such as journalists, fiction writers, etc.  A delineation and explanation of the styles as you did here should prove incredibly helpful. 

    •  @J Squires Thanks so much for the + comment. I appreciate that! For those bloggers I follow consistently, I expect that style and voice when I visit. If it’s not there, I wonder who’s writing or is that person feeling OK that day? Seriously. Funny how that happens…thanks for sayin’.

  • jonbuscall

    I really enjoy @thesaleslion Marcus Sheridan’s tone of blogging. He’s laid back but also oozes that super supportive tone. I think a lot of B2B snoring blogging could learn from Marcus. Oh, and @ginidietrich for enthusiasm :=)

    •  @jonbuscall  @thesaleslion  @ginidietrich These are the folks we emulate in style, tone, voice and then we develop our own and grow, Jon. When bloggers are just starting out, it’s brilliant practice to read many different bloggers to learn what appeals to you personally.  Thanks for coming over!

    •  @jonbuscall  @thesaleslion  @ginidietrich I have to agree. Marcus has a really encouraging and inspirational voice. 

    •  @jonbuscall  Jon, incredibly kind of you to say man. Really, thank you for that.

  • The best part of this post is that I learned about four bloggers I didn’t know and was reminded about one I don’t visit often enough.

    •  @ExtremelyAvg So glad to introduce you to a few new folks! But, that Lisa Gerber wouldn’t let me keep two more, so I had to be brief. Heh.

      •  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing @ExtremelyAvg i’m so mean! 

  • ‘Voice’ is somewhat fluid and contextualized. When I’m rooting through some heady theory-laden topic, my authorial voice is quite distinctive compared to my more personal, emotionally-driven posts. 

    •  @jasonkonopinski Oh my, yes. You have that gift of being able to flip your voice as per your headiness. Not sure I’ve seen others do that as well.

      •  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Aww shucks. Now you’ve gone and made me blush. 

  • Why thank you, Jayme @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing ! I had no idea I would be included in such a stellar post on blogging voice! I’m glad I wrote a new one today! Whew…just in case I get a new (or returning, ahem… @ExtremelyAvg , visitor) I have some new stuff up.  
     
    Tell us who the other two ‘voices’ were, please. 

  • ericamallison

    Thx 4 including me! @soulati: 5 Examples of Blogging Voices http://t.co/omFZKkAI Tagged you! @Mark_Harai @ShakirahDawud @3HatsComm @TheJackB

    • ShakirahDawud

      @ericamallison @Soulati @Mark_Harai @ShakirahDawud @3HatsComm @TheJackB I saw–heading over now; yes, we’re all of a different color!

  • I’m w/ Brian @ExtremelyAvg – great reminder to visit some of these more often!! And though I’ve seen him in comments, I didn’t know Mark_Harai was back in the blogging game – so I’ll have to check that out.  I think @EricaAllison  does have a very natural voice, very comfortable and I’m in love w/ ‘grammarian aristocrat’ – very apt for @ShakirahDawud . I like her blog b/c it makes me think about language; anyone who types words for a living, it’s worth reading.
     
    Agree w/ @jonbuscall about TheSalesLion  Marcus really packs a lot of info into posts – educational and informative, but in a casual way that does not talk down to readers. For YOU missy miss, I’d have to add Supportive: You highlight others by means of giving value and helpful advice to your audience. You know your mine, your voice; and you’ve given me a good idea for a ‘quick and easy’ – wonk wonk – post, I need to try something like this someday.
     
    And as for me (thx, btw) yes I’m snarky but really –  I’m going for a touch of TheJackB  confidence, wrapped in a little bit of funny as I try to tell it like I think it is in an “anyone can understand” kind of way. At least, that’s the plan. FWIW.

    •  @3HatsComm  @ExtremelyAvg  Mark_Harai  @EricaAllison  @ShakirahDawud  @jonbuscall  TheSalesLion  TheJackB FOR WINE I WILL. At least it’s not whine, like that King to your Queen. heh.

    •  @3HatsComm Thanks D’!

  • 3HatsComm

    @Soulati Thanks Jayme. @mark_harai @shakirahdawud @ericamallison @thejackb <<-Some good peeps here!

  • Sumbich, you drag me over here to another freakin’ list I didn’t make; really? How nice was that…..
     
    I think I have found my voice and my wife says is is BORING………she’s still waiting for me to actually write about something worth reading. What if I don’t want to write about anything worth reading; does that mean I’m still just a social loser because I don’t play the game? What if I don’t care…..
     
    Out of all this social silliness and the fickleness it brings I have found I like the writing a lot more than I thought I would. The fact that people actually show up and I can have dialogue is like I’m in the bonus round. Once I quit worrying about ‘who’ was showing up and just put my head down it became enjoyable again….and sustainable. Plus, some of those people I used to fret over not showing up…..some ended up being real DB’s anyway so I’m glad I didn’t get too deep with them. 
     
    Because we have a tendency to hang out in the same ‘hood at times, I know all those you have mentioned very well. All of them are definitely A+ in my book. I just wish thejackb would post a little more frequently………………..sumbich……….:)

    •  @bdorman264 @jasonkonopinski we aren’t edgy enough to make this list.

    •  @bdorman264  thejackb OK, Howie HouseMusic (dang, he has a lot of aliases), let’s be real…I coulda had a category of NON-SELFHOSTED BLOGGERS but Lisa Gerber edited me down. Then, I thought, should I add a category for WHINERS and realized perhaps King Bill would be the only candidate. So, I passed you both on by … and, is this a list if it’s five?
       
      This ain’t no list; it’s a highly educational post to put you on the map with VOICE.

      •  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  thejackb  Howie HouseMusic  Lisa Gerber That Dorman sure can whine for someone who acts like none of this bothers him, huh? 

      •  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  @bdorman264  thejackb  Howie HouseMusic I’m so mean!

    •  @bdorman264  thejackb I am cracking up! Your first sentence had me laughing out loud, your next paragraphs well…we’ve had that conversation…and your last sentence was like icing on the cake…more laughter:) Yeah Jack, it’s really too bad your don’t post often enough:)

  • TheJackB

    @Soulati @mark_harai @shakirahdawud @3hatscomm @ericamallison Thank you. Sorry for dragging the curve down. 😉

    • Soulati

      @thejackb What a goose neck you are.

      • TheJackB

        @Soulati Is that better than being a turkey neck.

  • Is this like the Academy Awards where I say something nice about all of the other nominees while silently congratulating myself for being better than they are/were.
     
    Or am I supposed to provide some sort of self deprecating line about how I apologize for making Jayme lower the bar. Damn, sometimes I just don’t know how to respond so I suppose that I’ll just write another six posts today.
     
    Yes, I wrote close to 6,873 words today and I aim to double that, but that output isn’t important. Nope, in this case it is a question of whether the quality is there. My wish for all of you is to never feel like you could have done better.
     
    Every single time you hit publish may you “know” that you left it all on the keyboard/paper” or whatever term you wish to use.
     
    Really, I appreciate being listed among the fine folks here. Good people and good company.
     

    •  @TheJackB I know no one who is as prolific as you. You’re lucky you’re still in my good graces; I wrote this post months ago and coulda edited you out yesterday.

      •  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing That is why I am buying a lottery ticket today. Good luck all around.

  • 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.

    •  @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.

      •  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing
        So yeah… I guess I am kind of uptight… in a way… (see how I had to qualify that?) Anyway, this is probably the best way to get me back out into the community after my hiatus last week. Inhale… ah, yes, that fresh blogosphere smell… Thanks, Lady J.

    •  @ShakirahDawud Just askin’ — is that supposed to be gamut ?

      •  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing
         Yep–writing too fast to keep an X-Man and a spectrum from crashing into each other. You got me!

        •  @ShakirahDawud Oh, man. That is just too precious. Gonna hold that one over on ya, Girlie! You know I’ve got you on a pedestal, eh?

        •  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing
          Have mercy, I beg!

  • Of course you had to go to the darkest depths of the blogosphere to find these five. I am starting to wonder where you are hanging out @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing I mean @EricaAllison with her PETA/Vegan Cult, @TheJackB and his Harley, @3HatsComm with her burningman fire dancing, @ShakirahDawud who is a bookie and loan shark, and of course @mark_harai  with his tattoos and death metal band.
     
    So what I am saying is great job!

    •  @HowieSPM  @EricaAllison  @TheJackB  @3HatsComm  @ShakirahDawud  @mark_harai Sheesh, Alien. If you were self-hosted, perhaps I could find your writings…but, alas, no antennae. @ShakirahDawud did I spell that right?

      •  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  @HowieSPM  @EricaAllison  @TheJackB  @3HatsComm  @mark_haraiOf course you did!

      •  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  @EricaAllison  @TheJackB  @3HatsComm  @ShakirahDawud  @mark_harai I am communal unlike everyone else who are rogue bloggers. lol

  • Soulati

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

  • 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

    @skypulsemedia Love that word; “shizzle.”

  • I always forget how cool it is to GP over here…you’ve got the awesome-est community @ginidietrich and @lisagerber. #RockHot

  • spiral16

    RT @webby2001: Five Examples of Blogging Voices by @soulati http://t.co/toCWKVVE

  • 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.

    •  @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!

      •  @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 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.

        •  @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 🙂

        •  @penneyfox Thanks for the clarification. If it’s any consolation, I have a 10 yo, booming business, a yard in spring, blogs, and…you get the drill. I feel you.

    •  @penneyfox I always recommend that people adopt a conversational tone. It is more inviting and encourages engagement.
       @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  Hmm..we made it past jamoke and to crony. Things are looking up.

      •  @TheJackB  @penneyfox Uhmm, I just met Ms. PenneyFox, The Jack, so I don’t want to startle her with my enthusiasm and love for the community…yet.

        •  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  @TheJackB No worries here … keep the one-liners coming 🙂

      •  @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  @TheJackB Be prepared to spend a few hours over there, Penny! The man doesn’t lie when he says he posts 6 times per day.

        •  @penneyfox  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Thank you, I appreciate it. What is the URL for your personal blog?

        •  @TheJackB  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  Here is the URL – please remember that this is my personal blog so its full of my weirdness. I really just write in here because its helpful to get these thoughts out and as I said before, I believe that it helped me to find my voice: http://penneyfox.wordpress.com/
           

  • 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.

    •  @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?

      •  @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.

        •  @barryrsilver I know that box is over there on the left under another box in a drop-down menu. There, those directions are better than GPS!

  • barryrsilver

    @Soulati And to you, too.

  • ginidietrich

    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.

  • shonali

    @soulati You’re welcome!

  • P.S. The Gin Blossom almost has 5K points; we’re gonna have a party when she makes it.

  • Soulati

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

    • NancyCawleyJean

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

  • 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.

    •  @adamtoporek  @Soulati  @ginidietrich I’ve been back through the archives and it is indeed painful. But, with practice you improve; I think that was a hint up top. Thanks, Adam.

  • 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

    • 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.

  • Soulati

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

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  • SoulKirk

    5 Examples of #Blogging Voices by @soulati http://t.co/r4StbLjH rt @JesseNewhart

  • SoulKirk

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

  • Soulati

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

  • Soulati

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

    • John_Trader1

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

      • Soulati

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

  • CharterHomes

    @Soulati You’re welcome – great stuff! 🙂

  • 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.
     

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