By All Things Writing, LLC
It may sound a little contradictory to talk about a writing voice. Unless we’re discussing voice-to-text, how can you use your voice if you’re just writing?
It actually makes perfect sense, though. Think about how you sound in your mind as you’re writing. Are you witty? Are you formal? Are you to-the-point?
Your writing voice can be any those or more, depending on the purpose of the piece you’re writing and your personality. Your writing voice contributes to the tone and feel of pieces you write. It’s part of you.
If you’ve yet to define a voice, read on to identify and shape the perfect voice to promote your organization.
What’s the Point?
Before you nail down your voice, it’s important to know your purpose. Why are you writing a blog, social media post, marketing email or column? Some common purposes are:
- To educate people
- To promote your product or company
- To gain followers
- To create sales leads
- To entertain
Defining your purpose may help you tailor your writing voice. For example, if you’re writing reviews, you may choose to be snarky and sarcastic. If you’re teaching readers to use your products, you may be informative and knowledgeable. No matter what, you’ll need to decide how formal or informal you want to sound.
Here’s another must: It’s imperative that your voice be authentic and individual to you. You want your writing style to become recognizable and predictable, but not in a way that bores. Your voice is what helps your customers relate to you and, if you’re appealing to your target market, it keeps them coming back for more.
How Do You Find Your Voice?
If you’re still wondering how to shape your perfect voice, try a few of these exercises:
- Describe yourself or your business in three words. Are these words fun and playful, serious and businesslike, or somewhere in between? Let your description guide your voice.
- Read a recent blog or article you wrote. As you read, can you hear yourself saying those words? Is it how you speak? Think back to when you wrote the piece. Was it hard for you to get the words out? Your unique writing voice often aligns with the way you speak. If it doesn’t sound like you, it probably won’t sound authentic to your readers either.
- Focus on your audience. Who are your readers, and how would you hold a conversation with them? Could you read sections of your blog to your customers, or would it be too stiff and awkward or too casual and unprofessional?
- Ask people you know to describe the way you speak and interact with others. You may just discover a key piece of information that will add authenticity to your writing.
- Let loose and just write! See what comes out on a topic. It may just be your most genuine piece yet!
Where Do You Use Your Writing Voice?
While it’s obvious that you can fine tune your voice on your blog, there are other places to carry it over, too. Your voice can become part of your brand and hearing one “voice” in print can be very beneficial. You can:
- Use bits of your voice in print or online advertising.
- Write guest or sponsored columns in local publications for extra exposure and to gain followers and customers.
- Guest blog on other websites.
- Use your established voice on social media.
- You can even carry it over into your website content, thanks to a trend that encourages authenticity as opposed to rigid formality.
You’ll know when you find your voice. Those words will flow through the keyboard almost as easily as day-to-day conversations. Your potential and current customers will notice it, too. Give it a try, and then watch what happens.
Serving private, government and nonprofit sectors, All Things Writing is a content development and content marketing company on a mission to help clients shine online and in print. They may be reached at [email protected].
“Your Words Mean Business” provides insights and tips to business owners, organizations and professionals seeking to better their performance and increase their bottom line through sharpening written communication skills.