Finding (and Staying True To) Your Voice

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

You make this really awesome recipe – I’m talking really yummy, and you can’t wait to share it with your readers. It’s full of fresh ingredients, the pictures are great, and it got rave reviews from your family.

You open your post editor to get started on the blog post, and…your mind goes blank. Words have lost their meaning. Your fingers freeze. Your mind starts filling with random SEO advice and desires to do keyword research.

What in the world do I write?

If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. In fact, I’ve sat down to write this article at least four times before finally finishing it.

It’s tough to write blog posts, right? You need to be helpful! And entertaining! And exciting! And shareable! And with perfect SEO practices! And concise! And thorough!

Or do you?

I’m here today to challenge you to find your voice, and I know that sounds kind of floofy and dramatic. But it can help you counter that pesky writer’s block we’ve all experienced too many times.

Finding your voice can give you direction when that big ol’ blank white screen is staring back at you. It can help you with word choice and tone, as well as the overall flow of your post.

So how do you find your voice? And then how can you be sure that your posts are written in your voice?

Well, one really great question that can help you answer those questions is, “What do I want my readers to feel when they read this post?”

Should they feel informed? Empowered? Inspired? Entertained? Related to? Do you want them to laugh? To get up and make your recipe right that second? To believe in themselves and their ability to make a recipe their family loves?

They’re all totally valid feelings that a reader can experience when reading a post.

Luckily, you don’t need to be everything to everyone; you just need to be something to your people.

So what is your “something”? What do you want your readers to experience when they read your content? To help you figure that out, it’s helpful to think about what you’re about.

Designer and author Paul Jarvis talks about finding his “rat people” – aka. the people who are into the same things that he’s into (like having pet rats). You want to write for those people, the people who align with your beliefs and ideals, because they’re the ones who will relate to and value your voice.

So ask yourself: What are my core values? More importantly, what are my brand’s core values?

If your core value for your content is informational depth, you probably don’t need to include a lot of personality or anecdotes in your writing. You should, however, have a sense of organization, sentence structure, and clarity.

But if your core values for your content are friendliness, humor, and relatability, you’ll need to share more stories and bring more personality and down-to-earthness into your writing.

Understanding your core values helps set the tone of your writing and gives you the direction you need when you’re face-to-face with a blank screen.

And I know what you’re thinking right now: “But what about SEO?”

A totally valid question. I feel that tug between writing in a way that I think Google will like and not wanting to sound like a robot all the time.

But I think it’s important to remember that Google loves it when you’re helpful to your readers. In fact, that’s what it wants.

We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.

Google Webmaster Central Blog – August, 2019

If it’s helpful for your readers, it’s helpful to Google. And the right readers will find, appreciate, and respond to your voice.

So we’re curious: What are you about? What do you want your readers to feel when they read your content?

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