Of the 1.7 billion websites on the internet, it’s estimated that 600 million are blogs. Plus, in the United States alone, there are 31 million active bloggers posting at least once a month, according to Growth Badger. As a result, it’s harder than ever to get your blog noticed. If you pick a niche blogging area, then you’re likely to have less competition. But, to really help your blog stand out from the crowd, you need a consistent tone of voice that helps you build trust and a brand identity.
Why is Tone of Voice Important?
In the 1960s, psychology professor Albert Mehrabian created the “7%-38%-55% rule” of communication. This means that the words we use only account for 7% of our communication, while the tone of our delivery accounts for 38% and our body language accounts for the other 55%.
Tone of voice is just as important in written communication as it is in verbal communication. This is because the correct tone of voice can enhance the experience of your readers, creating a culture, a community, and a conversation. Particularly for niche blogs, the formation of a community really builds a sense of belonging and a bonding experience for readers who meet new friends.
If done correctly, it can also humanize your brand and show that you’re a real person who has the same thoughts, ideals, and passions as your readers. Furthermore, it also creates consistency. With each post, your readers will know exactly what to expect, much like they would with the next installation of their favorite TV show.
Selecting a Tone of Voice: Know Your Audience and Your Purpose
There’s no singular ‘correct tone of voice’, and you need to find one that works for you and your readers. Much of this comes down to understanding what your readers want from your blog: are they looking to be informed, entertained, or intrigued?
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples, such as International Highlife. They’re a review site for an unconventional product – cannabis and CBD, but they still retain a professional tone, providing detailed reviews on different strains, and also evaluations of scientific studies. This formality allows them to gain the trust of their readers and means they can offer an unbiased view that informs and provides value. On the other end of the spectrum though, popular slimming and cooking website Two Chubby Cubs takes the complete opposite tone, focusing on informality and humor to attract readers. It’s worked for them, and most of their recipes have hundreds of comments and shares. They’ve even successfully monetized their brand and have three books to their name.
Crucially, your tone of voice must be informed by what your readers want and what the aim of your site is. It isn’t about repeating anyone else’s successes, and you should stick to what you do best. So, look through the data you have available and find which of your posts performed best (you should also audit them for consistency). Then, dig deeper into who your audience are. Learn their age, gender, interests, and profession. Tools can help you do this, like Google Analytics and Meltwater. Using this information, you can create a tone of voice and a brand personality that makes you more likeable and approachable. You can even create audience personas based on your findings and review your posts based on whether you think that particular demographic would read the content.
To conclude, your tone of voice should convey your blog’s key values and help you meet your audience’s needs. By understanding your audience and your aims, you can improve the audience experience and journey, and create a real sense of community that will entice readers back again and again, no matter how niche your blog may be.