Attracting and maintaining a loyal audience through your content is no easy feat, especially with the amount of content that’s being pushed across the web. The content developer’s challenge has shifted from what should you write about to how will you stand out among the many content developers.
There’s more to creating successful content today than getting your thoughts on the screen. If you really want to make an impact with your content, it’s important to start with your voice. A strong voice helps you differentiate yourself from like-minded content developers and creates a connection with your desired audience.
Let’s explore some aspects of creating your voice.
This is where it all starts. When selecting a topic, industry relevance and value to the reader are not the only things to take into account. Consider how your chosen topic will carry your voice. Think of it this way: if a given piece were published without your name, how could you make sure readers still knew it was yours?
The idea is to have some notion of how you’re going to spin your content before you even begin to write. Having this mindset ahead of time will help you decide how to move forward with the next aspect of voice…
The type of diction you use can be broken down into 3 categories: formal, casual, and slang. They can be used in combination, too. In fact, this kind of experimentation can actually help you discover your voice. However, always keep your audience at top of mind as they are the ones who will need to understand and ultimately promote the content.
The connotation — or implied meaning — of your words is also an important factor to consider. Be careful with how you position your wording. Something that might seem standard to you could be perceived very differently by others.
On the whole, it’s best to avoid cliches, puns, vague terminology, or complex language.
Tone refers to the attitude of your writing. Consider whether you want to present your information as objective or subjective, logical or emotional, serious or humorous, and so on. Even sentence length can affect the perceived tone of your writing. This not only comes back to writing in a manner that is appropriate to your audience but also one that is consistent with your word and topic choices.
If you’re not sure whether what you’re writing is tonally accurate, try reading it aloud and see how it sounds.
There are numerous formats for presenting your content; what you choose can go a long way toward building a unique voice. For example, would your topic work best laid out in a numbered list, or would it perhaps lend itself better to a problem/solution format? You might even consider something that focuses more on visual content as opposed to text.
Approach the layout of your content by considering how your audience is generally conditioned to receive information and explore its alternative (i.e. long-form vs short-form content). This type of disruption within your niche can push you even further toward separating yourself from other content developers, ultimately creating your own voice.
It all comes back to originality. No matter how you decide to present your information, a little out-of-the box thinking can go a long way.