• Zoe Barnett

How to find your blogging voice (quickly) as a busy small business owner

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Your brand is so much more than your logo and the colours you choose. Although these are important, many small business owners do tend to focus on these visual aspects more so than their 'voice'. Your blogging voice is part of your brand's overall voice - and it's so important to get it right, for you, your brand & well the crème de la crème.... your customers & potential customers!

woman in room speaking to people about small business blogging & finding voice
Every time you write & put out content, you are developing your brand's voice.

So, why? Why is it important to find your blogging voice?

Well, firstly let's answer...

What exactly is a blogging voice?

Whether you're blogging on your own website (woohoo, big well done!) or using social media for microblogging (basically you know when you write really amazing captions on Instagram - that's a microblog or a mini blog!) you have a 'voice'.

A voice is quite simply the way you sound.

From the tone (are you chatty and informal or professional and more formal?)...

To whether you use swear words, or not.

This all forms part of your voice - for blogging, social media & across other areas of your content.

So, why is your blogging voice important?

Having a blogging voice means you are consistent.

You sound the same and your (loyal) audience (and customers/ potential customers) will like that!

It's just like how you like to watch a certain TV show because of the way the presenter, well... presents it.

Or you like a certain author and have read a gazillion of their books because you may not even realise it, but you like the way they tell their stories.

plant pop on table next to phone and magazine about blogging to improve online marketing
Even the free magazine you pick up from your local supermarket, it has a voice. And, that's why - maybe like me - you like reading it with a cuppa. That voice is what hooks you.

Or even the people YOU follow on Instagram. I can hazard a guess it's not *just* because the images they post. For me, it's all about what they say (after you're hooked initially by a great image, of course).

Finding your blogging voice isn't particularly difficult.

But it can be easy to forget about it and naturally diverge from the way you sound.

Especially when you're a small business owner. Because let's face it - you might not have time to go over your blogging voice to make sure it's right. And maybe it's just not your thing.

The good news?

There are lots of articles online about finding your blogging voice.

BUT my blog post is specifically about finding your blogging voice as a small business owner. In a quick and easy way.

Without worrying about spending lots of time and feeling frankly exhausted after the process.

Related: Is blogging important for small businesses?

So, here's how to *really* find what your blogging voice is (and stick to it) as a small business owner!

Do a target audience exercise

Time needed: 30 minutes

Gosh this sounds like some scary exercise for a marketer expert, right?

It may sound a bit like this. But it doesn't have to be.

Yes, there are always people who say "this is how you should do it and if not you will FAIL" but I think that's rubbish!

Don't let a task like this scare you.

Simply, grab a pen and paper and do this simple exercise:

Firstly, picture your ideal customer.

Then answer as much as you can about the following:

  • Age

  • Location

  • Gender

  • Income level

  • Education level

  • Marital or family status

  • Occupation

  • Personality

  • Attitudes

  • Values

  • Interests/hobbies

  • Lifestyles

  • Behavior

Don't worry if you can't answer them all.

Some of them may not even be relevant.

woman writing on notepad about customer personas for online marketing
Discovering your 'persona(s)' as we say in 'marketing speak' - your ideal customer(s) - doesn't have to be a complicated task. Just have a good think who they *really* are & embellish it as much as you can. Make a story about them. Even give them a name & a personality so you can picture them.

For example I certainly don't care if you're married, single, a mother of 10 beautiful children or a mother of 1 fabulously spoilt dog (me soon!).

But I do care if you're a small business owner located in Cheshire.

And... you may have more than one customer type! So don't be afraid to do this exercise more than once if need be.

Do a 'this but that' list

Time needed: 10 minutes

I love this exercise!

And once you get into it, you will realise how helpful it can be.

Simply a 'this but that' exercise allows you to create 'rules' for your blogging voice.

So like,

  • "professional, but friendly"

  • "informative, but approachable"

  • "expert knowledge, but simple explanations"

  • "chatty, but to-the-point"

And so on...

Keeping these rules in minds when you write can make a huge difference to finding a voice that works for you... and your audience, of course.

Words that work, words that DON'T

Time needed: 10 minutes

Very similar to the exercise above but you are now drilling down to the actual words that you love to use.

And words that simply are a bit NO NO.

For example, I like to de-jargon my online marketing tips.

I try to use plain English. So, 'improve' or 'up' instead of 'optimise'.

Note: And for those time where I do have to use marketing jargon, it's my rule that I explain it in plain English. Always. That forms part of my branding guidelines to myself.

This also boils down to what kind of words you use to talk to your audience.

Do you say...

  • "guys"

  • "babe"

  • "sweetie"

  • "loyal customers"

  • "clients"

  • "hun"

  • "all"

  • "friends"

And do you use swear words? Curse words? Slang words?

New (social media trending) phrases like, 'like a hot mess'.

*Cringe!* Clue: I don't.

But not because I hate it and think it's bad. It's just not me and it's not my brand. But it may work REALLY WELL for someone else and someone else's brand.

business woman looking at phone reading instagram caption about blogging for online marketing
Even think: how do you respond to customers? Or someone who DMs you on Instagram. Are you using the same voice?

Get your personal pronouns sorted

Time needed: 5 minutes

You need to decide if you are a 'we' or an 'I'.

Even if you're a one-woman band (like a few of my clients) you may still refer to yourself as 'we' - and that's great! But just remember to not swap over to 'I' occasionally as that's confusing for your readers. Be consistent.

I'm an 'I' because I'm happy to say it's just me - and it's important my clients know that. If it changes in the future, I'll change to 'we' then.

Don't be afraid to type (you can edit later!)

After all is said and done, it's just important to get on with it.

Keep blogging & don't sweat it (too much)

The more you blog, the more you'll start to get to grips with how you sound.

If you only blog occasionally and not consistently (EEK!) then you risk losing grips on you sound.

Trust yourself (& the branding process)

You might not get it right first time but don't worry.

You're doing great to even start and give it a go. So don't beat yourself up if you don't feel like you don't get it straight away.

Your blogs will develop over time. Especially if you're just starting out with blogging. So trust the process and just write.

Anyway, that's what editing is for.

Related: Blog post checklist: 5 must-haves for your small business blog

Top blogging voice final tip: Edit old posts

Once you start to feel comfortable with your blogging voice, don't be afraid to go back and read your old posts.

Yes, admittedly it might make you cringe a little.

I know it does me!

But it's a great exercise to go through and 'align' this older content to match your developed blogging voice.

In fact, it's also very beneficial for SEO too. That's Search Engine Optimisation - AKA getting your website seen in those Google search results.

Because not only does Google LOVE new content on your site, but it also appreciates websites that are updated regularly. So, refresh and revamp that old content!

For more SEO tips visit my SEO blog section dedicated to helping small business UP their chances of ranking well on Google. Strictly jargon-free!

Get some help with blogging for your small business

Uh-oh is it time for a *plug alert*?

Yes, you can get help with your blogging voice!

And yes, I'm someone that can help you. Heyyyy!

In all seriousness working with a copywriter can really help you get to grips with your blogging voice... and your brand's voice overall.

A professional blogger can not only help you with SEO but they will unearth and discover a voice that works for you.

Doesn't that sound fabulous!

It's not to say that you have to handover your blogging completely to a copywriter. You can simply ask for one blog post a month and then use the copywriter's format as a little bit of a template.

Anyway, if you do fancy a chat about how blogging can help you with your small business' online marketing, get in touch.

You can also read more about my online marketing services here.

online marketing expert sat at desk ready to talk about blogging as a small business owner
That's me - an actual living breathing human who can help you get your small business in front of... actual living breathing human beings who could really be interested in your products or services! Get in touch to see how I can help you with your online marketing.