Bloggers have an increasingly strong voice on the internet – 81% of online consumers in the US trust information and advice from bloggers, and 61% have made a purchase based on blogger recommendations (BlogHer).
Whether you’re blogging for your business or blogging as a business, you need to present yourself as an authority. Having an authoritative voice will help you attract and keep readers, generate more social shares, and ultimately earn yourself an expert online reputation.
In order to fulfill this goal, you have to create a blogging voice that is consistent and appropriate for your business and audience.
Know Your Niche
While some bloggers have found success writing about their lives in general, most bloggers need to identify a niche – especially if you’re blogging to promote your business. Your blog needs to conform to the parameters of your business niche and consistently produce appropriate, engaging content.
For example: If you blog for your web design business, you can produce a wide range of articles related to web design: analyses of other websites, web design news and events, advice for other designers and for web design customers. The more you talk about web design, in various ways from different angles, the more authority you’ll have in the subject.
- Splitting up your voice too much between two or more subjects decreases your overall authority. It begets the question: “They just posted about interior design, how much could they know about web design?”
Know What Your Readers Want
Finding your blogging voice is a process of trial-and-error. You may experience wide fluctuations in your traffic levels and social shares as you experiment with your voice. During this process, keep track of your blog’s analytics. Who visits your blog, what are they looking at, and what do they share? This data helps you to determine what kinds of content your readers want, and this knowledge in turn informs your blogging strategy.
To continue the web design example: After producing several weeks or months of blog posts, you find that the most traffic and shares occurred on posts that were written for web design customers, rather than designers. With this information, you can expect to increase your overall shares and followers by producing more content directed to this particular audience.
Share and Be Active in the Right Networks
Just as with any other business, marketing your blog online and generating authority takes significant amounts of outreach. Simply writing posts and sitting back isn’t enough – you need to get involved with your niche’s online community.
- Find other blogs that work within your niche and start commenting on their posts. Avoid leaving comments that don’t provide value or only link back to your blog; these tactics are considered spam and won’t contribute to your online reputation. Your goal in commenting is to have a conversation and forge relationships with others in your niche. Share an opinion or ask a question to engage the blogger and their followers in a discussion.
- Join Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and independent online communities that connect people within your niche for networking and discussion. Again – your goal is to have conversations and create relationships, not to advertise your blog. If people find quality in your comments, then and only then will they will continue on to your blog.
In establishing your blog’s voice, concentrate on producing valuable, relevant content that appeals to your audience. Connect with your peers and potential readers on industry networks. Consistently speak from the position of an expert in order to cement your blog’s online authority.