It’s Valentine’s Day. A holiday that’s usually loved or dreaded by many, and naturally for different reasons! If you’re writing a love letter to your significant other (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, want-to-be girlfriend, etc), maybe you’ve thought long and hard about the words you want to use, the tone of the letter and even thought about how creative you want to be. Don’t be shy about adding those fiery red hearts, they literally warm the soul! Oh, and don’t forget about those really cool, artsy markers, you know, the ones with the fine point… or better yet, a calligraphy pen -- let your emotions guide you as you swirl that maker around the paper, thinking about the different ways you can show your sweetheart that you love him or her! Your language and tone will may depend largely on the significance and length of your relationship among other personal factors…but the hearts are a given!
Pay close attention to empathy and especially when communicating via video. “Previous studies suggest that people learn by imitating through “mirror neurons”. The new study shows that prosody—the music of speech—works on a similar mirror-like system. Lisa Aziz-Zadeh of USC says the higher a person scores on standard tests of empathy, the more activity they have in their prosody-producing areas of the brain. So increased empathic ability is linked to the ability to perceive prosody as well as activity in these motor regions.”
Ok, so what do fancy markers, prosody and Valentine’s Day have to do with blogging and your online voice? Well, they represent YOU… your personality, creativity, tone, attitude. Think of it as your personal brand. But with business blogging, it’s not only about finding your own personal voice but it’s about aligning that voice with your company’s culture.
If you are new to blogging, you may have pondered this question. “Who Am I? And how do I want to be heard?” Your blogging voice should be determined by several factors, including:
- The type of blog you are writing for. Obviously, this will vary depending on the topic. If you are writing for a technology company, you may want to tailor your content so that it is more technically focused! The geeks of the world, including myself love that kind of stuff If you are writing for the fashion industry, your posts may come across as more “sleek-sounding” or sexy.
- Your personality. Whether you are writing for a tech blog or not, it’s nice to let your own personality shine through your writing. If you’re funny in real-life, then add humorous elements to your blog writing. People will feel like they are connecting with the real YOU!
Tips for writing on a business blog:
- Lose the corporate speak. Blogs are usually viewed as an informal communications tool. This isn’t a PowerPoint presentation and you’re conversing with real people. Make them feel welcomed and invited into the conversation by using a human voice.
- Be factual and sight references. Back up your words.
- Be mindful of the global perspective. Words can sometimes mean different things to different people. Select your words carefully.
- Review your company’s social media policies and guidelines to ensure that you are following the rules.
- Get a second opinion. If you are new to blogging, have a co-worker review your post prior to publishing. It is not a bad idea to seek feedback, especially on your first few posts.
Happy blogging! How did you determine your own online voice? Did you struggle with it or did it just come naturally to you? I would love to hear your thoughts.
P.S. If you’re looking for a really cool Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetheart, check out Cisco ūmi -- the new video conferencing system that allows you to be together with your loved ones without ever leaving your living room. (Now through Februrary 25, the first 6 months of service are free!)