If you were to untangle the definition of a distinctive voice you would probably find it is actually a composite value of the niche or area of focus and the ability to have unique and not regurgitated content. I really believe that a distinctive voice is a composite value metric that includes many of the other measures for success for bloggers. These metrics include focus or relevancy (unique niche), compelling/interesting (compelling exclusive content), active voice (multiple channels such as social media, search, etc...), and of course the byproduct of this is the ability for the blogger to build their own brand via personalities or larger brands/marketers.
The only driver to success that I think is missing is past success (could be also known as luck, tenure, or personal brand). I know this is self-fulfilling, but blogs that have built an audience and following in their categories are much more likely to grow and continue their success than a site that has not had success in the past and is trying to drive past the threshold to reach a continued success mark. I know this is a convoluted concept, but due to the social nature of blogs it is clear that the blogs that have a following (the A-blogs) are in a much better spot for future success no matter what other components are at play.
I think the poll is really interesting and telling. I am glad you do these polls and hope you continue to ask these questions of bloggers and marketers. Love your site. You have all of the pieces needed to be successful.
What every blog needs to be great
Last week’s poll question: Which of these qualities is most important to a blog’s success?
- A distinctive voice – 43.41%
- Compelling exclusive content — 35.66%
- A unique niche – 11.63%
- Strong promotion via social-media channels — 5.04%
- Excellent SEO — 2.71%
- Connections to famous brands, personalities — 1.55%
But then again, the question was, “Which of these qualities is most important to a blog’s success?” And a solid 43% of you say it all about the voice. I can see why so many people feel it’s so important for a blog’s success. It creates a cohesive feel and a sense that you really know this person. It makes that online connection feel that much more real.
But voice is a tricky thing for a writer. It can be a calling card or a fatal flaw that one refuses to correct in the name of style. For some very distinctive writers, the same characteristics that attract some readers may repel others. It takes time and a lot of practice to develop a voice that really clicks. The good news is, if you’re a regular blogger, you’re going to have plenty of opportunities to practice. If you’re diligent and thoughtful about your writing, developing a voice is something anyone can pull off.
In fact, all of the most popular options are things I feel comfortable saying most people could achieve, given a little inspiration and a healthy work ethic. The most specialized attributes — self-promotion, SEO and access to big names — garnered less than 10% of the vote. SmartBrief on Social Media readers clearly feel that blog success is all about the content, and I have to agree. If you can take care of your voice, your niche and your content, the rest should be easy.
What defines a great blogging voice? Who are some bloggers whose voice you admire?