How to Choose the Best Voice When You Hire Bloggers
If you were to boil every blogging tip out there into two easy steps, they would be “write about your life” and “write regularly.” The first part doesn’t even have to be anything especially personal like your daily activities and hopes and dreams, but even your perspective on current events, maybe your hobbies, interests or industry you work in. Don’t worry—the audience is there. According to WordPress, there were 380 million people reading 12.9 million blog pages each month, plus 33.7 million new posts and 48 million comments.
The second half of the equation is, of course, the discipline of posting regularly. You can have wonderful perspectives, but the world won’t know it if you only offer quarterly updates. One way to blog often is if you have to—like if your employer says, “Write our company blog.” This can create challenges for Tip No. 1. If you’re asked to blog frequently for your business, are you still able to write about your own life?
Even though the U.S. Supreme Court has declared corporations to be citizens for financial and political purposes, it might be a little weird to step into your company’s shoes and share its first-person narrative. Readers do want personality, but do you—and your readers—really want to imagine how your company feels about stuff? Is it excited for spring?
Instead, consider a composite, or the Royal We, where you speak for all employees collectively in a second-person voice. “We’re excited about a new product line next month,” or “We’re moving to a bigger location.” Keeping it general and positive can include everyone and duck touchy topics.
Sometimes you may be asked to blog a certain point of view like the CEO, another challenge that goes way beyond Blogging 101.
Here, your personal opinions don’t matter, but hers do. You’re essentially ghostwriting, since they’re busy with other duties, but they know a blog presence and fresh content are vital. Help your writing process by asking them general questions and opinions before you try to write like them, or send them drafts—”Would you describe it this way?”
For politicians, blog writers can in the same category as speech writers: talented, uncredited behind-the-scenes men and women, even though the elected official puts their name on everything.
Designate or hire bloggers
Another way of balancing opinions with the discipline of blogging is to create a team of bloggers from across the company. Multiple first-person points of view can give readers insight into different aspects of your company’s operation, and also could increase post frequency.
One week you could have someone from sales share interesting stories, maybe someone from design can share details the company’s logo. Maybe someone in shipping can share their process.
Companies who want to try this multiple model can still use ghost bloggers. If managers are too busy to blog often, maybe a few people can write with all these voices.
Joe B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.