Let’s stop and think for a moment and finish the sentence started in this post’s title. What kind of band would your blog be? Answering that question may sound silly, but it’s actually pretty important to your blog and to your readers. Why? Well, if you know what kind of musical artist your blog would be if it could sing, then you’ll know what style of content you should be creating, or having created, for it. Imagining your blog as a band or singing star is a non-marketing way of establishing that all elusive “voice” all the industry blogs, books and seminars discuss. You’ve heard it, read it, seen it – you have to establish a “voice” for your blog. Yet very few go beyond that. They forget to define voice, or if they do, they use phrases like “writing style” or “personal voice” in the process without ever telling us what they mean by those vague phrases.
So, I’ve come up with the band analogy. It’s something everyone is familiar with, something everyone can grasp. And I’ve broken it down even further, so that you can have some idea of where you might fall:
- The Country Crooners – Down home, folksy, earthy kind of guys and gals more at home in their jeans and pick ups than pearls and limousines. They may be serious, or silly, or a bit of both, but they are true to their roots. They can be a very urban group, but they still have that grass-roots and big hat kind of feel. You get the idea they’ve got a hound under their chair and a tall cool iced tea (sweet tea, of course) next to them as they write.
- The Jazz Trio – These guys are hip, cool and sophisticated. They know their stuff, but aren’t afraid to spice it up a little, or surprise you with a bit of improvisation or something new. The jazz trio comes across as older, wiser, but still fun and free spirited. They’re easy to spot because they aren’t afraid to stir things up a bit, but they never stray too far from their set beat. They speak with the husky voice of the smoky room, while sipping a nice glass of wine or whiskey.
- The Symphony – The symphonic blog is all business, all culture, all black tie and tails. They speak to you with the voice of expertise and intelligence. You don’t dare question their authority or their style. The symphony appeals to the professional set, to the higher brows of business and society. They tend to be predictable and polished. Always polished. And like a fine brandy, they go down smooth.
- The Heavy Metal Muthas – These blogs are so edgy, you need bubble wrap to keep from getting poked. They’re always stirring things up, posting photos and articles that cause a fuss. Their groupies like it that way. They’re hip, they’re hot and they know it. They tend to scream more than converse. And they are quite often not safe for work, or children, or polite society. You definitely don’t take them home to meet your mom, or spill their beer.
- The Pop Diva – Pop queen blogs tend to be a bit overdressed, a bit shallow and a bit immature, but their readers don’t seem to mind. Their articles are sweet, fashionable and always trendy. They don’t make too many waves, but they do have their causes and their concerns. They can sell something to you, or they can inform you, but don’t look for much meat here. And have the sugary soda and bubble gum handy. You’re going to need it.
Now, this is a bit of fun, but in all seriousness, if you can identify your blog as a band, you can solve the mystery of the “voice” problem with your content. After all, we don’t want to hear our pop diva singing about her hound dog and her pick up truck anymore than we want our symphony dressed in black leather and chains. Your voice is more than just your writing style or your personal way of communicating. It is how your blog communicates. So, yeah, it’s important to know just what kind of song you’re singing, so the right readers can tune in and hum along.