Introducing a blog to a company website can be a difficult process, but everything gets easier after choosing a voice.
The blog is representative of the company. It may be approachable, official, friendly, casual, or a combination. The key to determining the right voice for a company blog is to choose how the company should appear to its audience.
Here are a few common examples of writing styles, how they are used, and what they are best suited for.
Diplomacy is a balancing act. Everything must be presented with impeccable etiquette, cannot be too personal, cannot promise too much, and must always present the company in the best possible light.
A diplomatic blog may be used to announce changes, advertise products, and make statements. It’s all right if blog posts are relatively rare, as readers are visiting the blog for news, not entertainment.
Almost every flyer in your mailbox and email in your spam folder is written in this format. It is also what the reader expects to read from big businesses, but it does not capture a lot of attention. Even if the majority of your company’s blog posts are written in this manner, it may still be possible to bring in more personal and interesting writing styles when the opportunity arises.
A local business becomes a part of the community when the owners come forward as people. They may use their real names and include actual photographs of people at work. A family newsletter promises something that is wholesome and unique, not mass-manufactured or profit-driven.
This blog format is perfect for family businesses, organic farms, and any business which promises to take care of its customers even if it means turning down the big bucks. Larger companies may be able to find a voice in this format when announcing a change toward sustainability, an act of charity, or the development of a small, local project.
Perfect for a specialized field like construction or finance, the resident expert is a way of delivering sound advice and information in a friendly and helpful manner. The resident expert picks a single topic for each blog, breaking it down to the basics. The trick is to make the information digestible for the target audience without talking down to them.
In most cases, blog readers are interested in the subject but are not experts, themselves. Too much jargon may go over their heads and make the information inaccessible. The resident expert shares the audience’s passion for the subject and carefully chooses words to make the information clear.
The resident expert handles questions like “How do I do this?” or “How was this made?” It is best to start with identifying a frequently asked question before fleshing it out as an informative blog.
There is no faster way to a young reader’s heart than a slice of sarcasm and a pound of snark. Of course, this sort of voice is not appropriate for every company. A pizza joint can be casual with its audience. A podcast can poke fun at things to its audience. But a bank would be on thin ice if it tried to joke around.
In a nutshell, the jokester writing style ditches formality for a more personal approach. This usually means making quirky comments, or telling jokes that wouldn’t cut it on a Hallmark card. As for jokes, the safest target is the self. A company might point out its past mistakes, or a writer might joke about their own incompetencies. Punching up is the second safest, making fun of fortune 500 companies or powerful politicians as a way of making your company look better.
The most dangerous snark is pointed at the audience. Before trying your hand at it, tune into Jack FM and see how the hosts tread the line. Pro tip: Never punch down. No good attention comes from making fun of the oppressed.
A company blog does not need to stick to a particular writing style. In fact, a lot can be accomplished by rotating between different writing styles.
For example, a veterinary office may publish a brief and informative article on when to visit an emergency clinic, then follow it up with a cute pet gallery. People will appreciate the useful information from the first, then feel safer and more at home seeing the second.
A generic company press release is poised and formal, but your company blog doesn’t have to be. A blog can be warm, approachable, helpful, and even funny when the need arises. It is just a matter of finding a voice that fits the company and complements the subject of the blog. See how to boost your blog with SEO.