-By Aïda Michelle Lopes
I don’t think I’ve left the Internet since I started dating him back in 2000 and that’s because – even if I grew since then, duh – I’ve always been able to find something that resonated with me at the time and here’s what these sites had in common.
In my opinion, when it comes to writing digital content, the first step is to not write and to sit down and think about WHO we are and WHO we want to reach. By now, I’m guessing that you guessed what the first question is: WHO. The Internet is vast, there’s a multitude of site and resources and the first thing to do is to define what we want to add to it. Identifying whom we want to reach is a great way to do it. You will not address an 11-years-old and a 25-years-old the same, targeting an audience allows you to define the tone you want to use and therefore develop a voice that is specific to you.
This takes us to the next point, the tone or HOW we want to talk to our audience. Once we know whom we want to reach and who we are, we need to define how we’re going to address them. Do we want to be friendly, encouraging, cold or distant.
Nasty gal is a brand that – through their blog – is using a tone that they know connects with who they are and will connect with their target audience too by using words like “bae”, “bod” & expressions like “like” (see what I did here).
Success in those two things is measured by who is engaging with our content. We defined ourselves, our target audience, and how we want to talk to them. Depending on who engages and interacts with our content we will be able to know if we were right or no. If our content is shared by someone from our target audience, JACKPOT!
Smashingmagazine.com actually backs me up: “when creating content for the Web, considering tone of voice is important. Your tone can help you stand out from competitors, communicate efficiently and effectively with your audience and share your personality.” In this article, they also touch on another point (
that I initially wrote about before scratching it all up and starting over) and that’s consistency. Our tone needs to be consistent across all platforms in order to make sure that we’re targeting the same audience everywhere and that we’re true to who we are. This is something that I could write an entire blog post about and that Nike does perfectly.
So, if your next big life decision is to start a blog. Sit down with a blank paper, write these three letters and figure out what they mean to you.