With an oversaturation of online content, forging an authentic and genuine voice is crucial to hooking your readers and building an audience. As potential subscribers impatiently surf the web from page to page, it is important that your content remain a beacon credibility that will inspire their loyalty. This is the only way your personal brand will cut through all the noise, and will provide the foundation from which you can monetize your readers effectively.
Develop a Voice
The key to authenticity is developing a voice that is personal to your unique perspective, and remaining consistent with that voice. Whether content creators focus on travel, beauty, sports, self-improvement, or politics, audience loyalty will develop from their ability to relate to how the message is delivered. This requires taking on a point of view, stating honest opinions, giving truthful recommendations, and expressing real emotion. Developing a tone also adds uniqueness to your content. Using humor, sincerity, or even sarcasm will draw a deeper connection to your audience. Remaining consistent is crucial.
Be a Credible Source Your Readers Can Believe In
Your audience will continue to follow and grow if the information you provide is useful and helpful to them.. This requires facts, sources to these facts, and your own personal account relevant to the subject matter at hand. If you want to state opinions, back-up your opinions with facts. Even if members of your audience don’t share those opinions, they know you are basing those opinions off facts they can research themselves.
Another factor to consider is timeliness. Your audience is looking for an expert opinion on the latest product, newest trend, or social development in your area of focus. Be ready to take on the role as a tastemaker or an opinion maker so your audience knows who to count on for information when the latest trend emerges.
Write the Way You Speak and Think
The key to authentic communication and getting your message across is to make your content simple, relatable and personable for them to digest. Play with a variety of sentence length structures. Write short statements. Provide more details in longer sentences. Why not propose a brief question followed by a brief answer? It’s playful. See? It helps break up the monotony of feeding your audience what could be perceived as long boring information.
Writing down the logic of your thoughts as they are, is the best way to make your content easy to follow and consume. Try reading the blog out loud to hear how it sounds.
Don’t Self-Censor, Be Yourself
Self-censoring is the death of authenticity. Too often content creators start editing themselves before they even finish writing down their thoughts. They experience this “chilling effect” of not fully expressing themselves because of self-doubt, over catering to their clients’ interests instead of creating a brand name for themselves. Once this chilling effect takes over, the inquisitiveness is diminished, shared opinions are watered down, and common ground is lost. Don’t let this happen.
Online content is the opportunity to stay on the cutting edge and push boundaries. Good practice is to edit a day or two after everything has been written down. Then publish.
How Authenticity Leads to Success
Being authentic with the content you write leads to a bigger, more loyal following. A bigger, more loyal following leads to better opportunities for monetization. If your audience believes in you, they are more likely to believe in the content, products, or services you promote on your website or blog… and take action. When your audience takes action, that means better results (read: profit) for you. Bottom line? Keep it real to keep it profitable.