Blogging as a Dietitian: Finding Your Voice
As a Dietitian, you learned all about the science of food and the body and how the two work together. You’ve read the research. And you wrote about it. You were told time and time again to be “evidence-based.” You gave research presentations. All of that writing and speaking was very formal.
Blogging, on the other hand, can be informal…and more fun! Many Dietitians struggle with finding a more informal, relaxed, friendly, or even funny blogging voice. Can you relate?
This article will talk about what your blogging voice is, why it matters, and give you 5 steps to find your blogging voice.
What is a blogging “voice”?
A blogging voice is how you present the information to your reader. If you hear a voice when you read, you can think of it as that voice your reader hears when they read your blog. Here are three “voice sentences” to consider.
Formal: The research shows that consuming 5 servings of vegetables a day leads to improved health outcomes.
Informal: Including a couple of servings of vegetables at each meal can help you get in the recommended amount of veggies a day, and help improve your health!
Quirky/funny: I know the thought of eating vegetables may make you want to hurl (your veggies at the wall), but eating those veggies will help you be able to get your groove on!
The key? Find your voice. One that will feel authentic to you and your ideal clients.
Why your blogging voice matters
Do you know who your ideal client is? If you don’t, you’ll want to get that figured out ASAP. (There are lots of tools out there to figure out who your ideal client is.)
Why does your ideal client matter? Because if you aren’t writing to someone specific, you’re writing to no one. And guess who will read your blog? NO ONE!
Your writing should appeal to your ideal client. If your ideal client is highly educated and wants just the facts, then the first blogging voice sentence in the section above may appeal to her. The last one will probably turn her off.
What kind of ideal client would resonate with the second voice sentence above? To me, that would be like I’m talking to a lot of my friends. Or, talking to someone in a casual conversation.
For the last voice sentence, I have a couple of friends I know who would love that one. It would probably click with someone who has a fun, or even kooky sense of humor. They want the information delivered in a fun, engaging way. If they read the first voice sentence, they’d click away as fast as their mouse would take them.
How I found my blogging voice
First of all, blogging is one of those areas that takes practice. The more you do it and become aware of it (like reading other’s work and reading about it), the better you’ll get.
I struggled with my blogging voice for years. After becoming a Dietitian, I finished a PhD. (Note: If you want something that will destroy your ability to write for a regular audience, get a PhD.)
When I started working on my practice, I focused on developing my ideal client avatar. I wrote out all the things about her — where she lived, what she did for work, what she did when she wasn’t working, nutrition issues, etc. Then, I realized if I had a face to picture when thinking and writing, it would make it more real — like a conversation.
I took to Google and searched for images that matched my ideal client. When I found one, I clipped it and saved it so I could see her whenever we needed to have a conversation. (I ended up picking Bobbi Brown! I had no idea it was her when I picked the image.)
Now, when I’m writing for my ideal client I have a face — someone specific to think about. When I’m shooting videos for her, I’ll put that picture next to or on top of the camera so I can keep her in mind while I’m talking. That makes it much easier than just staring into the black hole of the camera.
Getting a picture of my ideal client was the first step in finding my blogging voice. The second was writing as I talk to my best friends (because my ideal client is someone I’d want to be friends with). If I start writing, “you should consume” I remember that my friends never say, “I consumed an apple today.” My friends say, “I ate an apple today!”
Those are a couple of steps that helped me find my blogging voice. Now, let’s talk about 5 steps to help you find yours.
5 Steps to finding your blogging voice
- Define your ideal client avatar, think about how they talk and get a picture of them. Your ideal client avatar will also help you keep in mind any niche-specific words, phrases, and acronyms they use. Try keeping the picture next to your computer when you’re writing to help you remember who you’re writing for.
- Write your SFD (shitty first draft). No one but you will see your first draft. Just start writing. Don’t censor yourself. I’ll even challenge you to leave the misspellings there until you start editing.
- Let your SFD sit for a few hours or overnight before coming back to edit. When you’re editing, look for language that doesn’t sound like words your ideal client would say, or want to read. If you need help finding different words, WordHippo is a great thesaurus.
- As you edit, break up those looooooonnnnngggg paragraphs and sentences. When people read they want short paragraphs — two to three sentences. And, they like short sentences. Rather than using “and blah blah blah” ask yourself if you can put a period before the “and” then start a new sentence. When you’re having a conversation with a friend do you go on, and on like some of those paragraphs? Probably not. A conversation is a give and take. Short paragraphs and sentences help keep the conversation moving.
- Show your work to someone you trust and ask them for their honest feedback. Ask them if it sounds like you. Give them your ideal client avatar and ask if they think it would work for them. Better yet, ask someone who matches or is close to your ideal client avatar to read it. Yes, I know this is hard. Trust me, it is better to have a trusted friend read it first and tell you ways to make it better than putting it out into the world without that review.
Developing your authentic blogging voice takes time and work. You can do this! However, if writing isn’t for you, or doesn’t light you up, you can hire a ghostwriter. As a fellow dietitian and copywriter, I can take blogging off your plate. Just set up a call.