If you’re writing your own blog, then you are responsible for developing its style of language and communicating with your audience in a way they will respond to. But if you are making the leap from writing your own blog to guest blogging on another site, it’s important to remember that the tone of language may differ dramatically from your blog. This means you may need to alter the way you write so you don’t alienate this new audience. After all, guest blogging can pave the way for attracting new prospects to your site.
Jumpers for goal posts
If you write a blog about your favorite football (or soccer as you say in the states) team, you have slightly more poetic license with the language you use. Take, for example, this eloquently titled arseblog.com (before you shut down your screens at work fearing where this link will take you, it is actually a blog of a supporter of the English Premier League football team Arsenal):
“His relationship with the press has become a bit more tetchy in recent times. In one way, I understand it. If you had to put with that annoying Scottish bloke from Sky even once a week, it would certainly be frustrating and put you off your duties.”
However, if you’re writing an instructional blog post aimed at corporate professionals, your choice of language may well differ slightly, as you can see from this example titled 4 Corporate Strategies for B2B Corporate Blogging from Search Engine Watch:
“Here are four ideas and supporting examples for B2B corporate blog writing, designed to target specific audiences, help achieve Internet marketing goals and build links for search engine optimization campaigns.”
Yes, tone matters
Both are blog posts, but they could not be any further apart in the style of language they use. This is important if the writer is going to be taken seriously, both on the football blog and the content strategy post.
While you may think it doesn’t matter as much on the football blog, being taken seriously as a writer depends on communicating with your audience in a way that they would expect. If you are looking to indulge in the gossip of your favorite sports team and sound off about the virtues (or otherwise) of its manager, you won’t connect with your audience unless you share their enthusiasm and passion for the team that will come across in the language you use.
In this instance, using slang and colloquialisms will accurately replicate the kind of language you would expect to hear in the bars around the stadium on a Saturday afternoon. This tone should be replicated in the blog. Let’s see how one of those sentences would look if written in the same style as the corporate blog:
“Being interviewed by the Scottish representative from British Sky Broadcasting after every football match would not be fundamentally beneficial to effectively carrying out your duties as a manager.”
As you can see, this tone is not appropriate for a soccer blog! No matter what you are writing about or what subject you are covering, it is crucial to consider the type of language that your readers will be expecting you to use.
Getting the tone wrong is the number one way of alienating your audience and making people click away. So before you sit down to write your guest blog, be sure to read some of the posts to get an idea of the writing style that is expected by the audience.
What other tips do you have for guest bloggers?