As more bloggers, blogs and readers enter our universe, companies begin to more fully recognise the power of their voices. These companies approach us all with opportunities to “work together” and it can be tough to navigate that landscape.
Take a step back. Look at your blog with a reader’s eye.
Just as you were taught in school the difference between writing in active voice and passive voice, so I am identifying that there are active voice blogs and passive voice blogs.
Passive Voice Blogs
These blogs do product reviews, and only really publish reviews that are positive (the negative ones are never published). The words and images are similar to those you’d find in a tv commercial – happy, smiling and always shiny. Unfortunately, they’re a dime a dozen. These blogs have a readership built on passive brand loyalty with readers who are focused purely on winning competitions, not on entering only their competitions. They could be getting lots of traffic and lots of attention, but the hard truth is that as soon as ‘something shiny’ comes along – another blog with four more competitions that day, or something half decent’s on tv so there’s no time to visit the blog, they’ll lose readers in a blink. Passive loyalty links with passive voice. There is no active preference.
Make no mistake though. Typically, a Passive Voice Blog is one that takes a lot of time and effort to maintain, but lacks real attitude and commitment in the content. It still requires continual monitoring, content creation, etc. And you might think people are actively choosing your content because they keep coming back – this mistake is made by lots of companies, too. What you actually have, however, is a parity product. Something that can be exchanged for any one of a multitude of others. For a blogger, that’s dangerous.
Active Voice Blogs
An Active Voice Blog has a voice behind its content that is strong and committed. It might run competitions etc, but there is a vein of character behind every competition, and every relationship. The blogger recognizes the value of her blog, and reflects that in her relationships with the companies she works with. There is a differentiator that makes the blog individual. A selling point that makes the blog and blogger memorable. Active Voice Blogs have a presence of the blogger that the Passive Voice Blogs don’t have.
Typically, the readers of the Active Voice Blog are more committed to the blogger and blog than those who visit the Passive Voice Blog. An active voice blog will also have an actively blog- loyal readership. An active readership will choose to visit the blog and interact with it even when something shiny comes along trying to distract them. The readers will visit, even when it might be inconvenient to fit reading the latest post into their day.
I can see 2010 as being the year of the Active Voice Blogger.
Being an Active Voice Blogger is hard. It’s difficult to tell companies that their demands are not suitable for you, to do the research and ensure your brand will be complemented by the relationship – even if it’s just for a day-long event, or a single competition. It’s hard to have opinions that you’re prepared to stand up for. But this year, I believe those are the blogs which will find new levels of respect with the companies seeking a voice to work with.
You have a blog. That means you have a voice. But are you an Active Blogger?