Blogs can be some of the best sources of free information in the Googlesphere. But there are a lot of them out there. In fact, Google says 600 million blogs now out of 1.7 billion active sites. That’s a lot of info. But within that astonishing figure, voice over blogs are a sliver-sized narrow niche. For voice over seekers some blog posts answer questions about our industry. For voice artists, blogs are an opportune way to learn about the craft, business, marketing and tech aspects of our industry. Blogs rich in content can save you time and money.
I’ve recently posted my Top 10 list of the best voiceover blogs that I follow. I’m picky. I’ve been in the voiceover industry for a long time. I already know a heck of a lot. But, I regularly browse the content of some of my industry colleagues. To find out what’s new. What’s hot. To join in on great conversations. Voiceover veterans, understand the importance of staying current in the industry and taking part in discussions about issues of import. My top 10 list includes J. Michael Collins, Dave Courvoisier, Bill deWees, Anne Ganguzza, Debbie Grattan, Laura Schreiber, Marc Scott, Paul Strikwerda and David Tyler. Whether you’re deep in or on the fringes of the industry, treat yourself. Pick one or two, or all ten and dive into their back blogs. I am also going to put myself on this list of Top 10s. If you’re curious about my audacity, read on.
Voice Over Artist Kim Handysides
Why do I blog about voice over?
I blog because I’ve been writing “full time voice over artist” on my tax forms since 1991 and I’ve got stuff to say about our industry. And I want to be helpful to clients and the community. Also, I love writing. Not because I’ve been at it since writing the winning submission for the school Christmas play in grade 3, or because of a decade as a journalist writing for television, radio stations, mags and newspapers but because writing has always led a strong supporting role in my career as a professional storyteller. As I’ve learned more about it, I’ve incorporated SEO principles into my posts, but primarily, I write because the linear expression of cogent thought is one of my favorite communication forms.
Do I have a theme to your blogs or do I wait for inspiration to strike?
If I have a theme, I guess it’s become searching for honesty in my art form. Or at least that’s the goal I strive toward, whether the subject appeals more to voice actors or voice talent seekers, other small business owners in the arts. Occasionally, inspiration strikes from a recent project, conversation or situation, but more often I (attempt to) plan a few blogs at once and then work on them over time.
What are my favorite kinds of blogs to write about?
Performance oriented blogs are completely delicious. I’ve been coaching a lot lately and it’s helped me analyze why some things work and others don’t and suss out practical advice to help voice actors find truth in their performances. Marketing and managing your voiceover business are other key themes that I delight in sharing. Cool topics that have saved me time or money or have helped solidify relationships in an increasing physically-disconnected, electronically-hyperconnected world.
What kinds of blogs get the most attention or feedback?
My blogs with the highest interaction (comments) are one on rates in voiceover. I found there were already templates of what to charge out there in the web world, but not much had been written about why voice actors charge the rates they do or what accounts for the range in voiceover pricing from one vo actor to another. Performance tips and advice always do well, like my three-part blog series on how to direct voice actors (which ends in how to self-direct). One kind of complain-y blog got a lot of attention. Why profs narrating their own online courses is often a big mistake. There is an ocean of difference between being a subject matter expert and being able to engage listeners and transmit that info. Time to hire a great professional voiceover narrator.
What else would I like people to know about your blog in particular or my philosophy and approach to the industry?
Nothing make me happier than when someone reaches out and says, “hey, I really liked what you said about xyz,” or “I never thought about it in that way before. Thanks!” This past week I received an email from a college student thanking me for my well-researched post on the Timeline of Podcasting. They’d cited it in their term paper for a communication studies class. That was cool. Makes me want to do more of those.