Voiceover & Writing: Two things I love that love me back
It’s kinda counter-intuitive to write about being a voice-over blogger. Talking is my full-time job so I should also… write? I’ve been a writer for as long as I’ve been an actor, I’ve written for TV radio stations, magazines, and video production scripts. I love to write. Whether it’s a book or a translation from English to French, I count myself lucky that writing is my second love, after voiceover acting of course.
And why am I lucky you ask? Because my blog drives traffic to my website. Something that I love to do anyway, drives business to my door. Without a blog, people would only find me if they look for me, specifically. Thanks in part to the magic of the google algorithm the more I write the more my name pops up when someone googles something to do with voice-over. This intrepid googler (is that a word? I don’t think it is. It should be) might not be looking for a voice-over artist or even a coach; they might just be interested in the industry or want some advice from someone who works from home. That’s great, I take a lot of satisfaction in teaching and sharing the knowledge I’ve gained from the industry. What might be a pain for others in the voice-over industry is for me, a pleasure. I’m a voice-over artist, and coach, I home-schooled my children and I love to write. Blogging is the perfect match for me.
How Did I Start Blogging?
My first foray into blogging started about ten years ago when I met another novel writer, Kristen Lamb. Kristen is an incredible Texan word ninja who wrote a book called “Are you there writer? It’s me, blog” in 2011. Kristen also has a fantastic tribe which she calls WANA which stands for ‘We Are Not Alone’. WANA is a consortium of other writers and deviants like myself who want to explore and sort out, well… how do I do this? All of it. How to do everything, social media, scheduling, managing a recalcitrant client. Like I said, all of it.
The first blog I wrote wasn’t about voice over, acting, or even working from home. Sometimes the obvious alludes us. Several years ago, when technology limited my voice-over career to Canada only, I had a teeny-tiny bit of time between home-schooling my kids and voice-over work to explore writing a romance novel. So my first blog was about home-schooling and my exploration into romance novel writing (I told you I loved writing). I put my Romance writer’s pen down when I put up a sound studio in my house and realized I could fill those hours with voiceover work around the world.
Initially, my venture into the online voiceover world was a response to the crisis in my home market. A client who had been responsible for 40% of my income had just been sold to a company in India. They invited me to continue working for 1/6 of my rate. I declined. And got into the online voiceover market instead. A real-life example of the good sometimes coming from the bad.
Advice on Being a Blogger
I’ve been blogging for a long time, it takes time, effort, and work. I’ve attended about half a dozen writer conferences but I don’t think I could maintain the pace I have if I didn’t enjoy it and if I didn’t think I was adding value. I write about topics that interest me, bits of information that I think will help other voice-over artists out there, and about my experiences in the VO world. Trying my best to wrap it all up in interesting and clear words.
I have been in this industry for 38 years now (yeah, I started when I was 2….that’s my story and I’m sticking with it) and I blog because I have a lot to say about this industry. I’ve seen a lot of things change, I’ve seen a lot of things that shouldn’t stay the same, stay the same or get worse. I love voice-over. I love stories. I love bringing other people’s words to life as if they were my own and I love sharing the insight and experiences I’ve had with others if it brings them anything, as I say, of value.
Niche is Nice
At one of those many writers’ conferences, there was a speaker who was a runner and a blogger and she wrote about running and writing. It was a very interesting combination. And it gave her a very interesting following. Another blogger that I followed early in my exploration of blogging was an ad copywriter who posted about fashion and food and all kinds of things that she encountered in her daily life and occasionally talked about being a copywriter for a major advertising company.
What I took from this is that there is a market for the unique, and the key is to dig into yourself and be you. Come up with something different and of value. That doesn’t mean every aspiring blog writer needs to start doing something quirky just to maintain a blog, like I said, it’s difficult to maintain something so demanding when you have no interest in it. Instead don’t limit yourself and your blog, interject a little bit of You into everything you write, it doesn’t just have to be a blog about voiceover it can also be about running, cooking, favorite tv shows, pets, and partners. People like other people, we want to hear about them. Otherwise, we would read a textbook about the subject we are researching and have done. Bring yourself into the equation, because in my ever so humble opinion, adding a dash of who you are, to the things you know, results in success.
Blogger Content Creation Cheat Sheet – Your Own Foray Into Writing
Here’s a list of some cool writing resources I’ve found helpful over the years:
- Voiceactor websites: specialize in creating mobile-friendly solutions for voice actors
- Punctuation Cheat Sheet: wikiHow on how to use punctuation correctly
- Grammer Girl: Quick and dirty tips
- Technical writing an older doc – has some really good stuff on tech writing
- Copywriting 101 – a number of ebooks on writing basics and beyond
- 7 deadly sins of website copy – great insight/checklist
- Coscheduler- Headline analyzer – a free tool (once you sign up – again for free) to help you write powerful headlines
What about you? Do you have any preferred resources that should be on this list? Do you blog? Or have any questions about whether you think you should start and how to drive content? Drop me a note!