These days, if you want to get in front of your ideal audience, simply writing a blog post and uploading it to the web doesn’t cut it. Not to say that blogging has gone the way of the dodo — it’s as relevant a content format as ever, and it’s not going extinct anytime soon. But in the day and age where podcasts and video content dominate, how can bloggers keep up with the trend?
By using audio blogs — a narration of your written blog content. Audio blogs are on the up-and-up, even being adopted by sites like Medium, which has traditionally served as a hub for written content. But be forewarned — adding an automated text-to-speech mechanism to your posts isn’t enough for you to really connect with your audience. It’s all about the power of the human voice.
In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of adding voiceovers to your blog, taking your content from ordinary to extraordinary, by making them accessible, human, cutting-edge, and optimized for search engines.
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Why it pays to add a voiceover to your content
Text-to-speech is a great innovation, but there’s little that’s more grating than the sound of a shrill, robotic voice emptily echoing content in your ear. Think about podcasts — how many people would willingly listen to a podcast if it was delivered by a tin-voiced robot? Some outlets, like Bloomberg, have added text-to-speech recordings to their content, but they’re cold and unrelatable, lacking the warmth and rich depth of a human voice. If you want to turn off your audience, relying strictly on text-to-speech for your audio blog is a good way to do it.
When you want to add an audio layer to your blog posts, opt for a human voice. No, not a human-sounding voice, but the actual voice of a living, breathing person. But why? Adding narration to your blog:
- Makes your content more accessible
- Adds a human element to your writing that text-to-speech can’t compensate for
- Puts you ahead of the “what’s trending?” curve
- Strengthens your search engine optimization game
Let’s take a look at each of these considerations for adding an audio layer to your blog:
When you add audio to your blog posts, you make them more accessible. In turn, this helps you reach a broader audience. For example, let’s say Cindy just discovered your blog and is excited by your content. She’s trying to read as many of your (decidedly awesome) posts as she can, but she has to run out to pick up her daughter from school and can’t afford to spend her time tethered to her computer or phone screen. When you add narration to your blog, suddenly she’s able to listen to your posts while she goes about her day commuting, doing chores, and even exercising. Cindy, elated by this newfound freedom, becomes an ambassador for your blog and brand, singing its praises every chance she gets.
Accessibility isn’t just a matter of convenience, either — adding audio to your blog makes your content more accessible to people with access and functional needs, including visual impairments and those with dyslexia. When you add audio, you’re not just embedding a player in your blog and hoping one or two people bother to click the play button. You’re opening your blog up to entirely new audiences and serving a traditionally underserved population.
It’s powerfully human
Including a recording of your voice reading your blog posts gives your content a human element that’s definitively lacking when you simply rely on a text-to-speech option. It’s just more personal to listen to your expressive voice rather than a monotonous robotic one. It’s also easier to relate to your voice, with its inflections and imperfections, than it is to relate to a digital voice produced through a series of ones and zeroes.
Adding audio to blog posts is an up-and-coming trend, so if you adopt it early, you’ll be on the cutting-edge of the movement. Publications like The New York Times and The Atlantic have begun to adopt the trend, normalizing the appearance of audio players at the tops of articles and blog posts. But if you’re not using the human voice to reach your audience and instead rely only on text-to-speech software, you’re missing the opportunity to truly connect with readers (er, listeners) on a personal level.
It’s good for search engine rankings
Nearly everyone that runs a blog is concerned about SEO, and we’re willing to bet that you are, too. As it turns out, adding a layer of audio to your blog content actually improves your SEO. Have you noticed that when you search for a topic on Google, video results frequently appear? That’s because Google now ranks audio on SERPs, or search engine results pages. So not only do you have the text component of your blog for SEO crawlers to analyze, but you now also have the audio file for them to inspect.
Audio matters — but voice matters more
Set yourself up for success and foster a more intimate reading experience by narrating your own blog posts. Doing so will make your content more accessible for all audiences, more human, more modern, and more appropriately positioned to rank high on SERPs.
Ready to get started, but not sure how? Don’t worry — we’re here to help you tell your story. Sign up for early access to our super-simple voiceover service, and keep your blog on the front line of innovation.