You need engaging content on your blog, – posts that invite readers to like, tweet, comment on, share, pin, email, – if you want readers to pay attention. And one way to make it engaging is to write in a more conversational tone; like you probably would if you were sitting for a casual coffee with the reader. Just think about it, – when your approach is this personal you are able to put focus on the reader, hold his or her attention, and invite them and encourage to comment and share.
Still, there are lots of bloggers whose style is formal and stilted, which makes them appear stand-offish and distant from their readers. It’s maybe because they were thought like that, or they’ve written too many essays and formal documents in their lives. However, this isn’t the case with blogging. And here’s how to make your content more personal and conversational:
#1 Address the reader directly
When you start writing, think about your target reader, and address this person directly – use ‘you’ and be confident. This makes the content more personal as your readers can identify themselves in your words. Don’t be afraid to use ‘I’ in a sentence either. In blogging this is allowed and even desired, as it gives authenticity to your words; your readers know you stand behind them.
#2 Use simple everyday language
Albert Einstein said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” This is so true. We can only be simple about topics we feel confident at.
You must not confuse readers with your writing, but you should try to explain things in a way that people can understand. So please avoid too long and complicated words like commence, ascertain, enquire, … unless you really need to use them.
If you use acronyms in your blog posts, make sure to spell them out the first time you mention them. Don’t make the readers search for their meaning. If it’s an extremely common acronym that everyone knows and uses, you don’t need to explain it.
#3 Use active rather than passive voice
The passive voice – sentence construction ‘(noun) (verb phrase) by (noun)’ – hides the subject performing the action, and that way weakens the message you want to share with your blog readers. It’s not always wrong to use it, but in most cases rewriting the lines in active voice – ‘(noun) (verb) (noun)’ – will breathe life into your writing. Active verbs make your statements stronger and people can relate to them easier.
#4 Abbreviations are fine in blogging
Again, you want your content to appear more personal and engaging to your blog readers. Not make you seem stilted and stand-offish. And contractions bring that personal bond in sentences. So even though our teachers thought us to avoid abbreviations in essays, in blogging this rule doesn’t apply. Say ‘don’t’, not ‘do not’.
How is your writing? Is it easy for you to write conversationally? Or you still work on it? Tell us in the comments…