David Gitonga (DavGit)
Let’s face it, you likely come across blogs that are dull and unexciting all the time. These kinds of blog posts usually fail to draw you in and as a result, your mind ends up drifting away. It is no surprise therefore, that you will quickly click away in search of a post that is more engaging and worth your precious time.
The most engaging posts are those that talk directly to you. They are conversational, very direct and concise. When writers like Brian Clark, Darren Rowse and Chris Brogan write, they not only engage you but talk directly to you. They have a conversational style of writing. A conversational tone is more enjoyable and more likely to result in engagement. It is an important element of a good post and will more likely get your posts thrown about on the social Web.
That being the case, what can you do to develop a conversational tone?
1. Use the term “You”
Always try to address your audience. One of the most effective and easiest ways of doing this is using the word “you.” Just like in a real conversation, you want to address your readers as if they are sitting directly across to you on a table. Tell them what you think and why they need to act on what you say by talking to them. If there is one word you need to remember when trying to be conversational, it is the use of the word “you.”
2. Avoid Adverbs
Adverbs describe verbs and they have no place in a blog. Most adverbs are redundant and don’t really add any meaning to a blog post, except maybe contribute to fluff. Stay away from any words that seek to describe verbs. Get straight to the point and don’t be afraid to do that. Your readers will love it.
3. Avoid Passive Speaking
Passive speech is lengthy and boring. A passive sentence starts with a noun while an active sentence starts with a verb. So that rather say, “A decision was made”, you are better off saying “I decided.” It doesn’t take long to see that the latter sounds better on a blog. Active sentences keep people reading since they get the brain to think forward.
4. Mirror Your Reader Responses
People like to know you are paying attention to them and one way to do that is to tell them. Use statements like “I know you sometimes feel like giving up” or “I know that starting a blog can be quite tasking.” When you do this, you are drawing your readers in and they are more likely to pay attention to you since they feel like they can relate. This is a powerful element of an conversational blog.
5. Be Bold
Do you watch reality TV? See how they use statements like “Oh My” or “Aha”, “Poor Me”, “Bang!” Ugh” etc. Don’t be afraid to throw around these terms where you feel it would make a lot more impact. The use of these terms makes your writing more human and less professional. That is why reality TV is so enticing.
When you take time to write for your reader, as opposed to a client, then you are more likely to bring out the real you in your writing. Don’t think too much about whether you are going to sell, but rather, if you are going to be understood. Think of your readers as sitting directly across to you and you will have no difficulty being conversational.
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