Not long ago, organizations used a formal style of writing to address their audiences. However, this type of writing hides a brand’s personality. The advent of the Internet has brought with it new customer expectations. Customers no longer fall for the polite flowery language. In fact, it’s today associated with spam.
So how can you achieve a conversational style of writing? What do you need to do to ensure your content is engaging? Well, it’s simple. Talk to your audience as though you’re conversing with a friend. For you to connect with your audience, you have to be transparent and sincere.
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Know Your Audience
The best way to gain your audience’s trust is to show them that you understand who they are. That is not something you can fake, that’s why you have to know your audience. That requires you to carry out in-depth research to find out your audience’s experiences.
Once you learn about your audience, it gets easy to anticipate their problems. This way, you can use your content to offer workable solutions. Learning about your audience takes time, but it’s not hard to do. Pay attention to your social media interactions and be keen when reading reviews. You can also read past emails with customers to uncover who they are.
Imagine You’re Writing For A Single Reader
Once you uncover who your audience is, you’re ready to create content. The best way to achieve a conversational writing style is to imagine you’re writing for a single reader. You’ll sound more genuine and relatable when you’re speaking to one person rather than to a crowd. It’s a subtle change, but it makes a world of difference.
Ensure the content you write is educational, useful, and consistent. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes to figure out what type of content they’d like to read. Really think about your audience before you put your pen to paper. What cultural jokes would they relate to? What do they struggle with? The answers to these questions are the key to engaging content.
Use the Pronoun ‘You’ Rather than ‘We’
Since you’re addressing an audience, avoid using the pronoun ‘we.’ ‘You’ is preferable because you’re sending your reader as an individual. Even though you’re writing for many readers, each one will read your article alone. Referring to the reader allows you to connect with them on a personal level.
Avoid Passive Voice
Passive voice is one of the tell-tale signs of academic and formal writing. In an ideal sentence, the subject should perform the action and not receive it. In a passive sentence, the vice versa is the case.
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Since you want your content to read like everyday speech, you should use contractions. Writing an article without contractions make it sound unusual. Your audience will have a hard time connecting with your content. Always go through your articles once you’re done to see if you can add more contractions.
Engage Your Audience With Rhetorical Questions
When conversing with people, you use rhetorical questions to see if they’re following the conversation. Usually, the other person nods their heads or murmur approval.
Rhetoric questions draw your audience in. They are excellent for ensuring your article is engaging. However, using too many rhetoric questions make your article feel interrogative. The best places to include rhetorical questions is at the beginning of a paragraph. This way, you can bring their attention to what you’re about to discuss.
Avoid open-ended questions; instead, adopt questions with obvious answers. Lazy questions like ‘who wants to learn about content marketing?’ assume that every reader will respond in the affirmative. Assumptions tend to get on people’s nerves, especially when they’re wrong.
Keep Your Writing Simple
As a blogger, you put out articles to educate your audience. Writers who use complex wordings assume everyone knows what they’re talking about. However, there is always a significant number of people reading about that subject for the first time. Avoid using industry-specific vocabulary and keep your sentences simple.
Another thing is the length of your paragraphs. Reading lock blocks of text can be exhausting and intimidating – especially when a reader is using their mobile device. Ensure that your paragraphs are no more than 3-4 sentences long.
To build trust with your audience through writing, you have to put yourself in your reader’s shoes. What would they like to read about? Write like you’re conversing with a close friend to achieve engaging content.