5 Tips for Nailing the Conversational Writing Style

Developing a conversational writing style for your blog sounds easy, and it is, for the most part — as long as you break any unsuitable habits and commit to some new ones. The best bloggers know how to pour their words into a post, adapting a style that mimics chatting with friends, rather than impressing a professor (unless their site is geared toward professors, of course). A stylish blog with a friendly voice welcomes readers and inspires them to return.

As you continue your writing journey, take note of a few pointers that can help you establish savvy blogging behaviors, turning readers into supporters and friends of your brand.

1. Picture your persona

Who’s reading your blog? Maybe it’s a food site geared toward, well, anyone who loves to experiment in the kitchen. Or it might be a dog blog, also aimed at the general public. But what if your target market is a narrow group of folks? For instance, if your blog’s niche is creative and colorful nail polish techniques, perhaps you’re writing for a young, adventurous female persona. On the other hand, if your site is all about vintage pocket watches, you might be writing for men with unique watch collections.

A few tips:

  • Imagine who your reader is and write the way you’d speak to that person. Use a consistent voice and style that your audience would be accustomed to. How we normally speak to, perhaps, a warmhearted great aunt differs vastly from how we speak to a spirited teenage nephew.

  • Be yourself, while keeping your conversational writing style clean, polite, and respectful. No matter who your guests are, rudeness and cursing are not funny or trendy and should be avoided.

  • Sprinkle in lighthearted humor where appropriate. Few things engage a reader quite like a well-placed — and appropriate — joke or witticism.

2. Read other blogs

It’s okay to take notes, using top-notch blogs as study guides. Don’t think of this as an exercise in grammar or spelling ability; even great blogs fall prey to errors in the language department. Instead, think about how your favorite bloggers make you feel — excited, uplifted, eager to return — with their consistent, conversational writing style and how they spin their words into adventures, without overusing exclamation marks.

3. TELL, DON’T YELL!!

Is there ever a good time to use all capital letters or exclamation marks in a blog? As for the former, not usually, unless you’re writing acronyms, for instance. As for the latter, maybe, but only one at a time, and only to show strong emotion, such as astonishment, anger, or fear. Overuse of the exclamation point is a telltale sign of unprofessionalism, explains Larry Kim on The Mission website.

Imagine how your words appear to folks reading your hyped blog post about the best concert you’ve ever attended; your readers can’t hear the pitch of your voice or see the expression on your face, so use your words — rather than exclamation marks — to express emotion.

Don’t write: “The band was awesome!”

Do write: “The Tree Swingers kept the crowd bouncing like a tribe of over-caffeinated howler monkeys — best indie-rock concert ever, IMO.”

4. Downsize your draft

While we write, our words typically tumble out with all sorts of superfluous or unnecessary bits that add nothing of value to our stories. Remove such irrelevant or redundant words or sentences. Empty content wastes time, causing folks to bounce to other sites — and no blogger wants that.

Come back to your draft after a couple hours or even the next day. After a break, we can usually spot the parts of a story that don’t belong. But don’t read your article in silence.

5. Read aloud

Conversations are spoken; they’re not thoughts. So, it makes sense you should read your article aloud. If it sounds like an easygoing, fact-packed chat with the persona you’re writing for, it’s ready for publishing.

Now that you know how to engage with visitors in a friendly manner, why not learn how to gain their trust?

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