There is a thing about reading posts online. We know that there isn’t anybody there talking to us at that moment, but we like to feel that there is for some reason. We have a natural need for social interaction, and it can be reflected in many levels without us even noticing it.
If nothing else, we want to make sure that we are reading something wrote by a human being, not by a robot.
Because of it, writing conversationally is one of the best ways to engage and delight an audience. It makes them feel part of the story and show how much you care about them, that you actually wrote your post with them in mind.
Tip # 1 – Get to know how your audience talk
When you are talking to a child, you don’t use the same words or share the same level of information that you do when you are talking to an adult, right? So you should follow the same principle when you are writing conversationally. In other words, the first thing that you should know is how your target audience usually talk, so you can try to make your text sound as close to it as possible.
Tip # 2 – Understand what writing conversationally means
Now, you might be thinking that writing conversationally is just about writing, in the same way, you would speak. But this couldn’t be more wrong. While you will be freer to break a few grammar rules here and there in this style, you will have to remember that you are still writing. So, you will still have to follow the rules and show some style. What you will do here it is to write something closer to a personal letter than to a speech, if you know what I mean.
Tip # 3 – Say your opinion
If you want that people to notice that there is a real person behind the keyboard, you should start by saying your opinion about what you are writing. If you just put facts together, there is no way for them to know what you think about it or even if you care at all. You will need to have in mind that is your point of view what they are looking for, or they would be just checking info on Wikipedia – the right place to collect cold information. When you don’t make a stand for what you believe, you stop being a blogger.
Tip # 4 – Write in first or second person
When you are talking to someone there is a lot of “I” and “You”, right? So you should do the same on your blog posts. Even though you have been prepared at school to distance yourself from your writing, when you are a blogger this is exactly what you shouldn’t do. So don’t be afraid to write in the first person, or more likely, on the second person, so your audience can be the star of your text. This is a no-fail content marketing strategy that you should apply from now on.
Tip # 5 – Read it out loud
Do you want to know if you are doing it right? So read your text out loud. This is the best way for you to identify if your post was written in a conversational way. The way it sounds will give away if this is something that you would like to hear being read for you – which is one of your goals here indeed. So give it a try and mark every sentence or paragraph that is not like music to you so you can rewrite it. If you haven’t pleased yourself, you will hardly please your audience.
Tip # 6 – Be funny
An easy trick to make people love the way you write is being funny. You can tell them a joke, yes, but what I am talking here is a bit further than that. You can be sarcastic, for example, or add anything to your text that will bring humour to it, the same way you would do when you are talking so to make people relax and engage with what you are saying. Of course, the meaning of funny and the amount of it that you can add to your post will depend on your target audience, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it at all.
Tip # 7 – Be interactive
If you want to engage people with your post, you will need to make them feel welcomed and free to participate. And the best way to do it is by making your text more interactive. You can ask them questions, for example, so to make them reflect on what you have just said and relate it to their reality. You can create a quiz so they can test their skills. Or you can create a survey, asking them what they want to read next. And don’t forget to leave your comment box on and open to everyone.
Tip # 8 – Forget your big words
If you want to make sure that you will sound conversational, you will need to write it in a simpler manner, just as people usually speak. Except if you are writing to a very specific audience, who appreciate wordiness, you should leave your big words behind when you are going to write. Think about which words your audience would use to say what you want to say and stick with them.
Tip # 9 – Write short sentences
You probably know someone who can’t talk so fast and throw so much information on you per second that you wonder if they are going to collapse for lack of breathing. And I bet you find it really boring, to say the least. Same way, you should write short sentences nicely distributed on also short paragraphs to make it conversational and efficient. Otherwise, your audience will just get lost and stop reading your post halfway through it.
Tip # 10 – Pick a persona and write to it
As you can imagine, it is very hard to impress a large audience. But it is much easier trying to engage just one person per time. So a trick that marketers use to know if a product is likely to be successful is creating a persona, an imaginary person whose characteristics summarise most of the traits of their target audience, and then asking to that persona what they think about the product. So my suggestion here is that you create this ideal reader as well, and write as if you were talking to this person in specific. It will make things much easier for you.
The bottom line
Writing for an audience in a conversational manner is much easier than you think, as you could see awhile you were reading the tips above. It is all about bringing some elements that you already use when talking to a friend to a still formal writing style.
The advantages of this approach to the engagement of your audience are statistically proven so that it won’t get any wrong. Just make sure that you find the right tone to your public, so they will be happy to read your posts and notice that you were thinking about their needs in the first place and from the very beginning.