In school, your teachers probably warned that using informal language was one of the fastest ways to get a low grade on a paper. But, once you’re writing outside of academia, an element of casualness could be one of the most worthy ways to connect with readers. Below, we’ll cover some techniques to strike a sweet spot with the language used, plus go over other ways to help readers relate to what you say.
Speak Directly to the Reader and Get Descriptive
If you wrote one sentence that said, “Most people deal with extreme stress at some point in their lives” and another one that read, “Have you ever felt stress that was so intense it seemed to spread into all aspects of your life?” which one is more personal? Hopefully, you agree it’s the second one.
The first sentence addresses “most people,” so it’s very broad. It also merely mentions “extreme stress,” but it does not go into details. The second sentence, however, discusses the all-encompassing nature of extraordinary amounts of stress. When you show directness by using “you” and “I,” it’s easier for readers to relate to what you say and realize you’ve been through many of the same things they have.
Consider Adding Visual Content
Statistics indicate content with images is looked at more often than text-only material. There are many types of images to add to your blog, such as infographics and screenshots. You may even want to include videos, particularly when showing readers how to do something or clarifying a point.
If you’re comfortable with the idea, add high-quality images of things in your life, especially if they add context. For example, maybe you recently went to the beach and while walking in the sand, you had an epiphany that made you realize it’s time to re-prioritize things in life. After discussing that revelation, you might add a picture from the trip because it helps people visualize the account.
Show Your Vulnerability
Being vulnerable can be scary — and it often doesn’t fit with the impressions we want others to have of us. Ideally, we’d like people to think we’re brave in uncertain situations, excellent managers of time and resources and have all of life’s necessities figured out. However, demonstrating how you’re as prone to periods of weakness as anyone else could help people get behind what you say.
You might bring up a vulnerability in your blog posts by talking about a time when you were deeply depressed or struggling to find a new job after finishing college. Alternatively, it may work well to highlight how even though people often think you’re fiercely independent, there are times when there’s no obvious choice other than to lean heavily on them.
By revealing tough moments, you help people realize there are things you’ve experienced they’ve probably dealt with as well. Plus, your boldness in bringing up topics that could be unpleasant to think about proves to readers you aren’t afraid to be realistic.
Give Readers Space to Respond
You’ve probably read a lot about how your blog is a place where you can show authoritativeness about topics. When that happens, you might get asked to write guest blogs or speak at conferences.
One of the first steps to becoming an authority blogger in your niche is to establish trust with readers. Fortunately, most or all of the tips you’re reading here about relatable and conversational blogs will help you do that. Networking with other bloggers is helpful, too. However, it’s also important to pose questions to readers and invite them to give their thoughts.
You can try doing that at the end of a post. For example, you might give your opinion about the decision made by a famous brand to change a beloved cookie recipe. Then, wrap up the piece by saying something such as, “Will this development strengthen the brand and make its products appeal to more people, or will it make long-term buyers frustrated that the treats taste different? What do you think?”
Then, specifically tell readers how to get in touch with you. Consider adding links to your social media profiles, providing an email address or sending readers to a comment form. By making it obvious you care about what readers think, you’re showing you value their input.
Talk About What Worked For You
When you’re engaged in an informal conversation with a close friend, there’s a good chance you’ll bring up a problem or challenge you’re facing. It might be something as seemingly simple as finding it hard to fall asleep at night due to a racing mind or something extremely significant, such as deciding whether to make a career change.
When attempting to strike a conversational tone with readers, discuss some of the recent obstacles you’ve overcome and offer tips that could help them have similar accomplishments. Be careful to word things in ways that show you’re sharing knowledge, not condescendingly giving advice. If appropriate, you can also mention trial-and-error approaches that describe how you worked with several products or methods and chose the one that was most effective.
Write in Short Sentences and Paragraphs
Think back to most of your conversations. You’ll likely realize short sentences helped people stay on track with the stories you told. Whether you’re describing a recent meal in a new restaurant or the process required for teaching your new puppy to sit, people usually appreciate when you don’t get too long-winded or use lots of meandering phrases. Otherwise, they might find themselves wondering, “And your point is?”
Two important things you can do to make your blogs more conversational are to stick with short paragraphs and sentences. People often skim content before getting engrossed in it. They want to gauge if it’s worthwhile to read now or later or maybe not at all. Keeping your sentences and paragraphs at reasonable lengths helps draw readers in and makes them eager to learn more.
Headers are also useful for introducing the concept of blog sections. If they accurately describe what’s ahead, people can decide whether they need to read that portion in depth or could go over it quickly.
Putting these tips into action could boost your readership by making people excited to check out new posts. Also, they could begin to see your content as a worthy addition to their lives and view you as a friend — even if they never meet you.
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