How to Write Conversationally

Image courtesy of [nokhoog_buchachon] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of [nokhoog_buchachon] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
So my last post talked about lists and tables and I felt a sense of gratification that my readers find my content useful.  Thank you all! I know that I was (mia) – missing in action – for about a week, but the “second wind” can create winners!

Writing conversationally sounds easy enough, since we have myriads of conversations every day.  On the phone, in person, by email, on the Web, and on social media, for example.   But when it comes to Web writing, the most engaging conversationalist can write the most “stuffy” Web content!

Spoiler alert…I am not and do not think that I am the world’s best writer…not by a very long shot! But, I love reading good writing where I can get engrossed in the many conversations, and identify with the characters in a story.  This is one of the reasons why we buy books, right? So, even if you are not a “writer” you could write conversationally. Following these five tips will help:

Tip #1: Your conversational writing should be written in your unique tone, similar to your spoken conversational style. Writing conversationally does not mean that you have to follow any rigid composition rules or follow grammar rules found online whatsoever. My written conversations mirror verbal conversations, and so should yours.

Tip#2: Read up on good conversational writers in order to get a feel for the phrases and words that they use to win their Web audiences and try to assimilate the good parts of your research into your written conversations.

Tip #3: As Web writers, we write for audiences. However, key to writing conversationally is to zero in on your favourite person from your audience and write as though you are speaking directly to that person only. And, always use a lot of “you” and “I” in your writing so that your readers believe that you are speaking to them.

Tip#4: Know your content?  It’s as simple as that. For example, I have found writing about Web Writing, a fairly easy task.  In fact, the ideas are always flowing and I often spend quite some time trying to edit the content to sizable portions.  Part of the reason is that I can comfortably talk about the topic.  Just as in verbal conversations, I can easily write in the same tone.

Tip #5: While your objective is to engage audiences, be wary of going overboard.  For example, if you use excessive curse words in your daily conversations, you may need to engage “Mr. Censor Ship,” in order to keep it clean.   Or else, you can sit back and watch your next big job or business contract slip through your oozing fingers.

In essence, to write conversationally, be persuasive, clear, and engaging.  Follow Tips 1 through 5, and then feel free to tell us what you do to make your writing more conversational.

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