To Blog or Not to Blog – Is That The Question?

Photo courtesy smarnad at freedigitalphotos.net

It’s been fun creating this blog and filling it with content. But I am now at a bittersweet crossroad.  Should I continue blogging? Should I continue blogging on this topic? Until I started this blog, I never thought that would ever be a question that I would ask myself. Continue reading To Blog or Not to Blog – Is That The Question?

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Blog Like a Miniskirt!

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What do you think a blog and a miniskirt have in common?

I, too, couldn’t make the connection at first.  However, I kept the image in mind and kept on reading.  By now, if you are thinking “length” then you are on the right track. Continue reading Blog Like a Miniskirt!

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.

Define Your Audience

Defining your audience, the focus of this blog post, should set the appropriate tone for your next web writing project.  In this context, we are all writing for the Web.  So, be encouraged to write compelling stories and have awesome conversations with your intended audience.  As digital communicators, its key for all of us!

Tip#1- Define Your Audience

Before you start writing for the web, ask yourself, “Who is my audience.”  “For whom am I preparing this content?”  “Who will read what I am writing?”  Knowing your audience is paramount to refining your writing. Should your tone be conversational? Are you writing for a corporate audience?  Maybe you should write in teenager-ism?  No matter how excited you are to tell your story, be sure to tell it in the right context, that is, to the right audience that will get you the response that you want. In other words, defining your audience is a primary step to ensuring that you are effectively communicating with them.

One day, amidst tears, my five-year old daughter said to me:

“Mummy, I hear what you said, but I cannot understand all those big words you are using.” (Imagine my horror?) 

It’s the same when writing for the web. If you don’t tailor your message to your audience, it and they will be lost.  In other words, ensure the meal that you prepare soothes your guest`s palate. In fact, if defining your audience was a math equation, it would read: Targeted Audience + Rich Content = Awesome Conversations; a web writer’s dream!

Web readers are busy and only read content that they find interesting and that speaks to them.  After all, who doesn’t like having inspired conversations where you feel that the other person “gets” you? Once you know your audience or web visitors, engage them with great conversations, then sit back and watch them return like metal to magnet.

Wait…what? You still don’t know your audience? Then you run the very high risk of not reaching them at all or momentarily grabbing their attention but quickly losing them, along with your anticipated return on investment in your website, blog or other Web medium.

Next post: Creating Eye-Catching Headings.  Happy Reading!