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3 Simple Ways to Make Your Blog Posts More Conversational

Posted By Ali Luke 13th of October 2017 Writing Content 0 Comments

make-blog-post-conversational.jpg

This post is by ProBlogger writing expert Ali Luke

You’ve probably heard that your blog posts need to be “conversational”.

You may also have been told why: to create a sense of connection with your reader, keep them engaged, and make your blog sound less like a lecture and more like a discussion.

That’s all true. But making your writing “conversational” can be tricky – especially if you come from a business or academic writing background.

If your blog posts tend to sound a little dry and stilted, here are three simple ways to change things.

#1: Talk Directly to Your Reader

Write your post as if you’re talking a specific reader. Picturing an actual person may help – someone you know in real life, or who comments on your blog. You could even imagine you’re emailing them, or writing a Facebook post or comment.

And use words like “I” and “you”, even though you were probably taught not to at school or work. When you’re blogging it’s totally fine to write from your personal experience, and to invite the reader to step into your post.

Here’s an example from Jim Stewart’s post 9 Tips for Recovering Your Google Rankings After a Site Hack. (I’ve highlighted each use of “you” and “your”.)

If your WordPress site has been hacked, fear not. By following these tips you can fortify your site and kick wannabe hackers to the kerb.

And provided you act quickly, your WordPress site’s SEO traffic—and even its reputation—can recover within 24 hours.

This is clear, direct writing that speaks to the reader’s problem. And it’s easy to read and engage with: it’s almost like having Jim on the phone, talking you through fixing things.

Note: As Jim does here, always try to use the singular “you” rather than the plural “you”. Yes, you hopefully have more than one reader. But each one will experience your blog posts individually. Avoid writing things like “some of you” unless you’re deliberately trying to create a sense of a group environment (perhaps in an ecourse).

#2: Use an Informal Writing Style

All writing exists somewhere on a spectrum from very formal to very informal. Here are some examples:

Very formal: Users are not permitted to distribute, modify, resell, or duplicate any of the materials contained herein.

Formal: Your refund guarantee applies for 30 calendar days from the date of purchase. To request a refund, complete the form below, ensuring you include your customer reference number.

Neutral: Once you’ve signed up for the newsletter list, you’ll get a confirmation email. Open it up, click the link, and you’ll be all set to get the weekly emails.

Informal: Hi Susan, could you send me the link to that ProBlogger thingy you mentioned earlier? Ta!

Very informal: C U 2morrow!!!

With your blogging, it’s generally good to aim for an informal (or at least a neutral) register, as if you were emailing a friend. This makes you seem warm and approachable.

Typically, you’ll be using:

  • Contractions (e.g. “you’ll” for “you will”)
  • Straightforward language (“get” rather than “receive” or “obtain”)
  • Chatty phrases (“you’ll be all set”)
  • Possibly slang, if it fits with your personal style (“thingy”, “ta!”)
  • Short sentences and paragraphs
  • Some “ungrammatical” features where appropriate (e.g. starting a sentence with “And”)

You might want to take a closer look at some of the blogs you read yourself. How do they create a sense of rapport through their language? How could you rewrite part of their post to make it more or less formal? What words or phrases would you change?

#3: Give the Reader Space to Respond

Conversations are two-way, and that means letting your readers have a say too. If you’ve decided to close comments on your blog, you may want to consider opening up a different avenue for readers to get involved, such as a Facebook page or group.

When you’re writing your post, don’t feel you need to have the last word on everything. You don’t have to tie up every loose end. It’s fine to say you’re still thinking about a particular subject, or that you’re still learning. This gives your readers the opportunity to chime in with their own expertise or experiences.

Often, you can simply ask readers to add to your post. For instance, if you’ve written “10 Great Ways to Have More Fun With Your Blogging”, ask readers to contribute their own ideas in the comments. Some people won’t feel confident about commenting unless explicitly invited to do so, ideally with a suggestion of what they could add (e.g. “What would you add to this list?” or “Have you tried any of these ideas?”)

On a slightly selfish note, if you’re not sure about the value of comments, remember it’s not just about your readers getting more out of your blog. Some of my best blog post ideas have come from a reader’s suggestion or question in a comment. And many other comments have prompted me to think in a more nuanced way about a particular topic.

There’s no one “right” way to blog, and some blogs will inevitably be more conversational than others. If you’d like to make your own posts a bit more conversational, though, look for opportunities to:

  • Use “you” and “I”. Talk directly to your reader, and share your own experiences where appropriate.
  • Make your language fairly informal. Don’t worry about everything being “correct” – just let your voice and style shine through.
  • Open up the conversation by inviting readers to comment, or encouraging them to pop over to your Facebook page (or join your Facebook group).

Have you tried making your blog more conversational? Or is it something you’re just getting started with? Either way, leave a comment below to share your experiences and tips.

Christin Hume

About Ali Luke

Ali Luke blogs about the art, craft and business of writing at

Aliventures
. She has two free ebooks on blogging,
Ten Powerful Ways to Make Your Blog Posts Stronger
and
Ten Easy Ways to Attract Readers to Your Blog … And Keep Them There.
To get your copies of those, just
sign up for her weekly e-newsletter (also free!) here.

  • I had a dream of my web site becoming a forum like Ozarque’s LJ, where, excellent though the blog itself was, the comments often made it *better*–sharing everything from publication links to recipes. Blogspot, I’ve learned, doesn’t work that way. Blogspot tries to route things through Google +, which is overly visual and clunky. Also, it seems that to get comments that actually add value (as distinct from mere “signature” comments) one has to have written a few successful books.

    Scott Adams has a lively forum, although geeky. Chuck Wendig has a lively forum, although sycophantic. I’m doing well to get a “plus”…sigh.

    Google “plusses” may encourage some writers but they add nothing to the *readers’* experience.

    • I tried installing Disqus, for a while. It did not attract high-quality comments to my blog… which is disappointing, because I’ve seen that a lot of people who are willing and able to write high-quality comments have Disqus accounts.

      • I’ve never used blogspot, and my impression with Google + is that it’s never quite caught on as a platform in the way that, say, Facebook has.

        At least those plusses mean that people are reading, and enjoying your content. I know it’s frustrating when what you really want are comments … but just getting a plus is an achievement in itself.

  • Hi Ali,

    Excellent advice here.

    I enjoy writing in a chill, relaxed, highly informal style. I feel readers like chatting more with people who simply speak to them directly (tip #1 too) by being informal, versus speaking down at them, by being formal, staid and yes, grammar obsessed. I do get wanting to convey a professional image. Also, how it helps to write clearly and cogently. But when you get too formal and stuffy and proper, you tend to scare off readers who fear making a mistake in their comments. I know, being a former reader/writer afraid to comment on some blogs for fear of being picked out or ignored.

    Now I do tend to go in a more extreme direction with being informal, but my readers love this. Sure hasn’t hurt me. I do little editing. I write, re-read, edit a wee bit if needed and go live. No better way to be on your blog how you are in real life. Because when you blog from the heart you write from the heart, and usually get it right in a clear, authentic way, on the first try. Save a typo or 2.

    Thanks for the smart share Ali.

    Ryan

    • Thanks Ryan! I think it’s perfectly possible to come across as both “friendly” and “professional” in blog posts, emails, etc — as you say, you don’t want to be overly formal and stuffy, it can make readers feel shut out of the conversation.

      For me, professionalism as a blogger is more about things like posting consistently and being careful what products I promote (I only ever promote ones I’ve used and enjoyed) … not so much about grammatical “rules”. Of course, it’s also important that your writing is clear and easy to understand — I don’t spend a huge amount of time editing my blog posts, but I do try to make sure I’ve expressed things clearly and, like you, I weed out any typos (I think my fingers must get ahead of my brain sometimes…! :-D)

  • Hello Ali,

    Great post as always. Make a post controversial is really a tricky job. Writing in informal way is definitely helpful to connect with your readers and in many cases it creates more friendly bond between you and your readers. Thanks for sharing these great tips with us all.

    Have a great day :)
    Vishwajeet

    • Thanks, Vishwajeet! Yes, creating that bond with readers is so important — and being conversational and relaxed in blog posts is a great way to do just that. :-)

  • great post just like all other in your blog. I like your way of writing.

  • Hey Ali Luke,
    Great blog post Especially #1 thanks for sharing.

  • Bilal Akbar

    the problem is that when I share a post on facebook or twitter, the title and description of the post shown as below
    the post title is shown as
    data:blog.pagename
    post description shown
    data:.blog.metadescription
    anyone have solution please tell me?

  • In all aspects I’ve seen that quality of the content always wins.

  • Lucas Smith

    These are some really great tips. For one thing, it’s not always good to go all Shakespear style with your blog. What’s important is that your blog must pique the interest of the readers and make them feel like the blog was made specially for them.

    Great article Ali! Cheers!

    • Vincent Feindouno

      “What’s important is that your blog must pique the interest of the readers and make them feel like the blog was made specially for them.”

      This is something I will definitely work on.
      Thank you very much Lucas for sharing!

  • Hello Sir,

    Thanks share most important news and information post on blog to ideas and tips are usefully to updated new to saved it.

    Thank You.

  • Brilliant information, I’ve just launched a new site and will start blogging in a few days. this information surely will help a lot :)

  • Heather Mae Hildreth

    Hi Ali,

    As someone that graduated with an English degree, I struggle to write in a conversational tone. I always feel like I’m a robot when I write. These tips seem super helpful. I’ll be sure to try these out. Thanks!

  • Very good advice here! Thank you for the inspiration. I’ve been writing conversationally like a decade ago but then I got outrun by all the newcomers who write three word sentences etc.

  • Hi Ali,

    Great tips for improving our blog posts.

    I make it a point to write a conversational tone. Although, I need more practice. I’ve noticed that as I continue writing every day.

    I am getting better. I keep wanting to improve my grammar. It was drilled into us at school that we need to write in proper English.

    It’s taking a little bit of time to get used to it. But after a year of blogging, I can definitely see a difference.

    As far as spelling big words. I make it a point not to. Besides I’m not the best speller in the world, so I wouldn’t really know how to use big words.

    One of the things that I’m trying to do more with my blog posts is share more of my personal self. I don’t want to get too personal. However, I know that readers want to know a little about the person behind the blogger.

    I’ll definitely start using these tips to help me improve my writing.

    Thanks for taking the time to share these tips.

    Have a great day :)

    Susan

  • Reji Stephenson

    Hi Ali Luke,
    I also enjoy reading articles which engage with me more like speaking directly with me. It really makes us anxious to know what happens next kind’a feeling. Writing an article like this makes visitors read the article thoroughly and to the end of the article. It ultimately creates more positive results and good conversions which is our ultimate goal..

    Very good informative article.
    Reji Stephenson

  • Ap parvin

    Hello Ali,

    I got so much benefit from getting so good advice.
    Especially 3 is the advice that will give the impression of talking directly to the reader.
    Thank you so much.

  • Hi Luke,

    you’ve done a really high quality job. I Really appreciate your work here.Many many thanks for this post. i always follow this site because it is very helpful to all blogger.

  • Very simple tips indeed!
    I love the informal part which is the use of “i” and “you”. Sometime it get confusing on which pronoun one should use on his/her blog.
    Like one would wonder; should i use “we” instead of “i” to make my post looks more cool?

  • Gaurav Kumar

    Nice article sir and It’s requiring a tad of investment to get accustomed to it. Be that as it may, following a time of blogging, I can see a distinction.

    1. Compose conversationally

    No one tattles with an organization. No one associates with a robot. No one bonds with a company.

    To draw in your perusers, you have to sound human. Compose as though you’re chatting with a nonexistent companion. Begin a discussion.

    Envision the inquiries your companion would ask you, and answer these inquiries. Consider the difficulties your companion is confronting and help him (or her) with sound exhortation.

    2. Utilize allegories to draw in your crowd

    Allegories can be utilized to disclose unique thoughts or to make complex issues straightforward. That is valid. Be that as it may, allegories can do as such substantially more.

    Illustrations consequently make your blog entries more distinctive and locks in. Similitudes utilize symbolism so perusers can see, feel, hear, taste, or even notice what you’re discussing.

    3. Rouse your perusers

    Content promoting isn’t just about instructing. You likewise need to move your perusers to change their convictions, or to make a move.

    4. Make a typical adversary

    You’re assembling your power as a blogger.

    You’re energetic about your subject; and you’re well on your approach to turning into an idea pioneer in your field.

    5. Be fascinating and intrigued

    It’s anything but difficult to consider blogging one-way movement. You’re composing, distributing, and sharing your blog entries.

    In any case, being fascinating is just a large portion of the activity. Being intrigued is possibly more essential.

  • Hello Everyone
    Great Blog.Thanks for sharing such a useful information. I really appreciate your work.

  • I read this article few days ago and it helped me alot to make my website better. Thanks

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