If you take an English class, whether in high school or college, while learning how to write an essay, you’ll be encouraged never to write in the first or second person. This means that you should never use words like I, me, us, we, you, or your. Instead, professional writing should be about transmitting pure information only written in the third person.
However, in blogging, the opposite is true. Especially considering the current state of social media, online connections, and overall climate of engagement, speaking from your own voice has never been more useful.
Rather than using a formal, essay-style voice, speak to your audience. Write as though you are speaking directly to your friends.
- It allows you to connect with your audience through your content.
- It creates a conversational atmosphere which in turn encourages your readers to comment.
- It leads your readers to connect and engage with you on social media.
- It deepens the level of connection (as outlined in this post) which aids your readers in the learning process.
- All of these principles will work together to lead your users to share your content and return to your site bringing their friends with them.
It’s common knowledge that we don’t speak online in the same way that we do offline. Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake made a hilarious skit that clearly illustrates this point. If you’re viewing this in your RSS reader and you can’t see the video below, click through and have a watch. I guarantee that you’ll enjoy it.
So obviously we don’t speak online in the exact way that we would offline. That’s alright. It’s normal.
But we should try. I call this the principle of the face-to-face conversation. Of course, we may add some hashtags or things like that to make appropriate use of whatever medium we’re on. Despite that, we can always use our online voice to be a friend among friends. We can use our voice to connect, to share excitement, to spread information, or to learn from others. Find your voice. Use your voice.
….and use it for something other than 24/7 self-promotion.