You really do know everything there is to know about your “thing”… or if you don’t, you’ve done the research. You’ve trawled through every page of search results, hunting down the perfect quotes, and perfect stats, and perfect proof that you’re RIGHT.
You pour all of that genius into one brilliant blog post… and then as you read it back, something awful happens. You realise it’s not so brilliant. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. It’s dull. It’s drab. It’s clunky. And even you get bored after the first paragraph.
So you consult the experts. You look for ways to make your content more compelling… and you’re hit with the same arse-about-face advice from every angle.
Write how you speak.
Oh. Well that makes everything clear, doesn’t it?!
But the point these content marketing gurus are trying to make is this – all digital content is a form of communication. And nobody wants to wants to connect with a super formal, bot-like fountain of knowledge (even if you’re sharing the knowledge they need).
There’s an expectation now, of being able to see the brains behind every business. The human element. Thanks for that, Internet.
And this is one thing that a lot of pocket-sized businesses really struggle with. We spend so much time trying to convince our doubters (real or imaginary) that we’re real businesses, that we lose the little spark.
Or perhaps you’ve always struggled to put that spark into black and white.
Some people are dead engaging, face-to-face. These are the lucky buggers that live stream so effortlessly, but often the very people unable to put their pizzazz down on paper.
But don’t worry about it. This whole “write how you speak” thing is a skill that can be learned:
Only write about topics you actually care about. Don’t bother with those things you “should” be sharing, because they’re trendy or whatever. As readers, we can tell if your enthusiasm is down the toilet.
Start by eliminating any unnecessary business jargon, any acronyms that only serve to confuse matters, and any words that you can’t pronounce yourself.
Weave in some of the words you do use in your everyday life. If you can’t think of any, here are a few tips:
- Review old video content, live streams and podcast recordings.
- Scroll back through WhatsApp chats with your besties.
- Read the last few entries in your journal.
Get into the habit of collecting random descriptions, and jokes, and one-liners that you like, and weave them into your wording.
Use examples that show off a little bit of what you’re like. These could be real life anecdotes, story lines from your favourite TV show, or even your own creative inventions. Have fun with it!
Read your piece of content out loud. If you need to pause for a breath, slice up that sentence.
Grab that last bit of content you drafted (blog post, web page, whatever) and apply every single one of these steps. How does it sound?
Looking for even more ways to weave the perks and quirks of your personality into your writing? Grab a copy of the “ME” Maneuver, my knowledge bank + workbook combo designed to do just that… in 14 minutes or less.