Tell me if this is you: you’ve spent days writing an informative professional web page or blog and felt pretty confident that this would engage and convert your audience. But, instead, you’re left confused and disappointed when none of this happened once you hit “publish”.
This might sound harsh but one big reason this might be happening is that your content is just not interesting enough to read till the end.
You may have all the information your reader needs to realize that your offer is great and worth investing in but they don’t know that because they did not bother reading past the first few lines.
Why? Well, the answer is simple: you don’t sound human enough!
Years of writing academic papers, business emails and reports might have made writing conversational language for your business hard, unusual and even scary. Where do you draw the line? How much informal language is too much?
In this blog, we’re going to unpack what conversational writing (or copywriting) is and why it’s important to write conversationally when marketing your business. I’ll also share 10 actionable tips you can use immediately to start infusing your copywriting with a friendly yet professional conversational tone that will help you connect with your audience more.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
What Exactly is Conversational Writing?
In simplest terms, conversational writing involves an informal tone that makes your content sound like a conversation between you and your readers.
With direct and clear copywriting, you can more easily connect with your audience since you’re not overloading them with tons of information with a bunch of complex words.
Trust me, you won’t impress your future customers with abstract terms, jargon and lengthy detailed information for them to choose you.
Instead, in copywriting and blogging it is important to make your piece come across as relevant, real, and meaningful.
And you can only achieve that by using a tone and language that your audience is familiar with, thus the need for conversational writing.
Why Should You Write in Conversational Tone?
A great advantage of using a conversational tone is that it helps your audience feel that they are being addressed directly and personally.
And that’s what you want, right?
By adopting a conversational tone, you can use terms that your audience knows and understands. Words that will trigger strong emotional responses like a smile on their face, a laugh, a pause to reflect, a moment of nostalgia.
Less textbook and theories and more sit down with your favorite drink for heart-to-heart sharing.
You know, that feeling of real connection with someone you can trust has your back.
Conversational Writing Is Readable, Digestible, And Actionable
While copywriting, a conversational tone allows your audience to connect with you at an immediate and intimate level. This is known as readability. The more readable your copy is, the easier it is for your reader to understand what you’re telling them, and next the next step in the customer journey.
Here’s a refresher of the main customer journey stages from Hubspot for those who need it:
Pssst…think you need some help developing a clear customer journey and content strategy fro your business? I can help you with that, make sure to check out my services and get in touch if you want us to get your copywriting and content marketing back on track!
Not to mention that clearer, more readable copy also improves your SEO and thus encourages Google to rank you higher. Hello, sweet organic traffic!
Now, in a conversational style of writing, you have to follow only a handful of rules.
And your audience will be more tolerant of any grammatical mistakes as well – obviously, this is not an excuse to stop proofreading, but readers will be kinder to the occasional slip up.
Also, if you start using a conversational tone in your writing, then consider writer’s block a thing of the past. Yes, you read this right – it is so much easier to write freely when you are writing the way you talk. No more stopping to look up the right words on Thesaurus and forgetting your line of thought.
Side note: If you tend to hit creative blogs, I suggest you watch my video on what Seth Godin taught me about writer’s block!
Once your readers start feeling a personal connection with you, they will be more interested and involved in what you do.
This might also encourage them to have a discussion with you, write back to you, or simply engage more with your content and proceed to buying your product or service.
Now, Let’s Talk Facts
Did you know that 80% of the readers usually never read anything beyond the headline?
Moreover, on average, eight out of every 10 people will read a headline. However, only two out of those 10 will actually read the content beyond that.
That’s a good reason enough for you to throw out any boring, generic and complicated headline and start crafting a clear, captivating one.
Conversational Copy Case Study: Neil Patel
Neil Patel, digital marketer and founder of Hello Bar, KISSmetrics, and Ubersuggest took two different versions of the same blog and ran an A/B test on them.
The tone of one of the blogs was formal and conversational for the other one.
Here’s what he found:
· 247% more people read the full blog that was written in a more conversational tone
· Most of the people spend 1:22 minutes on the blog written in a formal tone and 4:45 minutes on the one written in a conversational tone
The results are pretty clear here; the blog post written in a conversational tone won!
Now that you’ve understood what conversational writing is and why it’s so important, here are some tips that will help you write your content in a more conversational tone and improve your engagement.
10 Tips That Will Help You Make Your Writing More Conversational
1. A Two-Way Conversation
Usually, when we are writing we can’t really see our readers or audience on the other end of the conversation. That makes it very easy to forget that we need to write from our own perspective and engage with the audience.
So, take a moment to reflect- do you really know whether your audience is feeling heard and understood when reading your copy?
Here’s an example of how you can make your reader feel important:
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Here, “we” and “our” are acting as self-referring pronouns and are not focusing on your audience.
So, instead, you can write:
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The above example is highlighting self-important sentences.
To make your content more engaging, look for any such sentences or phrases and replace your “I” and “we” with “You”.
But don’t feel that you need to completely hide yourself and remove all the “I’s” and “We’s”.
If a team runs your business, use “us”, “we”, and “our”. And if it is run by you only then feel free to use “me”, “I”, and “my”, wherever you deem appropriate.
2. Always Try to Use Simple Words
Usually, when we learn a new word, we are more tempted to use it wherever we can.
And, let’s be honest, the more unusual and smart the word sounds, the more we try to plug it into our pitch. But, that’s an easy way to fail at good copywriting!
Remember, your copy is not the place where you need to flaunt your vocabulary. It just simply won’t impress your readers, instead, it will frustrate them.
Instead, strive to be simple enough for your audience to understand and digest your messaging easily.
For example, instead of:
He asked for assistance in order to ensure that the program commences expeditiously.
You can write:
He asked for help to make sure that the program begins swiftly.
3. Make Use of Storytelling Techniques
Ever noticed how mothers and kindergarten teachers tell stories to their toddlers and students to grab their attention? This is because, as humans, we are naturally more fascinated by stories as they appeal to our emotions and help us engage in sensory triggers.
You can make boring figures and facts more interesting by simply turning them into stories. As a result, you will see a significant change in the overall engagement of your site.
As a copywriter, I enjoy using storytelling when crafting a good About page. Here’s a screenshot of my very own About Me page where I explain why I became a copywriter –
4. Active vs. Passive Voice
Want to sound more conversational? Make sure that you are not using passive verbs.
Instead, use active verbs as much as possible.
Passive verb construction or passive voice makes your content look over formalized. Not only that, passive voice makes sentences longer and harder to understand.
Passive voice: the first free-of-cost session can be availed by you after signing up here.
Active voice: you can avail the first free-of-cost session after signing up here.
The first sentence will confuse your audience while the second one will give them more confidence and clarity.
5. Use Shorter Sentences
Long sentences tend to reduce readability.
So, if you’re writing for a web page or a blog, try to write short sentences as much as possible. Long sentences can cause your readers’ minds to wander off in the middle. Short, sharp sentences invite readers to keep reading.
Moreover, the length of your sentences usually determines the difficulty level of your blogs and articles. This directly affects SEO, that is, how well your website will rank on Google search results.
It can be difficult to write shorter sentences, however, it is important to do so as it makes your content easier to read even when it requires a bit more effort.
Revised sentence: It can be difficult to write shorter sentences. But it’s still important to do so. This is because it makes your content easier to read even when it requires more effort.
6. Ask Questions
A great way to make your content more engaging and conversational is to add questions.
Why? Well, questions make your readers stop and think. It engages them.
It also helps you change the flow of your writing. And your readers feel more involved. They also feel like they are being directly addressed.
Example: The Body Shop
7. Use Contractions
Contractions are combinations of two words into one that often sound information. Like can’t, don’t, here’s, I’m. and so on.
Although using contractions is discouraged when writing formally, it’s a great way to add a conversational tone when writing for business.
Since people often use contractions when talking to each other, using them in your copywriting helps your message come across as more natural.
Hurry up! Our free session will not last long.
Revised Sentence: Hurry up! Our free session won’t last long.
8. Don’t Ramble
Yes, this entire blog is about making your writing more conversational and friendly.
But there’s a fine line between having an intentional conversation and rambling.
So, keep your sentences short and direct. Ensure that everything you write has a purpose. It’s important to convey your ideas in as few words as possible.
Here’s an easy way to ensure you’re not adding more words than you should: read your copy out loud to yourself or to someone your trust will give honest feedback. Often, when you read out loud, you will catch parts of your writing that sound off, boring, repetitive or simply incomprehensible.
Try it, it works!
9. Break the Rules
It’s good to keep all those grammatical rules that your teacher taught you in mind. But not all of them are applicable to conversational writing.
For instance, you can use a preposition to end a sentence in conversational writing. You can also start a sentence with “but” or “and”. But you can’t do any of those things in formal writing.
And you don’t need to write full or complete sentences either. Because you can. Just. Like. This. One.
When you break the rules, you have more freedom to show personality and trigger stronger emotional responses from your audience.
However, remember that the way you write matters as much as what you write. Only use punctuations and grammar in a way that feels natural if you were to say the words out loud.
10. Use Examples
It’s always a good idea to use as many examples in your writing as possible.
Even in this blog, you will notice I have included examples for almost every writing tip. This is because examples help your readers understand complex ideas and make them simple.
Similarly, along with examples, you can also use metaphors and similes. This will show your audience your creative side as well.
Your examples can be anything depending on the topic you’re writing on. You can also use other creators’ content as your examples. Just don’t forget to add a link to their website.
Using the content of other creatives as examples can also help in building healthy connections with other businesses and creatives in the industry. As a result, you might find people reaching out to you for collaborations and business opportunities. Win-win!
Here’s an example from one of my own blogs:
Are You Ready to Make Your Writing More Conversational?
Now that you have all the tricks to make your writing more conversational at your fingertips, are you ready to write?
Take the next few minutes to read your previous blogs. If you have to, read it out loud to yourself and take notes. Once you have figured out your weak spots and mistakes, it’s time to fix them.
Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. As you practice, you’ll get better and better. And soon, you’ll be writing your blogs as if you’re talking to a friend, without even realizing it.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send me a message!
Always rooting for you and your goals,