July 26, 2011

Tips for making your Web content personal

  • Buffer
  • Buffer

 

Create blog posts that speak to an individual, not an audience

John HaydonRegardless of how many people visit your website, there’s one person you need to be paying attention to:

The person reading your blog post or Facebook update right now.

I know what you’re thinking. “We get thousands of visits per day on our website – surely more than one person is reading our content at any given moment.”

This is true, but people don’t gather around a laptop to view your website.

Back when television was our main media source, it was not uncommon for people to participate in consuming its content in groups: Families, roommates, parties.

But consuming Web content is a personal activity we participate in as individuals. And this is why social media conversations should be considered as essentially being one to one.

Making content personal

Content is more effective when it’s perceived as “written for me.” Try these tips:

  • Try writing your posts or updates in the second person (“you” instead of “I” or “we”).
  • Think of someone you already know and write to them – as if you’re writing a personal email to them.
  • Write to that person and that person only – don’t worry about alienating people.
  • Write with a human, conversational tone – the way you would talk if they were sitting right in front of you.
  • Try using Dragon speech-to-text tools to achieve this conversational tone.
  • Read what you’ve written out loud. See how it sounds when you hear it.
  • Keep practicing. Learning to break the rules of writing might take time.

What else would you add?
John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter or leave a comment.

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