“67% of the typical B2B buyer’s journey is now done digitally, and 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on their purchasing decisions.” – Lenati
Those are huge numbers, proving beyond a doubt that writing excellent content for your blog can bring you more clients and more sales. However, when writing blog posts, you have to get your tone and style right, or noone will bother to read them.
Related reading: Best Writing Tips for Beginning Bloggers
With written content, your customers can’t see your body language or your expression. They can’t hear the smile in your voice, or how passionate you sound when you talk about your business.
With content, the only way you can put across who you are, what your business stands for and what it’s like to work with you is to use the right tone of voice.What is your writing style? Does it impact your blog? Click To Tweet
This is your opportunity to let your customers get to know you and see why you’re different from the competition. It’s a way to build trust and understanding, that eventually leads to sales, as long as you are authentic and consistent in your approach on every marketing channel.
Whether you’re a business owner or a content marketer, one of the most powerful and low-cost things you can do to grow your business is to either develop an engaging writing style, or hire someone who already has that skill.
How can you improve readability and reduce your bounce rate in your writing style?
1. Know your audience and give them what they want
It might seem obvious, but so many bloggers write what they *think* their audience wants, rather than doing the research to find out.
So, if you haven’t worked out your buyer personas already, now is the time to start.
If you’re looking for an awesome example of a blog where the writer really knows her audience and gives them what they want in spades, with a side splash of vodka, look no further than Ash Ambirge’s The Middle Finger Project.
This woman knows exactly who she’s talking to and, while the language might not appeal to you, it’s hard to argue with the impact, the way the tone draws you in, and the sheer personality of every piece of writing on that site.
2. Start strong
Audience attention spans are short, and if your blog doesn’t grab the reader right from the start, chances are they won’t read on and finish your blog.
- Start with an attention-grabbing and highly relevant statistic, like we did here.
- Think about the problem your audience wants to solve and start by putting your finger right on their pain point.
- Tease them and draw them in with a promise of a solution that they really need, and of course, they have to read the blog to get it.
You could also start your blog with a provocative question, such as, “How would you feel if your entire identity had to be changed?” or “What would you do if you had to start your business again from scratch tomorrow?”
These questions offer scenarios that would be completely life-changing if they were real. They make people pause and think. Their imagination is engaged, they feel involved, and they can’t help but want to read on to find out what else you have to say.
You can use provocative questions in the body of your blog as well, to hook people into reading further. Try using them as section headers or making them stand out in your text to catch the eye of people who skim read.
4. Punctuation, spelling, and grammar
How many times have you walked down the street and seen a store offering ‘apple’s and orange’s from there (sic) large stock of grocerie’s’ or skimmed past an ad in double quick time because of glaring spelling errors that you just can’t overlook?
Does it make you want to buy? We’ll put our last dollar on ‘No’!
It looks unprofessional. It’s distracting, and it makes you wonder if the business knows what they are doing.
In a blog post, it can be an instant turn off, and have your readers clicking away faster than you can say ‘SEO’.
So, you do have to understand the rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and write professionally. It does matter in making that great first impression.
On the other hand, breaking those same rules on occasion for the sake of a conversational style can be a good thing. If your writing is too stiff and formal purely in order to stick to the rules of grammar, that can be just as off-putting as too many spelling errors and random commas.
You need a balance that allows your writing style and personality to shine through.
Here’s what Search Engine Journal has to say on the subject.
5. Conversational tone
“Long-form blog posts generate 9x more leads than short-form blog posts,” according to Curata.
Wow. 9 TIMES more leads. That’s awesome, right?
But you’ve got to get people to read those long-form posts, and lecturing at them and being over-formal rather than talking conversationally to them isn’t going to get them to read your fifteen hundred words, no matter how carefully crafted and full of brilliant insights they are.
What is conversational writing style? Simply writing the way you speak.
Why do it? Because it builds rapport, engages people with what you are saying, and shows off your personality. It’s friendly, chatty and makes your readers feel like they know you, but it’s still professional and solution-based to give your audience what they need.
6. Be YOU
People spend a considerable amount of time working on their Unique Selling Point (USP), and we’re not telling you not to do that, but every blogger has something that no other blogger can have.
Noone else can be ‘you’!
Noone else has your unique viewpoint and way of looking at the world. No-one else has your experiences, good and bad. Noone else has made your mistakes or achieved your successes.
So, no-one else can passionately tell your story and write for your audience the way you can.
What sells better than authenticity? What makes people trust you over your competitor?
Being genuine, writing conversationally and letting your audience get to know you is the way to build a community of fans who trust you, and come to your blog to hear from you, and to buy from you. And with the right tone and style, you’ll attract those people who can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to say next.