Don’t Be Beige in Your Business Blog

beige“The voice of a writer is usually easier to hear in first person,” says William Cane in Write Like the Masters. Why? “Third person narratives so often mimic the ‘beige voice’ of an objective reporter,” Cane explains, whereas “with first person, it’s usually easier to be intimate, unique, and quirky.”

Certainly “intimate” and “unique” are qualities freelance blog content writers want to display in SEO marketing blogs, which tend to be most effective when they are at their most conversational and most personal.

Blogger John Haydon runs a bootcamp about “narrative voice”, and recommends using second person (“you” and “your”) in corporate blogging for business to provide useful information to readers and give those readers the feeling that the author is speaking directly to them.  Haydon’s colleague Nedra, on the other hand, suggests

  • First person for a personal statements and opinions
  • Second person for a how-to’s
  • Third person for news

As a corporate blogging trainer, I recommend a mix of narrative voices, so regular readers of the company blog can find variety. Even a professional ghost blogger, I explain, can write in “I” format when sharing a personal experience that brings out some important aspect of the client company’s products, services, or corporate culture.  First person writing doesn’t mean filling pages with the word “I”, points out blogger, because” that would allow creativity to lapse.” Brenda Hill of agrees, saying that “we can successfully write in either first or third person…It all depends on the story you want to tell.”

Forrester’s Top 15 Corporate Blogs list is full of companies whose blogs allow readers to identify with the business in personal, unique, and even quirky ways. To stay personal, we Indianapolis blog writers need to show readers we’re talking very specifically to them. At the same time, blogging for business will be at its best when it’s colorful, filled with the company’s special brand of energy and passion. 

If I had to boil down business blogging assistance to one line of advice, that might be “Don’t be beige in your blog!”

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