One interesting perspective on the work we do as professional bloggers is that we are interpreters, translating clients’ corporate message into human, people-to-people terms. That’s the reason I prefer first and second person writing in business blog posts over third person “reporting”. I think people tend to buy when they see themselves in the picture and when can they relate emotionally to the person bringing them the message.
I was reminded of that “power of the personal” the other day while sitting in the Willow Lake Starbucks. On the wall were three big chalkboards introducing the baristas who worked there.
Been with Starbucks since: September, 2010
Favorite drink: Iced vanilla bean coconut
On my day off I like to: run, read, and write.
Eight other baristas were introduced in similar fashion on the chalkboard.
“Have you ever felt a personal connection with a blogger who you’ve never met and have no real reason to feel connection with? You read their blog day after day and in time come to feel like you know them—as if their blog posts are almost written as private messages to you? That personal connection can bring a blog to life,” says Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.
Personal doesn’t necessarily mean over-casual or informal. In fact, for us freelance blog content writers, getting the tone exactly right for a new client is the big challenge. Crystal Gouldey of AWeber Communications names five different “tones” to consider when planning a blog:
- The formal, professional tone
- The casual tone
- The professional-but-friendly tone
- The sales pitch tone
- The friendly sales pitch tone
Consistency is important. “It will be very confusing for subscribers if you talk to them one way and the next week you talk to them in a different way,” Gouldey says.
When it comes to blog content writing, I believe, there’s a very special purpose to be served by using first person pronouns and keeping it conversational in tone – even for very serious topics. The blog is the place for readers to connect with the people behind the business or practice. Using first and second person pronouns helps keep the blog conversational rather than either academic-sounding or sales-ey.
Even if the blog is for a doctor or a funeral director rather than for a barista, there’s room, I believe, for getting up close and personal!