9 Tips for Creating Conversational Content
Remember your days back to High School or University? That one teacher or professor who lectured in a monotone voice and it was difficult just to concentrate?
No one likes facts without expression. Or information without flair.
No one wants to be talked at. They want to be talked too.
Learn from the mistakes of that lecturer and make sure you keep your readers engaged, while also flooding them with value in your articles.
Have a conversation with them, don’t just lecture to them.
Conversational writing is the cure. Making your writing more personal, and less academic.
And here is how you do it:
1. Use short sentences
Why restrict detail with short sentences? Good question.
More mental work. The longer a sentence, the more your mind has to hold onto information in order to interpret what all the words mean together.
Your brain hates to work. Shorter sentences are much easier to diest and your readers will prefer it.
And as Einstein once said:
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
If you have an excellent grasp on the information you’re sharing, you should be able to explain it simply.
You don’t want to ramble. You want to provide excellent value, in excellent time.
When communicating naturally, we tend to stick to sentences of 10-15 words, or less. Use the same rules with your writing.
2. Use Simple Language
Simple words are simply fantastic to read.
They offer less resistance, they don’t need to be decoded. And they show your reader you know your content well enough to explain it to an everyday person.
Readers aren’t impressed by complex words. In fact, it’s the opposite. People perceive them as signs of law intelligence.
You want your reader to feel like they’re a part of the conversations. Using complex words that your reader has to check the definition of or think about, makes them feel excluded.
This is the opposite of what you want.
3. Ask Engaging Questions
What’s the goal for your Content Marketing Strategy? I’ll give you a second.
Most likely, you paused and reflected. You thought about your business. Your aspirations. And in that moment, I grabbed you. I had all of your attention.
All by just asking one simple question.
Nothing captures the attention of your readers more.
That’s the power of posing questions in your content.
I asked about your content Strategy because it’s relatable. It’s a shared interest I know we both have.
Ask your reader about themselves or their interest’s, and you’ll have created an emotional connection with them.
4. Forget Grammar (Kind Of)
Forcing yourself to follow every grammar rule snubs creativity. Don’t keep your imagination in jail by looking out for the grammar police.
Grammar doesn’t matter, your reader does. So when appropriate, it’s okay to break language laws, or even best practices.
Want to follow a full stop with an And? Do it if it feels natural. Liberate yourself from constraints and just write and let your mind flow freely.
5. Write in Second Person (Focus on You)
Convey that you are talking to your readers.
This goes back to being lectured to and talked at. It’s not how you want your readers to feel.
Let them know who’s the voice of the article, and who the subject is.
If you didn’t know someone’s name but wanted their attention, what would you say. Something along the lines of “hey you there!” Right?
Make your reader feel like your article was tailored to them by doing the same.
Which sentence is better?
“You can have a great time in Dubai by following these travel tips we know you’ll love”
“Great travel tips to have a great time in Dubai”
You connect more with and feel like the first sentence is directed to you right?
6. Use Emphasis
Sentences are more powerful and more captivating when you draw your readers in with emphasis.
They are also easier to interpret when you draw your readers eyes to the keywords, as I have done above.
Think about verbal communication. And how you emphasise words by raising your tone or drawing syllables out longer. Use italics for the same purpose.
Write as you would speak, and as you are writing, organically italicise words when you feel like you would have emphasised them in normal conversation.
Readers will naturally use their inner voice to emphasise the words exactly as you would have if you were speaking to them in person.
7. Show Your Personality
What word does “personality” contain? “Person” right?
Show that your article is a person expressing themselves, not just a wall of text.
Make your content feel human by throwing a little bit of you between the words.
Let your readers hear your voice. Readers don’t like sites that feel bland or corporate. They want to relate to and feel like they know the author or authors that post on them.
8. Use Bite-Sized Information Chunks
What do you notice about this article? Each point I am making is seperate in nice bite-sized chunks right?
Do the exact same with your content.
Nobody continues to talk without stopping for breaths right? Don’t let your reader feel like they have to hold their breath to get to the end of the article. Separate it out for them.
It allows your reader to pause and process the information, and makes it skim readable before they invest on reading the whole thing.
It’s nice to have a good idea about what an article is about, before reading it in full.
Pack your article with white space, sub headings, and short paragraphs.
It’s easier on the eyes, and easier to comprehend.
9. Avoid Industry Jargon
Why do your readers come to you?
Most likely, it’s because you’re an authority on your subject right?
Then what’s a fair assumption? That you may know more about that subject then your readers?
Once we know something, it’s hard to imagine what it was like when didn’t.
It makes it hard to share that knowledge with others through their state of mind. So they can understand what we are trying to share with them.
But we have too. And the best way to do that is by avoiding jargon.
Don’t make your readers feel inferior. Don’t interrupt the flow of your article with a word your reader doesn’t understand.
Whatever the fancy word is, there’s always a word or group of words that can express the same thing in simpler language.
And if there isn’t, define a word before using it.