Copywriter, write like you talk.
If you have had to write more often recently, either to sell or to put out content for your business (content marketing), you may have noticed that your writing doesn’t sound as casual as you may want it to.
Your writing sounds forced and formal. You may want it in a different way – a better way.
‘Write the way you talk’ is a piece of advice you’d hear from many writers, especially writers in the business of selling.
This is because people have their fences up when you try to sell to them. You can slowly lay those bricks off by sounding natural.
DON’T SOUND FORCED
The question is, how do I sound natural?
- Write often: Overtime, I’ve noticed that practice truly makes perfect. A writer (Copywriter) who writes regularly will sound easier, informal, and more engaging than the writer who writes once in a while.
When you write more often- send texts and emails, jot notes in your journal, and write spontaneous descriptions of what you see- you slowly lose that ‘conscientious’ writer in you.
Because we grew up “learning how to write” in school: writing essays; compositions; and summaries, we usually make an unconscious effort to ‘write well’ and that is the problem.
When you write with that consciousness that you are writing, and your writing has to “make sense,” your writing comes out forced.
For example, you could write “Swimming has to do with movement in water” where you should naturally say “Swimming is moving/movement in water.”
You’ve got to loosen all that formal speech in your writing if you are writing to a large audience of normal people- not academicians or for a research journal.
2. Write in an active voice: When you read engaging content, you will (most likely) not notice some elements that make it that interesting.
And that’s because the writing was natural, in an active voice.
When content is written like a conversation, you’ll enjoy it far more because it is natural.
That’s the reason Yoast SEO checks for an active voice. It’s one of the premises for scoring your SEO.
How exactly do you write in an active voice?
Example: Instead of writing, “I was interviewed by Real FM,” you write, “Real FM interviewed me.”
Instead of “The book was written by Jake in 1992,” you write “Jake wrote the book in 1992.”
The point is to make the actor the subject of the sentence.
The actor actively did it.
When you write in an active voice, you sound more natural and interesting.
3. Write in relatable, day-to-day language: Especially if you ‘re not writing for research journals and academic/professional magazines, you should write in simple, relatable language.
Example: Instead of “You lack the skill of working naturally,” you write, ” You don’t write naturally.”
The second one is easier to read, more engaging, and relatable because it is the normal day-to-day language.
I know these examples may sound weird because I’m using them as examples. But writers often write like this and it’s thanks to the ‘conscientious’ writer in them which we must let go.
And like I said, if you write often, you’ll lose the conscientious writer- the one that makes you write in an unrelatable, passive voice.
Recently, I studied some sales letters and I’ve seen that the best sales letters sound like conversations. Nothing forced.
They feel like the writer is simply having a conversation with you.
This is beyond using “You’s” in your writing. It’s about sounding as natural as possible.
I know it’s funny that you have to train yourself to write naturally, something that should be “natural.” But then, it is what it is.
If you want to test how natural you sound, try reading your content/copy aloud.
Most likely, you’ll sound boring even to yourself.
What seemed like a good blend of adjectives and You’s and engaging questions… will bore you. That’s one easy way you know you’ve got to work on how relatable and easy your writing comes.
That brings me to the final point.
4. Try writing as you are talking: That is, talk and then write.
I expect you to know -as someone who writes to sell- that you must first identify your target audience.
You have to know what the person is like; what kind of stuff will interest him, and how you can engage him.
The moment you identify him, speak to him as if you are seeing physically, and then write what you say.
(I hope we are not being spooky right now.)
This practice will help you see that writing naturally is simply writing like you talk.
Some weeks back, I was talking to a young friend and she said that she finds it easier to persuade when she speaks, than when she writes (to persuade).
I told her it’s that way for many people. And it’s because of that ‘ conscientious writer ‘.
We have talked for a larger part of our lives. We talk everyday. Some people’s mouths are never shut. Lol.
So you’ll talk naturally and persuade better when you talk. If you write more, you’ll write naturally too.
You’ll write naturally when you (I’m thinking, copywriter) write like you talk. Tell a story as you would tell it in real life- because when you force the story, we see it and it doesn’t sound original to us.
You may have noticed that I tried to sound natural in this blog post you’re reading. It’s way easier to write naturally than when I try to be careful.
I’ve had to change some texts as I wrote.
- She finds it easier to persuade by speaking than by writing CHANGED TO She finds it easier to persuade when she speaks, than when she writes…
- When the story is forced, it is seen CHANGED TO When you force the story, we see it.
I hope(know) you enjoyed this read. You know why?
Of course, Writing naturally!
Dear copywriter, write like you talk.
I’ll love to read your comments. Share what struck you in this read, and tell me if you enjoyed it.