What’s Your Writing Voice Like?September 30th 2014 Sally Ormond developing your voice, writing tone, writing voice
When you set out to write a fresh piece of marketing copy, what is in the forefront of your mind?
- Your audience?
- Your message?
- Your product knowledge?
How about your voice?
No, I haven’t lost my marbles.
How you write will have a big effect on how well your marketing message is received by your audience and therefore deserves as much thought as the actual content of your marketing piece.
To make your message resonate you have to inject personality into what you write. If you don’t your words come across as flat, empty and almost thrown together.
For some, writing with personality comes easily, but for many it’s a challenge. Not because of their inability to write, but mainly due to their conditioning throughout their academic life. All through your school and college years you’re taught to write in a bland, academic way, forcing out every inch of your personality until your writing resembles that of all the other millions of students out there.
If you’re to write great content, you have to forget everything you’ve learned so far and write in a way that reflects your personality.
Breaking your writing habits
Breaking out is difficult, but with a bit of luck these 5 tips will help you free your inner writer.
Going back to your education days, you were encouraged to read around your subject to widen your knowledge, well the same goes for creating marketing copy.
Every day you’re bombarded with marketing messages on web sites, through the post, in newspapers and magazines. Rather than skim over them, stop and read them. Do they resonate with you? Do they interest you? Did they get you thinking? If so, analyse them and work out what it was that worked.
When reading articles on a favourite blog take note of how the article is constructed, the language that’s used and the techniques they use to draw you in. Notice the casual language – does it make you feel as though the writer is having a conversation with you? Good – that’s what you’re looking to achieve.
Remember though, you are developing your own distinctive voice not copying someone else’s.
Rather than a new and upcoming urban graffiti trend, freewriting is all about letting yourself go and writing, well, anything.
Just open a Word document and start typing. Write about a favourite topic that’s unrelated to your work. Allow your imagination and creativity to take over. This form of writing is a great way to develop a free, conversational style that will develop your distinctive voice, vocabulary range and turn of phrase. Once found it can be used across your marketing materials giving them a unique quality that will really stand out.
Although I’m mainly talking about developing your voice in this article, it’s still important to remember to focus on the message you want to convey. If you lose focus and start to ramble it’ll lose it’s impact.
Concentrate on your key message – write it down on a post it note and stick it to your monitor if that helps. But whatever you do, make sure you stay focused.
4. Big words are bad
A thesaurus is great when you want to come up with a new way of saying something, but use it with caution.
Marketing writing should not contain complex words – it’s not a platform from which you can show the world how intelligent you are.
The best and most effective content is written using simple language.
Tell me something, once you’ve written your marketing piece, do you read it out loud?
No? You should.
Reading out loud highlights mistakes, repetition, poorly flowing sections, rhythm and gives you an idea as to whether what you’ve written makes any sense.
The key to getting people to read your stuff is my making a connection with them through your own unique style.
It may not happen over night, but it will come – it’ll be worth the wait.