"Watch your tone." in white letters

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By now having read all the blogs about blogging, you probably realize that it’s not just “a walk in the park”. To make it successful, you need to put some thought into it. Even more so if you want to do it for a living. One area that I previously struggled was with the tone of my blogs. Initially, my writing style was stiff. I use to write in a strictly formal way. After all, having spent so many years of writing term papers and professional documents for work, it was what I was used to.

But I realized that people are more likely to listen to a friend talking than a person giving a lecture. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, you can still have a conversational tone that will make your blog more approachable and enjoyable.  Like me, if your blogs are of a professional and career orientated nature, it can still have a conversational tone.

So now I write the way I talk— in a more conversational way that connects with my audience. This way, my blogs are much more approachable. Writing, as if I am talking to someone, makes my message more effective. But if you’re not used to it and this is hard for you, here are a few ways to get better at it:

  1. Record yourself talking to a friend. Explain something to your friend and talk naturally as you normally would. Then listen to your conversation. Did you sound clear or were you confusing?
  1. Use contractions when possible. That means when you can say something in a shorter way, use it. For example, “don’t” instead of “do not” and “or “that’s” instead of “that is”.
  1. Use shorter sentences and paragraphs—something I am always trying to remember. Break up your sentences by using commas, semicolons and ellipses instead of being redundant.
  1. Start sentences with “and”, “but”, or “So”. It’s perfectly correct to do so.  Starting a sentence with “and” or “but” lets that sentence stand out from the others while still carrying over the thought from a previous sentence.
  1. Lastly, use common words. Yes, my blogs are about professional development but it doesn’t mean I can’t make things as simple as possible for my readers.

Conclusion

There’s much more I could say but I don’t want to overwhelm you. So don’t panic. Practice and you will get it just right.

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