Writing a conversational style article takes skill. It is important to be able to relate to the reader in an informal manner, without losing credibility or professionalism. The words in a conversational article should flow like a two way interaction between you and the reader. Sometimes, articles written in this style can seem too much like a blog post and not engage the reader as much as it could. It might also be too informal to make the writer seem like a credible source. Here are some tips on creating a more engaging conversational style article.
Tip 1: Address the Reader Directly
It is always more engaging to read an article that uses “you” rather than “they” or “them.” Make sure the words that you use are directed to the reader, so there is no question that the information that you are presenting applies to them. For example, in an article about saving money, I might write, “You can save more money by using coupons when you go grocery shopping.” This is more effective than writing, “Many people save money…”
Tip 2: Use questions
Articles that are guided by stated questions help the reader to mentally categorize the information that you are about to talk about. It also gives them a sense that you understand their thinking process. For example, in an article about saving money, I could write about using coupons, then use a subheading like “Are you wondering where to find a good selection of coupons?” I would then proceed by telling the reader where coupons can be found. Speaking generally about the subject and then predicting a more detailed question that a reader might be thinking about is a great way to keep their attention.
Tip 3: Avoid Slang and poor grammar
The tendency of many writers is to forget about proper English when writing in a conversational style. This can detract from the credibility of the writer. It is important to maintain a down to earth connection with the reader, without using slang that the reader may or may not be familiar with. Poor grammar will stand out more on a page than in an actual conversation. The implication of poor grammar is often a lack of education (even though this may not be true).
Tip 4: Use simple words
If you really want your readers to feel invited to enjoying and learning from your writing, don’t use words that they need to grab a dictionary for. It is nice that you know larger words and have a developed vocabulary, but many people are easily turned off from reading in general because they don’t understand the meaning of certain words. Consider your audience, and only use technical jargon, special words used only by a certain profession or group, if that is the audience you are addressing. Readers tend to get the impression that you don’t want them to really understand. They might feel that you are making a point of being smarter than them if you use several words that they aren’t familiar with at all.
Tip 5: Use a logical progression of thought
Think about how a normal conversation takes place. It is easy for people to start off talking about one thing and end up talking about another. In a conversational style article, this can happen as well. Feel free to follow your train of thought or one that you predict the reader will go on. Make sure that you bring everything back to the original topic, however, and tie the tangent into the conclusion. (This takes practice.) You should let everything flow naturally, and then go back and edit. If you find thoughts that don’t seem relevant, cut them out and plan to use them in a future article. Conversations happen rather spontaneously, and your article should have that kind of twist, without wandering off of the subject to much.
A good conversational style article will draw the reader in by addressing them directly, use questions to guide subtopics, use simple yet proper words, and flow naturally. If you apply these tips to the next conversational style article that you write, it will be engaging and your audience will want to read more.