Hi again! This lesson is all about person.
I mentioned a couple of days ago in the ‘contractions’ lesson that I’ve been doing research into blogging and what makes up the writing of successful bloggers.
One of the biggest things I’ve noticed—and it’s pretty obvious, really—is that all frequently shared blog posts include second-person pronouns.
That is, they all write about you.
Now, I think this is indicative of a wider philosophy—that is, that any text should be written for the reader—but I think that it’s an interesting point when it comes to writing, too. All of these blog posts included ‘you’ (or some variation) in the body of the post, but most of them also included it in the title and subheadings.
Including ‘you’ in the title of the post tells readers immediately—before they even get to your blog, if they’ve found your post elsewhere—that you’re trying to help them, that this post is going to address their problems and needs. That is, it’s telling them that they have a very good reason to read the post, because it’s all about them. Even if it’s about you—like an income report, or a personal story—really, it’s about them. It’s about how you can help through your personal experience. Letting them know that in the title (and subheadings, for the skimmers) means they don’t have to click on your post to find it out—and they might be more likely to click on the post, too.
First person is also an essential tool in the blogger’s writing toolkit, and you probably already use it. If your high-school English classes were anything like mine, you were taught that using first person makes for unprofessional writing. And if you’re writing an essay or a report, sometimes that’s true.
But for blogging, first person is almost necessary. Blogging is an informal medium, and you’re trying to connect with your reader as much as possible. How are you going to do that if you don’t talk about yourself at all? Using first person will help the reader to feel comfortable.
Plus, you’re probably going to be talking about yourself in your blog posts, and that’d be pretty tough to do without using ‘I’ or ‘me’. Yep. That’d be weird.
Exercise: Try to write the opening of a blog post without using first or second person.
Afterwards, write it again, this time allowing yourself to use first and second person. Better?
Liked this lesson? That's great. If you'd like to continue developing your writing and grammar skills after the course is over then check out my workbook, Blog in Bloom. It'll take you through much more than I can fit into an eight-lesson mini-course, including grammar, style, voice, and structure. And, just like this course, I present the info in a readable and not-boring way. Find out more here.
PS: Want the Unboring Your Writing workbook? It's a printable and fillable PDF workbook with the same exercises as these lessons, plus answers. You can find it here.