Five ways to help you find your writing voice

When writing content for websites, you can’t just write any old rubbish and assume that only search engines crawling your website will see your copy and only take notice of the keywords you have strategically dropped in. Part of internet marketing is appealing to the search engines, but if you have worked hard to get people to visit your website then you have to make sure that the SEO-friendly copywriting that you display is also human-friendly too.

To make the most of your internet marketing efforts, the content on your website needs to do more than catch a potential customer’s attention. Your web copy needs to be engaging, persuasive and appealing to the reader – you need to identify with your target audience and tell them what they need to hear before they click the ‘Buy Now’ button… and a huge part of this is constructing your writing voice.

1. Write how you speak – this way your SEO copywriting will be more informal and will reach out to more people. Gone are the days where sales copy was stuffy and formal, today you need to reach out and show that you are on the same level as your customer and you understand their needs. Using an informal voice that is similar to how you would speak normally works really well to achieve that end. If you are finding this a bit hard, try chatting into a Dictaphone about what you need to write about and play it back to yourself. You’ll find many useful sentences and structures that you can build upon.

2. Ignore all the rules you learned at school – well, maybe not ALL of the rules… you still need to use correct punctuation to make your writing clear and understandable. However, stiff grammar won’t help you to come across as approachable so if a sentence is becoming complicated and long-winded, shorten it or break it up in a more simple manner.

3. Try writing exercises – you will be surprised about what you come up with! Many writers suggest timed exercises if you’re short on time and struggling to come up with something. A good exercise to try is to put a subject in the middle of a piece of paper and then write everything you know about the subject around it in small bubbles which is a cool visual way of pulling your thoughts together.

4. Be yourself – when you try and write like someone else, it shows. Write about what you know, and if you don’t know about what you’re meant to be writing about, take time to research and don’t just wing it, inexperience shines through weak copy.

5. Editing is your friend – read your work back to yourself. Does it sound like something you would write? Ask a friend to read your work if you’re not sure but remember that editing with a clear mind is your best friend. If you have the luxury of finishing work long before a deadline, sleep on it and try again tomorrow. You’ll feel much more comfortable.

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