You could have sworn you were regular ol’ you when you sat down in front of your computer.
Yet, somewhere between sitting down and putting fingers to keys, you morphed from ‘Cool, clever entrepreneur charming your peeps’ to ‘Stuffy, antiquated professor writing a formal essay’.
And your dreams of crafting web copy that connected and captivated your dream audience?
So, what’s the deal? Why does it feel like it’s impossible to write like you? To inject your personality into your web copy?
Easy: You were never taught how to write like you.
- In school, you were likely taught how to write ‘properly’ (but not with personality).
- In university, you were forced to abide by arbitrary rules and restrictions to deliver essays and papers that got you the grades you wanted.
- And at work, the need to be ‘professional’ overcame your need to craft words that felt like you.
Which brings you here: With a great grasp of the English language … but no idea how to use it to actually sound like you.
It’s okay. Don’t panic. It’s totally fixable and absolutely learnable.
And kudos to you for figuring out you need to!
Why conversational copy counts
Here’s the deal.
*Climbs onto soapbox*
I believe we are in a new entrepreneurial and consumer era that rewards personality over professionalism.
Brands with personality have the upper hand with captivating and compelling their audiences to care.
While brands with zero personality are overlooked and ignored.
I don’t want you to be overlooked. And I sure as heck don’t want you to be ignored.
Which is why I’m going to share three of my top-secret copywriting word tricks to transform your web copy from formal to conversational.
Pen in hand?
Meet you there.
P.S. Interested in learning more about the magical benefits of conversational copywriting? Yay! Come read my, ‘Three reasons conversational copy converts’ article.
Three tips for making your web copy less formal and more conversational
Tip one: Use punctuation as breaths.
You know how you pause and take a breath when you’re telling a story?
“There I was,” You tell your friend. “At the top of this ginormous mountain, and I. Was. Freaking. Out. The air was so cold, the wind was so strong, and there were tiny, angry little goats … just staring at me.”
Now imagine if, instead of saying that, you said: “There I was at the top of this ginormous mountain and I was freaking out. The air was so cold, the wind was so strong, and there were tiny, angry little goats just staring at me.”
Sure, grammatically it’s correct. But can you feel that it lacks the personality and presence of the former story?
Those commas and full stops and question marks in the first story aren’t just there to look pretty: They’re telling your reader when to pause and take a mental breath.
And by doing so, you’re immediately making your copy sound more human. More conversational. More real.
So burn the rule book and create a written style that sounds, and feels, more like you.
Tip two: Ditch the dictionary.
If you had to use a thesaurus or a dictionary to find the word you’re intending to use … just, don’t. Don’t use it.
Real people don’t talk like that. Real people use real words that everyone can understand.
The only caveat to this is if you legit use long, complex words when you’re talking naturally.
Then, you can definitely stick to how you speak in real life; just use your punctuation to normalise it so it doesn’t sound too essay-ish.
Tip three: Create your own dictionary.
Don’t worry, I don’t mean literally writing and publishing your own dictionary.
Just, you know, keep a list of words, phrases and sayings you commonly use when speaking to people.
It can include:
- Terms you use to describe your biz
- Expressions aligned with your brand
- Words you use when you’re happy
- Words you use when you’re sad
- Words you use when you’re excited
- Words you use when you’re passionate.
Then, if you’ve written something that’s lacking personality, you can tab over to your personal dictionary and then sprinkle your copy with essences of you.
Want to check out an awesome example of conversational copy?
Come read the web copy I wrote for Fancy Schmancy Balloon Co.
Official creator and word nerd at Wild Spirit Co. I’m a former journalist and communications manager turned word-wrangler for hire. These days, I fist bump with clever entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses searching for words that woo and copy that converts. I have nine years of experience tucked into the waistband of my yoga tights (which I do everything but yoga in) and am the go-to girl for personality-packed communications that blend strategy with storytelling.