In our daily lives, we are used to adjusting our tone and approach with different groups of people. With our peers and friends, our speech is more relaxed and laid-back, but with business partners or bosses we adopt a tone of respect and formality.
Adjusting your tone and message for the right audience should be no different when writing, and finding the balance between the professional and private is vital in order to ensure that your writing connects with the audience successfully. However, striking this balance is difficult to achieve as intonation and pitch are a nightmare to convey in written text.
So if you are a professional freelancer with a blog, how can you ensure the articles you are producing are really speaking to the needs of your audience professionally without losing the personal touch that you are striving for?
Evaluating the demographic of your readers is the first step in creating the right tone for your blog. If you are a freelancer then there is no set demographic that your readers may fall into. Due to the economic climate, many professional workers with years or decades of experience are turning to freelancing as a way of finding work when traditional, stable employment is hard to come by.
Moreover, many new entrants to the freelance market are also students fresh out of university. These graduates are also finding freelancing is an ideal way to diversify their portfolio and gain valuable working experience whilst looking for their first professional position. Therefore, your audience of readers could be the young or the young-at-heart. It’s best to stick to your guns and find your own tone; however, an element of “down-to-earthness” and straight-talking can never go wrong.
Before you start writing articles for your blog, you must first know who your intended audience is. You need to get into their heads and create content they will find interesting and relevant to their work. Keep in mind, this can be much easier than it seems because you will share the same passions as your readers.
If your audience is comprised of graphic designers or web designers, then creating tutorials or providing updates on new wordpress templates and design programmes will obviously strike a chord with your readers. Creating tutorials also provides you an opportunity to showcase your expertise and skills to your audience, which can convince potential clients of your ability to work on their project. Also, writing articles that deal with everyday problems that your readers will experience in their work (such as invoicing, client management and so forth) will always be a treat and prove invaluable to your audience.
Increasing the interactivity of your blogs is a great way to engage with your audience without compromising on the professionalism of your writing. At the end of every article, you should leave open questions to generate debate, inviting your readers to collaborate with you on guest articles underlines the fact that your writings are not just a one-way street, but are a conversation with your audience. If you are considering design changes to your blog, then involving the readers in this decision, perhaps by trialing a few designs with them and asking for feedback is a great way to enhance interactivity, and will make your audience feel valued.
Finding a balance between a professional approach to your blog and connecting to your readers on a personal level is no easy feat. In order to generate ideas and discussions on your blog, your writings will have to give something of yourself in order to level the playing field and create an open atmosphere.
Respond to comments, especially those that ask questions or are curious to know more information about a certain article you've written. However, connecting to your readers on a personal level does not mean you should post holiday snapshots or photos of your dog.
The old adage that the information you share should be 100% personal, but not 100% private, hits the nail on the head. Being honest about setbacks and sharing your successes with your readers are perfect ways to engage with them in an open and equal way. After all, aren’t all freelance writers in it together?
What are your thoughts about personalizing your writing online? Are there other ways in which you interact with the readers of your blog?