Did you know the average adult reads at 300 words per minute?
That means that a 1,000-word article can take over three minutes for them to read. And many people just aren’t that patient when it comes to taking in information.
So how do you get them to stick around longer? You add personality to your copy and content marketing strategies.
Adding personality to your copy isn’t as easy as it might sound though. It takes practice and skill to do it in a professional way that does come across as too cheeky.
Lucky for you, this article is going to tell you all you need to know about adding personality to your copy. Soon, you’ll be on your way to bringing more and more readers to your site.
Read on to learn more!
1. Consider Target Audience
The main reason people don’t add personality to their copy is that they don’t want to sound unprofessional. If you want to be able to reach anyone that reads your content, you want to have completely professional content that appeals to everyone.
But what if that doesn’t work?
Instead of trying to reach everyone with your content, write your copy for your target audience. While other people might be a little turned off by it, you aren’t selling to them anyway.
If you’re a rock band, you’re not going to make music that most 80-year-olds are going to like. You’re going to target the people you want to be your fans.
The same goes with writing copy. Add personality that your audience will like and forget about the people you’re not going to convert anyway.
Showing personality won’t hurt you either. It will make you look more like an expert and someone who understands your target audience.
Now, you shouldn’t go overkill with this one. There might be people who aren’t in your target audience who might have an interest in your product. Even the best rock bands write a ballad every now an then.
2. Tell a Story
Unfortunately, most people don’t quite care about the facts. If your non-profit wants to help save puppies, telling people that a quarter million healthy dogs and cats die each year won’t always do the trick.
Instead, it can help to tell the story of a cat or dog that your organization rescued. And it might be painful, but it could even be better to talk about a dog or cat that you weren’t able to save.
People connect with stories much better than they ever could connect with a fact or statistic. To get people to care, give them the opportunity to feel. The ups and downs of a natural story arc will always sell better than a random number.
3. Find Unique Places
Personality in copy is like personality in yourself. It doesn’t just show up when you feel like it; there are plenty of areas where your personality shines through.
Similarly, you should look for unique places to put personality in your copy on your site. This keeps your marketing a copy on brand anywhere you go.
For example, many websites are starting to include personalized 404 pages. It’s the most unlikely spot, but it gives people a laugh when they’re frustrated by your site.
In the U.S., presidential candidates have created some interesting 404 pages. They’re nearly cringe-worthy, but they’re good examples of how to keep your whole site on-brand.
And that’s the most difficult part about adding personality to copy. You have to keep that personality consistent throughout your marketing. Otherwise, you will confuse your followers and fans.
So, it might help to develop a brand personality for everyone writing copy to follow. Whether it’s a made up person or if everyone’s pretending to be the CEO, just make sure your copy stays consistent. This will help you when adding personality to unique places.
4. Talk to Your Friends
When you talk to your friends, your personality is obvious. You’re not trying to hide anything, and it seems natural.
When you’re adding personality to your copy, think of the way you would explain something to your friends. While you may not want to say exactly how you would say it, the tone you use could be the same.
This can also make your content much easier to read. No one wants to read something at grade level 12.
If you’re worried about your professional tone, pretend your copy is a transcript of how you’re talking to your clients. It will still have a bit of personality, but it won’t lose its professional tone.
5. Break the Fourth Wall
Sometimes, nothing helps better when adding personality to copy than breaking the fourth wall. While this is a quite informal way of doing it, this might still work.
Of course, you want to sound professional, so don’t do this if you sell tuxedos or nice watches. But more casual businesses like coffee shops and some marketing services might find some use out of this.
When you’re writing your content, look for chances to interject something personal. This is a rare instance, but it can be interesting if it works.
For instance, let’s say you write, “We offer everything from aged Sumatra to Kona coffee straight from Hawaii. Come in to try some. ” While this is a decent sentence, a little personality might make it more interesting.
Let’s write, “We offer everything from aged Sumatra (my personal favourite)! to Kona coffee from Hawaii.” Now, people feel a personal connection to your copy, and it lets the reader know that there is a real human writing this copy.
Also, this might be a great way to naturally promote buying a certain product. For the coffee shop, many people might want to try the Sumatra blend now.
6. Write in First Person
Of all the tips on this list, writing in the first person has to be the easiest. It’s a simple switch from however you’re writing to I and you.
The good news about writing in the first person is that it’s easier than writing in the third person. Think about it; you speak in first person all the time. When was the last time you told a story about yourself without saying I?
This is how you make your personality shine through with ease. For some businesses, using “we” might be better than using “I,” but either way, a bit of change will make a huge difference.
Of course, not every page needs to be in the same person. This is ideal, but if you want your homepage to be in third person and your blogs to be in first, then go for it! Plenty of websites are in this format.
7. Break Some Rules
Most of all, keep in mind that to add personality, you can break some rules. While your school teachers might freak out, your readers will appreciate some casual writing.
You don’t want to make many grammar mistakes, as many people will point this out online. But using creative punctuation or interesting style will have people loving your content.
For example, if your website could say, “We create results.” That sounds boring and bland.
Instead, you could change that to, “We. Create. Results.” While it might look a little odd at first to you grammar Nazis, this reads with more personality. You can almost hear the person saying it.
Along with this, consider the dialect of your target audience. While one way of saying something might be correct, it could sound too formal to your potential clients. Depending on your industry, it might be better to be wrong!
If you’re struggling to add personality to your copy, all you have to do is relax. Let whatever you want to say come to the screen. Simply getting the words out can be a great first start.
Show your personality in that first draft as much as you feel comfortable. And then, go back through it to make sure it’s appropriate. The worst that can happen is that you have to use your backspace button.
The line between a cheeky personality and too much personality is fine. But that doesn’t mean you have to freak out about it. Plenty of copy online shows too much; the fact you’re worried about it is a good sign.
If you’re not worried, then congrats! Take these tips, and you’ll be on your way
Need Help Adding Personality to Your Copy?
Now that you’ve read this article, you might have a better chance of adding personality to your copy. Remember that too little personality might make your copy boring and stale.
Need help adding personality? Don’t know where to start with SEO writing? Check out our SEO blog writing services to learn what we can do for you.