How to Write Conversationally: 7 Tips to Engage and Delight Your Audience

engage readers with a conversational writing style

How often do you shrug your shoulders and press delete after reading a marketing email?

Many marketing messages make us cringe. They don’t sound like a human being wrote them. They don’t engage. They lack personality and feel cold-hearted.

It’s not surprising.

At school, we learned grammar rules. We learned how to write and spell, but we didn’t learn how to use language to connect with our readers. We didn’t learn how to engage, persuade, and inspire.

But readers crave a human touch.

When we read conversational content, we instantly feel a connection with the writer. We feel like we’re getting to know him. We start to like him.

As content marketers, we know this is our aim. When readers get to know, like, and trust us, we create opportunities to market our services and sell our products. We know we need to write conversationally, but how?
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What Is a Content Marketer?

become a content craftsman

Long ago, copywriting legend John Carlton told me that the best copywriters didn’t just master their own discipline; they also mastered related disciplines — like marketing, SEO, and negotiations.

This is true for content marketers, as well.

A content marketer is a master of many disciplines. But what exactly does that mean? What sort of disciplines and skills are we talking about? And what types of knowledge and experience are necessary to be a content marketer?

I’ll answer those questions and more, but before I do, I’ll first loosely define the term “content marketer.”

Then, I’ll tell you how I uncovered a successful content marketer’s five essential skills.
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3 Resources to Help Invigorate Your Standard Content Routine

Copyblogger Collection - refresh your content creation routine

You’re probably familiar with “art imitating life” and “life imitating art.” I know I am.

We can apply this idea to content marketing, as well.

Your content may imitate life if it’s engaging, entertaining, and useful. You take recognizable, relatable elements from life and infuse them into your content to connect with your audience members’ worldviews.

But how can life imitate your content?

Well, winning content marketing is often the product of trying different experiments to see what works best for your message and your business. These experiments help you get to know your audience better and may help you uncover a new, more effective content strategy.

You see this in life when you try a new activity and broaden your outlook of what you thought was possible.

Today, we’re going to focus on techniques that could expand the types of content you offer your audience. This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

  • How to use content marketing to sell your creative work
  • How to take your Pinterest marketing to the next level
  • How to determine if you should publish a curated email newsletter

As you work your way through the material below, think of the following lessons as a mini content creation course.
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Introducing The Digital CMO: Corporate Marketing for Those Who Live in the Future

what's coming in corporate content marketing

It was somewhere in the middle of a conversation with Brian Clark at one of Content Marketing World’s parties when it all became clear to me:

While Rainmaker.FM has tremendous educational and inspirational assets for entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and most general marketers, there’s no podcast that caters to the corporate marketer.

That’s not just true on Rainmaker.FM. In general, there isn’t a lot of blogging and podcasting in the corporate marketing space — whether that’s because of a gag order from the legal department or the time it takes to wrangle multiple agencies and channels.

But corporate marketers need help too.
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CAN-SPAM 101: A Crash Course in Bulk Email Regulations

how to ensure your email message gets delivered

I met a woman at a networking event last year. I’ll call her Nicki.

Nicki and I chatted for a few minutes, and she struck me as smart and motivated. I liked her.

That was six months ago, and now Nicki’s emails are driving me insane.

After that networking event, Nicki added my name and email address to her mailing list. She didn’t ask if I wanted to join her list — she just added me.

And since then, about once a month, Nicki has been copying me on bulk email messages she sends to hundreds of people using her email’s “BCC” field.

None of Nicki’s emails have an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom, so I can’t opt out of these emails without personally writing to her and saying, “Please stop emailing me!”

Nicki’s email marketing strategy is a CAN-SPAM nightmare. She’s breaking the law on a regular basis, and I’ll bet she has no idea she’s doing it. It even gets worse.

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Can You Spot the Expert? Test Your Knowledge of Google’s Content Quality Standards

the best way to get search engines to EAT (and serve) your content

Want to hear something scary? No, not scary like Five Nights at Freddy’s. More like disturbing. Alarming. Even depressing.

I used to write articles about:

  • How to protect yourself from necrotizing fasciitis
  • How to escape from an airplane safety slide
  • How to tell if you’ve been poisoned by sushi
  • Whether runners could benefit from platelet-rich plasma surgery
  • How much alcohol you should drink
  • Why the rate of concussions is higher among women

Now, what makes this admission scary is that I’m not a surgeon. And I’m not a nurse practitioner, physical therapist, or chiropractor.

In fact, I’ve never had any medical training in my life — nor have I ever slid down an airplane safety slide!

Horrified yet? Well, just wait. Because medical advice was not the only thing I used to freely dispense as a web writer.

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