Have you ever thought about your writing voice?
We usually write in one of the following four ways:
I write to showcase my certifications, my accomplishments, my views
This is natural and direct. It’s also easy for the readers to understand. However, the risk is that it may be too self-indulgent and turn our audience off!
The post features how you can do stuff (mainly how-tos)
“You” is inclusive – we are speaking from the audience point of view. Empathy flows naturally. If you can pull this off, your “how to” posts will be the talk of the town!
What are we doing as a tribe? What challenges do we face? How do we celebrate?
“We” is a mode that shows solidarity. It works when people identify with the tribe. The risk is in having missions and ideals that aren’t reflected on the ground – it can turn people off.
A case study of a successful product launched by a company. A celebrity’s view of things or talking about something foreign to us.
“They” is the most objective of them all. A skilled hand can even debate controversial topics using “they”. The challenge of course is to keep the audience hooked – “they” posts can turn out to be dry academic exercises.
Each publishing platform has its own preferences. For instance, on LinkedIn, I observe the “You” and “We” posts evoke more thought and connect with readers best. But, the “I” and “They” get the maximum likes.
When we bundle two or more of these into a post, things get interesting. “Us” vs. “Them” can quickly turn controversial. “I vs. They” becomes a “David vs. Goliath” These combinations are layered but can evoke strong opinions.
Which “writing voice” do you prefer? And why?