This is a very common question when it comes to business blogging, and it’s a good one. The answer may depend on your type of business or your specific blogging goals. In most cases, it comes down to simple personal preference.
Why I Like First Person
For me personally, I prefer writing blogs from a first-person perspective. I’m not just talking about my own blog articles, but also ones I write for clients of NextGear Marketing. I always ask each client at the beginning of the process whether they want their blog articles written from a first-person perspective or as a third-person narrative. If no preference is given, I will default to a first-person voice. But why? Let’s take a look.
Now, remember we are primarily just talking about blogs here. Most standard web content is presented in the third person, but I do see more and more that is written in first person and it can certainly be done. Print marketing is almost always in third person. Press releases should always be in third person!
On the positive side, first-person blog articles are more engaging to readers because they offer a little bit of personality. Blogs should inject some personal flavor. Unless you happen to have a business that is 100% one-of-a-kind, your blog will likely feature plenty of topics and information that can be found elsewhere online. Having your own voice to frame the content will help set it apart and build your brand message. If readers like the way you say things, they will be more drawn to your business and the information you are sharing on your blog.
How to Do It Right
On the negative side, writing effectively in first person is actually more challenging. It seems easy and natural to write in your own voice. Some content may come across as bragging and credibility is harder to establish. Oftentimes, using “we” and “us” as opposed to “I” and “me” is one simple way to soften the language. In this case, you are speaking for the whole company rather than just yourself as a lone representative of the company. At NextGear Marketing, we recommend first person, but it takes some skill and effort to get it to come across right.
Some larger companies prefer to have a more clinical approach to their blog content and may opt for a third-person voice. They want to deliver news, ideas and information in a direct manner. That’s perfectly fine. The larger the company, the more likely this is to be true. For smaller companies, however, establishing a rapport with readers is usually a priority. Therefore, a first-person approach may be more effective.
What About Second-Person Perspective?
Now, I don’t want to neglect the importance of second-person writing because it should be universal. Whether your primary voice is first- or third-person, you will always want to put some attention on the readers themselves. Address their questions, wants and needs with the strategic use of “you” and “your” in the content. Use metaphors and examples that they can relate to. In other words, deciding between first vs. third person is in reference to the general framework of the article, but the ultimate point is speaking directly to the reader and that will help keep them engaged.
Above All Else, Be Consistent
Whatever approach you take with your writing voice, it’s important to stay consistent. Trying to change perspectives based on different articles or topics can be tricky and you will lose voice consistency. You want to write as if the same people are reading your blog articles every week, even if that’s not really the case. You will build a regular following if you are engaging enough, but you will also get people who find specific articles through searches or social media links and that’s all they see. You still want everybody to feel like part of the target audience, no matter how they come across your blog.
To learn more about business blogging or to get started with a custom blog campaign for your business, contact NextGear Marketing today for a free consultation.