What Is Your Writing Style And Why You Should Care?

WritingstylesAre you Afraid to Bring out your personality in your writing?

Not too long ago I was watching a video by a successful blogger who was advising the listeners to write with their own personality to the point that if he knew you he would be able to tell that you are the writer of the post he’s reading.

Is your style so personal that someone can recognize it’s yours right off the bat?  This would be the case only if you are writing “as you” and not trying to fit into some general standards too much, or not trying to sound like someone else.  I can tell you that for most of the blogs that I visit regularly, I usually can recognize the blogger’s style to the point that if I’m reading a guest post but haven’t realized that I was, I quickly notice that it doesn’t sound like the blog’s owner.

That’s what writing with your own style means.  Are you recognizable like that? What is your writing style?   I’m sure you have one even if you think that you don’t.  We all have a writing style.  That’s what make us difference, and that’s a good thing.  But in case you’re not sure, let’s analyze what writing styles are, and see how you fit in.

What’s a Writing Style?

The writing style tends to reveal quite a bit about the personality of the writer as well as how they perceive what they are writing about and their audience.  In other words, your writing style reveals a lot about you whether you may want it or not.  Your writing style is your personality coming through your writing.

For example, if you’re a teacher, you may have a very organized manner to write using a  teaching like tone, while being very organized with your subheadings, paragraphs, and your overall article layout.  Your might write with a teaching tone.

If you have a pretty heavy sense of humor, your writing, probably, will show that sense of humor.  If you are a very honest and direct person, your writing will, probably, be showing that too. Or maybe you are a very stiff and distant person, and if so, your writing may show that as well. In such case you may want to notice how your articles sound.

In the end, it’s pretty hard to be able to hide behind your writing.  So, for the most part, don’t try to and let it be YOU as it will set you apart from anyone else.

Writing for a Purpose with your Own Style

Of course, the purpose of your writing will affect your writing style.  So before you start writing, you should always know what the purpose of your writing is.  For example, as a freelance writer I may want to be careful not to put all of my own personality into my writing, because I know that some of it will still show up anyway whether I want it or not.

To give you an example that just popped to my mind, an actor may be playing a real life character, and the makeup artist will do their best to make the actor’s face look as much alike the character as possible. In turn the actor will use his talent to get into such character.   However, there is still going to be some the actor’s face and voice there.  The actor is going to do his best to leave his own style/personality out of the picture, but he can’t leave out ALL of it.  Some of it will still be there because no one can detach 100% from themselves. That’s just impossible.

It’s the same thing with a freelance writer. Some of my personality has got to show up to some extent even if I write for others.  However,  it’s not all bad since most people will hire me for my writing style.

So, your purpose needs to come first.  Are you writing a blog post for your own blog? For someone else’s blog as a guest?  For someone else’s blog as a ghost writer? Are you writing a sales letter?  Are you writing an article for a directory? Are you writing a press release? Your purpose will set the mood of your writing, and your personal style should adapt accordingly.

For example, if I write an article for a directory, I may be just a little more generic and just a little less personal than I am on my own blogs.  If I write for a client as a ghost writer I may try to sound more like them and less like me.

Narrative versus Conversational Writing Style

To me there are two very distinct styles, and depending on which one you use you may set the tone for your readers and get feedbacks accordingly.  So beware!

The narrative style

The narrative style tends to put more distance between you (the writer) and your reader, because the narrative style tends to be rather cold and could be speaking to anyone and everyone.  The narrative writing style is not the best style to use on your blog as it may come across a little bit cold and impersonal.

On the other hand, the narrative style works great for press releases, and some type of articles.  Just not your own blog.

The conversational style

The conversational style is what we usually recommend you use on your personal blog, regardless of the type of readers you may be targeting.   When you are using a conversational tone on your blog you are opening the door for your own personal style to come out because a conversational style will help your true personality to come across in your writing.

When people are browsing blogs they are usually more attracted to conversational styles and you are bound to resonate with people better.  They will be able to feel the human being, the real person (you), being the writing.  This will be more attractive to the readers and encourage them to get to know you.  These are some of the reasons why conversation style should be the style you use on your own blog.

So, there you have it. Make sure you are aware of your own style as you write different types of articles online or even off line.  If you are not sure what you writing style is, you may want to ask others and analyse what they come up with.

Defining your own writing style will set you apart from all other writers/bloggers out there and give  you your own trademark.

So, your turn now. What’s you own writing style?

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41 Comments

  • MayuraTwitter: MayuraDeSilva says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Wonderful enough dear 🙂

    Last time Adrienne talking about how to stand out and now you are talking about how it’s possible with writing 😉

    I’ve started my blogging with narrative style for sure dear. I remember that and I wasn’t personal much there as I was writing about steps. But now I know the value and ah… I’ve been improving over the time 🙂 There were no headings either. Thanks to your post series which was my favorites here.

    Anyway, it doesn’t mean I’m too personal now (As I think ;)), but I have a personal touch than before and I think I’m on the limit or my audience. Obviously we need to look at our audience before we start writing too, isn’t it Syalviane? 🙂

    One thing to ask from you Sylviane. One of my friend who is a freelancer got a writing project to rewrite articles on a blog. But the blog is of someone else and even a blog of the one who holds the project. I think it’s not fair to rewrite someone else’s content all over. Is it ethical? I’m asking you as you are a freelance writer and know what’s right and wrong 🙂

    Cheers…
    Mayura invites you to read..How to Use Multiple Google Accounts at OnceMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Mayura,

      I am glad that over time you’ve found more of your own writing style and imporved the overall look of your post with subheadings. I’m so glad some of my posts helped you that way. I’m honnored.

      Sorry, I’m not sure I understand your question, so I can’t give you an answer of what I think about this. Can you rephrase the quesion?

      • MayuraTwitter: MayuraDeSilva says:

        Oops…. Sorry for any confusions dear 🙂

        I mean I have a friend who does freelancing online and got a project to re-write articles for a company blog. The source articles given were not written by someone at the company but from different blogs online when they don’t own. After re-writing, they will publish ’em at their own blog.

        They never bothered to ask for permission from original author and I think original author would never know.

        Is it ethical Sylviane? 🙂 I wonder why people do that and that’s another ay to steal content and ideas, no? 🙂

        Cheers…
        Mayura invites you to read..How to Use Multiple Google Accounts at OnceMy Profile

        • Sylviane Nuccio says:

          Wow, wow, wow. OK, now I do understand your question, Mayura.

          No it is not good at all, and I would never do such job for a company, but rather explain to them that it’s not ethical to do such thing.

          It’s OK, to read a post and get inspiration from their topic and write a 100% different article, but it’s not OK to rewrite the same article.

          I hope this explaination helps.

          • MayuraTwitter: MayuraDeSilva says:

            Absolutely dear 🙂 That’s what I was thinking at the time too. I’ve said it to my friend and as he’s a blogger, he got the idea too. But after then, he showed me bunch of projects available there.

            OMG… I ccouln’t believe it and everyday there are several projects like that and get done too. As we have no clue after the rewrite, even one of our posts could be rewrite and spread out.

            Gotta keep eyes open Sylviane 🙂

            Cheers…
            Mayura invites you to read..How to Use Multiple Google Accounts at OnceMy Profile

  • Pauline says:

    Hi Sylviane
    I think I am more personal in my writing than I was when I first began my blog, but not sure if my writing would stand out as mine! I will have to ask a few of my readers what they think my style is and then analyze their answers….
    I do know we should not get too personal in our posts, our readers do not want an account of what we eat throughout the day for instance 🙂
    Thanks for sharing, hope you have a great week.
    Pauline

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Pauline,

      Yes, for most of us, our personal style has developed over time it hasn’t been there right from the beginning and that’s totally normal.

      No you don’t want to be boring personal on your blog but interesting personal. Telling irrelevant personal stuff would be boring to your readers but telling them a personal story to illustrate your point, on the other hand, would be great.

      Thank you for your input, Pauline.

  • Donna MerrillTwitter: donna_tribe says:

    You have given me something to think about Sylviane!

    As I read your post, I’m sitting here thinking what is my style? I write from the heart. Words pour out when I get a thought in mind.

    Sometimes I ramble or go off to another subject and I have to proofread a lot. I think it is because once I’m on a roll, I want to write in every angle.

    I guess I write in the first person a lot. Hmmm I have to ponder on this one.

    Thanks
    Donna
    Donna Merrill invites you to read..The Voice Of Freedom – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.My Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Donna,

      Basically your writing style would have to have a lot to do with who you are. I do think that you do have a writing syle, since when I read a new post from you it always “sounds familiar” in a good way, that it 🙂 It’s sounds like you.

      If you want you can always try to define your writing style by incorporating more of you in your writing, or more of something specific to you.

  • Stacy says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    When I first started blogging, I wrote more like I was writing a report than having a discussion. Over time, I started writing with less formality and more of my own true voice. I found that people resonated more with what I had to say and it was also easier (and more fun) to write that way.

    Following the rules of writing is good, but not to the point that we sound stuffy and devoid of personality!

    Stacy

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Stacy,

      Yes, we’ve all done that didn’t we? I remember the days I was stiff too, but it’s when we start relaxing that we see our traffic improve and people react positively to our writing.

      Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts and experience.

  • Michael Belk says:

    Sylviane, it is a great ideas to write in your style. I started doing this on my blog and I noticed it is easier to write articles.

    Thanks for the ideas.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Yes, that’s right Michael, isn’t it? The reason why it’s easier it’s because it’s you. It much easier to be you than trying to be someone else.

      Many people start blogging while being very scared and nevervous thking that if they are “themselves” it can’t work, but that’s the other way around.

  • AdrienneTwitter: adriennesmith40 says:

    I’m so glad I’m not a freelance writer Sylviane. I might actually find that kind of hard to do. As you know I’m very conversational in my writing style but I think it suits my purpose even though it’s not a personal blog.

    My relationships with my readers is what I’m truly after and I want them to know the real me.

    Just like Mayura shared, I wrote about standing out but you being a professional write you can share with us more on the “how to’s” of this.

    Great post and love your explanation Sylviane. Thank you for sharing that.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne invites you to read..How To Beat The Blogging Cliché BluesMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed Adrienne,

      Being a freelance writer is not necessarily heard for those who love to write, but it would be for those who don’t. Or even for those who write more out of necessity, but would rather not write if they could.

      As for me, I express myself 10 times better with my writing than when I open my mouth, so it works for me 🙂

      Thanks for you coming Adrienne as always.

  • Barbara CharlesTwitter: BarbaraCharlesl says:

    Hi Sylviane. This is the second article I’ve read today that talks about personalizing your blog and writing style with ‘you’ and your personality. Must be something to this uh? 🙂 In the last two hours I’ve learned alot about this and as I’ve tried to change it in the past, I think I still have work to do. I’m working on it and it is challenging. I’m learning that your personal style will draw an attract people to you. I’m working on it everyday. Thanks for sharing the different types of styles.
    Barbara
    Barbara Charles invites you to read..A Secret Tip To Getting Organized in 2013My Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Barbara,

      Well, with that strong personality of yours it shouldn’t be hard to have your own writing style. It’s not something you have to invent, it’s just that have to be you when your write.

      We are all still working at it Barbara, so that’s OK 🙂

      Thanks for coming.

  • Allie says:

    Sylviane,

    So true! From a reader perspective, I have tried and tried to like certain blogs because that person has such great knowledge I can really learn a lot! But sometimes I just don’t like their tone and writing style. It just doesn’t mesh with what I like in a writer’s personality.

    I think many new bloggers try to be something they are not or what they think they are suppose to be and that never works. I’m glad you wrote about this topic, they sure can learn a lot!

    ~Allie

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Allie,

      Nice seeing you here.

      I know what you mean. That’s happened to me too. I actually know someone who is a great writer, no doubt, but I always have a hard time “understanding” what she is talking about in a lot of her posts. What happens is that it’s her style, and apparently it doesn’t really resonate with me I guess.

      So, style is a the most importance I’d say.

      Thanks for your input, Allie 🙂

  • Sarah Park says:

    I am really comfortable writing with my own style. I can convey easily into writing what I want to express. Why would I make a new personality when I already have my own and I have a lot of things to share.

  • Theodore Nwangene says:

    Hi Sylviane,
    I agree with you that we all have our individual writing styles, but its quite difficult to discover yours in some cases. I think is your readers that has a better position to know your own.

    Like myself, i haven’t paid any attention to that before but will have to do that now. Although, I’m the humor type so that might be mine but I’m too sure yet.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Theodore,

      I agree with you that sometimes one may not be sure of what their own style is, when it’s actually easily recognizable by others. The best way I can explain it is that your own style is “who you are” in the writing form.

  • Viola Tam says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Very interesting read about personality in our writing style. I must admit that I have not put much thought into the style of writing. After reading your post, I am pretty sure that I am using conversational style. I guess this really reflects my personality. I just love to connect with new friends and share knowledge and insights.

    Surrounded with like-minded friends keeps me energized!

    Thanks, Sylviane, for this exceptional blog topic! I enjoyed learning from you.

    Viola The Business Mum

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Viola,

      Yes, I can confirm to you that your style is conversational which is a good thing. It’s also very easy to follow along and understand what your are discussing in your post, which is not always the case for everyone, you know 🙂 So that’s great!

      Thanks for coming.

  • Sapna says:

    HI Sylviane

    Great post!

    I really like the conversational style of blogs and reading because I could easily connect with that.I really don’t know my style of writing though but surely it will get refined after reading the posts like yours.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Sapna

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sapna,

      With this post I do realize that a lot of people have not yet a “defined” thier style and that’s very understandable. In a way your style comes with “you” so you may not have to worry too much about it as long as you are not trying to “imitate” someone that is not “you”.

  • Raena Lynn says:

    Hi Sylvianne,

    You’ve presented some excellent points about writing style. I just commented on someone’s blog about uniqueness and being yourself. I mentioned that I am working on allowing my personality to show through my writing. I’ve allowed my teaching background to write with a more formal tone and I want to change. You defined it as using the conversational style of writing. Between my fellow blogging partners, I’m going to break through this year.

    It’s a great idea to always “know what the purpose of your writing is.” I think I do most of the time, but it’s a good reminder. I have to say I love your writing style. That is why people pay you to write. That shows you are “above the crowd” and you’ve successfully made it! Thanks for the excellent post!

    Raena Lynn

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Raena,

      Well, my experience showed me that usually people with a teaching background make excellent writers. I like your style because it’s easy to follow along and you usually include true life experiences and examples. I love that.

      I know some good writers that can also be quite confusing, and when I read their stuff I feel like an idiot because I do not understand what the heck they’re talking about 🙂

      Thank you so much for your compliments. They’re very much appreciated, Raena.

  • Margarita says:

    Sylviane,

    it is really important to let your personality shine through your writing. When it is conversational, it provokes curiosity and readers want to learn more.

    Usually, especially on social media, there is a background noise. People just talk about not so important topics. The mastery is to be able to “scratch the surface” and stand out from the noise.

    I am still in the search for my own style. I am not a professional writer, but I recognize that I have my own voice. Thank you for making me think. Be blessed.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Margarita,

      I think that you write very well. As a matter of fact, you are part of the bloggers bunch that I’ve met recently and who really impressed me by there excellent writing. I think that you pretty much have your own style already, but there’s nothing wrong will seardhing still. I think we all do.

      Thank you for coming and for your valuable input.

  • Neamat TawadrousTwitter: nkeriakos says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    That’s an amazing post about the writing styles. I try so hard to put my personal touch on my posts but I am not quite there yet. I am working on it as I am still new to the whole writing thing. I never thought one day that I will have a blog and I will be writing. I think it is something that grows with us as we personally develop and grow and learn to put more of our personality into what we write.

    I really enjoyed reading this post Sylviane and learning about the different styles of writing and the purpose of writing. It’s all wonderfully explained.

    Thanks again for such an informative post. You always deliver your point clearly. Great Job Sylviane.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat
    Neamat Tawadrous invites you to read..The Power Of EncouragementMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Thank you so much for your compliments, Neamat. I really appreciate that and it gives me encouragement to write more and better.

      Frankly, for a so called new blogger, you are doing FANTASTIC, Neamat, and I am not too worry about how far you will go. You write very well and very clearly and your posts are well formatted as well. If you haven’t totally found your style, yet, I am sure that you will soon.

      Thank you for your wonderful input 🙂

  • lokesh says:

    Sylviane,

    Very good information on writing style, may be till now my purpose of writing was only to solve user’s problem and now i learnt about conversational style, its important to engage with readers and encourage them to come back.

    Thanks for such a nice post which helps to redefine our writing styles and enjoyed reading every word.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hello Lokesh,

      There’s nothing wrong with writing to solve users’ problem, and your style is still most likely in what you write anyway. Engaging with the readers is really important and a must for any blogger, I think.

      Thank you for coming by.

  • Tonya Stephens says:

    Hi Sylvianne,
    I have only just begun to write in the last year.
    The more I write and also visit and read other blogs the more I realize how similar writing is to being an artist ( I’m a painter) as well.
    As any type of artist (writing is creative) there is no way to hide your personality from shining through. You will develop your own style as you continue to write or paint or what ever creative pursuit you follow.
    Thank you for bringing this to light.
    Tonya

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Tony,

      I totally know what you mean as I am a painter too. Actually, I’ve written a post few months ago that compared writing to painting. Writing is an art, indeed, and our personality is bound to come through our writing, and for the most part it’s a good thing.

      Thank you sharing your thoughts.

  • Sue Neal says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    This is obviously a topic very dear to my heart. I like the way you’ve drawn a distinction between narrative and conversational styles of writing.

    I feel that as a writer and blogger I’m constantly developing my personal style – and I’m sure it will continue to change, to some extent, as I develop and grow – as a person, and as a writer.

    I do think we pick up some bits of style and mannerisms from other writers who influence us, which is fine, but at the end of the day we all need to develop our own individual voice – and some of that will just spring, quite naturally, from our personalities and the way we ordinarily express ourselves.

    I do make a conscious effort to write in a style that readers will find engaging and accessible. I think if you get the tone of your writing wrong, it can be very damaging. There’s one particular blogger whose site I visit – he produces some great content and gives excellent advice, but he can come across as quite arrogant and dismissive at times, in his posts and in his comments, and I’m sure that must put some people off. I find his manner rather intimidating, but I think that’s just his way.

    A very interesting post, Sylviane (as ever!) – thank you!

    Sue

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sue,

      Thank you for your valuable comment.

      I am sure that we all take some of the style of other people that may be influencing us in a good way. This happens to painters, for example.

      I think that even if one feels that they are so successful that they can be arrogant and dismissive, they still better watch it. No body is immune to anything and no matter who you think you are, people, might get tired of you. It’s sad that some people take on such type of style. I certainly hope this will never happen to me.

      I agree that our style changes and grows with us. Everything changes, nothing ever stays the same.

      Thank you for coming and giving your interesting input.

  • Lynne says:

    I still haven’t decided or haven’t really defined my writing style, but I hope that I can develop my own as I continue to write more. Thanks for the advice.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Lynne,

      That’s a good idea.The more you write, the better you’ll be able to find your own style and voice.

      Thanks for coming here.

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