The Most Powerful Writing Voice for 21st-Century Content

The Most Powerful Writing Voice for 21st-Century Content

Reader Comments (11)

  1. There are very few really good quality content writers out there.. as a digital marketer and SEO consultant in Canada I read a lot of newsletters and marketing-based articles every day. Sure they may have English mastered… but the UX is missing in most of it.

    I can tell within 30 seconds if I’m losing interest….fyi

    Thanks for the inclusion Sonia!

  2. I sometimes find the vulnerability thing can be overdone, where writers almost whip up a sob story to make their rags-to-riches transformation more overt. You get it a lot in the PLF videos before a launch. For me, it feels disingenuous, like the fame-hungry hopefuls on TV reality shows who need a difficult background to qualify their ‘journey’.

    But I like the idea you can tone that down a bit and turn it into a source of authority, along the lines of ‘I was like you, and I had to learn how to do this, but let me help you learn it faster’. It’s a way of using your learning process for good, rather than for attention!

    • Thanks LJ!

      The tone you take is going to depend so much on your audience. So what works for one won’t work for another.

      But there’s an old fiction writing maxim, “if you let the character cry, the reader won’t” that can hold true here. More experienced writers know to use a light touch.

      If you read Jon Morrow’s story that he told here on Copyblogger about five years ago, it’s a complete gut punch, and part of that is his careful choices how he tells the story.

      • I think Jon’s post is so powerful because even though he’s telling you a difficult story, he’s so much in command of what he’s saying. The authority comes through loud and clear. I love Jon’s writing!

  3. Any significant experience (particularly negative ones) generates its own “buzzwords”. If you’ve shared that experience, you begin to look for those words automatically- and reject the message if they’re not there. .
    Second thing: If you’re needing help, do you look for help from someone who’s never had the problem? or from someone who went there, survived, and came back to tell you about it?

  4. Thank you for showcasing how to strike the balance between vulnerability and authority, Sonia. It’s something I’ve been noodling on lately. It’s been easy to find examples of one or the other. As you said, gifted writers are able to blend the two and be flexible in the tone of voice. It’s something I’m working towards.

    In my research, I’ve stepped in piles of “unicorn barf” out on the interwebs and that doesn’t feel right, neither does the I’m-perfect/power voice. Finding the intersection here feels like Goldilocks. Just right.

    Just before reading this post, I was on Amazon looking for a book to bring to read on an upcoming trip. Now, that’s covered, too. I’ll take a look at the other links in this post for more on this personal top-of-mind topic. And, I’ll continue to write to build this muscle.

  5. Hey Sonia!

    What a great write up! 🙂

    I’ve enjoyed reading your piece of written art very much. You make a lot of sense and give great and helpful tips to help a rookie writer like me become better at this “craft”. A craft that involves putting words, a voice, a personality, and tone, to them.

    Crazy, right.

    How words and the way you put them together, to convey a message, can be very powerful.

    Thanks for a great read full of super helpful tips and insights!

    Cheers! 😀

  6. In a word – service. If you want to avoid being seen as a phony trend follower, this is the wrapper that will make you sincerely compassionate and powerfully helpful. There’s no substitute for being the strong person with a great heart. Never mind success, if you’re that person you’ll be fulfilled, happy, and well cared for.

  7. Sonia,

    I appreciate your comparison between vulnerability and powerlessness. It really hits home when I think about my audience and the end goal of moving them past their obstacles and roadblocks.

    Without empathy for our own tender points, we miss the opportunity to make a connection that is authentic and genuine. Especially in terms of building rapport.

    Also, there are so many types of authority. You listen to your doctor, but you wouldn’t want to invite them to your holiday party. You listen to your best friend, but you wouldn’t take their advice when you are trying to reinvent yourself.

    I think this article really helped me discover that vulnerability colors the authority you have with your audience and that it should ultimately be in alignment with how you best serve your customers.

  8. Sonia,
    Thanks for mentioning and recommending The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence. I drive a lot and have been listening to this book. It is so thought provoking especially in light of all of the powerful people recently who are having to deal with incidents when they abused their power.

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