Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked about the ins and outs of a brand messaging strategy.
This week, we’re going to talk about how to create a “voice” or “tone” in your blog posts. If you love writing your own blog posts, this will help you add personality and adhere to your specific brand.
That said, if you don’t like writing blog posts, this will be too much information… outsource it! O&B can help or there are plenty of copywriters out there (though I do suggest finding one who specializes in the design industry).
So. Let’s talk about tone.
Your tone is the “voice” your target clients will hear when they encounter any written elements associated with your design firm — newsletters, social media posts, onboarding documents, blog posts, etc. Your tone is part of what differentiates you from your competitors and stands out to your dream clients…
…and that’s important! I like to summarize it with this equation:
I know it sounds simple, but this is an aspect of writing that not a lot of people can do well. Or if they do, they aren’t sure why. Are you ready for my best tone-creating secrets?
Punctuation. Yes, that’s really the secret. With punctuation, you can build excitement, increase speed and energy, or slow. things. down. You can make a point like this or grab attention — like this.
Here are some fun strategies for creating the flow and feeling you want.
Use italics to put emphasis on certain words. This is an especially great tool for helping you write like you speak.
A beautiful house is more than walls, colors, and furniture. It’s home.
A beautiful house is more than walls, colors, and furniture. It’s HOME.
I LOVE to use hyphens because they force your reader to stop and expect something important and impactful to come next. You can also use them in the middle of a sentence to create an aside, similar to parentheses (below).
A beautiful home is more than walls and furniture — it’s inspiration for the life you’ve always dreamed of living.
You just moved into your dream house — quaint shutters, spacious kitchen, stone fireplace — but somehow, it still doesn’t feel like home.
Ellipses are a similar strategy to hyphens, and I like to use ellipses almost as often… but not quite. They create a pause, but instead of a hard stop, ellipses add suspense and mystery, even a little playfulness depending on the context.
You’ve just moved into your dream home, unpacked all those boxes, and stocked your fridge with family favorites, but it still doesn’t feel like home… yet.
Commas are probably the most-used punctuation in website copy. They can create smooth elegance in your writing and express a series of ideas quickly. You can also use commas to insert words that feel like you’re talking one-on-one to your reader. This is great for creating a really personal tone.
When you finally hang up your blazer after a full workday, you want a home that will relax, support, and restore you.
After a long workday and a house full of kids, well…being kids, there’s nothing better than a home that supports you.
Periods are another way to make your readers pause. and. listen. This tactic should be used sparingly. I would only use it once, twice at the most, within an entire website’s copy or blog post.
You’ve just moved into your dream home, unpacked all those boxes, and stocked. the. fridge! But somehow, it doesn’t feel like home.
Parentheses are a fun way to add side notes, your personality (yes, you), and even personal commentary into your copy.
You’ve just moved into your dream home, unpacked all those boxes, and stocked your fridge with family favorites. (High five!) But it doesn’t feel like home… yet.
And that’s a wrap! Use these tips and you’ll elevate your copy, write more strategically, and create a voice that attracts your dream clients effortlessly.
See you next week!
Guide & Checklist
Guide & Checklist