Second Person Narrative—Hey, I’m Talking to You!

The word "You!" in 3-D.

Write in second person to speak directly to your reader.

by My Web Writers

Using “You” for Web Page Content Writing
Have you noticed how most Web page content is written in second person? Using “you” is more common than ever—and for good reason. Employing second person narrative creates an engaging and friendly voice in your writing, one that talks directly to the reader. But more importantly, it allows you to write with searchable keywords in a conversational, easy-to-understand manner. At the same time, it invites the reader (who is on a mission to find something!) to pause and read your Web page.

When someone is sitting at the computer, he or she is probably leaning forward and looking for something specific. The content that you write is what draws this person forward and into what you are saying. When you write in second person, you create a conversational dialogue of information for the person who is actively seeking what you have to offer. Your keywords help provide the search engine results so that your reader finds your page, but using the second person narrative draws one in to take a moment and check out what is on the page. It allows Web page content to be inviting and persuasive.

What About First and Third Person Narratives? Where Do They Fit In?
When you write in first person, like in a blog, you can express your passion and share what you know from your own experience. But a word of caution—you don’t want to come across as being overbearing and opinionated, or you might lose your reader.

When you write in third person, the language is more formal and less figurative. In her article “The Power of ‘Point of View’,” Daphne Gray-Grant says with regard to third person, “The overall impact is much more authoritative — but this comes at the expense of friendliness.”

Deciding the Narrative That’s Right for You
Understand your audience and determine the goal of your article before you choose first, second, or third person narrative for your Web page content.

~Pam

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