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3 Blog Content Tones That Can Set You Up for Success

Mike Krass • June 7, 2013 • 4 minutes to read

I recently read a blog post on Conversion XL and I have to say, this guy is mean!

It's hard to care about what he's selling, because the tone of his content feels like he's either yelling at you or calling you an idiot, which as a potential client I don't really appreciate.

With that said, I'd like discuss:

  1. Why tone matters in your blogging
  2. Three types of blogging tones your content could have to set up a good relationship with your potential and current customers

Why Tone Matters When Blogging

As I said in the example above, the tone of ConversionXL website is mean and because of it I have no interest in buying what he's selling.

I understand being assertive and conveying your expertise, but using negative statements such as the one below, you're pushing potential clients away before they've even met you.

So you have a landing page - or maybe 87 of them. Too bad you're screwing them up. First of all, you don't know my website. How do you know I'm screwing it up?

In the same blog post Peep Laja goes on to say my headline sucks and I have no clear value proposition. How do you know Peep?  You've never been to my website?!?

As you can see, I'm getting angrier by the paragraph and it's clear that his tone is rubbing me the wrong way. It would have been a better approach to talk about  "21 Best Practices to Follow and Improve your Conversion Rate" .  Granted, not as "punchy" of a headline, but at least you're trying to sound helpful, not hurtful.

Three Types of Tones for Website Content

1. Assertive

You can talk about how awesome you are in a strong manner without coming off as a know-it-all.

Neil Patel is probably the best example of this.  He knows he's amazing and conveys it in a really smart, lighthearted way.  The graphic below even shows Neils' shirt saying, "I'm kind of a big deal."

There are many great ways Neil demonstrates his expertise and how you can benefit from his experience without belittling anything you've done or saying that you're stupid.

  • Headline: Captivating Headline that is strong worded, but not negative.
  • Images: Bright images that set a tone of funny and quirky showing Neil's personality.
  • Body: The body of the content has a conversational tone that draws the audience in. You feel like Neil is having a conversation with you, not yelling at you.

Neil still uses strong language, like in the header, "30 Quick Conversion Tips Every Marketer Needs to Know". "Every" and "Needs" are both assertive words, but not negative or angry.

2. Casual / Conversational

Taking Neil's example and flipping it into something more laid back, he would use a header that was more like "30 Things I Learned that You Could Benefit From".  It's not aggressive what-so-ever, but it still shows he's trying to be helpful.

Seth Godin is the king of casual content. Simple snippets he posts daily to speak his mind. He's never telling people what they have to do. This is effective because it's poignant and you can apply what he's saying to your everyday without feeling like he's shoving it down your throat.

Another blogger who has a similar style is Willie Jackson. The difference is Willie's posts are not as obscure as Seth Godin's. He pays attention to his surroundings then reflects on how it impacts him, which in turn makes you think about how that could apply to you.

3. Technical

The other tone you can convey is very matter of fact, or technical. Unlike assertive or casual tones, these posts don't convey an opinion but simply lay out the facts. A problem is laid out and you are walked through the solution.

No fuss. No muss.

Our own Search Director, Christian Bullock, does this very well.  He's a very straight forward technical writer, but still brings his personality through as to not have the content come off dry and boring.

In the example below, Christian walks us through what Google Tag Manager is and three common problems people have been running into. Watch the format here:

  1. Defines what Google Tag Manager is
  2. Explains why it's helpful
  3. Walks through some potential problems
  4. Lays out clear and easy solutions

Very straight forward with a very even tone.


To recap, there are three types of tones your blog posts can have:

  • Assertive - Being direct and telling people what they need to know without being rude or calling your audience morons.
  • Casual - Laid back, full of your own opinions and views that users can take away and apply to their own lives.
  • Technical - Factual and devoid of a tone.  Straight facts that clearly lay out a problem and solution.  This does not mean it should lack personality, just your opinion.

No matter which tone you decide to use, just be consistent.

We'd Like to Hear From You!

Do you need help with setting the tone of your blog content? Shoot us an email and let's chat for 15 minutes to see if we can help you get started in making sure you get off the right foot with your potential customers.

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