How to Create a Unique "Voice" in Your Website Copy & Blog
Word choice + punctuation = tone
Now, before you have flashbacks to 5th Grade and close this screen as fast as possible, hear me out. Paired with strategic word choice, your punctuation creates your tone.
Your tone is the “voice” your target clients will hear when they encounter your brand. They are what make you different from Debbie Designer down the street…
…and that’s important!
Besides, the tips I have for you today goes wayyyy beyond what we learned in school. Are you ready for my best tone-creating punctuation secrets?
Secrets to Punchy, Impactful, Authentic Tone
With punctuation, you can build excitement, 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.
Italics & CAPS
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, Commas, commas
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, you want a home that will relax, restore, and support you.
Periods are another way to make your readers pause. and. listen. This tactic should be used sparingly though. I would only use it once, twice at the most, within an entire website’s copy.
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.
It’s Your Turn
I hope these examples are just what you needed to see how punctuation can create some personality and punch in your website copy.
In my next post, I’ll be sharing step-by-step instructions for putting your word choice and punctuation together to create your unique voice, express your value eloquently, and attract those target clients who can’t wait to meet you!
In the meantime, download our Strategic Brand Messaging Workbook to start ideating the words that are best for your business.
See you next week! Xoxo,