Article Writing... 1st or 3rd person?

17 replies
First off let me express my gratitude for all of the amazing people who just sit around this forum waiting with bated breath to answer all my green newbie questions!! (Ok... it just seems that way. It's not everyday you see so many people ready to lend a hand to complete strangers... Inspiring to say the least).

I was just wondering what everyone's thoughts were about writing articles in 1st person or 3rd person. Is there instances where it is better to use one rather than the other? What sells better? Any general thoughts/advice will be immediately digested and put to good use!!

Thanks everyone!

Jeff
#1st #3rd #article #person #writing
  • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
    A lot will depend on the audience. A first person, very informal, conversational article is great on your own blog but may not always be appropriate in other places.

    A third person, more formal style may be better if your target is expecting that type of writing.

    Really, neither is better or worse for sales in general. It just depends on the audience. I find much better results with first person for pre-sell content, most of the time, while third person works just as well, or better, for driving traffic.

    No one way is better in all situations. Depends on what your goal is with the piece, what the target audience is and even the niche can change things.

    Goes back to the old, yet true, adage: Test, test, test. Then test some more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tmill
    Blog with your name on it-first person. Product reviews - 3rd person
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  • Profile picture of the author netnutmike
    if you are writing in the first or third person then you are writing about yourself.

    Do you mean writing style like conversational vs formal?

    I have always had better luck with conversational, it comes more naturally and is how I really interact with people and since my goal is to build a relationship, it is better to be myself.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Your tone, style, and personification certainly should vary depending on the audience and niche. For example, in some niches my articles are 3rd person starched high-collar and staid, others 1st person personably conversational, and then I have some (1st and 3rd person) that are humorous or even silly.

      In general, simply write the way your target market likes to read, including niche terminology and jargon. The closer you get to hitting all the hot buttons and emotional triggers of your prospects in your articles, you will find higher conversion rates from targeted traffic.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
        if you are writing in the first or third person then you are writing about yourself.
        Why would you say that? Third person point of view has nothing to do with the subject matter and certainly doesn't mean that you would be writing about yourself?

        For much of what marketers write, the second person narrative is actually most often used.
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  • Profile picture of the author jklsr55
    Evidently I should have been a little more concise... Lets use for example submitting articles for Constant Content...
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    Jeff Legg
    Billings, Montana

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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Didn't Paul Myers have a free report on "Voice"?

    It's one of the best guides to finding your writing style,
    worth searching for it and studying.

    All success
    Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    I write blog posts in the first person and some articles for my own website.

    When writing for others it is a good idea to always write in 3rd person unless they ask you to write in 1st person. I believe Constant Content will not accept articles written in 1st person.

    One reason is that if you write in 1st person and your client posts that article the audience will assume that opinions or situations in the article are that of your client. Even if they are benign, most clients do not like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    And... um... what about second person? You?!

    What do you think about that?
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      This is not about you.
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      • Profile picture of the author bretski
        Personally, I try to put the focus on the reader at all times. Occassionally I will write in first person but it's pretty rare.
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        • Profile picture of the author Joe R Piercey
          I like to write my product reviews in the first person plural ie 'we'.

          e.g. we have researched this product and...

          but i try to put lots of 'you' in there to make it personal.

          e.g. one thing you may appreciate about feature x is that...
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      • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        This is not about you.
        I seriously laughed hard.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kecia
    I write most of my web content in the second person. If I'm blogging on my personal site, I will use first person when talking about my own experiences. I use third person if it's required or the writing needs to be formal and more professional rather than conversational.
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  • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Ehinger
    Originally Posted by jklsr55 View Post

    First off let me express my gratitude for all of the amazing people who just sit around this forum waiting with bated breath to answer all my green newbie questions!! (Ok... it just seems that way. It's not everyday you see so many people ready to lend a hand to complete strangers... Inspiring to say the least).

    I was just wondering what everyone's thoughts were about writing articles in 1st person or 3rd person. Is there instances where it is better to use one rather than the other? What sells better? Any general thoughts/advice will be immediately digested and put to good use!!

    Thanks everyone!

    Jeff
    Jeff,

    This is a bit of a loaded question since both are very popular. If you are telling some type of story about how you actually lost a large amount of weight or did something amazing, then using first person is just fine. If you are not telling a story about yourself, then use third person and try to write like you are speaking to the reader.

    Benjamin Ehinger
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  • Profile picture of the author IMWinner
    Neither is bad or good, it always depends on the type of audience that you want your articles to be presented. As what most warriors have stated, if you are into a blog or some personal site that you want to promote, like for example your travels and types of food that you like, it is on the 1st person since you are sharing to the audience your experience and that is what you want your audience to expect in your site or blog. Using of the first person point of view extracts the writer's idea, opinion and personal experiences to share to the readers, and telling them that these are the events that you have been experiencing.
    And for the third person point of view, it is more formal that the first person since you are sharing the information to your audience as how you want them to receive what you want them to learn from it. The audience that you are presenting the article on a third person point of view doesn't really need to learn and read the writer's experience on the said topic. But they are expecting what they need to learn from the article as it is, how it should be received without the firsthand "experiences" of the writer himself.
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