In writing there are two major styles: Casual Voice and Formal Voice. Somewhere along the line a large number of people got the idea into their heads that all writing for which you hope to get paid must be in formal voice. They’re wrong, but they keep perpetuating the idea.
So what’s the difference? Formal voice writing is when it’s dry and impersonal. Formal voice is usually used for informational pieces where opinion and feeling are not vital or desirable. Casual voice is when you write basically the same way you’d speak. It’s the way people write on blogs, FaceBook and personal communications.
I think a lot of people are just afraid of using casual voice. Maybe they’re just scared because they’re unfamiliar with it. Some believe that anything which involves being personal is unfit when trying to make money. Some are just stuck with the ideas that someone else told them were right. The simple fact is, there are all kind of writers and readers, and there’s room for everything.
Blogs are actually a perfect venue for casual voice writing. People are allowed to write however they please, but a casual, personal style is encouraged. However, there are still people out there trying to convince newcomers that casual voice writing is “bad”, “wrong” and “unprofessional”. They insist that all writing must be done in formal voice. Please, don’t listen to them.
Sure, there are sites where that type of writing is a must. It’s not required at all of them. Fortunately for those of us who prefer casual writing, some sites are moving away from formal voice styles and encouraging writers to be more personal and write in a way that readers can relate to. Let’s face it, unless you’re looking for factual information, who wants to read articles that sound like a textbook? People want something relatable that shows it was written by a real, feeling human being. I’ve received numerous compliments on both my articles and books because I write the same way I’d speak. I’m basically having a chat with my readers. A lot of people like that.
So, while there are sites that require formal voice writing, not all of them do, and it is most certainly not the “only”, “best” or “professional” way to write. Both styles have their time and place. Feel free to try both and find what works for you. Don’t ever believe anyone who tells you there’s only one way to write, or to do anything else for that matter.