This week’s grammar lesson is a double deal! We’ll discuss writing web content in first person point of view, second person and third person.
We’ll give you the basics on writing perspectives and close out the blog post with web writing best practices. We all love deals – so let’s get to it.
Writing in first person, second person and third person
First person, second person and third person writing, also known as writing perspectives, speak to the use of pronouns.
Each “person” delivers the message from a different point of view and uses specific pronouns to help the reader clearly identify the perspective.
1. First person
First person is from the writer’s point of view and uses pronouns such as “I” and “we.”
I am encouraging you to rewrite your website content.
2. Second person
Second person focuses on the reader and uses pronouns such as “you” and “your.”
You will benefit from this writing tip.
3. Third person
Third person tells the story from the perspective of a narrator and often uses pronouns such as “he,” “she,” and “it.”
She persuaded the business owner to revise his website content.
Which writing perspective is best for web content?
Many marketing and copywriting professionals suggest business owners can connect with customers by “humanizing” their websites. I agree. People want to do business with other people.
However, some believe using third-person pronouns on their websites is the best way to do this. They believe this writing perspective is more professional because it removes your subjective voice and tone and focuses on solely delivering the facts. While I understand this perspective, I don’t agree.
I recommend using a combination of first- and second-person pronouns for web content as it helps readers connect because you’re directly addressing your audience.
For example, eReleases says writing in third person is a faux pas.
At BAAB, we use first- and second-person pronouns on our website. However, it’s not a hard and fast rule for all businesses. In fact, some companies simply can’t use first and second person perspectives on their websites due to legal restrictions.
So what is the best writing perspective for web copy? It depends on the company image you want to portray. First- and second-person pronouns are typically more engaging and human while third person projects a more authoritative image.
What’s the Word: Writers and marketing professionals don’t agree on whether first-, second- or third-person pronouns are right for website content. We suggest choosing the writing perspective best suited for your business goals and audience needs.