Writing Tips: Advantages of Writing Articles from the First Person Perspective

The "I" Point Of View

Reasons to use "I" in your articles.
Reasons to use "I" in your articles. | Source

The First Person Perspective

While the first person perspective is largely discussed in the genres of fiction and poetry, it is also a useful point of view for writing articles in print and online.

The first person point of view is a point of view that employs “I” and “we”. There tends to be less formality than the third person perspective, which uses “he” or “she”.

Recently, I received comments on a few of my own articles from writers who did not realize the first person perspective can be used outside of the blogging realm.

There are many advantages to using the “I” viewpoint, provided it is allowed by the particular publisher to whom you write (check policy first).

Relatable Tone and Language

A primary advantage of writing articles from the first person perspective is the ability to be relatable in tone and language. When the writer uses “I”, readers are brought into the author’s world and asked to see concepts through that set of eyes. The reader forms a connection with the writer.

As well, the writer is likely viewed by readers as less intimidating when this point of view is employed. The writer is opening up by sharing his or her own experiences with the topic at hand. There is a vulnerable side shown as the writer lets the reader into his or her own world. The connection deepens if the author exposes flaws or mistakes made as they relate to the article’s topic.

Share Your Mistakes and Triumphs

Sharing your mistakes makes your relatable to readers.
Sharing your mistakes makes your relatable to readers. | Source

Sense of Authority

The "I" perspective also lends a sense of authority to the article. Why an SEO technique works, for example, is backed up by an author’s statements that he or she uses that particular method for a personal website. As the writer outlines individual successes and failures, the reader connects and sees proof of the method on the very page being read. Now that is a powerful message!

The message likely holds more weight than a reference to an article written by a website that the reader is not familiar with and won’t head to later.

Let's Engage the Reader

Reader is absorbed in your article.
Reader is absorbed in your article. | Source

Which Perspective Do You Use Most Often For Your Articles?

See results without voting

Increase of Interest in the Writer

Another advantage of writing articles from the first person point of view is that there is often added interest toward the writer.

Authors who share their own experiences are relatable, which means readers may want to peruse their other written works.

After forming a connection, as earlier described, readers may want to see what other ideas the author has to explain to them. For online writers who receive income based on page views, the rise in number of articles read per person is a definite benefit. Increased reads translates to increased earnings on a regular basis.

The Perspective

There are many useful reasons why writers choose to use the first person perspective for both online and written articles.

The point of view lends a sense of authority to the writer and likely increases interest in that person too. Tone and language are relatable when written from an "I" viewpoint, as well. Consideration of perspective is an important part of the article writing process.

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Comments 53 comments

ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

This is a wonderful article!

I agree with you that writing in first person, makes a reader connect with the writer and the engagement lasts till the last sentence.

Very nice tips and well done! Thanks and Voted up!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I came back to read this again. I know first hand that the information you've written here is absolutely true!

How marvelous this hub is. What a gift for all writers, especially those that are new to writing.

I can only thank you once again Christy for this wonderful hub. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and will pin and share.

Hugs to you my friend ~ Audrey


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

I usually write in the first person perspective. It seems easy to me when I write like this. Thanks for sharing this well written hub. I enjoyed reading it.


Gail Meyers profile image

Gail Meyers 3 years ago from United States

I enjoyed reading your hub! I am uncertain where I got the idea that using "I" was often not a good idea. Great ideas and food for thought.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks howlermunkey, good to see you!


howlermunkey profile image

howlermunkey 4 years ago from Tampa, FL

Clever Hub, and good advice. Up and Sharing


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

@Gypsy, thank-you! I appreciate the share and pleased this article is helpful for other writers. Purpose achieved :)


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and useful. Some great advice and tips. Thanks for sharing. Passing this on.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi ktrapp, thanks for the feedback. You make great points too; the first person lends itself an air of authority. I had to write it in the 'I' perspective LOL :) Thanks for stopping by and the fan mail too!


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

Great Hub. I really think that for some types of articles, writing in the first person is extremely beneficial. I feel the reader can relate better, knowing that real person is on, the other end. Like you stated, first person lends authority to the article and I think just makes it authentic. For the same reasons, that is why I also like to use my own photos when possible. This is an interesting topic and I enjoyed reading your perspective on it.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

@CrazedNovelist, Yes we weave the words and create interest with language. I am glad you use the first person perspective here when appropriate and that you left me a comment! Have a great rest of your day :)

@Chuck, Now I am wondering if I should write a hub about cheese and together you and I can promote it on Twitter! Hmmm food for thought (literally!). Thanks for stopping by today.

@James, thank-you!

@alphone, Thank-YOU as well for leaving me a great comment to read today. I look forward to reading more of your hubs soon!


CrazedNovelist profile image

CrazedNovelist 4 years ago from Hampton, GA

Christy, I definitely agree with this hub. The first person definitely makes a hub or written work more relatable. One of my first person hubs is my second or third highest viewed hub. I think people do relate to writers. We're just like everyone else, except we bring words together to make money. Really cool hub and definitely useful. :) See ya around Christy.


Chuck Bluestein profile image

Chuck Bluestein 4 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

I always write this way. People say that I use a flow of consciousness style of writing. But I was taught to write just like you are talking to someone.

This NY Times writer wrote about milk and used a personal story about it and it was tweeted by 400 people: http://nyti.ms/PwJwwT


James Vernon profile image

James Vernon 4 years ago from UK

Really good. Great points about writing here.


alphonse george profile image

alphonse george 4 years ago from Kerala,India

Thanks for this hub.

You have helped me realize the potential of using first person in my hubs.

Thanks a lot and keep up the good work.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

@shalini & @QudsiaP1, thanks for stopping by to read and for the positive feedback!

@Dale, As I explain in the beginning of the hub there are certain writing environments where the first-person perspective is not acceptable. I am glad you see where the differences lie and that you find the read here helpful.

@Rebecca, Glad to help you will feeling confident, my creative friend :)

@Peggy, thanks for the feedback based on your HubCamp experience. Those events sound fun and very useful!

@Jools, Perhaps some of your articles are best told in third person while others are great as first person. I like your hubs and keep up the great work!


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

You raise many great points here Lisa. I agree that many writers express their thoughts online as though they are facts and do not back up what they write. Another concern is that writers simply copy what another article says while changing the heading. I am glad that this hub has you thinking more about the topic and I urge you to write a related hub with many of the issues you discuss. I know I would read it!

I do think the Internet is becoming more of a writing venue, although I doubt paper will ever fully go away. I think there will always be paper books as well as online writing. But we shall see!

You have great thoughts and I do urge you to write more on the topic at hand.


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Christy, I enjoyed your well written Hub. My comment is long, but I like that you've raised the subject of first-person writing. I think it's a discussion writers/Hubbers need to have (at least now, while first-person, fiction, and poetry remain within the guidelines on HubPages).

In "writing-in-general", first-person writing is just kind of taken for granted as being acceptable. Writers are often paid substantial money for something like first-person, true, accounts. In print publishing (books, in particular) memoirs as another valid kind of writing. So are first-person stories aimed at educating the public about one kind of thing or another (for example, a story about how a medical condition was misdiagnosed, and then about the consequences, etc., of the person's experience).

Where the phobia/disdain toward first-person writing can happen is on the relatively new "phenomenon" of writing sites, where people who aren't from "the writing world in general" come to a site like this with the idea of approaching their writing in what they believe is a "professional manner". Not all writing sites are alike when it comes to allowing first-person writing. Some, of course, only want "standard articles" written the way "standard articles" are written. Some (like this one) allow for some first-person material if it's written with the idea that the reader (not just the writer) may get something out of the writing. By virtue of the fact that this particular site allows fiction, poetry; first-person/true accounts,and opinion; that tells a lot of writers that first-person is acceptable on this site. In "writing-in-general", the concept of a writer's having his own ideas/voice is pretty much not only taken for granted, but considered important.

Of course, the person who comes to a site like this from a job in, say, accounting or day-care (or whatever) is likely to be seeing his own writing within the very narrow context of trying to write web articles that would be considered "professional" on a site aimed only at writing those "standard web-type articles". Ironically, we're even told by HubPages and Google (in different words than I' m using here) that unique insight/analysis and intimate familiarity with a subject are desirable. We're told (essentially) to aim to write something that "everybody else on the web isn't saying, or has already said (and sometimes on a site with far more authority).

The Internet world has never been a "writing world", so even as far as things have come until now; a lot of "Internet-minded people" aren't really able to sort out the different between what is "purely personal" (not allowed on HubPages) and what is a solid, first-person, informative or enlightening piece of writing, written by someone who either presents only what he knows from his own personal experience, or else what he has learned not just from that personal experience but from research, study, learning he did when he was going through whatever it was. In other words, a lot of "Internet people" equate first-person writing with "fluff", "non-money-making", and "unprofessional".

So, while our books stores and libraries remain full of books (by conventional publishers) with first-person, true, accounts (etc.), there remains the misconception in the Internet world that "the only kind of writing that can make any money is the kind written with "commercial endeavors" in mind and the kind that follows the "traditional Internet rules" of following the latest formula of "what makes money" in Internet writing.

One of my better earnings pieces of writing is a first-person piece I wrote about how I, personally, have gotten myself through times of having lost a loved one. It isn't a "baring the soul" and "innermost thoughts" kind of thing (which would be "purely personal"). It's a matter of my sharing useful techniques (at least for me at the time) that helped me get through such difficult times. Feedback has been that a lot of readers have been glad to find something different "from everything else that's out there" on that particularly difficult subject.

It's too bad that the Internet is so full of people who either don't come from "the writing world in general" (and I mean non-fiction writing that publishers pay for - not just novel and poetry writing), or from the motivation of trying to write something that might be helpful to someone else; because until that changes (and it IS changing a little at a time), there will be that "phobia" against daring to write in the first person on a site where first-person writing IS allowed (as opposed to those sites where, of course, standard web articles are the aim).

Finally, something I see now going on "all over the place" on this site, is people writing what, in fact, IS "personal-thoughts" kind of writing; but, because they don't dare write as if it's a first-person kind of thing, they'll write as if they're "announcing" their thoughts as "facts" and come across as if they think they're authorities (when often, their very misguided "information" makes it clear to readers that the writer is coming across as "a know-nothing windbag". In cases like that, the writer would come across more as he probably is (as a person) if he'd simply dare to present his ideas in the first person. Really - I think the latest phobia about first-person writing on this particular site runs the risk of making the quality look horrible; because while there's nothing wrong with an honest, first-person piece of writing; something that falsely creates the impression of "authority"/"professional" or something that comes across like it's written by a know-nothing windbag is hardly "high-quality writing".


shalini sharan profile image

shalini sharan 4 years ago from Delhi

a really useful article and really good points you have pointed out


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 4 years ago

Very good points; now if I think of it; I have written quite a few items (articles, poems, hubs) from the first person's perspective but usually I address the audience so I tend to use the term 'you' more often than I want.

Thank you for sharing.


Dale Hyde profile image

Dale Hyde 4 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

I was recently criticized from writing some of my articles in the first person perspective. I will not go into all the negative information that was shared with me by doing so, lol.

I firmly believe in what you share within your article here with the reasons given for why one may write in the first person perspective. :)

Well done, informative, useful and voted up!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Thanks, Christy. I really like writing in the first person, but sometimes feel like it is inferior. This makes me feel much better! Voted up and shared!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

At HubCamp in Houston, we learned that writing in the first person can be a powerful tool and that is most often how I approach writing on HP. Naturally if one is writing elsewhere, that may change depending upon the type of business. Voting this useful, up and sharing.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

@scooterport, Why thank-you!

@Vinaya, I have that issue with some of my poetry that is in the "I" voice. You are quite right that with certain genres that is an issue.

@Trinity, You are right that there is "trust" gained. "'I" like your comment :)

@Paul, that is such a great book. If Charlotte Bronte can do it well, so can we! Thanks for the vote, comment, and share too.

@myownlife, Pleased the hub will be helpful for you.

@samsons1, Thank-you! Enjoy your day


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Some of mine are first person and some are third and some are a mixture. My writing tends to be quite organic to be honest but I agree that sometimes 1st person gives a hub that personal touch and I do enjoy writing written in the 1st person as a reader.


scooterport profile image

scooterport 4 years ago from Summerville, Georgia

Voted your hub "thumbs up". :)


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I feel easy to write on first person perspective. But many times people mistake the I character with the author, especially when there are some silimarties.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago

Great article Christy. I agree with you 100%. I find that when I read an article that includes a writer’s personal experiences or endorsements I feel more connected to them and therefore “trust” what they have to say more. Voted up and interesting.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Christy,

This is both and interesting and very useful article. I have recently finished reading "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte. In this book Bronte uses the first person as Jane tells her life story. From the beginning a connection is reached with the reader, and I was really able to identify with Jane and see and feel things through her perspective. Voted up and sharing!


myownlife profile image

myownlife 4 years ago from london

Great hub, Amazingly useful.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 4 years ago from Tennessee

Very good article with great points to consider. Voted up, useful, interesting and shared...


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Wow, thank-you everyone for the wonderful feedback! I appreciate the positive feedback as I like to write what you are looking for answers about or to provide confirmation on writing issues.

The comments are wonderful reinforcement to keep me writing hubs. I am blown away by your generosity to comment, vote, and share. I will be reading your works and look forward to what each of you have written as well.

Also, thank-you Marc and the other readers who explained that first person perspective is not always accepted by publishers. I have amended the opening section to explain this issue and clarify for future readers.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

Great tips, Christy. I've always preferred the first person narrative although many recommend not to. This way I can get into the head of the character and think like they do. I can share inner thoughts, feelings so well as you say. It definitely gives authority and authenticity. I am writing a sf story where the narrator is a woman and I'm having so much fun trying to get inside her head. voted up of course.


SusieQ42 4 years ago

Christy, you're right about using the first person when writing articles! It definitely pulls the reader in and makes it more personal. However, writing for an article writing website often makes that difficult. Clients ask for articles that not written in the first person. We write for businesses who don't want the articles written from a personal perspective, plus they are not published in our names. For a blog, yes, because it is much more personal, but not for businesses. Thanks for sharing this useful info. I've not come across an article about it before. You should get lots of readers! God bless, Susieq42


joanveronica profile image

joanveronica 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

Good article! I usually write in a combination, because I sometimes describe historical facts or productions by other people, or happenings in my part of the world. These I describe mostly in third person, and offer my comments in first person. It seems to work for me!

Voted up, useful and interesting.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I write in the first person most of the time. But until I came across your hub I didn't know that using "I" was a good thing to do. I certainly see the benefits now and thank you so much for explaining it all. Very good hub and I will be sharing!


twoseven profile image

twoseven 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Great points and I completely agree! I had also read in another advice article about writing for Hub Pages that it is a good idea to write in the first person. I find it easier to speak from experience on most topics. Sometimes I will just start the article with my experience, speaking in the first person, and then discuss a topic without adding too much of my own commentary. But I still think it's helpful to put in some personal perspective up front. I know that I appreciate it in other articles when authors let me know where they are coming from! Thanks for the very helpful hub.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I usually write in the first person. I had written my profile that way. Then I read a Hub advising that the profile be written in the third person. So, I changed it. Any thoughts on that??

Thanks for info. I voted this UP, and will share.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Thanks for a helpful look at using the first person perspective in articles.


Marc Babineau profile image

Marc Babineau 4 years ago from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City

Great hub! There are, however, instances where first person writing is wrong, like when writing for Travel articles at Helium.com - there, it is in the rules that all articles must be written in the second or third person, with the third person preferred.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Christy, you always have such good tips and advice. Thank you for sharing this with us.


Angelo52 profile image

Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

Thanks for opening up my eyes to new possibilities. I am one of those who usually writes in third person, although I think I sometimes mix it up. If I is first person, and she/he is third person who is second person?

Voted this up and shared, ChristyWrites. Facebooked too.


rfmoran profile image

rfmoran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

I agree Christy. The first person perspective not only lends authority, but it enables you to engage the reader with your own stories.


LucyLiu12 profile image

LucyLiu12 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

Great advice and explaining the psychology behind the use of I.


tmbridgeland profile image

tmbridgeland 4 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

I agree, and use first person a lot in Hubs. Funny, I hate first person in fiction and never use it. A book has to be really good before I'll put up with first person.


MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

Wonderful advice and interesting article, thanks for sharing Christy! Voted up, interesting, useful and awesome!


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Christy,

Another awesome article on writing tips! Thanks for all the useful information you have been sending our way. It is much appreciated!


Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

Hi Christy, you make good points about the use of 1st. person in your writing. I agree with Rolly that it has to be done correctly and with thought. There are many sites (Some I have written for) that do not allow writing in the 1st, person and require a strict "AP" style. This is one of the benefits of HubPages.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

You seem to have found your niche with these writing articles. You do them quite well. As you know, I much prefer writing in first person and for all of the reasons you so nicely outlined. Great job!


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

Sharing our mistakes and triumphs, great ideas. Yes, thanks for such useable writing tips.


kelleyward 4 years ago

Great subject Christy! I often feel apprehensive about writing from the first person so I'm glad you wrote this. I'm going to try doing this more often. Voted up And shared! Take care, Kelley


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Hey, Christy! There are times when writing less is more challenging than writing a lot. This Hub is a great example of how you've taken what first appears to be a simple topic (and, in my opinion, it really isn't) and presented it to your audience in a literary non-fat version.

Because I write a huge percentage of my articles in the first person, I hung on your every word, and like that pesky guy who keeps shouting "Amen!" when the pastor's delivering a sermon, I was silently punctuating your solid ideas with boldfaced exclamation points.

Wonderful work! You must have had one or two excellent English teachers or writing instructors in your past. They taught you well!


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi Christy... There must be a prize for being the first to comment. This is a great article. There is something about the word "I" which helps draw people into the story. Overuse can be a killer to the reader. Great points here and thanks for sharing...

Hugs from Alberta

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