I feel that first person hubs are considered as egotistic or egocentric. But they develop a personal rapport too.
On the other hand, the articles in Wikimedia etc., are not written in first person. Maximum number of articles on first page of Google are also not in first person. Is it a coincidence ? Is traffic related to first person or not ?
People do not want to read boring egocentric stories that seem like blog posts. They want to see how the information applies to themselves, so third person is better. But I do like to interject first person now and then just to show that I have experience on the topic, and for parts that are my personal opinion that others might disagree.
We've discussed this recently here:
I agree with you Millionaire Tips. A little tinge of first person now and then may be okay to show the personal experience on the topic.
Thanks for the link. It is a great discussion.
I think it depends on the topic. Certain how-to articles are much more interesting and helpful to read if the person writing has actual experience. You can also use your own photos.
Sometimes people are searching for travel essays, and not simply travel information about a locale. It helps to write in the first person if there is an engaging story to weave through a travel article.
There is so much boring material online. I actually like reading articles written in first person and will often click on one simply because it is written in this style. I guess also it depends on your primary goal by publishing online.
Agreed. I write craft how-to lessons, and vegan recipes. People want to hear that I actually made the thing I'm writing about. I often say things like "at this point, I did this, but you could do this other thing if you wish", including the reader in my process.
And just to keep the ego out of it: I often document my failures, and include them in my instructions as examples of what not to do. My regular readers love it when I inadvertently light something on fire...
Wikimedia articles are what I choose if I have insomnia - just kidding. They are good information, but they have no pizazz or life. They are great for seeking facts and info only, for research.
My opinion from a lot of experience over the years is that you need a little bit of both. For example, I live in an old fixer upper of a house. I need good, solid information when I am going to fix something around here, but I also want to see that the person behind the text has experience.
If they tried something that didn't work, or something that made a process easier; I'd like to hear that in first person. Tell me the story. That's hard to do in 3rd person without sounding boring or unconvincing. So much info on the web is spun and can be just plain wrong.
Different pieces of writing call for different things. Most medical material for example is horribly dry and full of just the facts. Perfectly fine for a medical journal. If blogs were 3rd person and boring - zzzzzzzzzzz. Your readers would quickly move on to find something more engaging.
There has to be a good blend of personality and outstanding information. Often, it's the injection of the personality that takes "just information" and makes it more valuable. Too much personal information though is also not good. If everything is personal - nobody cares what I had for breakfast for example, then yeah, that turns people away too.
Balance is key. Writing on the web is different than writing we learned in classes that was all super formal and 3rd person. We live in a colorful world and there's a lot of competition. I'm going with colorful over drab.
I am no great writer but the way I see it is that first person is like you are talking directly to the reader. I see articles as if I were sitting next to the person telling them what I know or think about the topic. Then the "I" comes naturally.
It boils down to your voice and what works for you, we are all wired differently.
I say third person with a bit of first person, if needed. People are interested in themselves more than they are interested you. "How to Plan Your Wedding" will get more hits than "How I Planned My Wedding." The exception would be if you are writing a humorous first person essay.
But what I hear from the pro's on HP is that people are looking for information on the internet more than stories. As the others have said, a little bit of first person adds credibility and variety. Use it judiciously. That being said, everyone should write the way that feels comfortable and natural for them and in a way that is consistent with their motives for writing.
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