Want more blog readers? Then let me take you back to your childhood…
Can you remember when you were a kid, and you used to like having stories read to you?
Even if you knew the book inside out, there was always something a bit magical about having someone read it out. Stories are one of the best bits about communication – we all like to hear them, and there’s a familiar structure about them which we automatically respond to, as we’ve been doing it for years.
Think about some of your favourite comedians.
What do they do to pull you in to a joke?
They tell a story. They start out on familiar ground, describing a situation or place until you can visualise it, and then they introduce various elements to keep you engaged. The laugh they get at the end is elicited in part because they’ve pulled you along with them, only to surprise you at the end.
Writing for blogs is a similar process.
Here are some tips for telling stories in your blog, to keep your blog readers onside as they read your posts…
Set the scene
It can be confusing when people ‘meet’ a new blogger for the first time. Your reader is faced with your writing without any introduction, and has to quickly get used to your writing style and deal with any unfamiliarity about your writing before they can relax.
Setting the scene really helps to get your readers on board, as they can immediately picture where you are taking them, and follow your style more easily.
Instead of launching straight in to your main points, take some time to explain what you are going to say, where your experience has been learned from, and what it has meant to you.
People don’t really respond to dry, inhuman information. It really helps if you generate understanding through empathy.
Ways to do this include adding in a personal anecdote to your writing, using colloquial language and putting your personality out there. Think of blogging in the same way as you would making friends with someone for the first time.
Let your personal qualities shine through in your writing, to generate loyal readers.
Nothing sells a blog entry like making someone laugh. Even if the joke is entirely at your expense, it’s worthwhile!
Tell them something they didn’t know
Giving your readers valuable information, or surprising them with a few interesting facts will take your writing to the next level. People enjoy doing things that are worthwhile, so it makes sense to let people come away from your blog feeling as if you have changed their opinion about something, offered some new facts, or challenged their existing views on a particular subject.
Back up any data you introduce, and show your readers where to go next for more information.
Storytelling at its best is a two-way communications process. Instead of telling your readers everything, why not elicit their feedback? Rhetorical questions such as ‘What do you think?’ or ‘Can you remember when…?’ draw your reader in and invite them to leave comments.
Make it easy to follow
Jargon and abbreviations turn people off instantly. No-one wants to feel as if they are out of their depth when they visit someone’s blog.
Keep things simple, well-structured and clear from the first paragraph, or you’ll send your potential customers and readers scurrying back to Google to find a new source of information.
Bring your story back to the beginning
In every good story, all loose threads are tied up and there is a happy ending. Think about where you started your entry, and the themes you introduced, and then come back to them at the end.
This leaves your readers feeling satisfied that you have taken them on a small journey and then brought them safely back to where they started from!
We all like to hear stories, don’t we?
Can you remember when you last read a great blog story? Share your views in the comments below.