Master This Technique and Get More Blog Readers

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storytellingWant 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.

Create empathy

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.

Introduce humour

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.

Invite input

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.

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30 Responses to Master This Technique and Get More Blog Readers

  1. Biodun April 9, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    Good points, really giving your visitors valuable information they want is really a great way to make they come back and even gain additional readers. Give your readers the exact information that they’re looking for. Most people who are using the internet these days are looking for tips and techniques that they can use, solutions to their problems, guides on how they can reach their goals or aspirations, and answers to their burning questions.

  2. pravakar April 9, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    Wow! Amazing article. You have really given secret tips for getting more visitors to the blog. out of all point i very much appreciate this point”Tell them something they didn’t know” which is most necessary to keep engage reader.

  3. John Soares Intelligent Productivity For Freelance Writers April 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    Excellent points here Andrew.

    I feel there is a tension between wanting to tell an interesting story (what you advocate here) and a desire to get people information quickly.

    We live in an information-saturated world on the Internet, with thousands of things competing for our limited attention and limited time.

    I do a mix of posts, some that try to do what you advocate here, and some that are short and to the point with a quick delivery of information.
    .-= John Soares Intelligent Productivity For Freelance Writers´s last blog ..Google Page Rank 2 Just 28 Days After Creating This Blog =-.

  4. Tom April 9, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    I have only just started watching all the comedy festivals that are on TV and reading this post made their structure really predictable.

    Having a guideline is a great way to ensure that you are achieving what you set out to do, and I think I’ll have to give this one a shot (although my humour isn’t that great!).

  5. Dana April 10, 2010 at 3:05 am #

    Just wonder whether tech blog also can do this tips — especially telecom blog — because there are so many jargon and abbr. in that niche.
    .-= Dana @ Blogging Tips Blog´s last blog ..A Learning from recent Google Page Rank Update: Link Out is Never Hurt! =-.

  6. Dennis Edell April 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    I do tend to babel on some, lol, but readers seem to eat it up; it’s all good. 😉

    I’m with John though, sometimes quick and to the point is best, especially with easily actionable posts.
    .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!!!!! =-.

  7. Chris April 11, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    Oh, Yeah! Hit the nail right on the head baby. There is no telling the power of a good narrative. People like stories because life is a series of small stories.

    p.s. for some reason I keep getting my comments marked as spams no matter what I do. I think you should really fix that Andrew.
    .-= Chris´s last undefined ..Response cached until Mon 12 @ 21:25 GMT (Refreshes in 23.96 Hours) =-.

  8. Arafat Hossain Piyada April 12, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Nice point mentioned by you Andrew however I don’t think every niche can follow this all but some point can be follow in each type of niche. One need to choose which is good and which should be excluded.
    .-= Arafat Hossain Piyada´s last blog ..Use Flickr GeoTag As Tag into your images semi-automatically with Flickr GeoReverse =-.

  9. Arafat Hossain Piyada April 12, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    As a tech blogger I feel It’s hard for me to follow most of your tips. While I review a software, most of the time I need to follow the straight way than using too much jargon because people will visit that article just because to know the capability of that tool. As my site is search engine depended and most people are average user I always try to take less of their valuable time. Another thing is, it hard for me to use humor often in my article. I personally love comedy and funny content but I unable to put my fun sense in my article. Hope I able to describe the issue.
    .-= Arafat Hossain Piyada´s last blog ..Cluesify: Another fun travel game =-.

  10. Ted Hessing April 12, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Absolutely agree with you, Andrew. We (as humans) love, love, love a good story. From the Epics of the Greeks to the Sagas of the Norse, a telling a good story has been THE way to pass on knowledge, instill values, influence people, and attract followers.

  11. Mark John April 13, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    Yup, you’ve got all the elements there. And don’t forget what Billy Wilder said: “Grab ’em by the throat, and never let ’em go.” Perhaps a nice way to say it would be, “Get their attention immediately, and KEEP it.”
    .-= Mark John´s last blog ..Free Affiliate Marketing Tools and Website Promotion Strategies for Newbies: Part 1 =-.

  12. Tom April 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Just this year I started telling stories on my blog. Worked like a charm.
    First I thought that I was writing great posts because they were straight to the point, described a problem, offered a solution, you could read it in one minute and move on.
    I can’t even remember why I started a series of stories. Maybe because I just wanted to do something new. And people just loved it. They were looking for the next one, they were tweeting it, and asking me when is the next. So, I’m not done problem solving, but not done story telling either. I can just highly recommend this approach. What’s best about it is that it makes it much easier to start a dialog with your readers.
    .-= Tom´s last blog ..Receive A Free Web Accessibility Review And Hundreds of Links to Your Site =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      April 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

      Excellent, Tom.

      Sounds like you have made the trasition to story teller!

      How much difference have you seen?

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..How to create awareness for your blog =-.

      • Tom April 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

        Andrew,
        It is hard to tell how much story telling was responsible for the growth of my blog, because I did other things on the site, but I can share some statistics with you which I think were pretty much direct results of story telling.
        First of all, people had something to look forward to. In a way I reached out to a new audience. Also, there was a reason to come back. For example, the first story was posted in three parts weekly. I remember before the third part people were tweeting about it and when I posted the third, they tweeted the previous ones for those who didn’t have a chance to read it.
        Also, I have linked up the stories so that once you are done with the first part, you can just link to the second, etc. At the top of each you also have a link to go to the first part. When I was done with one story and moved to a similar one, I linked the different stories together, assuming that if you were interested in one, you may like the other.
        What happened was I noticed an increase in how many page an individual user visits.
        Also, ever since I’m running the stories, I get a ten percent increase in the newsletter subscription. However, around the same time I placed a box to subscribe above every single blog post, whereas before I only had a link to it, so this may have helped too.
        .-= Tom´s last blog ..Why Is Braille on Drive-Through ATMs? =-.

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