How to be an excellent storyteller through your blog
Storytelling is a key strategy for fostering deep connections to your audience. Readers are looking for content they can connect to, learn from and interact with..
Stories enable all that and much more. This technique is especially valuable and effective in personal blogs. In blogs where you talk about your life, interests and ideas, readers are looking for stories, fun anecdotes and background information about you. Let’s take a look at how you can leverage the power of storytelling in your personal blog and connect to your audience.
What makes a good story?
If you have never employed this technique in your presentations and writing before, it might seem awkward or difficult to put your words in a narrative structure. To do this as smoothly as possible, you need to educate yourself on some of the aspects that make a story great and captivating.
Specific elements can help stories be memorable. The right combination of these elements implies that:
- The story attracts attention.
- The story continues to build suspense and focus.
- The story allows the reader to fully immerse themselves.
- The story creates a connection or relatable basis between the storyteller and the reader.
The funny part is that marketing storytelling, which usually has a goal of reaching consumers and urging them to buy a product or service, actually follows the same narrative structure as fairytales, novels or myths. Luckily, we have Theory of Literature that teaches us some of the most important elements of a story:
- The Hero
The archetype of a hero should never, ever be underestimated, especially in marketing. In the case of personal blogs, it’s always a safe bet to use your identity and persona as the “hero” character. The hero attracts the reader to get emotionally invested in the story and identify with him.
- The Nemesis
When we think of an arch-nemesis, we usually think of the Joker to Batman or similar characters. However, a nemesis implies anything that presents a problem or an issue to the hero. A nemesis can be a fear, phobia, struggle, trauma, flaw, etc.
- The Action
Static stories are boring stories. Skip the static parts and move on straight to the action. We know, not every minute of your day is action-time, but mostly, writers are interested in dynamics and events.
- The Structure
A story has a palpable beginning, plot and end. Give your readers a fixed structure they can follow and look forward to.
- The Message (Takeaway)
Every good story has a lesson or a valuable piece of information.
Now, let’s take a look at how you can follow these inputs and order these elements in your personal blog:
1. Find your voice
In the beginning, it can be hard to find the exact way you want to tell your story. Should you be professional, serious, quirky, funny, cheerful, irreverent? These are just some of the millions of options you have to choose the voice for your story. As a start, you can look at some of your previous writing to determine all those writing elements that set you apart. These tiny bits are special and differentiate you from all other bloggers out there. You can use ProWritingAid’s Repetition Tool to identify which words, structures or phrases you use often.
Don’t worry about writing style recommendations. All too often, the texts we run into online are all grammatically correct and writing guide-friendly, but they lack emotion. The reason for that lack of emotion is the lack of imperfections. Don’t be afraid to be proud of some of the imperfections in your writing style.
2. Cooperate with experts and use tools
When you’re a beginner in storytelling, all those conflicting information can confuse you and discourage you from beginning your storytelling strategies. This is why we recommend working with experts in the initial phases. You can also use tools to determine and predict how your readers will respond to your content:
- Best Writing Advisor – determine the best writing services you can get.
- Find essay writers – professional essay writers have a special knack for storytelling.
- Readable – a good story is highly readable; check your writing’s readability score with this tool.
- Grammarly – next to basic grammar and spelling, this tool has advanced features that will show you how engaging your text will be.
3. Learn about the science behind storytelling
We have already mentioned some aspects of how storytelling in marketing is based on behavioural science. The main secret of the power of storytelling lies in the phenomenon called “neural coupling”. This term implies synchronicity between the brain activity of the storyteller and the listener.
When it’s correctly structured, storytelling will immerse the reader and sync their thoughts with yours. This is exactly what you want to achieve as a blogger. You want to be able to see and interact with your stories from the reader’s perspective, which can sometimes be challenging.
4. Think outside the box
Storytelling stems from taking a step back from direct selling and persuasion. Our goal is not to sell a story, but just to tell it. Think of your personal blog as a new neighbour who just moved into town. Nobody knows anything about you. What would you say? Who are you and why did you move there – in case, why did you start this blog? Where did you live before and why did you choose this new place to live?
If we also own a business or offer a service, let’s say, it’s a safe bet that our neighbours would sooner come to us or recommend us than to look for someone new or a stranger. Why? They forged an emotional connection to you. They have heard your story and felt a connection. You didn’t go around the neighbourhood showing your products. First, you introduced yourself.
This principle is very well-known and widely used in the business world, especially in the industry of personal blogs. You can think of your personal brand’s storytelling as a spider web that will encircle everything: from explaining who you are and what you do, to design solutions. Your storytelling is exactly the thing that will set you apart from other brands that offer the same service.
5. Connect to emotions
Storytelling is not about making up a story. Everything that makes your personal blog tick is simultaneously a story, and you don’t have to try hard to find details you can incorporate. It’s important to know how to approach that information and encapsulate it into an easily understandable and attractive story.
Don’t be afraid to get personal – reveal some details about your humble beginnings, what motivates you, whether what you do runs in the family, what about your family members? Talk about your relationships with clients. What do you strive to achieve in the future? It’s crucial to connect a piece of information to an emotion. If you manage to do that, congratulations – your storytelling just started using the power of emotional branding.
6. Listen to feedback
The best part about sharing stories is that you are more likely to receive feedback from your readers than with any other type of content. Usually, people comment, like, or share your stories when they find them relatable or influential in any other way.
When you start getting comments and feedback, start paying extra careful attention to what they are saying. Are people liking your story because you’re talking about something they have experienced, but not a lot of people talk about? Or is it because your stories are powerful and trigger strong emotions? Track the responses of your readers to know what works and what doesn’t.
7. Spark a discussion
When great stories end, they are not really over. They trigger passionate discussions and conversations because they’re universal and impressive. Take a look at Shakespeare’s works – people are still discussing them passionately 400 years later! Maybe Shakespeare is an extreme example, and you don’t want your personal blog in 2400’s school curriculums, but the intention should be the same. There are many examples of stories online that are still being discussed months and years later.
The easiest way to do this is to forge strong connections between your blog website and social media networks. This is where most users will share and comment on your content.
8. Use multimedia content
When we think of stories, we generally think of words and sentences. Still, the notion of a story is much bigger than that. Actually, the more you manage to immerse your reader into your story, the more powerful of a response you’re going to get.
Images and videos are the easiest way to get there. Readers can more easily visualize what you’re saying if you combine it with other types of content, rather than just verbal expression. Contemporary digital storytellers are now exploring even deeper immersion techniques and have built their storytelling much wider than pure words.
Storytelling is a term that sounds so easy-going and fun, but it can be quite challenging to incorporate it into your personal blog. It’s especially challenging because you should share details about your personal life and family, which is something a lot of people are afraid to do online. When it comes to managing these insecurities, make sure you never cross any of your boundaries and share only those details that you really want to.