Everyone loves a good story. When they are well-crafted, stories capture our imaginations and motivate us like nothing else. So why aren’t we doing more storytelling in our blogs?
Each of us accumulates funny, moving and strange stories over the course of our lives — and so do our businesses. It may not seem like a natural fit at first glance, but dig deeper and you’ll find that everything from cautionary tales, like the client who didn’t heed our advice and ended up in a heap of trouble (names and identifying information redacted, of course), to an epiphany-filled saga of the decisions that led your business into its current gangbusters-growth period can help our audience get to know us in ways that keyword-dense, Google News Alert-triggered, predictable copy cannot.
But not if they’re one-sided, muddled or overly dense. And not if they don’t play by the rules of storytelling, which are hard-wired into our very brains: Setup, conflict, resolution. Toss unnecessary information into a story and suddenly the reader knows he or she’s not in the hands of a master. And because we invest emotionally in stories, we’re wary of those from untrusted sources.
Another thing to remember is that effective story-based blogs are written with the reader’s inner dialogue in mind. What is the reader thinking? Expecting? Wondering? What emotional payoff does the writer want him or her to experience through this story? As such, what breadcrumbs must the blogger leave along the way to encourage the reader to continue reading? Finally, what kind of timing does the writer need to observe in order to drive home the point?
And how does that help you if you’re already running out of time to blog or don’t love the writing process? Simple: A great ghostwriter can conduct a brief interview with you or another thought leader at your company and spin those experiences into storytelling gold. And, yes, we just happen to know a few.
But what about you, dear readers? Have you used your storytelling skills recently to make your point in Technicolor? Sound off in the comments section below!