At the heart of any blog is its written content: something we often seem to forget. Whilst striving to grow our blogs, we tend to focus entirely on secondary factors. Things such as growing our social media following, SEO optimisation and sustained brand work seem to take centre stage: the apparent elixir to blog success. But what if we simply put more effort into driving up the value of our blog’s very content: its written word? Could this help grow a blog?
In our experience, this was certainly the case and has led to some fantastic opportunities. In turn, it has also enabled us to grow our audience, retain this audience, sustain sessions and increase our blog traffic. So, where did we begin? How did we turn our previously sloppy, brief blog posts into stories that were regularly read, shared and paid for? How did the written word become our magic wand for blog success?
The answer was our simple decision to focus on storytelling.
Listen as we discuss how focusing on storytelling transformed our blog, increasing both its recognition and exposure. With tips on how to inject creativity into your blog writing, how to rethink the structure of your narratives, and how to set yourself out from the crowd, this podcast is dedicated to the humble written word, and its power to reimagine your blogging career.
Listen here or iTunes:
1.Deciding What Story to Tell – some options:
- The Profile Piece
- The Voices or Perspective Piece
- The Narrative Piece (can you change the chronology of the narrative to make things more engaging?)
- The Day in the Life Piece
- The Explanatory Piece
2. How to Start Your Blog (your ‘way in’):
- Did something that someone said really bring a place to life? Could you begin with their quote or speech?
- What did it feel like as you stepped outside of the hotel for the first time?
- What was the weather or scene like as you came in to land?
- What did you see when you first opened the hotel curtains on the first morning?
- What about the history of the place?
- Any stories or tales to begin with? Folklores or myths?
- Other people’s opinions on a place?
- What were your first opinions before going?
3. What to Include in Your Story
Before you begin your blog post, decide on your ‘take away message’.
What do you want your reader to think? Feel? How do you want them to react?
And how can you bring this out? E.g. could you focus on just one particular experience e.g. a horse ride? Or an experience with someone you met?
Or do you need to tell a bigger story, during which your opinions on a place or thing changed?
4. Your Story – Your Tone of Voice
Remember: this is your story, nobody else’s.
Your tone of voice is one people get to know and enjoy, and they anticipate your blog posts and look forward to them.
This is your blog, your stories and ultimately your voice – and in a sea of thousands of other blogs, it is great to ensure you have a consistent style that people come to know and expect.
5. Tenses, Voices and Speech
- First person speech
- The passive and active voice
- Using different tenses
6. How to End Your Story
Perhaps the most important part of a blog; it leaves your reader with a final thought or feeling.
If you’re telling a story then you must follow that traditional narrative and provide your reader with a beginning, middle and end.
The end provides you with the opportunity to sum up your trip, make a final conclusion, reflect on something overall, or leave your reader with a final taste of a place.
When working with brands, I see the end as my biggest opportunity to leave them with a nice soundbite to use, or text to share with staff or clients.