Storytelling as part of a brand is nothing new. Small or large, businesses these days like to inject a story into their ethos. The reason why this is the case is a no-brainer: storytelling structure is coded into our minds, it’s integral to the way we interact with each other, and it lends itself perfectly to communicating any story you need to. The use of storytelling techniques is also extremely flexible, and can be used for anything that needs to convey an idea. Like a blog post.
Determine Who the Bad Guy Is
Stories need heroes and villains. If the hero of your story is the idea that you’re promoting — a couple’s compatibility can be judged by their social media pages, weddings are not very fun to go to, the world is run by lizard aliens — then the villain is the opposing idea. So in the “the world is run by lizard aliens” example, an opposing idea would be “the world is not ruled by any one entity”.
This conflict between ideas is what will fuel you to create the best writing on the topic possible. A film where the main character is not acting in opposition to something is literally pointless, and thus boring and ineffective in communicating anything. The same is true for your blog.
Note that the villain does not have to be explicitly featured anywhere in the post. It doesn’t even have to leave your outline to be effective. Just keep in mind what you’re combating by your writing. If the blog post you’re working on is about organizing closets, and the enemy you’re attacking is not messiness, your writing doesn’t have a snowflake’s chance in hell of being effective in conveying your “fold everything” message.
The villain in this post, if you’re wondering, is writing with no clearly defined message.
Make it Relatable
Great stories are those where we can recognize our life, and so are great blog posts. Make your blog relatable, and it will instantly become more attractive to readers. Here’s how you do this:
• Write the way you talk. No one likes pretentiousness, even pretentious people. You’ll do well by simplifying the language you use and keeping your sentences on the shorter side.
• Make it about the reader. Since you’re writing the post for someone consumption by someone else, keep in mind that it’s not about you. So make like a book, and be all about your reader. Know them well, and you’ll know what they want.
• Get on their level. If you’re an expert on one topic or another, make sure that what you’re writing is accessible to a novice. No one loves having to tab out of the page to Google the professional jargon you’re using.
Use Storyboarding to Form Your Post’s Narrative
Every story has a beginning, middle, and end, and so does your blog post! Storyboarding is a fantastic method of organizing each part of your post so that it’s as cohesive as possible, and adheres to a singular, self-contained narrative.
The longer your post is, the tougher time you will have of keeping all the contents of it in your head. During the research phase and before starting to outline your post, try storyboarding. Take all the essential parts of your post, and put each of them on separate post-its. Place them on a wall, and add/remove/reorganize them as you see fit.
This will allow you to easily visualize what goes where and after what in your post, something you can’t rely on your head to do, especially if your brain is busy with all the other work it has to do. This way, you have an easy method of visualizing the structure of your writing, and a way to change it.
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