Every time my daughter starts a story she says, "once upon a time" and usually follows that with "becaaaaaaaause." She's three. I'm hooked. But that's mostly because she has an adorable lisp and everything she does is magic.
There are entire forms of marketing consulting that center around storytelling. This is fine. But I'm not talking about micro-stories in an ad or fake testimonials (which companies use under the guise of storytelling... no shade... just saying). What I want to talk about is how to write a blog that tells a story. A story has inherent elements in order to be entertaining. And, I may get a little haughty here, but not everything counts as a good story. We've all watched a movie, gotten to the end, and thought, "um... what?" Stories can start out well and crap out at the end (I'm not talking about Lost but also I am).
Elements of a Blog Story
A story MUST have a few basic elements to be remotely interesting. These include:
- A protagonist (hero) and antagonist (villain) - something good, something bad. Doesn't have to be people. But without it, you can't accomplish much.
- A coherent story line. This includes a beginning, middle (in which something happens or changes) and an end (outcome). I love a good Indie film as much as anyone but if nothing happens, well, you shouldn't write about it.
- Conflict. Something must be forged in the crucible, so to speak. This is typically the top of the arc in a narrative. If that's gibberish, please read some novels. I'm not being snarky - it really will help you immensely.
So, as long as you have characters, actions/events and some kind of conflict, you can create a story. This doesn't have to be epic. A story can be sweet, funny, simple, ridiculous, awe-inspiring, etc. It probably shouldn't be tragic. You still are trying to sell something, after all. And on the internet.
Now, how do you pick the right story for a blog?
The Right Story for a Blog
It probably goes without saying that if you are using a blog to market your business, you should do this in accordance to your brand voice and sales strategy. The goal is to leverage what you know about your customer's behavior and give them a story that will inspire them.
A blog story should:
- Relate to your reader, both in the characters themselves and the problems they have.
- Illustrate your brand's strengths to solve problems.
- End on a high note.
Blog Storytelling Resources
Illustrations are more powerful than me going on and on, so here are some examples of places around the internet where people have done great stories on their blogs:
Some more resources to hit up to hone this skill are: