Blog Storytelling as a Conversationalist
Writing a great blog means you need to engage the reader with compelling ideas as well as relevant information. It’s like being a great conversationalist; everyone loves the person they meet at the party who listened. The question becomes how do you write content in a way that listens to the reader? After all, it is a one-way dialogue.
At the same time, you don’t want to be the person rambling on about the day you went to the Mardi Gras parade and flashed the crowd.
Well, maybe you do. That is, after all, pretty eye-popping content.
Your Blog as Party Conversation
Imagine yourself at a party. You meet someone at the hors d’oeuvres table. Trying not to be rude, you try to say, “Hello,” with a mouth full of carrots. The person introduces themselves and begins to tell you about their job. While they are very excited about running audits on small companies, you prefer to chat about your cat. Finally, you get the chance as he finishes his 15-minute ramble. Unfortunately, the person is allergic to cats and excuses himself from the conversation.
Assume now that you are the reader, munching on carrots at lunch trying to find “fun cat toys” during your break. If Google sent you to content raving on about IRS auditing cat shelters, you’d probably bounce pretty quickly. It wasn’t your intention to read something so heavy. You wanted 15-minutes of fun cat stuff while eating your carrots. Party on.
The Reader’s Perspective
There is no secret that Google’s job is to answer questions posted in the search engine that someone is looking for. It rewards content that does a good job answering those questions. But anyone who has built a brand on personal experiences knows that blogging requires relating to your reader as well. This means you need to balance answering questions with relating to the reader.
Who Cares What I Have to Say?
Most every blogger I talk to deals with this insecurity. We all want to know if what we have to say has value or meaning. Does anyone care about this? We need to flip this script and not in the way that your typical mindset coach will advise. There is an audience for everyone. Think of it this way: all the young pretty starlets and hot young studs go to Hollywood hoping to be the next star.
Joe Pesci isn’t exactly what most people consider studly. But his look and character bring so much to every role he plays. He has an audience. There is a place for everyone’s success if they are willing to find where they fit.
Here’s my perspective and story: I grew up with Aesop’s Fables. They were entertaining, after all what kid wouldn’t jump at the chance to read, The Horse and the Ass? The moral of this story is that every one of Aesop’s Fables centered around the moral.
The moral of the story is …
Words that are used every day as parents teach children through mistakes and experiences. This is the foundation of your story – your blog. If you approach every story you tell from a position of considering the why you are telling it, you will naturally offer answers to the questions people are popping into Google.
The Fine Line of Self-Indulgence and Relating
When I wrote my book, Stay at Home Single Mom, I had to constantly ask myself why a reader would need to hear a story. Every anecdote had to be scrutinized and if it didn’t drive the book’s purpose forward, it needed to be cut. It didn’t matter how cute or clever the story was. Keeping it in for no purpose other than that is self-indulgent.
When you have a purpose, that is where the magic of relatability happens. That is where your tribe follows you and starts to come back for more. Even a joke has a punchline. It’s what ties it together. Those who are great joke-tellers have a gift of mixing nailing the punchline with tone and timing. The same is true for great storytelling in blogs: the greatest bloggers mix purpose with relatability by nailing the tone and timing of both.
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