What makes a storyteller great? It’s the same thing that makes a content writer great – they understand how draw you in and make you believe.
My daughter has been blogging this summer, and she came to me this week with a statement I hear from people all the time. “I have nothing more to write about.” So we started talking.
Her belief stemmed from thinking that because she started a story on another blog post, she couldn’t use the same thoughts again in the current one she was writing. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When a person finds your blog post, they are usually coming in on that blog post. Which means they’ve been pointed to your post via Twitter or Facebook, the search engines, or maybe your newsletter. In any case, they don’t live and breathe your business like you do. So they don’t know that three weeks ago you wrote a post on something similar, and essentially started your story. You can tell them:
“Three weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about …” and then hyperlink it over to your post so they can read if they choose to do so. But they don’t know the beginning to the story unless you tell them.
Every post is a single thought.
Every post is a single story.
Every post should have a beginning, middle and end.
And if you infer previous knowledge into your post, you’ll likely lose and confuse your reader. Which is the last thing you want to do if you are trying to gain a following, and gain new customers.
Before you start your next blog post, ask yourself a series of questions:
- What do I want to teach in this post?
- What knowledge do people need to understand before reading my post (if any)?
- Can I hyperlink them to other pages on my site, or throughout the web in order to make my point stronger?
- Can I use pictures or graphics to provide a visual to what I’m talking about?
- Does my title sufficiently state what my post will be about?
- Does my post tell a story, and have a beginning, middle and end?
If you think about the best movies, or the best books you’ve read, it’s probably because the picture was painted so completely, you almost felt you were there along side of the characters. The beginning gave you enough knowledge to become intimately involved with the characters. The middle provided some hurdle or some problem they needed to overcome. And the ending gave you the solution – a solution you could buy into and accept.
While a book is going to paint a much deeper picture than a blog post, on a smaller scale it’s a similar process. State the problem, and give a solution. Set the stage in the beginning to make you get involved with finding the solution. And allow people to get involved.
Whether you fill up your blog with content, or wonder how to Tweet or Facebook again and again without getting bored – or boring others – just remember it’s always about the story. Your story may be 140 characters long, or span 30 blog posts. It’s all content. And in order to make people want to read more, they have to come along on the journey with you. No matter how long the story needs to be.
And that’s the only way to become an effective content writer.