5 Ways Storytelling Helps Your Blogging Stand Out

Today is a beautiful day. Not only are you feeling creative and writing great posts, but you’ve just signed on a new client.

Your new client’s hired you to propose creative ideas to ramp up their company blog. The blog has a few subscribers and plenty of informative content, but the content is just OK.

Nothing featured on the blog stands out. Nothing inspires you to read more or share it.  How you can help this client increase their readership and build their brand online?

Look for the Story Behind the Brand

Whether you’re crafting a pitch, creating copy for a website, or offering fresh ideas for a blog, approach all of these outlets as different ways to tell a good story. 

5 Ways Storytelling Helps Your Blogging Stand OutReaders enjoy stories. They like to share content that they can connect with, stories that move them emotionally.

As writers we have the natural ability to tell stories, but how can we kick it up a notch and make sure all of our work wins over new readers and new clients? How do we tell stories that move others to share our work and love our client’s brand?

Consider these storytelling techniques when you approach your next piece:

5 Ways to Tell a Story That Stands Out

  1. Action.  Once I was describing how an artist approached his craft, and found myself describing his artworks instead. I rewrote the story to describe a specific scene in which the artist went to work creating a piece. Think about showing us an action scene in your story. Use emotive action vocabulary and an active voice to describe the scene.
  2. Emotion. What is the emotional appeal of the blog? A story where your client has helped someone succeed, overcome a challenge, or created positive change in a community can resonate well with an audience. For each story, try to center on one emotion, and then craft the story to evoke this emotion in the reader. Spend extra time editing out parts that distract from the emotional center of the piece.
  3. Theme. Does the blog have a larger purpose or message behind it? What are the themes? Brainstorm a list of themes that the client can focus on to reach the right audience. For example, a tech blog may want to build out a community theme including posts focused on teaching coding to youth or giving back to the community. Make sure the desired themes come through clearly in your posts for your clients.
  4. Soul. We love to connect with others when reading. Telling a person’s story can be a great approach for any blog. When writing another person’s story, make sure to show us the soul or the personality. How does this person speak? What are his or her unique attributes? Use descriptive language when writing a person’s story to help draw the reader in. We want to feel like we know the person when reading his or her story.
  5. Artwork. Visual storytelling can be a great way to compliment stories. Depending on the client, you may want to include multiple visuals in each blog post. For example, a design, landscape, or food blog will typically include many enticing photos. Avoid describing the visual in your blog post. Find at least one powerful visual for each story, and use the visual to complement your words.

Tell Your Own Story to Succeed

As freelance bloggers our writing is our number one way to help us stand out online. When a client looks over your website and portfolio, you want them to enter your story. Here’s how to get them hooked.

  • Sum up your story. Add a one-liner that’s tailored to your ideal clients. For example, “A Midwestern girl with a love for all things mobile” or “A nonprofit blogger strengthening the disabled community”.
  • Use your About page to reveal a personal story about who you are as a writer.
  • Link to pieces that show your own storytelling style. Show your natural voice in your web copy. Your style will appeal to the right clients for you.

Don’t forget that your pitches are the prime time to show (and sell) your storytelling skills, too!

What’s at the heart of your freelance blogging story? Tell me your tale in the comments.

Image: chefranden

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  1. says

    I was trained more as a creative writer than a business writer, so I’m finding it very hard to break into the business blogging industry when those companies say they want someone with “technical experience.”

    My angle is this exact strategy that you wrote about, Amanda, and I’m finding that only the clients that like it are the ones I care to write for, anyway. They realize that personable, creative writing will attract customers far more than bland, technical writing will!

    • says

      Definitely! Some publications are technical, and that depends on the audience. But in so many cases providing strong, clear writing with an interesting touch goes far.

  2. says

    “Readers enjoy stories. They like to share content that they can connect with, stories that move them emotionally.” –Right on. Not to mention, people can better comprehend concepts and ideas if there are stories behind them. Telling tales is also a sure-fire way to make you more memorable. Great post, Amanda!

  3. says

    What about the elements of conflict and climax. You just contradict with a famous business proverb and everyone will look at you. For example if you put the title of your post; “You can succeed more if don’t work hard”; all will click to read its details because everyone wants a magic wand for the solution of all his problems. So we have to search where is the soft belly of our target audience to hit it accurately without any missing.
    A great post you wrote with lot of unique ideas in it that makes me believe there is not dearth of good writers on internet; just need is to explore them, read them and say Hello to them. So hello Amanda nice to meet you here

  4. says

    Hello, nice to meet you! And yes “You can succeed more if don’t work hard.” I would click all over that. There are a lot of storytelling techniques you can use.

  5. Naomi says

    Thank you for this post – very good reading! Yes, I feel that storytelling is the essence of good writing in any context. If I’m engaged in a story, I want to read further – that’s human nature. This is a great post with a lot of good tips.

  6. says

    Hey Amanda Lewan,
    lovely post. i must agree that story telling makes a blog stand out and telling a good story to deliver ones point of view is a concept I’m currently learning to implement in my writing career as this brings out the uniqueness of my personality. and is a concept I’m learning from Annette Simmons – Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins – How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate With Power and Impact.

  7. says

    Wow, this is a powerful post. I am having a really hard time telling a story with my ckient’s blogs, as they want certain themes, and I’m unable to cite my sources (for instance, I can tell a story about how they served their client, but I can’t use their names.). I am going to see how creative I can get this month.

    • says

      I think there are ways you can approach it without using names. Try writing it to put the reader in a certain situation (Imagine you are having this problem…) and then talk about how you solved it for a customer. Or, make up a character name based on a true experience?

  8. says

    Thanks, Amanda, for this useful reference list of ways to tell a story.

    What I particularly like about storytelling in blog posts is what it can do that your main static sales pages can’t. Much like testimonials, you can often use stories to as a better way to get across the message about what you do, what you stand for and how you can help people.

  9. Anthony says

    I believe in story telling.

    A child represents the human race in its purest condition so if she says stories are cool then as bloggers we might as well agree and apply it in our posts.

    Personally, I love stories and basing on the many posts that I read everyday, if the story fits well, the post is potent.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  10. says

    I think another great thing about story telling is that it makes it more memorable. Adding in something a bit personal makes yourself or your blog/brand/company/business/whatever much more relatable. If you’re relatable, you’re more likeable, and more people will want to support you and see you succeed. Great post!

  11. says

    I love story telling and try to use it as much as I can in my post. But it also depends on the types of post that I write.

    Thanks for the tips. I will definitely incorporate them in my writing.

  12. says

    I love story telling and I’m dying to learn the craft. But to get it right is another story. I usually find myself standing on a blank wall. I have everything stored in my mind but turning them into words often leads me in the twilight zone. I want to burst out my angst and all through writing but this “thing” keeps me mum…Yay!

  13. says

    Jeulyanna, we all feel that way sometimes. Try focusing on one small aspect to get the writing started. Describe the person in the story, the setting, whatever it is that get’s you started. Once I get it out, then I go back and make it nicer.

  14. says

    Hi Amanda,

    I just realized–I gave a comment but didn’t say hello and we haven’t met yet. So… I’ll touch the tip of my hat, flash my most charming smile and say hello Amanda… I’m Anthony. Nice meeting you here… :)

  15. says

    Stories are more memorable than boring facts. I often use stories in my blog. Each one builds around a Biblical concept and makes it more real to the reader. No preaching but ways to apply lessons to your life. Sometimes I fail and just write googedly goop, but I learned a lot from blogging that I can apply to other writing.

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