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.
Readers 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Note from Sophie: Want to learn more about how to build and sell a story? Check out 4-Week Journalism School to pick up the reporting and storytelling skills you need to earn real money as a writer! Training starts on May 8th. [That's an affiliate link, btw.]