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Tell a Story – Rediscovering Your Blogging Groove Day 7

Rediscover-Blogging-Groove--1Today’s task in the Rediscover Your Blogging Groove project is to tell a story.

One of the more helpful books that I’ve read in the last couple of years is The Story Factor by Annette Simmons. In it she talks about six different types of stories and how they can each be important in influencing people.

These six types of stories are:

  1. “Who I Am” Stories
  2. “Why I Am Here” Stories
  3. “The Vision” Story
  4. “Teaching” Stories
  5. “Values-in-Action” Stories
  6. “I Know What You Are Thinking” Stories

I’m looking to write a series of posts on these types of stories in the future so won’t go into great depth about each one except to say that stories are incredibly powerful ways of communicating for bloggers.

Stories are effective because they:

  • engage the imagination of readers
  • go beyond facts and theories
  • reveal something about yourself as a blogger
  • trigger emotions and the senses
  • provide hooks for readers to latch onto in your blogging
  • are relatable to readers
  • illustrate your points in ways that can be much more convincing (and convicting) than other types of information

The key with stories on blogs is making them tie into the rest of your blog – ie make them relevant and ensure that they have some point to them that is useful to your readers on some level. While telling the story of how your dog dug up your vegetable patch might interest you, the readers of your blog about (insert your blog’s topic here) may not be quite as fascinated – unless you use the story to illustrate something about your topic.

So what type of stories could you tell on your blog?

Here’s a few starting points:

  • Personal Discovery Stories – tell how you discovered a lesson. These stories show your readers how similar you are to them.
  • Stories as Analogies and Illustrations – tell a story that on the surface has nothing to do with your topic but which illustrates a principle that is very relevant
  • Success Stories – tell how you achieved something. These stories can be inspirational and motivating for your readers.
  • Failure Stories – I find that these stories are incredibly powerful – particularly if you are able to show some lessons learnt through a failure
  • Tell Someone Else’s Story - sharing the journey of someone else and how/what they learned can be effective
  • How I did it Stories – these practical stories can be effective because they talk your readers through a process in a relatable way
  • Picture Stories – using images or video can be another great way of communicating a story because it engages the senses in a way that text can’t (similarly – audio posts/podcasts can do this too).

I’m sure there are plenty of other types of stories to tell. Feel free to suggest your own in comments below.

Homework – Tell a Story

It’s time to write your story post. Post it on your blog and then come back to the comments section below to share it with us so we can see how your approached it.

Examples of Story Posts

If you’re looking for some examples on story posts – here are a few stories that I’ve written here at ProBlogger.

Read the rest of the Rediscover Your Blogging Groove Project

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Well written failure stories definitely work, they seem really personal and it seems like the blogger is actually speaking directly to you.

  2. Hmmm I haven’t done that yet. Thanks for the tip! I’ll be doing one soon.

  3. Bruce says:

    I love it when a browse a good blog and it immediately plants the seed for an upcoming post. I sellbooks and my blog is about book selling. I think the story or rather why I gave up IT and went the crazy local book guy route is intersting and will tie right into why I now blog on the topic. Thanks!

  4. Bruce says:

    I love it when a browse a good blog and it immediately plants the seed for an upcoming post. I sell books and my blog is about book selling. I think the story or rather why I gave up IT and went the crazy local book guy route is interesting and will tie right into why I now blog on the topic. Thanks!

  5. I like to encourage readers to share their experiences and stories as it encourages participation and offers a personal touch to this online medium. My example:

    Reader Shares Her Values for Baby Step #2

    http://millionairemommynextdoor.blogspot.com/2007/07/reader-shares-her-values-for-baby-step.html

    Thanks, Darren, for offering these great ideas and the opportunity to share. I find your blog most helpful.

  6. Wendy says:

    Stories with analogies have to be very carefully done, if the point is too obvious it might make readers feel that you’re talking down to them.

    On the other hand I love reading about how other people do things, even if the story has an unsuccessful ending or unexpected consequences.

  7. Danilo says:

    Pardon for pointing out Darren, but you wrote “books that I’ve written”, instead of “books I’ve read”. I think thats what you meant right?

    By the way, excellent selection of stories, they create an excellent personal touch to the blog.

  8. RT says:

    Darren! Got a party to go to? That should be the daily attire of the Problogger. Or should we say, PimpBlogger?

  9. jen says:

    I’ve done a tale of missing readers story. I think I’ve revealed something about myself that I haven’t before and it’s something a lot of bloggers can probably relate with.

    I’m keen to read others’ stories.

  10. I could and probably should write a story on starting my first business at 13, and all of the events leading up to my current success. I’m sure it would help someone .

  11. Tim Peter says:

    Great post, Darren. I decided to kill two options with one post. I told the story by asking the question, “What’s stopping you?”

  12. B. Durant says:

    Great advice! Stumbled!

    The only thing I wonder is if I write a story is it more important to be about the blog itself, or about me personally? Gut instinct say me.

  13. Hey, Don! says:

    I’m telling the “story” this week of a two-man coffee roasting company in Pasadena, California.

    I’ve got a few pics and it’s my first use of video.

  14. …and the great tips just keep coming. Thanks for sharing these tips with us. Sometimes we need a “blog refresher” course to remember what we’ve forgotten!

    Don

  15. Xavier says:

    This post is excellent! Very good Darren! Thanks!

  16. Thanks for the tip about the book, Darren. I’m going to read it. My blog this week is a story. Story posts are my favorite blogs to write because they usually are truest to the purpose of my website. And thanks for creating ProBlogger — it’s an extraordinary site and a great help always.

  17. Shine says:

    Darren, your photo rocks!

    Thank you for the nice post, as always!

  18. CatherineL says:

    Brilliant tips Darren – and great outfit. I can’t call you the boring blogger any more now that your secret is out. How much does Donald Trump charge you for renting his wigs?

  19. This is a great post! I’ve been blogging now for about a week, and My last post was telling a story to illustrate a point, but you’ve illuminated some of my mistakes! Thanks!

  20. Davidlind says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to share. I just started blogging in June. This blog is winding down but last night I posted something that illustrates to me what you are talking about. Maybe. But I will use your story guidelines in the future and try to become better at telling a story. Day seven? I have some catching up to do.

    http://myidol.americanidol.com/blogs/Davidlind/2007/07/22/Shes_Just_Really_Cool

  21. Davidlind says:

    Oh great! Now I go back to day one and find out it’s not about sharing or linking back here.
    Just open mouth.
    And insert long link.
    Oh, well.

  22. Bush Mackel says:

    Hm. Once again, something I never thought of. *shocker* I think this could really help me connect with my readers. I’ll give it a whirl!

  23. Shaji says:

    Thanx Darren,
    I learned a lot from you and I will continue to write in my bog about Kerala (My native place) with great enthusiasm…..

    Kerala arts and culture, Kerala news, Kerala tourism, Kerala articles, Special places and events

  24. In response to this post, Darren, I have posted my story about How I Made Money Blogging, but I ran into some problems everyone can learn from.

  25. CatherineL says:

    I wrote a post on why rapid growth can kill your business for this project, based on mistakes I’ve made, but it’s still in drafts. It was a great exercise to do, but i don’t think my blog is ready for that particular post yet.

  26. Deb says:

    Okay here it is. Yes, it’s way too long. But some stories can’t be told short. While writing for yourself can be suicide for a blog sometimes that’s the only place we get it.
    http://gscottage.blogspot.com/2007/07/fired-blog-back-to-sanity.html

  27. I have been blogging since my first article on June 1. It is nice to hear a problogger tell me that I am doing something right. I usually tell a story in my articles. I feel like the personal touch is important. An example of one of my stories is found at http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2007/06/most-influencial-person-2-survival.html .

  28. Lansy says:

    I have lots of stories in my blog. Come and find the jewels in the sand…maybe some wild jokes in the Unfinished fairytale such as Mr. Frog’s mobil bathroom biz or the little blue fellow’s spicy bikini

  29. gameguy says:

    This bit of homework was more difficult than I thought it would be, but I had fun doing it. I’m not sure how it will be received, but we shall see.

    Here is my story on marathon gaming sessions at
    http://play2relax.secretundergroundlair.com/?p=47

  30. Kristina says:

    Here’s my story–”tale”—-about how my son Charlie learned to play the piano:

    Innovative Piano: A Tale of Two Music Books.

  31. David Mackey says:

    I like the idea of telling stories as illustrations.

  32. Dear Darren,

    Here’s the method that I used with telling a story:

    Run, Forrest. Run!

    Blessings,
    Geoffrey

  33. Ben says:

    Thanks for the idea, I wrote about the wonderful things our blog and podcasts have done for my wife and I professionally. It may interest some of you!

    http://www.notesfromspain.com/821/