Close
Close

Why Stories are an Effective Communication Tool for Your Blog

Screen shot 2009-11-02 at 9.56.45 AM.pngAs I write this it is the first Tuesday morning of a new month and I’m sitting in a local coffee shop going through my ‘start of the month routine‘.

It involves a large lattè (everything else hinges on this) and some delving into my blogs metrics to see how they’ve been performing.

While I do keep track of the traffic stats of my blogs each day I like to set aside an hour or two at the start of each month to go a little deeper and do some more analysis of trends on my blogs – I find that when I do this I notice things that I can build on to continue momentum on my blogs.

This morning as I was looking at the type of posts that had done well in the last few weeks on my blogs I noticed an interesting trend – many of them were ‘story‘ type posts.

Both posts got a lot of traffic, were linked to by numerous other blogs and were re-tweeted more than normal.

I’ve always known how powerful ‘story posts‘ can be on a blog but I decided to dig a little further to see whether this continued deeper than just the last month.

What I discovered was that story posts have been among the most popular posts on this blog over the last 5 years time and time again. They’re not the only type of post that does well (there are a few other types of posts that do well – we might explore these in a later post) but they certainly have performed very well for me.

Here’s a few more examples of popular story posts:

I could go on…. and on! Each month that I looked back on through my blog here at ProBlogger a story type post featured in the top 2 or three posts.

Why are Stories Effective?

A lot could be said about the reasons why stories tend to do well on blogs but here’s a few reasons that I’ve seen in my own experience:

  • Stories engage the imagination of readers
  • Stories go beyond facts and theories
  • Stories reveal something about yourself as a blogger (they’re personal)
  • Stories trigger emotions and the senses
  • Stories are conversational - they stimulate others to react and tell their stories
  • Stories provide hooks for readers to latch onto in your blogging (they’re relatable)
  • Stories grab and hold the attention of readers
  • Stories are memorable – while people don’t always latch onto facts and figures – a good story can be remembered for years
  • Stories 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 blogs topic here) may not be quite as fascinated – unless you use the story to illustrate something about your topic.

Now that we’ve looked as some of the reasons stories are effective on blogs – in my next post I want to extend the idea of story telling with a 2nd post that explores some of the types’ of stories that you might like to use on your blog.

This post is another part of the Principles of Successful Blogs series. Previous principles explored are Listening, Trust, Usefulness, Community and being Personal.

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.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. J.D. Meier says:

    I think stories light up the ideas with an instance. They also help make things concrete and specific.

    Some stories are blah, blah, blah, but effective stories nail the emotional hook and lob some insight over the intellectual wall with ease.

  2. Gold Bullion says:

    I’ve always known how powerful ‘story posts‘ can be on a blog but I decided to dig a little further to see whether this continued deeper than just the last month,what do you mind..???

  3. money online says:

    I think writing a story with an unusual topic, unique, rare and against the flow will be very interesting visitors. different but remarkable

  4. Well I totally agree with this.Stories published on to blogs provides a new way of reading blogs.Its a great concept appreciate it lot.

  5. Hmmmn. I think it’s time for a story. :-) I’ve tried to make my about page reader-friendly and enjoyable, but my posts tend to be more how-to and fact giving.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Yes! Stories are powerful. There is research that shows that we process information in our brains in a story format. (I have a chapter on this in my latest book). Stories always grab attention and get the message across.

  7. Jeff Bode says:

    What I love about stories is that people can relate to stories and they are more engaging then other forms of writing

    It’s no wonder that stories are an important part of any good sales page, people actually live the benefit of the product in their mind if you can communicate a good story

  8. Yes, right on the money. Stories can definitely keep the interest of the reader better than a generic article.

  9. free income says:

    Sharing real stories is the most powerful way of marketing, it always grabs attention of readers

  10. Stories are capable of holding the attention of the user. Articles can never replace the effect produced by the story.

  11. Once upon a time on a dark stormy night in Queensland I was reading a blog post when I realised that I wasn’t reading it for the information but for the story.

    I think people really identify with the people who write blogs and hunger to learn more about them. It’s like a soap opera or reality show they get hooked on and look forward to seeing what’s going to happen next.

    So keep telling us your stories. We’ll keep sharing ours. And with any luck we’ll all live happily ever after.

  12. I remember learning in my cognitive psychology class how story telling and analogies were great ways to disseminate information, especially when it comes to situations involving problem solving and decision making.

    You nailed it! Great post ProBlogger!

  13. I learned to tell stories in Al Anon. It’s a program for people who love someone who’d rather die than not drink. My dad was my alcoholic.
    But before I could tell my own story, I had to listen to the stories of others. It was through their stories that I recognized myself and finally began to understand who I was and who I’d been since before I could remember.
    Through other people’s stories of hope and healing, I gained hope for healing myself.
    So I think the best storytellers — on blogs, in books or in person — are the people who can listen. We all need someone to listen to us. It’s one of the best gifts we can give to others. And to ourselves.

  14. Ron says:

    Good advice. Another thing is that blog readers usually relates more easily if they are reading a story-like post, rather than a teacher like approach.

  15. SEO Denver says:

    Stories are everything!

    Some of the best advice I ever received regarding interviewing for new staff members involved making the candidate tall you a story. Without a story, all you get is philosophy. If you are looking for someone with accomplishments to her/his credit, they will have a story for you.

    Thanks! Wish I’d come across this post sooner!
    MAS

  16. Jon says:

    Agreed- I’m a big fan of finding the happy medium between being personal enough to let your readers enter your world without boring them with too many details. It’s a fine balance that most people cannot get.

    On a side note, I did an experiment of clicking on many of the names of people who have commented on your blog (older posts) to see how many are still online, and it’s stunning how many of the sites no longer exist or are inactive. Opens one’s eyes to how hard it is to be a success in this arena for sure.

  17. Mike A says:

    I recently posted a story that tied to another blog article and an event this weekend It will be interesting to see how each of these help to drive traffic to the other as well as creating some background for the event

  18. Clara James says:

    Hi Darren,

    I am agree with you. If we tell interesting stories to other it will attracts people towards us, so similar case in link in link building as number of visitors reads our story it will be beneficial for gaining some traffic. The interesting blog like keywords used property and real estate blog.

    http://allrealestateproperty.blogspot.com

  19. sord87 says:

    even tough some of the points about blogging right tips is true but it seems not relevant to my blog.Posting some stories would be definitely for a personal blog like problogger.

  20. Greg says:

    Telling a story is the the only way to make a goog blog post. It allows the reader to make a personal connection with you. It also makes them feel they know you and forms a trust bond which will keep them coming back for more. Great Post

  21. Excellent post. It’s so true how stories do engage the readers. They create a connection between the writer and the reader.

    It is not hard to find stories to use. All one need do is pay attention to what goes on in their day, connect it with a point and write about it. Nice lead ins to blog posts.

    Cheers
    Kathleen

  22. david corbin says:

    darren, couldnt agree more. stories have been the backbone of history – and, by the way, the root of a lot of religious wars but that’s the yin and yang of everything, i guess.
    my life’s work, as a therapist, then business advisor then mentor to mentors has been to Illuminate the Negative, not just Accentuate the Positive- to serve as an effective consultant i learned to be a trusted and loving ‘insultant’. So, after many years, I wrote a story! Actually, it’s a business and personal development parable.
    if you would like, i’d love to have one sent to you for your review because im so dang committed to get the message out there in a BIG way. wiley published the book and, happily, it’s doing pretty well. i think you’d enjoy the story and message. yes?

  23. Free PS3 says:

    There is nothing more enjoyable than hearing somebody with a good voice telling an interesting story!

  24. Without the story, your would be nothing but like a trash. The story is the essence of every blog and it’s important to gain more vistors on your blog.

  25. Miltski says:

    Affiliate writers normally writes as if there’s no one will read their article. They write like a maniac, making them even more productive. I have read this book, in fact, one of my favorite book. It’s some kind of dull and boring content. But what makes it more interesting is that, as you read the book, the authors speaks as if he is behind you. I guest it’s one thing that we should take into consideration.

  26. There are some good points here. I bet most people wouldn’t even have considered this.

  27. Arijit says:

    Nicely written… And i absolutely agree with you that writing on the Popular trend is highly effective for the bloggers…

  28. Ok, stories, but what if you’re writing about something, i don’t know, like web design or computers. But thanks for the tip about the book, will definetly read it.

  29. nicole frye says:

    I HAVE FOUND ALL THE INFO I NEEDED ON YOUR POSTS, YOU HAVE HELPED ME A GREAT DEAL! ALTHOUGH IM STILL LEARNING, YOU ARE THE MOST HELP FOR ME TO FIND MY WAY AROUND TWITTER. IM JUST TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO TALK BACK AND FOURTH WITH PEOPLE STILL AND HOW TO ADVERTISE SUCCESSFULLY THE MOST APPEALING AND EYE CATCHING WAYS. AND ALSO SOCIALIZE, HOPE TO BECOME A TWITTER EXPERT SOON! THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP. NIKI FRYE

  30. seslialmanya says:

    Telling a story is the the only way to make a goog blog post. It allows the reader to make a personal connection with you. It also makes them feel they know you and forms a trust

  31. I’ve always thought a latte and a newspaper or magazine was the perfect way to start a day.
    Progress forward, 10 years later, the latte still stands and nowadays I have a laptop with me. I still like to read the stories from people’s lives, so I now provide in my own blog, lots of stories, some amusing, some tragic, some interesting.
    Everyone loves a good story.

  32. Web Hosting says:

    A different story definitely works for you. I’ve found that looking at recent past events, finding a common thread in those events, and then spinning them into the theme of our blog has worked well to grab the readers’ attention. People really love to know how one successful person did it and how he overcomes his mistakes. That’s a great work you have done here.

  33. Alex says:

    Analytics and story blogs, what a great method of blogging! I must say story blogging is a far more attractive way of retaining readership over a straight factual or descriptive blog. Good to see Darren is making good use of this method to retain readership and surprise readers for creative and effective blogging techniques. Good Work mate!