Think back to when you were a child. Do you have any fond memories of a parent or grandparent reading bedtime stories to you? Perhaps you requested the same book each night, treasuring the language until you had the whole thing memorized. Then, a little later in life, maybe you stayed up late reading Harry Potter alone in your room, skipped around in a Choose Your Own Adventure tale, or even fell under the spell of an audiobook.
Most of us have powerful memories involving stories, and there’s a simple reason for that: As human beings, we are wired to make sense of world through the prism of narrative, understanding ourselves as characters within a much broader plot, contextualizing events via the language of prologue, rising action, climax, and conclusion.
Simply put, stories resonate. They help us make sense of things, and they help us remember. By injecting storytelling into your blog posts, you can ensure content that is “stickier,” much more liable to grab your readers’ emotions and to remain lodged in their brains.
Before we go much further, it may be helpful to clarify our terms. When we talk about storytelling, exactly what do we mean?
Here’s a basic definition: Storytelling is an approach of conveying information in a narrative way. Though all stories are different, most of them have clearly defined beginnings, middles, and ends. Stories create emotional stakes that make readers or hearers feel invested, and by the end of the story, they feel as though they’ve accompanied you on a journey somewhere.
Storytelling isn’t just the province of fiction. Even if you’re simply sharing information about a product or service, you can explain it in a way that presents your customer as the protagonist, facing obstacles that your product, service, or brand can help them to overcome. Likewise, you can share industry insights in a way that is narrativized, helping your readers to feel a real sense of connection to whatever topic you’re writing about.
What are the Elements of Good Storytelling in Blogging?
The question is, how can you incorporate storytelling into a business blog? While there’s not a blueprint or a secret formula, there are a few ingredients that go a long way. These include:
A Strong Opener
Great stories tend to grab us with compelling opening lines. Consider beginning your blog posts with a surprising statistic, an unexpected premise, a brief personal anecdote, or even a provocative question. Create emotional investment from the very beginning, or you may lose your chance to do so at all.
A Narrative Arc
The typical narrative arc is beginning, middle, end. Or, if you prefer, introduction, rising action, climax, and denouement. The important thing is to create a sense of structure for each post, helping your readers feel like they’re going on a journey. This often means introducing a problem, explaining the risks/stakes, then showing how your product, service, or brand can offer a happy ending.
Don’t hesitate to inject a little bit of your own lived experience into business blog posts. This can humanize your content, making it more relatable and authentic.
Quotes and dialogue can also be helpful ways to humanize your content, create emotional connections, and even enhance your pacing.
Good stories need relatable protagonists. For business blog posts, the most relatable protagonist of all if your reader! Rather than making your blog posts all about you and your company, center the reader’s experience—also called the hero’s journey. Make it all about their problems or pain points and show how they can overcome simply by choosing to work with your business. Remember, every person wants to be at the center of their own story… and your customers are no different.
Create Strong Stories with Each Blog Post
We all love stories. To make your business blog content more compelling, consider ways to inject narrative into each post and embrace the power of storytelling in blogging. We’d love to brainstorm with you about the best ways to make that happen. Contact Grammar Chic, Inc. to schedule a consultation: Reach out at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.