Success Starts with Storytelling
What does it take to attract a loyal following of subscribers and sponsors?
Some bloggers make it look so easy that it makes you wonder if there is a secret formula.
The truth is, successful blogging starts with storytelling.
Successful blogging requires a variety of factors. Yet, storytelling is the most fundamental skill to learn. If you cannot master the art of storytelling, subscribers and sponsors will overlook you.
Don't fret! This article will teach you 6 storytelling strategies to snag subscribers and sponsors.
Storytelling Strategy 1: Grab their Attention & Keep it
In today's fast-paced world, getting a reader’s attention is only half the battle. The other half is keeping it.
One way to do this is to use a hook. Your first line should hook your readers into your story. Use a question, a challenge, a shocking statement or a vivid opening line. This hook places your reader into the first scene of your story.
Now that you have your reader’s attention, focus on maintaining it.
Spare the boring details, remove redundancies in your story and keep the momentum going. Instead of keeping your story in chronological order, focus on getting to the conflict. The sooner you can deliver the dilemma, the better. Next, overcome the hurdle and share your message.
Storytelling Strategy 2: Have a Message
A story with a motive is a powerful marketing tool. People do not buy items. They buy experiences, stories, and fantasy. Your message should always center around this psychology of consumer behavior.
- Have a clear message right from the beginning with a concise title.
- Consistent messages targeted to your niche keep your content relevant, reliable and memorable
- Use images to support your message and enhance your story
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is the value of a thousand words paired with powerful pictures?
The use of images in your content marketing strategy is valuable. By adding images, your content becomes more appealing, memorable and powerful.
Keep in mind that your message should have a motive. Your message should drive the reader to act. Use images to provide visual fantasies for your readers and you will earn influence.
- Images improve the readability of your page as it breaks up your content.
- Adding images helps your SEO. Add keywords as alt-text to improve SEO scores.
- Images heighten brand recognition and help clients remember your message.
Strategy 3: Don’t Be Afraid to Be Vulnerable
Readers remember good stories. Good stories don’t feature you as a perfect person or some kind of hero. Be vulnerable. Talk about when you screwed up.
If you think this will take away from your credibility, think again. Readers connect with you when you admit your mistakes. You actually become more credible because you seem, well, human.
Remember, nobody wants to read an article full of self-pity. Thus, it is important to find balance in your writing. Point out your flaws and joke about it. Continue your story by showing how you resolved your mistake. Your conflict resolution re-establishes your credibility as an expert.
Strategy 4: Use Cliffhangers
Keep your readers wanting more. People want more when something is taken away from them. Don’t believe me? Think about a conversation you had with someone who stopped mid-sentence only to say “oh, never mind.” That probably drove you mad with curiosity.
Use a cliffhanger to leave your readers wanting more. Pay attention to the use of cliffhangers in TV drama series. Watch to see how producers and writers master this skill to get viewers to return.
Suspense is a powerful motivator. A cliffhanger transforms writing into entertaining content that influences readers to return.
Strategy 5: Touch Your Reader’s Soul with Your Words and Their Senses
Include the five senses to master the art of descriptive writing. Knowing how to incorporate sensory detail seamlessly into a blog post can be difficult. To help with this, think of your post as a stage and aim to create a scene.
Instead of writing, “She felt sad.” try creating a descriptive picture by writing: “The pain in her heart from her sadness became unbearable as tears welled up in her eyes.”
Notice how the descriptive version makes you feel as the reader. You can visualize her sadness by seeing tears build up in her eyes. Depending on your own life experiences, you probably can relate to her heartache.
The use of descriptive writing and imagery can actually touch the soul of your readers. Incorporating the senses into your writing creates a connection with readers.
Strategy 6-Be strategic when selecting images
Visuals can enhance your storytelling process if you are strategic when selecting images.
- Find images that look natural
- All photos you select should resonate with your audience.
- Visuals that reflect human experience are ideal.
- Always use high-resolution images.
- Get free high-resolution images from Pixabay.com
- Aim for captivating images that you wish you could jump right into.
- Incorporate Instagram into your storytelling strategy to give readers a behind the scenes perspective.
The use of sensory images in your blog post creates a picture in the minds of your readers. Stories are not only entertaining, they make ideas stick. Including visuals makes your brand even more memorable.
Visual Storytelling Is Critical Now
Newspaper, magazine, and television ads are nearing extinction. Big companies are desperately turning to social media influencers to market their brands.
Despite this time of opportunity, millions of writers continue to saturate the blogosphere. This impacts you, the budding blogger because you need to stand out somehow as competition gets steeper.
Visual storytelling is what will set you apart from the pack. Use these six strategies in every blog post.
If you can master these techniques, you can be one of the most powerful marketing agents in the world. You will convert your visitors into subscribers and your advertisers into marketing partners.
Jacquelyn Ward is the founder of DIYDESIGNMOM.com, a home design blog for busy moms on a budget. Ward, a branding expert with a marketing degree from Rutgers Business School, recently launched JacquelynWard.com, her branding agency that specializes in helping bloggers fine-tune their identity and overall branding strategy. You can also follow Jacquelyn on twitter @JacquelynWard and say hello!