What’s the one thing that will almost ALWAYS lead to:
- more followers,
- more sales,
- more traffic,
- more shares?
People engaging with your content more/better.
And what’s one way to leverage that in your blogging?
Using examples, stories, metaphors, and other awesome copywriting techniques!
Kaleigh Moore (https://www.kaleighmoore.com/) is a veteran writer who has blogged for some incredible brands, and today’s she’s stopping by to talk engagement, writing for HUMANS (not robots), and way more.
Let’s engage ?
Psst. You should also go check out Creative Class, Kaleigh’s ongoing project with Paul Jarvis 🙂
Here are my takeaways from this interview:
Blog post i
ntros are incredibly important.
Let’s pretend you’ve written the world’s best article on dog grooming.
It’s 10,000 words, incredibly valuable–dog owners will learn a
But answer this: What are they 2 steps would-be readers must take BEFORE getting all that value and paying you $29.95?
Before you add value to readers (and therefore increase their brand loyalty to you), you have to A: earn their click, and B: hook them into reading your blog. That’s what intros are for.
If you can’t hook readers into scrolling down the page and continuing to read, you won’t be able to add as much value, and no amount of list-building or funnels will matter as much.
Intros are important.
Stories, examples, questions, and metaphors work well for blog post intros.
Bryan Harris (back when he blogged) did this incredibly well.
He would always start his posts with a real-life example or story–or at the very least a question followed by some bullet points.
I.e. go back and read the top of this blog post. Did it make you scroll down? Every millisecond counts.
Here’s another example:
What’s the point of these? To get you more interested in the answers he wants to provide us in the rest of the post.
3 ways to dream up stories that engage readers.
Remember, we don’t care how awesome the story is, as long as it illustrates the point we’re trying to make with our audience.
That’s what keeps them engaged.
1 – ABN (Always be Noticing)
Sorry in advance, but this method isn’t very #actionable right now.
The trick is to train your brain to always be on the lookout for interesting events, stories, happenings–that you can then take back to your blog one day.
The good & bad news is that you could literally notice anything and use it for something.
- a funny joke you heard
- something cruel your boss did
- what your 3 yr-old said at the grocery store.
The secret sauce is recording stuff you notice so you can use it later.
I recommend using the voice recorder app on your phone. When you witness something that would might serve as an example for something, tell the 30-second version to your app and move on.
1.5 – It helps to have a bank of blog post topic ideas beforehand.
As Kaleigh mentioned in our chat, “noticing” stuff that would make excellent stories for your readers is WAYYY easier when you have a good ideas of what you’ll be writing about.
Hopefully you have a content “idea bank” somewhere, yes? You have a blog plan, yes?
2 – Draw on personal experiences.
The easiest stories and examples to tell are the ones that actually happened to you.
Check out this blog post intro from a while back:
Before I lose you, let’s address the most difficult part of using stories on your blog…
How to “remember” stories you can use while you’re currently writing something.
Thinking up a personal story for something you’re currently writing is though, but here’s a little help:
- Go back through your iPhone or Facebook photos
- Think about emotions–how’d you feel?
- Think about takeaways–what’d you learn?
1 – Use photos as triggers.
If you’re searching for a perfect example, one way to kickstart some ideas is by looking at old photos, and remember the memories behind the photos.
This will jog your brain into thinking about stories! The trick is to then keep thinking through those stories and get to something you can use.
2 – How’d you feel?
If I told you to “think of a perfect example for this point,” you’d be on the struggle bus.
However, if I told you “think of a time you were happy” or “sad” or “full of energy” or “completely bed-ridden sick,” you could do that easy, yes?
What were the circumstances behind those emotions?
- I partied so hard I woke up sick
- I ordered the wrong thing at a coffee shop, and get 3x the normal amount of caffeine
- My girlfriend dumped me for my best friend, and it was tough.
Draw from these stories.
3 – What’d you learn?
Using the previous exercise–what was the takeaway?
What’d you realize about the world? How’d you grow? How did you NOT grow?
Thinking through this answer will also help kickstart some storytelling ideas you can take to your blog.
Remember our point ?
To keep readers engaged with your content so you can continue to add value to them (resulting in
3 – Just make something up.
Well, don’t deceive people with anything important, but I see no harm telling stories of little real consequence.
This is even easier when you make up the characters as well.
One time, my friend Jimmy phoned me at 4:25am…
I mean, who does that for ANY reason other than something terrible happening?
So what did he want?
- to tell me his relative died?
- to tell me to pick him up from jail?
- early morning booty call?
It turns out he couldn’t sleep, and wanted to talk to me about the latest Keanu Reeves movie he saw.
I was dead tired, and regretted even giving him my phone number.
The lesson? Make sure you set clear boundaries with your new friends BEFORE you give out your phone number.
The above story?
I completely made that junk up.
Is it interesting? Not really. Useful by itself? Not at all.
However, even the most boring story in the world CAN still serve an important purpose: to engage your readers into a point (and to keep them interested in your post!)
Comment below: Are you good at coming up with stories that serve as illustrations?
What tips do you have for generating these stories?