Story Telling in Your Blog Posts

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Filed under: Blog Topics, Marketing Tips, Writing Tips 

April 14 BBC Oakland WorkshopCheryl and I (Beth Barany) had a wonderful Breakfast Blogging Club workshop last week in Oakland. Our topic of the day was how to write a success story. To a full house of entrepreneurs, we covered how to tell a compelling story in approximately 500 words, then covered how to create links in your post.

How do you tell a story in your blog posts and why is that’s a good idea?
I’ll start with the “Why.”

Stories immediately hook us. We’re hard wired that way. We’re curious by nature. And reading a story about another person creates an instant bond.

How do we do that in 500 words?
With Challenge, Action, Result, that’s how. Start by taking notes for each segment. Then weave them together to create your story.

Challenge
List the problems or challenges your clients have when they come to you. This is why you’re in business — to solve these problems.

For example, aspiring authors come to me because:

  1. They really want to write a book but don’t know where to begin. I call that problem overwhelm.
  2. They really want to write but their creativity is blocked in some way. Yes, that’s commonly known as writer’s block.
  3. They don’t know how to navigate all their publishing choices. Generally, I call that confusion.

Actions
Pick one client you had success with and list the actions your client took based on your working together, or list the actions you took for your client to solve his or her problem.

Problem: Karen came to me mostly because of confusion. Hollywood was calling for her story and she didn’t want to give up her story just like that. What were her options? Karen Lodrick had caught her own identity thief in the streets of San Francisco. I found out in our initial conversation how important maintaining control of her story was.

Actions we took:

  1. I de-mystified the publishing process. Writing a book would give her more control.
  2. I helped Karen set up a regular writing schedule and regular check-ins with me to keep her on target.
  3. I advised her on how to write her book proposal and then edited it for her.

Results
What was the result of all that action? Or in other words, what are the benefits your client experienced based on your work together? Be sure to list tangible and intangible benefits, like the emotions of success, and what that looked like and felt like to your client.

In my story, Karen finished her polished first book. Yeah! She felt great about it, empowered and happy to be in control of the telling of her story. Now, she’s sending her book proposal out to agents and editors. And that is my success story.

Now it’s time to write yours!

Timed Writing
Set your timer for 20 minutes and write!

Remember, in your timed writing NO EDITNG! Tell your inner critic, “Please go to lunch, or to the library, or go shopping.  You can come back later.” Just start writing. To paraphrase one of my favorite writing mentors, Anne Lamott, “You have my permission to write a sh&*^tty first draft.”

Ring! Pencils up! Stop!

Editing
After you edit your post, you can add links and a photo, if you want. Then post!

Happy Blogging!

Comments

3 Comments on Story Telling in Your Blog Posts

  1. Cheryl on Tue, 21st Apr 2009 9:47 pm
  2. Thanks for posting, Beth. You did a great job describing our last meeting and I know future visitors will benefit from the writing exercise you outlined. Remember the A-HA moment Susan had during the meeting?! Awesome!
    Also, what do you think about a future session on how to create and foster IN-bound links, both those which you can control and those you can’t – but require finesse and relationship building? Hmm…?

    [...] This is a shameless reproduction of Beth’s original post on a success story. I just adapted the characters and the context to fit my reality. I hope Beth forgives me, but I [...]

  3. Beth Barany on Tue, 14th Sep 2010 9:14 am
  4. Fabienne, Glad you did! Steal away! ~Beth