There’s a new buzzword that’s being bandied about these days in the world of blog content writing: storytelling. People who hire content writers for their posts do not have to worry about staying up to date on this stuff. But what about everyone else?
Of late, there has been a significant push toward quality over quantity, and one of the best ways to do that is through great storytelling.
As AdAge recently pointed out, great storytelling is something that is relevant to every industry in the world, from beer companies to being a politician.
Can Your Audience Relate to What You’re Writing About?
When writing about something that is easy to sell, such as the aforementioned beer or a new virtual reality game, it is usually quite simple to find a way to write about it in a way that the audience will really connect to it.
However, it becomes a much bigger challenge when trying to write about something that just doesn’t have the same curb appeal.
So how do you tell a great story when you are writing for something like a waste management company?
It starts with creating content that your audience can relate to or see a bit of themselves in.
Take the real estate industry for an example. Odds are good that you already own a home, have owned before or you are thinking about buying instead of renting.
So, as an exercise, look up the phrase “why you should buy a home.” Google turned up over 83 million hits on that search. And some of the stories are pretty good, too.
One of the first stories to appear in the search engine results is this one by The Balance, titled “5 reasons not to buy a house and 5 reasons you should.” And it’s a perfect example of writing relatable copy.
It starts by addressing the uncertainty of someone who probably Googled something like “why you should buy a home.” Anyone who has entered this into their search engine is currently thinking about purchasing a home, but is likely not completely sold on the idea.
The article recognizes this and immediately addresses this concern by discussing relatable worries and weighing the pros and cons.
Sure, this story won’t win any high-falutin’ journalism awards, but it plays on the readers’ emotions – and by doing that, it has been read and shared by thousands of people.
Just being able to accomplish that is impressive enough as it is in a marketplace where you are constantly having to compete with the over 4 million blog posts that are published online every single day. (See the bottom of this post if you would like to learn how to promote your content.)
Phrasing Is Everything
This really has two different meanings. The most obvious one being that the actual words that you use in your writing have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the storytelling. Using complicated wording, boring wording, or simply not enough wording, are all things that can have a drastic impact on the kind of results that your writing gets.
Perhaps just as important as this point though, is the phrasing of the article’s point in general. Every piece of writing should have the goal of answering one question. It could be as general as why someone should buy a house rather than renting or it could be far more specific, such as explaining the benefits of having dual exhaust on a high-performance vehicle.
Either way, both of these pieces of writing should have the goal of answering the question of why someone would do A when they could instead do B.
Asking the Important Questions
With the vast majority of business writing, there is a simple formula that can be used to figure out the best way to phrase an article. Whatever the topic that they are interested in writing about is, they simply need to look at it from an objective point of view and ask themselves three questions.
- What is happening that shouldn’t be happening?
- What is not happening that should be happening?
- And what problems have been solved thanks to this new solution?
By running through all of these questions and coming up with answers to them, it gives the writer a much better understanding of how they should go about phrasing the article. If someone is scrolling through the internet looking for an article, then they are much more likely to click on something that is phrased in a way that it relates to them.
For example, when given the choice between one article titled “Why purchasing biodegradable products is good” and another article titled “How purchasing biodegradable products can save you money and save the planet”, chances are that they are going to click on the second one instead.
This is because it frames the article in a way where it includes the reader as part of the subject matter and phrases it in a way that it is presented as a direct solution to a problem in their life. Using this simple trick can help to turn any topic, no matter how niche or boring it may appear at first, into a must-read for their customer base.
Improve Words With Numbers
The importance of using statistics in writing is not something that can be overstated. When it comes to storytelling, statistics are like a roaring campfire. If used properly, they can be an extremely useful thing that allows you to more easily accomplish your goal. However, if used improperly, it can blow up in your face and completely ruin what you were trying to accomplish.
So while including statistics in storytelling is very important, you must make sure, above all else, that you are using statistics properly. This means presenting statistics in a way that includes actual numbers rather than just generalizing by saying things like “the majority of people” or “over half”.
You also need to ensure that the statistics that are included in the writing are totally relevant to the topic at hand. Never include statistics just for the sake of including statistics, because this will just disengage the audience from the writing and make the storytelling far less immersive.
If all of this is done properly, then the resulting story will not only put readers in a situation they can relate to, the statistics will also tie it all together.
The Devil Is In the Details
“People like to read about people, and everyone has a story to tell,” says Charlie Moore, business editor for the Albuquerque Journal, in an exclusive interview with Article-Writing. “And, yes, one good detail can make a story.”
“What makes a good detail? Something that is emblematic of what you are writing about, or of the person’s life, or maybe just something that hits you as particularly poignant.”
Be careful with those details, though. A 5,000 word opus extolling the uses of CNC mills would probably even put the CEO of an engraving company to sleep. The same goes for using jargon that only people in the industry you are writing about would understand.
“What’s difficult, sometimes, is getting someone to talk in detail about a job or process that they are intimately familiar with,” Moore said. “They may take for granted something that is completely familiar to them, but which may be a ‘Huh, I didn’t know that’ moment for someone outside their world.”
There’s No Such Thing as a Boring Story, Only a Boring Storyteller
Take a look at some of the TV shows on cable. You’ll find everything from shows about bathroom remodelling to house flipping to lumberjacks – and all are watched by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people.
“Let’s say you are a steel manufacturer,” Moore said. “Just how hot is that furnace? What is it the equivalent of? What does it look like to turn raw iron into steel? There’s also probably some fascinating history there.”
By including these details in a narrative format, it gives the reader the ability to really connect with what you are saying. That is why one of the basic methods of any sort of writing is to always emphasize showing over telling.
This doesn’t mean including a ton of photographs in place of text, although there is definitely a big benefit to including visuals in your storytelling. What it does refer to is the use of wording that paints a picture rather than states of fact.
So in the previous example of writing for a steel manufacturer, stating that the furnace can reach temperatures of 1300° Celsius doesn’t have nearly the same effect as explaining in a short paragraph that these blast furnaces regularly reach temperatures that are over three times as hot as the warmest point on Mercury.
There is a simple exercise you can perform to turn the seemingly boring into something interesting: Talk about it out loud with your family, friends or colleagues. Explain to them the story you are trying to write and the audience you are trying to reach.
By doing this, they’ll either directly relate to the story you are about to tell them, or they’ll understand your objectives. Remember, too, to include the most important and interesting details, but don’t bog them down with minutiae.
The end result? You just told an interesting story.
Put It Into the Hands of Industry Creatives
Of course, there is also the easiest option available for how to turn any idea into a fascinating article. Hire content writers to write it for you!
Rather than sitting down at a computer and pulling your hair out for hours at a time while trying to figure out how to write about a senior care facility in an interesting way, you can simply hire some content writers and hand it off to a team of writing professionals.
These individuals are expertly trained in the art of taking any topic, no matter how boring it may seem, and making it instantly consumable for your target audience.
More Than Just Writing
In fact, by hiring content writers, you are able to publish content that goes above and beyond making the writing appealing to also include better online performance through SEO best practices. This, and other writing strategies, are something that you can only get if you hire content writers with years of professional online writing experience.
Some people have an issue with choosing to hire content writers because they can’t wrap their heads around hiring someone to do something they are capable of doing themselves. However, with that logic, they should also be doing the taxes for their company by themselves as well. But as you likely already know, while you may be able to do your own business taxes, you are likely not able to do it properly.
Just like with taxes, where doing it incorrectly has devastating consequences, doing blog writing improperly is almost as bad as not doing it at all. That is why so many people find comfort in knowing that they can hire content writers, give them a topic to write about, and receive a professionally written blog post that is sure to perform well online.
To hire content writers to accomplish all of your writing, contact us to set up an appointment today.