I try to shy away from telling stories on my blog because you come here looking for information, not tales of my recent vacation or what I had for breakfast this morning. However, some blogs are more effective when you use story telling, like mommy blogs or cooking blogs, and sometimes you can bring a point home better when you back it up with a story. So here are eight rules for telling stories on your blog that will keep your readers enthralled.
Your Opening Paragraph Is Crucial
No matter how exciting your story ends up being you still have just a few seconds to grab the reader’s attention. And, unless you use story-telling all the time, some of your readers are going to be turned off by it. When you’re telling a story to Internet readers it’s crucial that you make a huge impact with your opening paragraph.
Have A Goal In Mind
Unless you’re keeping an online journal of your daily life you need to have a reason for telling a story. What is it that you want your readers to take away when they’re done reading? What are you trying to teach them or what message are you trying to convey?
Use Your Own Words
This isn’t your high school English class so don’t feel you have to write like Shakespeare. Your readers will be much more engaged if you use your own words – slang and all. Of course, you should leave out the expletives. Focus on telling the story the same way you would if you were telling it to a friend across the kitchen table.
Don’t Force Humor
If you’re not a comedy writer then don’t try to write comedy. It’s as simple as that. Reading forced humor is excrutiating.
If you’re telling a story that includes a dialog between two people, then write at least some of it as dialog. It’ll break up all those paragraphs and draw your reader a little closer to your tale.
Watch Your Paragraphs
Vary the length of your paragraphs. Remember, Internet readers like plenty of white space, and no matter how great your story is if it’s nothing but a big block of text they’re not going to read it.
Use Sub-Headings To Break Up Long Stories
Don’t forget you’re trying to convey some sort of message here. Inject sub-headings, bold and italics into your story to break up text and make pertinent points.
Listen To Stephen King
Once you’re done writing go back through your story and delete unnecessary adverb and adjectives. Most stories can be reduced by at least 25% and still get the point across. Remember, this is the Internet and people have short attention spans. Even though you’re telling them a story you still want them to get your message. So keep it brief so they’ll read all the way to the end.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!