When you read one blogging tips guru they tell you to keep your blog posts short and sweet. “Get to the point! Your readers don’t care what you had for breakfast!” Then the next guy tells you you need to tell you readers a story. Huh? What’s it gonna be, boys? Would somebody please make up my mind?
Take a look around the blogosphere and you’ll find that there is no such thing as an undiscovered niche anymore. In any niche you choose you’re going to have competition, other bloggers talking about the exact same things you’re talking about.
Now, when visitors come to your blog they’re looking for two types of information: Facts and Opinions. In any niche there are only a certain number of “facts.” The Earth is round. George Washington was the first President of the United States. Two plus two equals four.
It’s important to present all of these facts to your readers because that’s what they’re looking for. Without facts, you’re not really an expert, you’re just another bogus blogger.
But if all you do is “present facts” then you’re really just an encyclopedia or resource. And let’s face it, your readers could go to the Encyclopedia Britannica if all they want is facts. And why bother trying to navigate a blog, or even find a blog, when everything’s right there on one page at Wikipedia?
Readers turn to blogs because they want to know what the blogger thinks about the facts. How do those facts relate to real-life situations? Yes, this dog food is made with peas and carrots, and peas and carrots are high in vitamin C. But how does that relate to their dog? And do you, the blogger, think it’s the best choice? What is your opinion?
Your story matters to your readers when you take the facts you’re presenting and make them relevant to your readers. So when those blogging tip gurus tell you to “tell your readers a story” they’re not advising you to sit down and tell your readers what you had for breakfast or what you did over the weekend, they’re telling you to tell your readers your personal story as it relates to the facts you’re presenting.
For example, you may be telling your readers about a new WordPress plug in that handles comment spam. You can simply tell them the name of the plug in, what it does, and how to install it, but 100 other bloggers have already provided that same information.
To make your blog post more meaningful and memorable than all the others, tell your readers about the mistake you made during installation and what to look for so they don’t make the same mistake. Tell your readers what your comment spam was like before the installation and after. Tell them what you like and don’t like about the plug-in and if you do or don’t recommend it for their blogs.
Yes, it’s always a great idea to tell your readers a story, but tell them a story that matters. They only really care about what you had for breakfast if you’re giving them advice on planning breakfast menus.