Don’t you just hate it when someone tells you to do something and you ask them why and they say, “Because I said so.” and then they turn around and walk away? It’s human nature. Most people would be very happy to do whatever they’re told, but you have to tell them why, first, otherwise they just think you’re being an arrogant jerk. Story-telling is the key to online marketing because it helps your readers make that connection between what you want them to do and why they should take your advice.
Readers arrive on your blog looking for the solution to a problem and they don’t want a simple answer – they want to know what works, why it works and how it works and why you recommend it. People will often tell you to come straight to the point but they rarely ever mean it. And when you do, there’s always just one more question…
Think about the last time you were telling your friend about a problem you had. Let’s say you told your friend you wanted to lose weight but you just couldn’t figure out how to do it. So your friend tells you to drink 8 glasses of water each day. There it is in a nutshell – your problem is you can’t lose weight, your friend tells you to drink 8 glasses of water a day. She handed you the simple, straightforward solution. Here’s what happens next…
Before you’ll just buy into her advice, you ask her how she knows that will work. You ask her if she’s tried it herself. You ask her how drinking water will help you lose weight. You ask her if juice counts. You ask her what would happen if you only drank 7 glasses or you upped it to 10. Can you drink all 8 glasses at once or do you have to space them out over the day? Can you still eat cookies and chocolate ice cream while you’re drinking the water?
She gave you exactly what you came looking for but you’re not satisfied. You want to know more.
That’s exactly the way you have to address the readers of your blog. You have to give them exactly what they’re looking for, right at the very beginning of your blog post, and then you need to tell them more to back up your claims. And being able to relate that all in a good storyline format makes it easier for your readers to swallow.
Here’s How To Tell A Good Online Story
Define the problem: You have about 2 1/2 seconds to grab the readers’ attention before they click off your page. The best way to do that is to let them know, immediately, that they’re going to find exactly what they came looking for. In your opening paragraph, make sure you define the problem and let your reader know you’re about to give them the solution.
Don’t worry about all that ‘create a sense of urgency’ stuff or building up the suspense. If you can do it fine, it does help. But if you’re not comfortable with it, you’ll just sound stilted and fake.
Offer your solution: Tell your reader what you recommend to solve their problem. It might be a product, it might be a program, it might just be something as simple as 8 glasses of water. But whatever it is, give the reader the solution. Don’t use 500 words trying to con them into clicking over to your sales page where they’ll really find the solution – oh, and by the way, there’s a Buy button, too. You told your reader you were going to solve the problem and they trusted you. Now do it!
Answer the questions: Now spend some time answering all of those typical questions – how does it work, why does it work, how do you know it works, what if…??
Wrap it up: Here’s a formula I use for my content: I tell the reader what I’m going to talk about in my article, then I talk about it, then I tell the reader what I talked about. In other words: tell, teach, recap. After I’ve let my reader know that I understand their problem, I offer a solution and answer all their questions, then I wrap it all up by stating the problem again, and the solution again, and the benefits they’ll experience when the problem is resolved.
If your blog isn’t making you any money, it generally has something to do with your content. Understanding why story-telling is the key to online marketing will help you write content that converts. Trust me. Because I said so!