How To Get Better At Storytelling
April 20, 2021
3 min read
Since time immemorial, the telling of stories, and the enjoyment of listening to them, has been an inherent part of the human condition. Tell a story that resonates, and your reader or client will be impacted by you and your content for many months or years to come.
Before we go on, it’s worth acknowledging that if you asked a professional writer how to improve your storytelling, they would probably pop a few cliches your way.
- Read as much as possible.
- Write as much as possible.
- Prepare and plan.
- Write, rewrite... rewrite again.
- Don’t be afraid to kill your darlings.
- Just get something down!
Naturally, these are all sound, valuable ideas, but what if you’re not planning to write the next War & Peace? What are the core principles that you can take away and apply to your work?
Well, let’s take another look at the Ancient Greek myths.
These tales of gods, monsters and men first found form on some Grecian mountainside thousands of years ago, and yet, such is their resonance that to this day, we remain fascinated by them.
You may think I’m starting to waffle - “What do Ancient Greek myths have to do with my affiliate site!?”
Well, very little, in practice.
All good stories have a beginning, middle and end. This may sound like a tip for a creative writer but fundamentally, content writing should be creative.
That said, we’re not necessarily talking about a traditional beginning, middle and end - we aren’t writing the next bestseller, here.
However, as we’ve discussed, potential clients will find your site because they have a problem that needs fixing, and you need to demonstrate to them that you have the answer; following a little, loose structure can help you do this succinctly.
Problem: recognise and share in the problem.
Answer: share the answer to their problem, providing examples and evidence.
Action: tell them what they need to do next.
This is just one, simplistic example of the sort of structure you might follow. However, your framework doesn’t have to be complex. Ultimately it’s there to simplify the process for both you and your clients.
Admittedly we’re not here to sell entertainment but we are here to sell ourselves and our business. As such, an entertained visitor is an impressed visitor and an impressed visitor is far more inclined to return and engage in business.
So, while the temptation can be there to focus on the facts, figures, keywords and links, never forget that you are speaking to a human and humans get bored and lose concentration.
Entertain your readership and they’ll be inclined to keep reading or explore your site and its links further.
For more information on how to engage and entertain, see our “How To Add Personality To Your Content” blog post.
Closely intertwined with being entertaining, being relatable is a valuable asset for any affiliate marketer or content writer.
Not everyone in the world is likely to have the same in-depth understanding of your niche as you do. Likewise, as stated earlier, if someone is coming to you for a reason, it’s because they have a problem, small or large, that needs solving.
If they can see themselves reflected in your writing, then they are far more likely to form a connection with you and your site. So don’t hide behind corporate jargon or a mess of keywords. Be human, be honest and you’re more likely to be memorable.
All good stories carry meaning. The Greek myths carry moral and ethical lessons while the greatest story ever told, The Lord of the Rings, preaches compassion, persistence and courage.
With regards to your content, then, it’s important not to waffle for the sake of waffling. Yes be entertaining and relatable but get to the point too. Just do so in an entertaining, understandable way.
Your reader is there for a reason, so give them the answer.
Information is worthless without application, so it’s important to inform your reader what their next step should be.
How can they solve the problem they have? What’s the first step that they must take?
Proactivity is key and if you can demonstrate that the information you’re offering is applicable and can be successful thereafter, then it also becomes valuable.
There are many ways through which you can improve your storytelling but start to implement the five general ideas above and you’ll open the door to the rest. Don’t be afraid to spend more time on the quality of your content rather than simply the SEO mechanics of it.
Doing so might just enable you to reach more people.
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