Written on September 8th, 2005 at 02:09 am by Darren Rowse

Tell me a Story

Writing Content 7 comments

Dave Taylor has written an interesting piece today on story telling and blogs that has resonated with me. It’s at “Don’t sell me a product, tell me a story!”:

‘What stuck in my head, however, was that his background gave him a unique ability to tell an interesting story. After all, isn’t the best marketing and, yes, even public relations, fundamentally all a throwback to our days around the campfire trying to influence and sway people based on our ability to communicate in a more interesting and engaging manner than the next person?’

Dave heads in a slightly different direction with his post than the thought process that I then went of on but it’s worth the read none the less.

What it made me think about was that one of the things that I think has grown enternetusers.net the most has been this idea of ’story’.

I am getting daily emails from people around the world who have been drawn into the community here not just because of the tips and information that I write - but because there is something about average people sharing their experiences with other average people that rings true and draws people in.

I may not be the most proficient writer in the world (I know this because of the numbers of proof reading type emails that I get) but I purposely write in a way that attempts to weave together my journey as a blogger with the theory and tips that I’m presenting. I’m telling my story.

The other thing that I’ve been attempting to do here is to create spaces where others can tell their stories. This has happened through the occasional interview but increasingly happens in the comment sections of posts.

I guess what I circling around here is that one way (and it won’t work on every blog) to build a more engaging and interActive blog is to consider not only selling something to your reader but to find ways to engage with them in more of a narrative form.

What do you think?

7 Responses to “Tell me a Story”

  • Telling stories involves “writing” stories, and I think you’ll enjoy reading this from the Creating Passionate Users site:
    “Conversational writing kicks formal writing’s ass”
    http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2005/09/conversational_.html

  • Creative Weblogging offers attrActive incentive

    I have several sites that I hit everyday. One of them is Pro Blogger and another is Creative Blogging. I mention Pro Blogger because if it weren’t for them I never would have found Creative Weblogging. I think it is…

  • It’s funny a post I put up yesterday I told a story of how I lost my wedding ring. I was just about to post the story of how my boat passed me on the freeway when I was a teenager! No selling in any of these stories ;)

  • Storytelling is the essential skill for writers, blogs or not. Excellent blogs, like enternetusers, do this well. He’s right on.

  • Heck, that’s the whole reason behind my blog. And I thought it was a state secret…

  • I think than telling a stroy is much better than plain hard facts in many regards. First of all, as it has been said, it captivates the reader and drives more traffic to your site. It’s pretty straightforward. The other reason that is often neglected is that writing such content often keeps the writing interest much higher than it would otherwise be.

    But I think that some blogs are better suited than others for this kind of writing. I’m running a science news blog, and it’s pretty hard to adopt a story-like style. Some sites do this well, such as enternetusers and Cooking For Engineers (a personal favorite!)

  • A few weeks ago an almost helpless seagull chick landed in my back garden. I started to blog the experience of keeping her fed and watered until she could fly. The first post “Surrogate to an Orphan Seagull” is the second most clicked on feed on the blog. It was only beaten by a post which was linked to by Doc Searl who posted the full feedburner feed, yielding 598 clicks. So, yes, a story, whether human or not will always drag in the punters, especially if it’s true.

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