Perhaps you are a bit like me? Perhaps you have your tried and true methods of banging out a great post? Maybe your blogging style is like an old pair of shoes? Comfy, quite stylish and reliable?
I totally get where you are coming from! It’s so easy to hone your style and then blog in that tried and true way ’til the cows come home. I put it to you (and me!) though that there are heaps of other less comfy, but equally great ways to approach your blog. Not only will it give your creative muscle a bit of a shake-up, it may just make your readers fall even more in love with you!
Here’s 10 ways to tell a great story on your blog…
An open letter to someone might be just the writing prompt you need to get the words flowing out through those fingers and onto the screen! You could write to your favourite childhood teacher, Tony Abbott (shudder), your favourite creative, a personal hero. Tapping into the issues and experiences you are super passionate about is the key here.
2. Opinion piece
I’m quite keen on writing one today after reading that we’re to ready ourselves for less freedom. Gah! One of the great things about blogging is that it provides you with a soapbox, a forum to air your thoughts and feelings on the things that matter most to you. If you’re feeling a bit creatively blocked, talking about the big things in your world is a great way to unblock and get those words flowing again (in a meaningful, useful way!)
3. Photo essay
Sometimes you don’t need words. Sometimes a whole bunch of images can do the job instead. Work at sharing little details that tell a big story. It’s true that a picture can tell a thousand words at times, or at the very least it can replace 400 if you play your cards right!
A funny yarn can be a total breath of fresh air amongst a sea of instructional/confessional/documentary style blog posts. Channel your inner Micallef or Flanagan and lift your readers into a world of tittering/coffee-spitting as they scroll through your latest post.
I love this style of post. Basically you imagine that the person reading the post is a really nice friend of yours. ‘Talk’ to them accordingly, putting your own chatty voice into the post, making it read like a cute catch-up with a pal rather than a less personal recounting of something you’ve experienced recently.
Forgo the text altogether and video your story! It takes a bit more effort because you have to edit things into something entertaining and succinct, but it’s a great way to relay your message in your own voice, from your own face! I use iMovie to edit my videos and it works a treat!
This is a good one for people who like to remain in their pyjamas and are not keen on being camera ready. Just download the Soundcloud app to your phone and you can record your podcast from the bathtub, your bed or (more conservatively) your workspace. Write yourself an outline and then get chatting within that framework. Keep things relaxed and again, pretend you are talking to a dear pal or workmate for best results.
Perhaps you are a bit handy with a pen and paper? You might like to illustrate your post, add some hand lettering and scan it to upload to your blog? Uber blog The Selby makes a cute feature of handwriting and illustration in many of their posts. You could take a leaf out of their (very successful) book?
9. Free prose
Think spoken word, but unspoken, sort of written instead! Cut loose, forget the rules and write expressively and openly. A little bit like dancing when nobody’s watching, but for bloggers. Who knows what genius may leap out if you loosen up your self-judgement and go free-style!
Detailing a conversation is an entertaining and super-expressive way to share a story. It also turns your post into a mini-production, bringing the conversation and characters involved to life in an unexpected way.
Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg! There are heaps of other engaging and innovative ways to approach that impending post. You don’t have to simply recount an experience or idea. Find ways to make your post come alive and remember that surprising and delighting your readers (thank you Mr Godin!) is a great way to make your blog more valuable and keep yourself interested and on your toes too!