Every blog tells a story

You might be familiar with the idea of using stories to write good copy.  Stories can be an invaluable way of bringing a post to life.

Indeed Brian Clark at Copyblogger has “the law of the story” as one of his five immutable laws of persuasive blogging:

Stories are the most persuasive blogging element of all, as they allow you to present a problem, the solution, and the results, all while the connotation of the story allows readers to sell themselves on what you have to offer.

The value of stories is not limited to an individual post though.  When you think about it the whole blog is telling a story at a deeper level - through language, tone, pictures, the choice of topics, issues discussed (and not discussed), the role and function of comments, what you read on the ‘about’ and ‘welcome’ pages…

The blogs I love the most are the ones where you can really “hear” the author’s voice - telling their stories, sharing their world, being their authentic selves (warts and all).  It’s that feeling of recognition you get somehow - when you get an insight into someone’s values, what’s important to them, what’s brought them to here, their willingness to reach out and share.

It’s one of the reasons I’m enjoying following Emma Bird’s blog at How To Italy.  As well as the newsy, chatty content the authors are totally up-front about their values, their beliefs and their philosophy.   Look how much you learn about them in these four short sentences:

We’re not cats.  We don’t have nine lives.  Just the one. And we believe we should make the most of it.

All of this material is telling a story - not of a one-off event but a bigger story about the authors behind the blog.  Who they are, what’s important to them, their values, beliefs, attitudes, choices.

So next time you’re reading a blog you might want to ask yourself: what story is being told here? Of an individual, a cause, a philosophy, a belief, a passion, a way of life…

Or the next time you’re writing your own blog you might want to ask yourself the same question: what story is being told?  And what story is it that I am really wanting to tell?


    • April 15, 2007

    Hi Joanna

    Oooh, what a lovely surprise. Thank you! I do like links :-) )

    Anyway, you’ve inspired me to explain the background to our HowToItaly story. I’ve now explained this over at our blog.

    Great post. I love reading people’s stories on blogs.

    • April 15, 2007

    The story behind our philosophy

    This morning I did a bit of websurfing while the caffeine injection (really, don’t imagine me sipping cappuccino on the balcony overlooking the sea. It’s dull and dreary and today was plain old instant Nescafé.) kicked in. Imagine my surprise

    • April 15, 2007

    Hi Emma, I’ve just read the explanation of your philosophy at HowToItaly. It blew me away.
    Thank you :)


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