Write great content! That’s the advice that I often see when I surf around the blogosphere. It’s advice that’s much easier in theory than in practice.
So, then we often see follow up posts that tell us the type of generic posts that make for acceptable content. You’ve seen these suggestions: list posts, how to’s, compare and contrast, etc… I’ve even written a similar post with content suggestions. Though it hit me the other day that these suggestions don’t really offer content ideas so much, but rather simply give styles of writing.
Sure, if you put your ideas into a great list post, it’s a catchy style of blog post. The same can be said if you can come up with a controversial idea and put it into a rant. But first you need to come up with content ideas.
Now, there are several sources of information to get ideas.
You can go to google trends and read up on trending topics. That’s one good way to find a popular subject to write about. You can also browse through your local newspaper. That way you can read up on the sections that pertain to your niche and find some up to date content there.
There are a lot of sources of information and mostly, you have to go out and do your research.
However, there’s one neglected source of information that can lead to some really powerful content.
Tell Your Story
There’s an old axiom that people love to talk about themselves. They say that lover’s will never run out of a conversation because they each will endlessly talk about themselves.
Tell your story to your readers!
I don’t mean just in your about page. You have a story that happens to you every day.
Each day, you go out and experience life! You watch other people go about their business. You see or hear something interesting along the way. Tell your story!
You can take virtually any recent incident that’s happened to you and put it down in writing.
Just reflect on something that you learned recently. Perhaps, you had to deal with an angry customer at work. Or you had to call a customer service rep about a faulty product. Maybe, you had an insightful conversation with a co-worker. Stressed about paying a bill?
Each of these may seem minor, but they are all learning experiences. Better yet, they are personal experiences and they all come with a story.
After you’ve found a recent incident, think on the lesson that you can take from that event and think on how that lesson can be helpful to your audience.
Next, you want to draft your story.
Start at the beginning. Let your audience know that this is a personal story about a real life event. Describe your thoughts and feelings to them. Don’t forget to include the key elements: Who, What, Why, Where.
Tell your story.
Then after you’ve told your story, talk about what you learned from your incident. What can others take away from the story.
This is a powerful method of communication. There’s a ritual to telling a story that touch people on a deep emotional level. Before there was the internet. Before there was the printing press. Before writing was even invented. There were stories. People huddled around campfires telling others about their day. If you can tap into that same ritual and touch others in that same way, you can draw them into your story as well.