Marketing is all about stories, the journey taken that the reader can identify with in some way. Blog posts are just short stories, by another name, and by following the rules of stories, can be more interesting, engaging, and ultimately, deliver a commercial result.
So how do you tell as story?
I have 4 kids, adults now, but as kids I read stories to them, regularly. This is not the same as making up a story as you go, and for a good storyteller, perhaps a cop-out, but the stories of others were usually more engaging than my top of the mind make-ups.
As they got a bit older, it became clear that each preferred a different type of story, and they seemed to fall into a small number of themes, always around a common “backbone” of a hero undertaking some sort of quest, confronting dangers and failure, then finding the only escape route, which was about to close, then revelling in the redemption.
The storylines around the backbone were:
- Rags to riches stories, these were favored by my boys. The protagonist drags himself from the streets to the heights, overcoming the disadvantages of injury, lack of education, or being abandoned in some way, and ends up giving back.
- The travelogue, the journey from A to B via the rest of the alphabet, with adventures and barriers at each letter.
- Tragedy, the hero saves someone from a fatal flaw of their personality or circumstances, and the difficult situations that flaw creates.
- The quest, which travels with the protagonist seeking a solution to an insoluble problem
- Beating the Demon, who keeps on coming back, and usually saving the damsel in the process.
- And finally, comedy. Funny but often sad things that happened, centred around peoples lives, shortcomings, and loves. I found that stories that were able to deliver a message with splashes of humour were always the ones that the kids remembered the best.
A great story, well told will be remembered, whereas a recitation of facts passes from memory quicker than an iceblock on a hot summers day.