Wednesday, July 25, 2007

5 Ideas to Turn "All About Me" into "All About Them"

Telling storiesSeth had a great post today about why some blogs are boring and don't get much traffic. Essentially, it comes down to the fact that bloggers often write about themselves. Needless to say, such ramblings are really only of interest to the author and his immediate family.

Not that I've ever done that.

The counter argument, of course, is the traditional admonition to "write what you know". So, how do you draw on the strength of your experience without boring the tears out of your audience? I've come up with a few ideas. If you have any others, please send them along.

Tell your story if:

  1. It shows an example solving a commonly experienced problem -- "I had a problem with a sticky drill bit one time. Here's what I had to do."
  2. It sends a warning -- "Let me tell you how I got this hole in my forehead."
  3. It asks interesting questions -- "So, after all of that, I have to ask, what could I have done to avoid breaking the drill bit?"
  4. It makes us laugh (without having to know the people or places involved) -- "Then my brother climbed on top of the stack of magazines with a his drill in hand..." (OK, that might be a bit of a warning, too!)
  5. It talks about your interactions with others - where they are the focus -- "Let me tell you how Bob Smith of BS Hardware helped me out with my drill problem."
Basically, I think it all comes down to trying to help others and not aggrandize yourself. If you are providing value, through advice, warnings, testimonials, etc, then it is worthwhile for your audience to come back regularly. If it's just a story of your everyday life, well, send your mom the link, I'm sure she'd love to hear from you.

So, can you think of any other situations where it would work to tell your story?

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