You’re sitting down to write an informative blog post to bring value to your audience, but you’re wondering how the heck to make it engaging. Sure, you’re a decent writer. You know that you should break up your blog by ideas, with subheadings and bullet points for easy reading. You know you need to capture your readers at the beginning of the post so they’ll get to the good stuff, but you’re not sure how to do it.
Even the best writers get stumped by this one. So, before you sit down at the computer and stare at a blank page, watching the time tick away, wondering how to get people to read all your useful ideas, first read this article on how to engage readers in an informative blog.
How to Write an Informative Blog using Storytelling
When I teach entrepreneurs about using storytelling in their content, most people nod and say, “Yes. Yes I do this.” But when it comes to informational blogs, this is where people get most lost. To be honest, connecting with your audience through an informational blog is much more difficult. They’re great for providing value and building trust, but what about connecting to audiences? Here’s what I bet you didn’t know, you can use storytelling elements in these blogs too! Here’s how:
1. Your informational blogs still need characters.
Every story (even a blog!) needs a character. Who’s your character? Are you the character sharing your past experiences? Are you using another person or company as your example? Or maybe you are using your audience avatar. (An avatar is a made up person who embodies your ideal customer.) You can build your ideal customer avatar using our free persona worksheet. Download it here.
2. Your first paragraph is the holy grail of your article so don’t blow it with a boring summary.
This is your chance to suck the reader into your blog so it’s the place to use a lot of storytelling. Tell your audience exactly what your blog will be about (they need to know it will answer their questions,) but make it more interesting by either using real life experiences that have happened to you or someone else, or create a scenario that fits your audience.
3. Introduce a problem.
The opening paragraph should introduce your audience’s problem. In a story this would be the conflict, and every good blog needs a conflict and a resolution. Determine what problem you audience needs to solve and then give advice that guides your audience to a resolution.
4. Write using “show” versus “tell.”
In the writing world, we often talk about how telling takes the reader out of the story. Put the reader right into the story by “showing” a scenario. What is the character doing while they are having these problems? What do things look like, feel like, or sound like? It’s little details that pull people into stories. When you are in teaching mode, you’ll be using a lot of telling, so balance it out and use showing in your intro and closing paragraphs.
5. Use your voice.
Every person has a unique writing voice. It’s difficult to engage people if you’re writing like a robot. Blogs are meant to be easy reading and they are much more compelling when you can almost hear the person behind the keyboard talking to you.
6. Avoid passive sentences.
Passive sentences are when the action happens to the subject of the sentence, rather than the subject taking action. What’s more engaging: “Jack fell to his knees, humbled that he clenched the playoff spot” or “The playoff spot has been clenched.” Active sentences make the subject and verb the star. Pay attention to your verbs. Strong verbs can take your writing to the next level. You can find more content writing tips on active verbs here.
If you’re a novice blog writer learning how to write an informative blog, also:
- Make an outline of your blog topic. Don’t make it too broad; you want to keep it niche so you can include enough information to make an impact.
- Use your outline to create subheadings and bullet points to break up your blog for easy reading.
- Know your audience. The persona worksheet can help you determine your ideal customer.
- Blogs can be many lengths but always shoot for at least 300 words. Blogs should be anywhere from 300-1200 words with most averaging between 700-800 words. However, it’s important not to get too hung up on the word count. The information you provide is most important.
- Create an engaging intro and conclusion using the storytelling elements above.
Informative blogs are a way to give your audience awesome value, while earning their trust and creating awareness of you or your company. Make them as effective as possible by using storytelling elements. The next time you sit down to write a blog and stare at a stagnant cursor, map out your character, setting, problem, and resolution. Even informative blogs can use these everyday writing structures to engage your readers, nudging them along to the very end.