Have you heard that people these days are more interested in purchasing experiences than things? What in the world does that mean for a blogger? Well unless you blog about doing stuff you might think about throwing it all in, keeping the status quo, or on the off chance, you might wonder how you’re going to change.
So how do you change to being an experiential blogger without changing your niche?
The shift to experiential purchasing follows a trend of people connecting more with how things make them feel. It also feeds into our move to social media and the need to document our lives. Let’s face it, it’s now more about where the nice restaurant is than the food on the plate! Or it’s the selfie on the deck with the view in the background!
This need to be, do, document, feel, experience – live! Can quite easily be moved into the blogging space. Even the driest of topics can be shifted to an experiential format with a simple change.
Speak to your readers.
It seems odd, but the way to move to an experiential format is as simple as moving from a dry dictatorial education monologue to one where your language elicits emotions, paints pictures, invokes feelings.
The simplest way is to tell a story.
Starting a blog with a story might seem like an odd thing – especially when you are writing a technical blog. Imagine how much easier a medical journal article would be to read if it started with the story of why the researcher was drawn to the field, or perhaps an example of a child combatting the chosen disease.
Humans are hard-wired for storytelling. Kids are a prime example. Not only do my children love to hear a story but they love to spin them too. In fact, the other day my son lost a tooth at school, it had been wobbly for far too long, and he strung me along with a story that this thing in the envelope was, in fact, a seed from his science class that he was going to grow at home. He had me going for a good 10 minutes (bless his heart) and I was chatting to him about how we were going to sprout it and raise it.
I think that’s one of the issues facing blogs these days.
We often get caught up in the need to look and seem professional that we forget that we are in fact storytellers. Would Top Gear had such a wide appeal had they not told a story? Would Grand Designs be just another home renovation show if it wasn’t for them documenting the trials and triumphs?
So how does one start in experiential blogging?
The simplest way to move a blog into this style is by asking a question right off the bat. Stop jumping headlong into facts and figures and start with the why someone should be interested in your post. Start with the question that drew you to the topic. Begin with the question you hope to answer.
Something for the slightly more adventurous
If you’re feeling a little more risqué, perhaps start off with a little tale of what lead you into writing your blog piece. Wind some evocative words through it rather than making it a blow by blow account of what happened, reminiscent of some childhood school assignment outlining your Summer holidays.
Huh? Evocative words?
Yes, you need to use words. Ok, so add some pictures to help paint the picture (we know help break up the block of text and boost SEO), but dig out your thesaurus and find the words you need to evoke emotion, to rekindle memories, to tease out the senses, or to draw a picture in their mind’s eye. The beauty is that they don’t have to be complex adjectives. In fact, the simpler the adjective, the quicker the reader will be drawn in.
Not a good story teller?
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to be good at it straight off the bat. You should be able to see how your style has changed from when you started blogging, this is no different. (It’s why I suggest starting with questions) The idea is to get someone into a frame of mind and guide them through your writing like they are moving down a garden path. You want to keep your reader with you to the end so they will share it and come back for more.
What’s the key?
I have to be honest, my key is to write like I talk. Not only does it mean that I can whip out a 1000 word blog in no time flat (no, this one isn’t). It also means that when people come to engage me as a consultant they have a good idea of who I already am. When they see me on video, or speak to me over the phone they feel like they already know me. It’s just one of the ways that I build my relationships with my future clients.
So I challenge you to write as you speak, ask questions, or tell a story. Move your blog to more of the experiential style of writing and you never know where you’ll go next!
Kara Lambert is a social media and business coach who focuses on teaching businesses how to connect with their clients by using psychology. Backed with tertiary qualifications in business & psychology, Kara marries this with her hands on experience of running online businesses and online consulting since 2000. www.karalambert.com