The Risks of Storytelling as a Blogging Technique


Some people claim that storytelling is the most powerful copywriting technique. Recently, Brian Clark extended this claim to writing blog articles and wrote an exemplary story-like article.

Being interested in movie making, I am fascinated in the power of storytelling as well. Nevertheless, you should not forget that every technique has associated risks and might not be suitable for every possible application.

So, what are the risks when you write stories to transport information?

Stories need time

To apprehend such a story, one needs time. You can’t scan over stories like you do over news articles.; you have to read them as a whole. Word for word. Mechanisms like identifications, which are vital for story telling, require the reader’s devotion to the story. You have to concentrate on it, feel it, get lost in it.

Many blog readers can’t do that. On average, blog readers follow about 20 blogs. I once was subscribed to almost 50 feeds myself. If your story is addressing readers with such an information overload, chances are that they won’t allocate the necessary time to connect to the story. Even less overloaded readers might be scared away by the necessary time investment.

Time means trust

Time is one of the most precious possessions of all beings. Classic news-style articles have the benefit of being “skippable” – you can see quickly what the topic is and skip them if you are not interested. When you communicate your content by storytelling, your readers have to follow your story to the end. They entrust you with their time. If you can’t keep your promise of telling them something worth knowing, they will feel betrayed. And betraying your readers is one of the worst things you can do.

So, maybe story writing is a good blogging technique – if the reader devotes himself to the story and is not disappointed by its outcome. If you think your readership is a very busy one, this technique might be not the right one for you. If you think your readers have the time and motivation to read your stories, storytelling might be something that lets you stand out from the crowd.

Also do not forget that there are other ways to employ storytelling than writing complete stories. Pictures can tell stories that are faster to comprehend and story elements can be mixed with “classic” elements. Storytelling is indeed a powerful – one that can be used in many occasions.

Go learn storytelling. 🙂

One reply on “The Risks of Storytelling as a Blogging Technique”

Great thoughts here, and I agree. It’s not easy to captivate people in this day and age, but it’s well worth the effort if you can pull it off.

I’ll try to give some guidance on how to do that as I get more into storytelling.

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