I nearly died while ice climbing a few years ago.
It was late in the season and the temperatures weren’t quite as cold as necessary for the frozen waterfalls to be solid enough to safely climb. But my friend and I were fearless and stupid—literally a lethal combination—and we wanted to get one last climb in before the frozen pillars fell apart.
We hiked up to the base of the climb and got everything ready. That’s when we heard a horrific crashing and rumbling sound.
We looked up and saw that a car-sized chunk of ice had calved off from the mountain several hundred feet above us. We didn’t have enough time to run away; we could only paste ourselves up against the ice and try to minimize the amount of space we were taking up.
The massive slab of ice hit a ledge about 50 feet above us and broke into hundreds of smaller projectiles. My friend was mostly out of harm’s way under a slight overhanging section of ice, but I was more exposed and got thoroughly pummeled.
I ended up bleeding in several places, had massive bruises on my back, and had to retire a helmet that a particularly fierce chunk of ice had gone after and cracked. Had I not been wearing that helmet, I’d be dead right now.
You’ve probably never been ice climbing. You probably never will go ice climbing. And I’m guessing you do not care in the least about ice climbing. Yet you’re still reading.
Why? Because the story grabbed your attention.
You can get people to read your stuff even if they don’t really care about what you’re writing about! THAT is the power of telling stories in your blog posts.
My two favorite blogs right now are those of Penelope Trunk and James Altucher. They ostensibly write about careers and finance, respectively, but what they really talk about is all over the board.
Today, for example, I read about Penelope’s marital problems and about how James met his wife. These two bloggers are master storytellers. Even though I’ve never met either of them and probably never will, I read every single one of their blog posts
Again, THAT is the power of telling stories in your posts.
All other things being equal, if you include a personal story or experience in every post you write, your blog will automatically be better than 99% of the others in your niche. Not only will it make your blog post more interesting, but consider these other benefits:
- No one else has your stories. Your stories are unique, and being unique is the best way to get noticed in the blogosphere.
- Your readers will be able to personally connect with you better.
- Your readers will see that you actually have personal experience with what you’re talking about. It legitimizes you as an authority in your field.
- After sharing your story, you can invite your readers to share their own stories. This will result in more comments on the post and an overall greater sense of community on your blog.
In short, stories make everything better for everyone. They’re more fun for you to write, they’re more fun for your readers to read, and they will benefit your blog more in the long run.
They turn blogging into blogging success.
My challenge to everyone reading this: Use a personal story in every blog post you write. The entire post doesn’t have to be a story; a quickie to further illustrate a point is fine. But I promise that you’ll see a difference in the level of reader involvement in your blog.
Oh, and I still ice climb every winter, but I only do it on really, really cold days.
- Do you use stories in your blog posts?
- Do your favorite bloggers tell stories often?
- Got any fun stories to share? 🙂
Note from Ana: Tristan has since stopped blogging, so no link to his current projects. ;(