A few years ago a blogger asked me for advice on how to come up with ideas for their posts.
Rummage through your brain for what hurts, and then write about it.
Most of you who have been following me for some time know that I do not like personal blogs. You know, the ones that share intimate details about what the cat had for lunch or stuff like that.
But I do know that sharing a personal story can be the most powerful and effective tool a blogger can use, so today we’re going to discuss the when and how of sharing your personal story.
What is so powerful about personal stories?
We are all human, we all read in order to realize that others are just as human as us we are: they are not perfect, they can fail, they can overcome failure and heartbreak.
We read how-to guides because we want to know how to learn what others consider to be an innate talent.
We learn about someone’s road to success because we aspire towards the same level of mastery.
At the same time, we can’t help but fall in love with those who are brave enough to write their truth, no matter what. We fall in love with those who have the guts to be unapologetically themselves.
The power is in the life-altering, not the mundane.
It’s not about what your cat had for breakfast, but about those moments when you felt like giving up, but didn’t. When you fought a losing battle, but managed not to lose it.
The stories about how we changed ourselves, even though everyone around us told us we should stay the same.
The stories about the way we managed to defeat bad habits, overcome addiction, or silence our inner demons.
The stories that so few have the courage to write about.
It is this type of personal blog post that often gets viral, that gets readers rushing to find the subscribe button.
You, as a blogger, are typing away your pain and suffering, and in return, you are providing comfort to others who are suffering in much the same way as you did.
But don’t forget about the reader.
When you start writing about life lessons and personal stories, you might be tempted to use it as a form of therapy.
The issue with this?
It sounds like you being a crybaby, which is not helping anyone in any real sense of the way.
Writing can heal the soul, no doubt about it, but the idea is to write your story in such a way that you provide value.
It’s as simple as the difference between making someone feel sorry for you and empowering them through the power of your life lessons.
How do you do that?
Keep the attention of your audience by feeling and feeding the emotional undertone of your blog post.
What exactly made you stronger?
When did you wish that the thing that made you stronger would disappear? When and why did you become grateful for this experience?
How did this experience change your life?
Your challenge is to translate all that into words.
At the end of the day readers like to read something that is personal and deep. The real stuff. They want to know you’re just as human as they are.
Perfection is not only unattainable, but also kind of boring.
I hope you will find the courage to write your truth, even if your hands shake against the keyboard, because your readers will love you for it. They will cherish your authenticity, be empowered by your vulnerability, and will take to heart the lessons that you share with them.
You will no longer become the insipid teacher in a virtual classroom, but a true inspiration.