Disclaimer: This post is not designed to throw shade at other blogging niches. This post is also not meant to say that people in other niches are not capable of doing anything I mention below. This post is simply meant to appreciate the lovely things I have observed about those who started blogging simply with the intention to tell their stories. Okay, now that this is out of the way, happy reading! 🙂
Focusing inward before putting anything outward is the bread-and-butter of personal writing. It is the foundation of this space and has been the starting point for many personal bloggers and others who intentionally weave storytelling into their online work. This art of sharing compelling, insightful stories is something that reaps many benefits that can go unnoticed. And in order to change that, I will contribute to bringing those assets to light.
1. Online storytellers tend to be relatable.
This usually stems from their ability to be vulnerable and their willingness to write courageously. And as a result, some of their audience members respond saying “me too” or “I’m so glad I’m not alone in this.” I can confidently say that there are few things that make me happier than when someone writes a personal email to me all because I shared a personal story. It warms my heart to read others’ compelling posts that I cannot relate to, and reading their readers’ comments about being less alone because that blogger took it upon themselves to be open and honest. It is priceless to witness webs of connection all over the digital world simply because someone decided to be vulnerable.
2. According to science, they will have a tendency to be memorable.
Different regions of the brain light up as a result of hearing a story. For example, since the motor cortex is responsible for movement, reading a story that mentions a thrilling rollercoaster ride will activate this region, making you feel rush of being whisked every which way. The same goes with our sensory cortex; hearing a story in which the storyteller slides their hand along the rails of the stairwell will light it up as you imagine your hand in that same place. In short, when it comes to eloquent storytellers, you just can’t help but feel.
3. If storytellers ever choose to be intentionally instructional, they will be coming for your mind and heart simultaneously.
When done well, it will be sensory overload in the best way possible. It is pretty well-known that many blog posts share practical, valuable tips. But a storyteller who purposefully teaches while creating a storytelling experience for you will prove distinct among such posts.
4. Niching down will work in their favor.
Let’s say you come across a beauty blog and today’s post was about how to work red lips in different ways. And before you get to the full-sized images of the different looks, she shares her story about how the color of her lipstick is the exact same shade as the cherries that she would get in trouble for bringing into the house as a child; they belonged to her neighbors but curiosity got the best of her and she would pick them from their cherry bush. You found that story funny so you scanned the “related posts” section below the post and found another one where show shows you how to wear clear lip gloss like a grown woman. She starts off her post talking about how clear lip gloss reminds her of high school and she shares a story of her first kiss. She shares how innocent it was an how clear lip gloss is almost a symbol of girlish childlikeness. However, she is here to change that perception and argues that you can look womanly with it, showing a helpful tutorial to prove her case.
Later, you stumble upon a fashion blog in which the writer mentions the contrast of her cheery colored outfit with her somber mood because of a tragic event that happened. She shares a bit of that story in such a poignant way, but later mentions how she noticed that her spirits were lifted a little after wearing her vibrant-colored clothing. She discloses how her change of emotion made her curious about how color affects mood. After a quick Google search, she tells you that her bubbly blues and youthful yellows maybe had something to do with the positive change in her mood. From there, she encourages you to incorporate color in your outfit. After all, it could make you feel happier, even just a little.
Lastly, you discover another blog with the traveler as its creator. And unlike many travelers, his destinations are not tourist attractions. Regardless, he makes it a point to interact with the locals in a respectful way. And as a result of his interactions–while he has considered himself someone that generally gets along with others and appreciates people no matter their origin, ethnicity, or race–he gets vulnerable and confesses how he has prejudices that he did not realize existed until after a certain conversation with a local.
I could go on with more examples, but I think you understand what I am trying to say here. When a storyteller chooses a niche that caters to something that they are borderline obsessed about, they will definitely stick out, especially in the more saturated niches. And in a sense, since personal blogging is its own niche, the blogger essentially taking that niche and blending it with another one.
5. Their observant minds and writing skills are a killer combo
This is basically a summary of point #4. The main reason why those ideas are inviting isn’t because the imagined writers’ lives are extraordinarily exciting. It’s because they are very perceptive of themselves, others, and the world around them. They are also great at articulating their observations and emotions. As a result, going to their blog feels more like having a conversation with a friend in a cafe as opposed to a solo stage performance.
In the online world, observant minds and heartstring tugging stories often find themselves in essays. Because of the familiarity of that genre, there might be a temptation to stick with that genre exclusively. But if you are an essayist or another type of storyteller looking to grow as a writer, you might be interested in my Periscope broadcast happening this Friday! (Did I mention that this is my first one ever?) Anyway, all of the information is below.