This probably makes me a bit mental but there is a small (sick?) part of me that, when finding myself on the precipice of a monumental travel disaster, thinks, “Oh well, it will make a good story one day.”
You see, I love telling stories. I’m one of those people who gets a thrill when her friends egg her on and say, ‘Go on, tell that one about the boob-shaped mosquito bites in Fiji again.’ When my limited circle of friends got bored with hearing the same tales I started a blog to share stories with strangers on the internet. Most of the stories were embarrassing, many more embellished, and yet you couldn’t stop me telling them. No one seemed to care that I had no journalistic training, tell a good story and the audience will find you, at least they did back in 2010.
These days a blog cannot survive on tall tales alone – you’ve got beasts like Google, social media and personal branding to think of – but if I think about the blogs I return to time and time again they are the ones with the best stories. Put simply, it’s storytelling that engages readers, not listicles.
Storytelling is SEO for human brains (Mike Sowden)
Storytelling for bloggers is not just about the yarns we write in our posts – we, the bloggers, need to have a story too. But finding that story, teasing it out and crafting it cleverly takes work. Sometimes you need a coach, some guidance, a friendly tormenter…. That’s where Mike Sowden comes in.
A Bit About Mike
Mike is an internet friend I feel like I know much better than I actually do because I’ve feverishly read a lot of his work. (There’s a joke there, his blog is called Fevered Mutterings, you can applaud later!) When Mike announced his storytelling course a few years ago I made sure I was on it because why wouldn’t you want to know the secrets of someone whose work you love reading? He’s just released a new version and I’ve spent the last few days devouring a sneak peek so that I can tell you lot about why you should buy it.
Engage! A Storytelling Course For Bloggers
Engage is an 8-week course designed to teach bloggers how to use storytelling to hook audiences, brand themselves effectively, plus, rather importantly, how to figure out what the heck their story is.
Update: The course is relaunching on 1st February 2018. Snap up a place here.
It consists of 3 binge-worthy email lessons a week with some brain-storming and homework required by you. You can also opt for audio files to listen to on the go but I recommend you have a pen and paper handy to jot down action points like ‘FIGURE OUT WHAT MY STORY IS!!’
There are bonus PDF guides including “The Blogger’s Guide To Story Structure” and (my fave)“How To Edit The S#!t Out Of Your Writing”.* Lesson 5 where you have to watch Netflix and analyse Breaking Bad was also a personal highlight.
PLUS 1-to-1 support, a private Facebook Group for feedback and a final exam. (Don’t be scared – it’s basically a massive blog audit to help implement everything you’ve learned).
Your Blog Needs This
One of the things I love about this course is that Mike looks at storytelling specifically from a blogger’s perspective. This course is not just about writing stories but about getting them read.
You’ll learn how to create a content strategy, how to amplify your work and how to use words to brand yourself as a blogger. Each lesson includes case studies of bloggers who have nailed their story in different ways and analyses how they did it.
There are challenges that make you think mixed in with practical tips. Hands up who wants help writing their About page? Writing that is the worst, isn’t it? Tune into Lesson 7 for help with this.
In short, every aspect of your blog can be improved by this course. So what are you waiting for?
The course is relaunching at the end of January 2018 and has just a few places left.
So move fast people. Your blog needs you.
I am an affiliate of this course for Mike as he asked nicely and I genuinely think my blogger friends will get a lot out of it.
*Mike – I came back to edit this post after several hours and removed at least 10% of words like the ass-licking good, little student I am!