Country music isn’t the first thing on my radio dial.
But, I’ve gotta admit something. I’ve learned an awful lot about blogging from those southern swooners. Pound for pound the best story-telling is packaged in a good country western song.
Friend, if you want to really move the heart and minds of your readers then you should take a page from the country music song writer.
One of the best in the biz is Tim McGraw*.
“Johnny’s daddy was taking him fishin…”
Johnny didn’t want to take “the girl” fishing. He was willing to give anything in the world to keep her at home.
McGraw uses the first verse to set the scene for the song. Almost all of his song stories start the same way.
I recommend you borrow this technique too. Let your reader know where the arc of your blog post starts. Give them a picture of where your opinion, viewpoint, or perspective is based.
What was the one thing that you knew for sure would never change? Start your story from here.
“Same Old Boy, Same Sweet Girl”
Things have changed. Johnny and the girl are now dating. On the way to the movies, a mugger threatens the couple. Johnny is wiling to give away anything to keep his girlfriend safe.
What’s changed in your viewpoint? How has your personal journey evolved? Give the details and show your thought process. Your readers will love the progression.
There’s something hypnotic about stories of struggle, enlightenment and redemption. If you are in a “dryer” niche, make sure you describe the “aha” moments that dramatically changed your perspective.
“Same Old Boy, Same Sweet Girl – 5 Years Down the Road”
Not gonna lie…as a dad this verse always chokes me up.
Tim McGraw shows us what at stake. Johnny is in the delivery room. The two most important people in his life are with him. But his girl is dying. Johnny prays to make his last request.
On Copyblogger, Lisa Barone showed just how powerful “showing the stakes” can be to a story. I can’t agree more.
In every post, make it clear what you reader stands to gain or lose. Force them to come face to face with their needs, aspirations, even their fears. If you are a business blogger then you gotta connect your product’s benefits with something truly important to the reader. If you aren’t blogging for profit then you must build a bridge to the core values that defines your reader.
This is tough. But it’s what defines “great” content.
What’s Your Song?
I’ve discovered that everybody has a “Don’t Take the Girl” post in them. In fact, I believe you have thousands. Take a step back and ask –
1. How has your viewpoint grown and evolved over time?
2. What have you learned that has stunned, thrilled, and shocked you?
3. How can someone benefit from what you’ve discovered? How can you demonstrate the stakes for your reader?
Now, write your song. Leave a comment and tell me how you plan to get started.
*Fact Check Note: Tim McGraw provides the voice but Craig Martin and Larry Johnson wrote the song 🙂 ~ Thanks @BozekBarowski