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Is there a perfect way to structure a blog post? The internet seems to think so. I’m always seeing articles about what your articles should look like.
But is there definitively one way to do it? No, of course there isn’t.
Nowadays we hear a lot about weaving a story into our posts too – it isn’t enough to have the technical knowledge, we also need to engage and build rapport with our readers Click & Tweet! . And how do we incorporate stories into that structure we’re supposed to have.
If you’re struggling to find a structure that suits, I have this trick in my extremely old carpet-bag (thank you, Anne) and it has your name on it. I call it the fairytale principle, and it’s all about using stories to structure your blog posts (aka turning the whole mess on its head!)
Most fairytales hit a series of key plot points that (with a bit of creative thinking) could be applied to any topic.
The Fairytale Principle
A villain causes harm to one or more people.
Fairytale example: A sinister man with a blue beard married many a young lady, only to have them “disappear”.
Blog example: The intense competition of having so many other copywriters in your local area has seriously impacted your sales.
The hero receives a warning and ignores it.
Fairytale example: A young girl with a red hood is told not to stray from the path running through the forest.
Blog example: All the online experts recommend in-person networking events as a way to build a client base
The hero is tested.
Fairytale example: A girl is asked to spin straw into gold, to satisfy the greed of others.
Blog example: The copywriter researches local events and attends a few. She doesn’t see an uptake in sales, but she does meet a few other business owners that really, really don’t like attending these events.
Hero reacts by solving a problem.
Fairytale example: A prince hacks through an enchanted forest to get to the sleeping princess in the tower.
Blog example: The copywriter decides to host her own online networking event for local business people.
Combat between hero and villain.
Fairytale example: An evil queen tries to poison her stepdaughter three times, but fails at every turn.
Blog example: Initially the copywriter struggles to fill her event, but after getting in touch with some of those business owners she met at her last meetup, word of mouth kicks in.
The hero returns home with riches.
Fairytale example: Jack goes back to the farm with a nice big sack of giant’s gold.
Blog example: The copywriter’s event for local introverts is a hit, and has since been turned into a regular networking session.
The hero is met with disbelief.
Fairytale example: The ugly stepsisters didn’t believe that their live-in maid was really the mysterious and dazzling girl from the ball.
Blog example: The copywriter provides a free email series, all about how to host your first online event. She also shares a ton of testimonials recommending her events.
The hero is made whole and rewarded.
Fairytale example: And they all lived happily ever after…
Blog example: The copywriter has a nice fat pipeline of work AND has added another string to her entrepreneurial bow. She also has the satisfaction of knowing that she can do things her way, and the world won’t implode.
And that’s it, the fairytale principle. Next time you sit down to write a blog post, test out an arc like this one. Your writing will have an easy to grasp story line, it will be compelling, and it will have the humanizing element we all look for when we’re reading.