Although I’m a big proponent of original content, I also recognize the opportunity to raise your profile that comes with joining in on the conversation that other bloggers have started. The key, of course, is to not just link out, but to link out and elaborate in a way that demonstrates you’re someone worth listening to.
In the new media space, Scott Karp of Publishing 2.0 is a master at this. You can always depend on Scott to have insightful analysis of the latest news, and whether you agree with him or not, you’ll still come away with value.
While you may not be a rhetorical master, there’s an easy way for anyone to become a persuasive conversational blogger. The key is to offer more than just your opinion, since last time I checked everyone seems to have one of those. You’ll get better results if you give people something they can relate to at a personal level.
Tell a story.
Think about it. When having a conversation, you find something to say in response fairly quickly based on the personal memories that the speaker stirred. Without those memories, you’d have nothing to say. Those memories are tied to experiences, and experiences are stories.
The reason why a story works better than a simple statement of opinion is because it in turn evokes vivid mental imagery in your reader’s minds, based on their own memories of experiences. You’ve now created a relational bond with your readers that makes it more likely that they will see (and agree with) your point of view. Don’t tell them that you’re right; let them tell themselves that you’re right, based on their own similar experiences.
Give it a shot. Next time you see something that inspires you to blog, take a moment and identify the one or more experiences that prompted that reaction. It can be a personal incident, a professional anecdote, or a success story about one of your clients or customers.
Stories are the key to selling people on your ideas and authority in an engaging fashion. And your ideas and authority are the keys to selling them later on the things that make you money.