I’ve had professional screenwriters tell me my life would make for a darn interesting movie.
I regularly pitch Netflix on an idea to make a series about my wildest travel stories.
It’s one thing to live a wild life.
It’s quite another thing to be able to tell an entertaining, captivating, humorous and sometimes dramatic story about the experience.
If you can tell enchanting stories through your blog you will strike an emotional chord with your readers.
You will also stand out from the masses of bloggers who simply share practical tips from a cut and dry, third person perspective.
Follow these tips to become a better story teller.
1: Paint a Pretty Picture
Paint a pretty picture to become a better story teller.
Readers think in pictures.
Do their mental legwork for them.
I add mondo details to my wild travel stories.
Makes it easier for you to imagine and follow the story line.
For example, consider this travel story.
“Give me rupee for buttered roll!
The man stared at me, wild-eyed.
He begged for money. For a buttered roll.
After I politely declined his request with a pleasant smiled I turned toward the Thamel section of Kathmandu, Nepal.
Kelli and I took 2 more steps before I felt a gentle nip on my right biceps.
The initial tame bite turned into a sawing, gnawing motion.
The wild man sunk his slimy chompers into my taut man flesh.
Like a great white shark tearing into a hunk of tuna, I felt the nut job dig into my biceps aggressively.
After jerking away from this loon I swiftly jogged into the center of the road, getting lost in a maze of tuk tuks, tired tourists and honking cars.
Just another day in Kathmandu.”
#1: Yes, this really happened to me (I told you my life was wild).
#2: See how I painted a vivid picture to tell a more enrapturing, attention-grabbing story?
Imagine your story.
Pain the image with words.
Reel readers in with your picture painting talents.
2: Add Details
Add as many details to your story as possible.
You can’t add too many details to your story.
Tossing in as many details as humanly possible makes it easier for readers to follow your story.
Imagine if I recounted my Nepali Wild Man experience with these 2 lines:
“I went for a walk in Kathmandu, Nepal one night.
A crazy man bit my arm.”
Not only is this as boring as hell but I missed the opportunity to tell the actual story as it unfolded.
I can vividly remember the crazed look in the guy’s eyes as he sunk his fangs into my well-muscled biceps.
I recall violently jerking my arm from his chompers as threads of saliva hung from my arm.
The details make the story.
Go nuts on details.
Tell a wickedly entertaining story.
3: Read Voraciously
I read 30 to 60 minutes of fiction every night before going to bed.
Reading fabulous story tellers like James Patterson and Lee Child helps me tell a better story through osmosis.
Learn from the best.
Strengthen your imagination.
Take a cue from the best story tellers on earth.
4: Add a Pinch of Humor to Your Posts
Check out this blog post of mine.
See how I led off with a funny story?
I dissolved any writing-related tension immediately.
When you’re less tense you can weave a mean blogging tale.
Inject humor into your posts.
Stop being so serious.
Reading your blog shouldn’t feel like I’m listening to a funeral dirge.
I should feel like I’m dancing at Carnival after checking out your latest post.
Be funny. Write funny stories.
At the very least add a dash o’ humor to every post you write.
Ease writing tension.
Let the storyteller in you come out.
5: Observe, Observe, Observe, Observe
Practice watching life to tell more in-depth, detailed, entertaining stories.
Carry a pen and pad to record your day to day experiences.
You don’t need to be accosted by Thai lady boy prostitutes in Bangkok, or face down bullet ants, army ants and poison dart frogs in the remote jungles of Costa Rica or cheat death in India like me to tell an entertaining story.
Observe your daily experiences.
Write down 3 to 5 stories from today.
Flesh out 1 experience.
Link the story to your blogging niche.
I do this often through my blog and through my eBooks on Amazon.
People like helpful blogging tips but LOVE a good story that makes it easier to remember a particular tip through the power of analogies.
Are you a skilled story teller?
How are you telling stories through your blog?
What tips can you add to the list?
If you want to know how to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging you can check out my eBook here.
Are You Trying to Rank or Help People?
Check the intent behind your blogging actions. What are your drivers? Some bloggers desperately want to rank, to place articles on page 1 of Google, to drive sweet, passive search engine traffic. Good luck with that. Nobody succeeds ranking until you give virtually all of your attention and energy to helping people with your blogging efforts. The rank comes after the generous help and that generous help often spans years of your life because developing page 1 Google skills is no joke. If it were easy, everybody would rank on page 1, right?
But you would be surprised by how many folks struggle blogging because the focus on rank over help dominates their minds. I never fell afflicted to this common limiting belief because I give scant attention to ranking on Google. Most of me could care less. I help people through my guest posts, blog posts, course and eBooks. My intent is to help people not to try to get traffic and money through manipulating things. Be honest about the big difference between the two because making this shift will improve your life tremendously, along with positioning you to experience increasing blogging success.
Focus heavily on people and little on things to discover the secret of blogging success. Bloggers succeed by generously helping human beings for sustained periods of time. Imagine some blogger who appears to be all over their blogging niche. Study this individual. Guaranteed, this bloggers generously helped people for years, hours daily, through multiple methods of helping people. Imagine guest posting, blogging, broadcasting live on Facebook and podcasting. See how the top bloggers always seem to be assisting people from a generous, genuine energy? Be that person. The tops never obsess over ranking because doing so attaches you to outcomes. Attach to outcomes. Feel fear. Attachment is fear. Any time you blog from a vibe of fear, you will struggle, fail and quit eventually. Top bloggers feel fears but release the energies versus panicking and bailing on generously helping readers. Everybody else panics, bails and tries to manipulate things to get traffic and money, failing horribly over the long haul.
Nobody gets ahead trying to manipulate things because money flows through humans mainly, then, through things which act as receiving channels. Imagine if I sell a copy of my blogging course. Generously helping human beings instills trust in the person who bought my course. Money flows from them to me through Selz, and my bank account, from their credit card or bank account. The things – Selz, bank accounts – are receiving channels, facilitating the sending and receiving of money, but generous service and trust put the financial transaction into action.
Stop trying to rank before all else because dealing with things solely – SEO and Google – moves you out of the realm of reality, into thing-ality. Bloggers who succeed keep helping folks generously and keep promoting themselves, realizing the things are just tools humans use to connect with each other, to help each other and to prosper each other. Focus on helping humans, not trying to rank on page 1 of Google, to uncover the secret to successful blogging….and to uncover the secret of ranking on page 1 of Google.
Why Blogging Jealousy Is a Damaging Emotion
I spent today enjoying lunch and a hike through the forest with my wife. But like the past goodness knows how many years, I will work 6-8 hours daily….or more. I put in an hour or so this morning. Now I get to work a bit before 5 PM. People love my travel photos. Folks often tell me how jealous they feel, envying our life. We are so lucky! We are blessed. We are aligned. All that jazz. But the same folks NEVER feel jealous or envious of the fact that I worked 6 hours daily for the past goodness known how many years of my life. I tell folks about my workload sometimes; most look at me like I have 3 heads, people proclaiming themselves lazy and definitely, believing I can have this workload because working long and persistently is not for them.
Before you envy my movie-worthy life, envy my movie-worthy workload. Before you jealously bust my chops about my photos in Fiji and Bali, be just as envious and flat out jealous of the 20,000 hours I have blogged over the past decade of my life. You cannot have the sweet fruit unless you patiently water the seed and allow for it to thrive, during growing season. Likewise, you cannot have blogging success unless you patiently, persistently and generously work, to succeed.
Jealousy and Damage
Most bloggers never realize the intense jealousy that damages their blogging campaign. Why does jealousy hurt you and your blog? Delusion, that’s why. Take my Fiji or New Zealand or Costa Rica pictures. Most people who see the pictures envy my life because most folks CHOOSE to work a 9-5 job and CHOOSE not to travel. In the same breath, after expressing intense jealousy at me living a cool life of travel, I advise the person to begin blogging, to engineer a similar life for self and family. In an instant, most bloggers complain about having no time, no time, and no drive to design such a life of fun and freedom. Why? Being jealous of bloggers immediately places you in a “they have it, but I cannot have it,” type victim, non-empowered, weakling energy. If you believe only I can live this life, and envy me, and you foolishly believe you cannot life this life, you make endless excuses to cling to your belief system. Said excuses guarantee your unhappiness and comfort.
If you envy my life of travel, envy the 6 to 10 hours or more I have worked every single day of my life over the years. Do you envy working 8 hours every Saturday and Sunday? Are you SOOOO jealous that I will work 6-7 or more hours today, after being out of the house for about 6 hours, hustling into the evening? Nope. I did not think so. Few human beings envy someone who works generously, diligently and persistently because most people hate doing the very thing that sets them free. Why? Doing the thing that sets you free forces you outside of your comfort zone, to face deep, pulsating fears. Facing these fears seems highly unpleasant. Nobody enjoys facing fears, but you need to face fears in order to grow, to succeed, and to live a life of movie-worthy levels, you being the object of blogger envy.
Stop being jealous. Get to work, admire industrious bloggers who live their dreams, and you too will live your dreams.
Do you need to face deep fears on your blogging journey?
Buy my eBook:
How to Ride out Traffic Swings
Traffic swings occur for every single blogger who ever blogged.
Literally, nobody is immune from seeing traffic stats swing high, low, back, medium and all over, in between. How do you ride out these swings? Blog for the love of blogging and see traffic as an extra, a bonus, or some add on to your blogging campaign. Make the blogging work, the reward. See all else as extra, or a bonus, and you become totally chill in response to inevitable traffic swings. Way too many bloggers become obsessed with traffic stats. Even more make the foolish mistake of obsessing over traffic stats on a daily basis. Guys; this is nuts. How can you focus on daily traffic swings when you know all good, lasting things take time, energy and a willingness to have a vision? Relax. Slow down. Calm down. Trust in yourself. Trust in the blogging process. Good things take time and generous service.
Imagine if Jeff Bezos panicked over day to day traffic and sales numbers on founding Amazon over 2 decades ago? Imagine how doing so would have crippled his campaign? Everybody experiences swings – usually, wild swings – as a newbie entrepreneur and blogger because no growth is perfectly linear. Over time, with generous effort and a blanket trusting in the blogging process, you traffic increases month over month. But day to day analysis is a silly way to assess how you are doing. How in the heck can you honestly make a blanket assessment of your blog over a 24 hour period? It’s only 24 hours! We measure success in thousands and tens of thousands of hours…..not 24 hours. Come back down to earth. Get your head out of the clouds. Nothing of meaning, of lasting value, unfolds in 24 hours. Please be gentle with yourself and be even more gentle with your silly mind because the mind wants fast results but your heart knows; successful blogging is a long term gig.
Check Stats Infrequently
Do you have an absolute blast checking stats? If so, check stats monthly. Allow momentum to gain by generously helping people daily, over a monthly period. Observe your traffic stats to iron out any kinks and to not be swayed by the day to day fluctuations leveling most bloggers, creating a roller coaster wave of emotions in mind. I barely check metrics because if I love what I do, trust in the process and trust myself, the more generous service I put into blogging, the more blogging generously serves me. Simple equation here. Why in the heck would I assess my success based on 24 hour increments? Blogging success hinges on thousands of hours of generous service, not 24 hour blogs of work, right?
Pump your breaks guys. Get uber busy helping your readers by creating as much quality content as humanly possible. Be generous. Focus heavily on giving, not getting, to allow your daily stat checking obsession to dissolve just a wee bit. Blogging become uncomfortable here and there but does get easier and easier the more often you give freely of your time and talents. The challenge is not to panic when you resist checking stats for a few weeks as most folks go bonkers mad, ready to explode, once they try to detach from frequent stat checking.
Do you want to make more money blogging by managing my energy?
Buy my eBook:
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