Content writers are a new breed, driven by the trends of the internet. Some seem to forget that the the old rules still apply and that storytelling is an effective way to get your point across. This is how you can step up your content game with traditional fiction writing techniques.
I’m not saying that you should write fiction in order to sell your point.
What I am saying is to take some of these fiction writing techniques and use them to work for your articles and copywriting.
1. Use the “Show, Don’t Tell” Technique
A classic fiction writing technique is “show, don’t tell”.
In fiction, instead of simply saying that Sally is scared, make that fact obvious with an explanation of the subtleties taking place in her experience – “she froze in her tracks, unable to move… the sound of her own heartbeat drowned out the music playing in the next room”.
By showing what’s happening, you don’t have to tell.
When it comes to content, use this technique to keep your blog readers interested.
Instead of, “this is a great team of social media marketers,” say, “this team has worked with companies like Nike and Walmart to increase social media engagement rates by up to 300%”.
This is pretty basic, and makes your content more engaging.
2. Leverage Foreshadowing in Your Blog
A novelist uses foreshadowing to provide hints as to what might happen next without giving away the secret.
If you think of your blog posts as individual chapters in a larger book, you can leverage this technique to your advantage. Here’s how.
Introduce a basic idea in one post, then spin off of it in future posts. For example, if you write a list of tips and techniques in one post, you can elaborate on some or each of these techniques in the future to expand upon ideas.
Not only will you deliver more in-depth knowledge to your readers, but you will also create an opportunity for internal linking within your website.
That’s not the only way to use foreshadowing in your content creation, though. Don’t forget to use the introduction space of your article to provide a sneak peek at what is to come in the article.
Readers will be more engaged in knowing what they’re about to learn.
3. How to Create “Flashbacks” in Web Content
Writing flashbacks in fiction is a method for giving insight to a current scene using an event from the past. Flashbacks should be relevant to what’s going on right now, but take place in another time.
You can use flashbacks – though probably not in every blog post – to link to an existing piece of relevant content that gives readers a better understanding of what you’re presenting in the now.
So, say you published an infographic several months ago, and now you’re elaborating on a topic that was covered in it.
Don’t just link to the infographic, but provide a sentence or two about what was shown in it, then provide the link.
If it can be simultaneously helpful and aesthetically appealing, provide a screenshot of the portion of the information being discussed as well.
Content writing isn’t the same as authoring a novel or writing short stories, but knowing the same techniques can boost your engagement.
Show rather than tell, foreshadow what is to come, and provide flashbacks for the purpose of keeping readers’ attention and linking to other content within your website.
What other fiction techniques do you use in content creation?