That balance between structure and “just sharing” meaningful stories

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I see posts like this all the time – probably weekly if not more often:

  • How to correctly format your blog post
  • Eight things every blog post needs to include
  • Five new tools to help you blog
  • Our 12-step process to get your blog post done

There are variations, of course, and some of this information is useful, and when applied properly can help us improve our blogging and storytelling.

But these kind of posts can also serve as enablers for procrastination. When we focus too much on some things we focus less on other things.

I once read that Steve Jobs wore the same type outfit every day because not having to make a decision on dress (“does this match?, for example) frees up brain power to think about other things – like inventing the iPhone.

The same is true with authentic storytelling and content marketing – especially when we first get started.

We can spend all the time in the world on formatting posts, debating why a story should or shouldn’t be published and even measurements. The bottom line is that process, great ways to measure or format won’t make much of a difference if we don’t share meaningful stories that are unique to us.

If we have nothing of value to share it won’t make a difference that it looks pretty.

My suggestions – and I follow this myself – would be to focus on finding relevant and interesting stories first. Of course, make sure they have something to do with your business goals, but focus on finding those rock star stories. Stories that are meaningful to the audience will outperform stories that are formatted nicely but have little substance behind them.

Keep in mind, that in a perfect world, we publish stories that are meaningful and follow some of those best practices of appearance. We should strive for that. Yes. Absolutely.  But the most important first step in authentic storytelling in content marketing is to come up with great stories and share them.