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How to Develop Your Blog’s Persona Using the Power of Storytelling

By Nicholas Muema | Blogging 101

Oct 16

Let’s travel back in time to our earliest years of life.

Our childhood.

Remember when your grandpa or grandma used to summon you in the evening, along with your buddies?

You knew exactly what he/she called you for--to listen to the evening story.

So you gather around the makeshift fire, eagerly anticipating the story to start.

Right now, you realize that each story was full of exaggeration.

But your young mind didn’t care for that.

No.

Your childhood mind was completely blown away by the story. Nothing else mattered in that moment other than that folklore.

The way your grandparents infused life to the fictional characters made the stories feel exceedingly realistic.

Your grandpa or grandma used storytelling to explain profound lessons in a way that your childhood mind could understand.

That’s because storytelling does two jobs in sync; it grabs attention, and sells the main lesson(s) of that story with utmost ease.

Storytelling does two jobs in sync; it grabs attention, and sells the main lesson(s) of a story with utmost ease.

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And I’ll show you why you need to develop a story around your blog’s persona.

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First things first—a story

Joe is a 25-year old graduate, with a degree from a prestigious university.

He studied finance and wanted to be part of the banking industry after college. However, the last two years have been difficult for him.

There was no job opening for him. He had submitted CV after CV but what he only got was a polite response:

“No available opening at the moment. Thank you for giving us a consideration. We hope you find what you are looking for.”

Rejection.

Things at home weren’t easier for Joe. His parents paid for his varsity education, and they didn’t want to extend financial aid to him.

Instead, they forced him to look for job openings every day.

But the constant wave of rejection lowered Joe’s self-confidence.

At the moment, he’s no longer motivated to look for a job.

Being jobless affords you time to reflect back on your life. And this is what Joe did.

From a young age, Joe had always liked body building. In fact, he started bench pressing from primary school! He was an undisputed champion back in high school when it came to matters concerning the gym.

Joe wants to help people hit the gym and achieve their fitness goals. So in his mind, he sees his gym full of people toiling and sweating, trying to look and feel healthy.

In so doing, he sees his gym as a sort of 'transformation centre'. People come in sad and unhealthy, but afterwards, they come out radiating energy and confidence.

All in all, it’s still a business. However noble his intentions are, he still has to take the risk of starting his gym.

All the effort needed to grow a business are now upon his shoulders. His parents want him to pursue a white collar job, but his heart is settled on the gym.

This means that he is on his own. Talk about scary!

Like  millennial, he searches online, trying to find suitable information about entrepreneurship:

  • How do you start a business?
  • What mind-set makes a successful entrepreneur?
  • How do you raise capital for your business?
  • How do I help others, but still earn a full time income?
  • Is there a way of getting potential clients from social media?
  • He then lands on Blogger’s Pursuit. He reads a post that intrigues him, which actually belongs to the Entrepreneurship category.

    In that post, I explain the essence of any business – helping others. I try explaining that empathy is the first virtue an entrepreneur has to develop.

    In addition, I explain to him why he needs to centre his business from the client’s perspective:

    • What does the client want from my business?
    • What makes the client choose me over my competitors?
    • Does the client like my current service or should I change some things?

    Joe liked the post and shared it with his friends on social media.

    However, before leaving the page, a popup presents itself asking him to download a free eBook in exchange for his email address.

    The eBook is related to the Entrepreneurship category, so it is very familiar to him. He signs up, gets the book and reads it.

    He then gets an email sequence that talks about starting an online business to compliment a physical one.

    In that series, Joe learns:

    • That sharing his passion for fitness online is the first step he should take.
    • Where he should share his fitness tips to attract a like-minded audience.
    • Why he should start a blog (his online business). 
    • Why he should have his own mailing list.
    • How he can promote his gym through his fitness blog
    • What kind of info products he can sell to generate capital for his gym. 
    • How he can promote some gym equipment through his blog (affiliate marketing).

    I then pitch him a course titled, “How to grow an online business to complement a physical one.”

    I explain it through a series of email & blog posts, webinars, and finally on its sales page.

    He buys the course, and likes the material so much that he features as one of my testimonials.

    From the course, Joe learns how he can grow his clientele through his YouTube videos and also generate capital for his gym through his fitness blog, books & courses.

    Give your persona a name and a life

    A story isn’t a story without a character because everything’s centred on him/her.

    In my example, my persona’s name is Joe. His life, though fictional, is relatable and entirely possible.

    Think about who your ideal reader is. Ask yourself these questions:

    • If he/she lands on my blog, what is he/she getting in return?
    • Is your content speaking to everyone, or is it tailored to your blog’s persona?
    • What actionable information is my visitor getting from my posts?
    • Is my content empathetic, or does it just talk about me?
    • Etc.

    Your persona helps when you publish your content. Because you know exactly which type of person reads your posts.

    Explain how your blog is of help to your ideal readers

    In this case, Joe wanted information on entrepreneurship. He had already made up his mind to start his gym business.

    But he lacked the information necessary to start and run a business.

    That’s where Blogger’s Pursuit comes in. 

    Every time I publish an entrepreneurship post, I try to make sure that a person who relates to Joe gains something from it.

    If you’ll discuss multiple topics on your blog, make sure that each topic has its own persona.

    Topic A is not important to someone who’s interested in Topic B.

    There’s even a saying about this: one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

    Show how your premium products are of help to your persona

    Your own blog is an online business. It needs to turn a profit to survive.

    But it also needs to deliver value.

    In this case, the blog posts provided free value, but the online course, “How to grow an online business to complement a physical one” provided an all-in-one premium solution.

    The course covers content that one needs to start a successful online business. It has tutorial videos, workbooks, check-lists and so on.

    The course acts like a digital mentor for Joe, and saves him a lot of hustle of scouring the web and wasting time reading posts that aren’t beneficial to him.

    Explain how your products/services will help your ideal clients through your persona.

    It helps personalize the benefits of your products/services.

     Just don’t skip this part when developing your persona.

    P/S: This course currently does not exist. It’s just an example. But in future, expect to find courses like this on Blogger’s Pursuit. Stay tuned.

    Conclusion

    Your persona helps you personalize every post you publish. You know the type of person who’ll be assisted by your blog posts.

    But developing your persona isn’t easy. It requires a deep understanding of your blog’s purpose, which sometimes feels mystical.

    To ease the process of developing your persona, breathe life to him/her by creating a story. A story that is both relatable and plausible.

    You can then use that story to publish relevant posts, without them feeling too vague.

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    About the Author

    Nick started Blogger's Pursuit to help upcoming bloggers and entrepreneurs discover their pursuit of blogging. Other times, you'll find him deeply engrossed in a book or finding new business strategies to experiment with.