Personal Story Article Template

A personal story or anecdote can be the perfect gateway to the hearts and minds of your audience.

Not only does a personal story give you a chance to share your experiences, but you also get to build trust with your audience by showing what you know about your niche.

After all, if you’ve gone through something yourself, even if it was just one time, you probably have an insight to share with other people who face similar circumstances.

The key to writing an article based on a personal story is to tell it clearly and explain the moral of the story (i.e. what did you learn from it?).

Without that, there’s no point in telling the story at all.

Sharing a story with a clear moral is a good way to share the experience AND build trust with your audience as an authoritative voice in your niche. Here’s a general overview of how to do that:

  • Pick Your Story – Every day we stumble across opportunities to share our stories, but we don’t always think to write down what happened and save it for an article to be written later. Start writing down what happens when you’re experiencing something new or something related to your expertise.
     
    Once you start doing that, you’ll have some idea of the story you’d like to tell through your writing. You could be writing about something that just happened yesterday. Or, you could think about the past and flip open your journal to bring back older memories.
     
  • Tell the Story – Set the scene for the story by providing the who, what, when, where, why and how of what happens. Leave out information if it seems trivial or unimportant to the story. Use chronological order as best you can.
     
  • Explain the Moral of the Story – Feel free to combine the story and moral together. The more you go into detail on why you’re telling the story and what you learned from the experience, the better.
     
    For example, you might be writing about a recent night out when you were trying to save some money. The moral of the story could be something like, “See it really is possible to find inexpensive food and entertainment in the heart of New York City. Dinner for two and a movie cost us less than $40. You, too, can save by following these tips …” followed by your own original tips.
     
  • Give Further Advice – Add additional advice as you see fit. Also, think about whether you would have done things differently given the opportunity and share that.

The Personal Story Article Template is a completely brand new template, not 1 of the 52 included in our recently released Article Template Playing Cards package (which you can check out here).

So, what are you waiting for? Start turning your personal stories into insightful articles today!

31 Comments »


1
Abraham Rose writes:

Thank you for the encouragement. I have soooo many personal experiences to share.

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 11:21 AM

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2
Patti McMann writes:

Thanks for sharing this. I just had an article published about my brother’s murder and this template is pretty much how my article flowed. It’s a great guideline, especially when an experience is painful to write about. :)

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 12:51 PM

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3

Thanks Chris, will definitely use the template and incorporate more personal stories into my blogs…

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 1:05 PM

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4
Tangible Words writes:

Focusing on telling the story by the “5 Ws” (Who, What, etc.) while leaving out trivial information is the difference between so-so writing and the refined craft of writing.

Refined writing takes more time, but it also means more people will read your words.

One tip: make sure the people you turn to for advice are skilled writers themselves who have an English Degree (at the very least).

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 1:16 PM

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5

I have bought the Article Template Playing Cards and have just started to use them. They definitely help you in setting up the story and body of your article with simple yet effective ideas. There are many different templates and ways to set up almost anything you would like to talk about. Thanks Ezine.

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 1:36 PM

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6
Mircea Prodan writes:

So any story unfolds. The fact is that the news, that should answer some questions: who, where, when, how and why. For the rest you need some talent…

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 2:51 PM

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7
pushpendra writes:

Very useful tips. I’ll keep my diary handy but I miss jotting down many important info. I’ll make this habit.

Thank you very much for sharing this and for your valuable time.

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 3:04 PM

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8

This is the second blog post I’ve read on my Android and I figured I better get over here and grab this template.

I already have an idea for an article which I’m sure will be pretty long! :-)

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 4:15 PM

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9
John Canivan writes:

A story with a good moral is one that we remember for a long time.

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 5:36 PM

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Bellaisa writes:

A story with a good moral AND one that we can relate to our own life is one that we remember for a long time!

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10
Walter Reich writes:

I can never get enough information from Ezine.
You can never stop learning. Great job you are doing.

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 6:15 PM

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11

Dear editor,

Your template on writing and sharing personal experience, as story, that carries certain message, to the audience, is really valuable suggestion, indeed.

There can’t be a story without a message.

Good luck.

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 6:32 PM

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12
Joseph Dabon writes:

Agree, a personal story is a very nice and easy thing to write about. Unfortunately, the diversity of blog viewers don’t guarantee a wide readership. My other blog, about happiness and fitness always revolve around my experiences. But I get anemic visits. What am I doing wrong?

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 8:52 PM

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13
Valentino Buoro writes:

Personal Story Articles should really be the point to start. It is easier to write as you do not need to search for the relevant information which you already have deposited in you by that experience. Thanks for the insight.

Comment provided July 26, 2011 at 5:57 AM

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14
John writes:

I love this concept and am keen to give it a try.

Comment provided July 26, 2011 at 6:27 AM

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15
Lance Winslow writes:

YES, YES, YES! I completely agree! In fact, I’ve done a number of these, and people really do like to read them, and often contact me by email to thank me, or tell me a similar story that happened to them, sometimes this gives me even more new material to create additional articles, secondary thoughts, and more advice to depart.

Comment provided July 26, 2011 at 8:55 AM

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16
Michele Hogg writes:

Dear Chris,
This article includes some very useful information. I agree that most people like to read a story with personal content, especially if it contains a moral. I have yet to write my first article but I will keep these tips in mind. Thanks

Comment provided July 26, 2011 at 6:29 PM

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17
Elena writes:

I’m glad I purchased the Article Template Playing Cards when I did. They keep going up in price. However, I think they are worth it. I’m willing to get all the tips I can in regards to article writing. The personal story anecdote seems like a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

Comment provided July 26, 2011 at 8:33 PM

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18

I did exactly this more than a year ago and the article was rejected on the basis that it WAS a story. It was called The Tennessee Expert. I would repost it for the heck of it, but it is only 296 words. It has been living over at Self Growth all this time.
I guess there’s been a change.

Comment provided July 26, 2011 at 9:25 PM

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19
Anne Benedetto writes:

Hello everyone! Maybe someone would be so kind as to clarify this for me. I have not written any articles in the first person – I thought such a thing would either be rejected or discouraged. I am allowed to write articles that discuss my experiences first hand? Thanks so much! Anne

Comment provided August 29, 2011 at 7:56 PM

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Yeah, Anne, they used to forbid, not just discourage, it. It was self-promotion. I was writing a story about a sparrow’s life and up came the yellow box monster accusing me of promoting myself, back then.
Ezine is becoming known as a place whose articles are commercial, same articles over and over from the same authors. I signed up for ranch news years ago and still get fifty articles a week on chicken coops from that … and nothing much else. Devoid of content.
I think this promotion is an attempt to get away from that rep. Years ago, I wrote ‘Leadership, a Tale of Two Cats, Tale of Two Dogs,’ which would be an example of article with moral. I have written some in first person too, if you want to go hunt.
Basically, a conversational tone makes it very easy to write these. It’s like storytelling around the kitchen table.

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Emily,

Promotional content is subjective and every article offers a new variable for us to consider. A name mention, or 1st person is not a rejection. Blatant promotion is far different than offering a perspective in 1st person.

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Emily writes:

ha-ha. A story of a sparrow’s life is blatant self-promotion; you agree with the Yellow Box Monster.

I wrote an article called The Tennessee Expert, which was rejected as ‘fiction.’ Haven’t heard of that rejection since. It was very brief, about my court reporting days in which a witness presented a curriculum vitae, a list of death-defying stunts he had performed professionally. I asked him ‘So what are you afraid of?’ as humor, and to get a sample of the way he talked for my transcribing of his testimony. His answer, ‘A serious talk with a female,’ in this deep Tennessee accent, was very serious. The moral was that guys are scared of The Talk, something girls are angling for quite often.
Now, that is exactly the kind of article they are asking for. Times change.

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Anne,

Yes! Your experiences add tremendous value to your expertise. And provides a unique perspective.

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20
translation service writes:

Sharing personal experience and stories fetches great audience and helps emoting you in better manner. So keep posting nice stories from your personal experiences.

Comment provided September 8, 2011 at 8:52 AM

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21
Azma Banting writes:

I’m quite lost here. Can I write any personal content? Does family stories count?

Comment provided September 17, 2011 at 3:15 AM

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Azma,

What type of personal content? I think all content is personal to some degree and what we pull from real life experiences adds tremendous value to articles. Short stories are OK as long as they have a point but keep in mind that your article should deliver value by offering tips that your readers will learn from.

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22
Mat Lear writes:

Thanks for the tips. As a newbie, any great write up is always appreciated.

Comment provided September 24, 2011 at 11:10 PM

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23
Wendy Eth writes:

Thanks for these for fantastic ideas. I’ve been trying to think of something different to write, and now I have a great idea.

Comment provided October 24, 2011 at 3:03 PM

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24
Macky writes:

I write a lot of personal story slanted articles and I thought I have it all covered … Your tip on “give added advice” is a welcome new weapon in my arsenal. Thanks.

Comment provided November 15, 2011 at 6:44 PM

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25
Language Translation Services writes:

A personal story is a perfect gateway to the hearts and minds of your audience bcoz personal story give you a chance to share your experiences.

Comment provided November 24, 2011 at 6:45 AM

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