Article Ideas: Let’s Get Personal

Want an article style that can yield incredible results?

Enter the personal story.

Personal stories, such as tales of triumph or tragedy, are great human interest pieces that attract a wide variety of readers. This style also provides your unique insight in an informal, engaging, compelling, and informative format.

While all articles aim to inform by sharing your own exclusive and original content, personal stories forge a bond between the author and the reader via a link of empathy and trust. Like traditional article writing methods, the best personal story articles still include tips, strategies, techniques, case-studies, analyses, opinions, and commentaries based on your own perspective. However, unlike formal article writing methods, the personal story style is an informal approach that attracts, engages, and cultivates loyal readers on a whole new level of success.

The Art of Storytelling

Sharing a great personal story comes down to an age-old storytelling format:

  • Exposition: This is the introduction or the background information orienting the reader into the story. This doesn’t have to be your life-story; merely the important keys to help build a foundation for the reader to familiarize themselves with the setting.
     
  • Rising Action: Introduction of conflicts, obstacles, or extraordinary events that are either controlled or uncontrolled by the protagonist (the main person of the story). This can include your analysis, opinion, or commentary about a particular event, subject, or experience.
     
  • Climax: This is the turning point of the story. Often it is the point of a significant change (good or bad) the story has been building toward.
     
  • Falling Action: The results or events after the climax of the story. This can include the development and execution of a plan, surfacing evidence that reinforces the main point of the climax, and more.
     
  • Denouement (or Conclusion): A resolution is made or the story comes to a close that either resolves or provides the reader with closure.

Additional Tips to Writing an Engaging Personal Story

Here are a few more keys to incorporating a personal story into your articles successfully:

  1. Pick an Engaging and Compelling Topic – While it is true that the Internet is so large, someone is bound to find any story interesting – deciding which personal story to use can be a challenge. Consider how you got to where you are in your niche today – are there any particular events, experiences, etc. that stick out in your mind? Think of an article topic – what experience or event in your life reminds you of that topic?
     
  2. Avoid Writing a Journal or Diary Entry – “When we went to Hawaii, we went to the store to get pineapple juice. After that, we went for a walk, it was breathtaking. Then we went to party that was off the hook.” Boring! A retelling of an itinerary doesn’t provide the reader with informative value.
     
  3. Avoid Writing Promotional Content – “I was struggling with my mortgage. I decided to give [Company Name] a shot and I’ve never looked back! [Company Name] has been a fantastic opportunity for me to earn income…” This doesn’t provide the reader with objective or unbiased information and it appears to readers like a recruiting advertisement or promotional copy.

A personal story can be the perfect gateway to build trust with your audience and increase your credibility. Try it for your next set of quality articles!

20 Comments »


1
Howard Dion writes:

This is very helpful as I have been thinking about, and acting upon that very idea. I am using fictional stories based on my experience to illustrate the hypothesis I am presenting.

Thank you, Howard

Comment provided March 7, 2012 at 12:03 PM

[Reply]

2
AnnaMarie writes:

Thanks for the great reminder.

Comment provided March 7, 2012 at 1:40 PM

[Reply]

3
Jan Smith writes:

Now this type of article writing really appeals to me. Both as a writer and a reader. This is the way stories and advice gets remembered. People love to learn how others have overcome challenges in their lives and learning from others experiences is how we all learn and advance our knowledge. After all, as the old saying goes “there’s no need to reinvent the wheel”.

As for writing in this style for EzineArticles, I believe it will help/stop some of the ‘purely for a link’ articles that I sometimes read.

The other advantage to this style of writing that I see is that the articles become energized and much more engaging.

Comment provided March 7, 2012 at 2:28 PM

[Reply]

4
K Anglin writes:

I am not very comfortable dealing with personal stories. This probably is because of the varied conflicts I have had in life.

Comment provided March 7, 2012 at 2:53 PM

[Reply]

5
Gabriela Brown writes:

Very useful information to get me back on track and in the ‘write’ frame of mind. I will be using this for my upcoming articles

Comment provided March 7, 2012 at 3:22 PM

[Reply]

6

To all my writer friends,

Our lives are made up of our personal stories. When we write them out – the sad, the powerful, the horrible, the frightening, the funny – we connect with one another. Not only is writing a personal article a way to connect with one another but it’s a self-validation of our journey. It is also a great practice in psychological courage and the more we practice being brave the braver we become.

I like telling my story. It has brought me some pain but as Robert Frost said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

Thank you for this great piece, Penny.

Comment provided March 7, 2012 at 4:31 PM

[Reply]

Howard Dion writes:

Mary Jane, wonderfully stated like a great writer who connects with the reader. Thank you.

[Reply]

7

Thank you, Howard, what a sweet thing to say.

Comment provided March 7, 2012 at 7:16 PM

[Reply]

8
Opal Marrs writes:

One of my first articles was about my challenge with cancer and it was published. I have written two thick books of memoirs of my life to the last year, which include a lot of living. When I wrote a couple of articles that were stories from my experiences ,you rejected them, saying that a story based on my experience would not be interesting to readers. This blog seems to contradict.

Comment provided March 7, 2012 at 9:08 PM

[Reply]

Opal –

I have no doubt that your story has merit and value and would be a great topic for inspirational articles. The fact that your first article was approved is a testament to that. It’s possible that your later articles had issues that otherwise led to them not being approved. In this case, I will forward your comment to our Member Support Team and ask that your articles be given a second look.

My best wishes for good health and continued article writing success!

– Marc

[Reply]

John Russo writes:

I didn’t get to read the first article but am sure the content dealt with cancer basics. Once you added in everyday struggles it became a true personal story,not a how to do or niche article. I’ve had my past experiences dealing with a father who had cancer and worked in a cancer treatment center. There is no way to sum up ones life on an ezine article. Your memoirs would best published and made available to others as a story about your personal battle with cancer.

[Reply]

9
ifeanyi emenne writes:

Thanks so much for sharing. I love writing my articles with some tip bits of personal stories but I was not sure if people loved that style of writing.
In fact the master article writer in the bible Jesus used it a lot

ifeanyi

Comment provided March 7, 2012 at 10:08 PM

[Reply]

10
Jakeson writes:

It’s a great article. From now own, this will be my guide. Thanks a lot.

I’m currently writing about my hospital experience and my reflections behind it.

Comment provided March 8, 2012 at 12:17 AM

[Reply]

11
Lance Winslow writes:

I’d like to add that when doing these types of articles – if you use speech recognition software, it tends to go very nicely and flowing, and thus, easier to edit when you are completed – it seems when telling a story and tying it into a subject, that your voice flows smoother without making mistakes, as if you are talking to the reader, thus, a much higher accuracy rate using the voice software. Meaning, it’s easier and faster to do these types of articles, plus, people actually do like them better, and they are unique, not just regurgitated facts, which really people can find anywhere online. Make your articles stick out and count. Thanks for this post – I very much concur.

Comment provided March 8, 2012 at 1:43 AM

[Reply]

12
Ovegho writes:

Great and useful article. The article has clarified all of my challenges with having to come up with any article titles. Welldone, Penny for this!

Comment provided March 8, 2012 at 4:30 AM

[Reply]

13

they are really good tips. I have just started a Caribbean Catering business and will be writing a few articles about Caribbean Food and maybe some recipes too.

your tips are a great help to me!!!

Thanks

Comment provided March 8, 2012 at 6:22 AM

[Reply]

14
Cristina P?ru? writes:

I love personal stories! In fact, I believe that a blog has a great value when the articles are more personal than general, addressing directly from the heart and actually telling a story. A real story!

Comment provided March 9, 2012 at 2:58 AM

[Reply]

15
Elena writes:

I agree that using a personal story in an article can be more interesting to the reader.

Comment provided March 10, 2012 at 5:32 PM

[Reply]

16
Jane writes:

I believe that the success of your story would always depend on how much your reader can really relate to it and your readers’ interest about your topic even how bad your English is.

Comment provided March 11, 2012 at 4:27 PM

[Reply]

17
Randall Magwood writes:

This is actually a great strategy. Works very well with copywriting also. Reminds me of the copywriting technique of entering the conversation already occuring in their minds.

Comment provided December 15, 2012 at 9:04 PM

[Reply]

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.