The storytelling in blogging series continues with the one-time stories you need to tell and the trigger anchor text to use in order to turn visitors into fans.
As I laid out in the first of this series, Why Storytelling in Blogging Matters, you know that stories sell. They sell products, services, the words you type, and they help you sell yourself. But what stories will help a reader invest in you? What stories do you need to tell in order to turn readers into fans? And what engaging, curious, or emotional trigger anchor text can you use to get them to find out more?
The Storytelling in Blogging Series: Trigger Anchor Text
We’re still early on in the storytelling in blogging series. These are the bare-bones basics we’ll be covering:
- #1 – Telling the Right Story
- #2 – The One-Time Stories You Need to Tell and How to Use Them to Turn Visitors into Fans Using Trigger Anchor Text – this article
- Why You Should Never Start Your Writing with an Emotion (and How to Write Instead)
- Visual Storytelling (Using Images, Fonts, and Videos)
- How to Use Bucket Brigades in Storytelling for Posts and Sales Pages
- How to Use Storytelling Off-Site
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The One-Time Stories You Need to Tell
Why do you blog? What is your origin story? Why do you spend 4 hours on an article that’s read in 4 minutes or 3 hours prepping, testing, photographing, and writing up a meal which will be made in just 20 minutes?
In Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, he posits that finding the answer to this question is the reason people want to hear from you. Why do you blog?! Why do you blog about your topic, specifically?
ACTION: Take a few minutes and write 3 reasons you choose to do what you do. Next, list 3 ways in which you help readers. Finally, craft 4-7 sentences which detail why you blog.
If you want to work ahead, brainstorm a few trigger anchor text phrases which would really pique a reader’s curiosity about your story. What would make them click through?
If you truly want to help people, it shows in your writing. You write from a “we” position, not from a “me” place. They need your story, your help, your support. Telling them why you do what you do will help them decide whether to invest in you.
But that’s not the only story they need to hear.
Your “Nope, That’s Not Me” Story
If we are honest with ourselves, we try to be all things to all people. But we can’t be all thing to everyone and sometimes, it’s admitting that which helps us gain clarity.
When you started your blog, what consumed your thoughts? Was it how you were going to help people or what problems you could solve for them?
But your focus quickly became:
- Hosting and Theme
- Branding and Social Media Profiles
- WordPress and Plugins
- HTML and CSS (and other techie stuff you didn’t want to learn)
As you now know, dear seasoned blogger, one can have the fanciest theme, the “best” email provider, and the perfect logo and never make a dime or see a single pageview other than from their mom. #sadtrombone
I don’t normally work with brand new bloggers because I believe the value of a blog is in the content. If one doesn’t have content, does one really have a platform, let alone one they can turn into a business?!
I know what I am NOT to people and in telling them that, I give them a plan. I also deliver the message that I’m not in this just to amass as many clients as I can or that I’ll work with anyone who has a pulse. I tell them my “nope, not me” story and solidify my place with them.
ACTION: It’s your turn to identify what you’re not. Spend a couple of minutes narrowing your focus by detailing what you’re not so that you can attract your ideal reader. Your goal is to get 2-3 sentences detailing your “nope, not me” story.
Where Do These Stories Go?
An about page may be your first thought to where to put your one-time stories and you’re right! Make sure both of these stories end up on that page. But don’t stop there!
The About Me page shouldn’t be the only place your readers see your stories.
In nearly every post, you can position yourself to engage the reader with these two stories. You can (and should) use powerful anchor text to link to your about page.
Pro Tip: People often ask me what to do when a post goes viral but their bounce is off the charts high (meaning, the reader only reads that post and nothing else). I tell them, among other things, that they need to add powerful anchor text to their viral.
As a reminder, anchor text is the text which is underlined and, when clicked, opens the linked article or page. Our goal is to make anchor text relevant to the destination’s topic (SEO-friendly) while piquing a reader’s interest enough to get them to click through. Read more about anchor text best practices.
Before we move on, I want to be clear – we will deviate from traditional anchor text usage for SEO. Your goal isn’t to rank your about page. The purpose with engaging anchor text is to get a first-time reader to click TO your about page.
And we develop trigger phrases because they will:
- get a new reader to click through because their curiosity is piqued or emotions are charged and
- remind an existing reader of why you do what you do (and why you do it for them).
Engaging Anchor Text Example (Trigger Phrases)
Let’s use a client’s site which is a blog about helping obese people start a running regimen. On the about page are the why and ‘nope, not me’ stories. Let’s set them up so we’re all on the same page…
The author’s “why” story is that she was:
- morbidly obese according to her doctor,
- couldn’t chase after her kids or climb a single flight of stairs without stopping,
- taking various medications for complications due to her weight,
- was embarrassed by her appearance,
- didn’t want her kids to grow up with her as an example, and
- knew death was knocking on her door.
On this page, she states that she knows of so many others like her who are too embarrassed to seek help or cannot afford to hire a fitness trainer.
Her “nope, not me” story on this page is that she:
- is not perfect (a statement that says the reader doesn’t have to be either),
- gave up searching for a magic solution, pill, or program, and
- that she is not a fitness guru, a nutritionist, or a medical professional.
Remember: her trigger anchor text should be designed to lead people to read more about WHY she is writing for them, WHY she wants to help them, and WHY they should invest in her. Her job is to get the reader to click through.
Some trigger anchor text for her could be (underline for anchor text example):
- Each night, I would go to sleep knowing that being obese wasn’t setting a good example for my children.
- It’s hard to get out of bed at 6 am for a run, but it’s harder knowing that my weight is going to kill me.
- I would buy every diet pill or supplement and it would crush me each time when I realized it was no magic weight loss solution.
More Examples of Trigger Phrases for Anchor Text
People are inherently curious about other people, so we need to use that to our advantage.
Your trigger phrase could be something about you and the reason you started your website or business but ultimately, your trigger anchor text should be rooted in curiosity, emotion, or problems.
Some examples are:
- The day I decided that my logical brain was going to take a back seat to my creative brain.
- When I get stressed, I always remind myself of the time I had to pack up the house-the entire house in 32 hours and get to the airport or my marriage was lost forever.
- When my husband introduced the kids and me to his girlfriend…
- And when I left college I realized I could not boil noodles, make breakfast, or surprise anyone with a baked good I didn’t buy at the grocery store, I knew it was time for a change.
- … the day a camel ride changed my life.
- … that day I locked myself in the bathroom to get away from my entire family because my medication made me want to hurt them.
Trigger phrases allow you to organically link to your about me page seamlessly. They are designed to get a new reader to learn more about YOU and your “why.” They also remind an existing reader why you write for them.
It’s your turn. Add the sentences you’ve written detailing your “why” and “nope, not me” stories to your about page (and topic pages). Review your most popular articles and brainstorm a few ways you could use anchor text to engage the reader to click. Update the articles and incorporate at least one link back to these stories in every article you write.
Still to come in the storytelling in blogging series, we’re going to tackle storytelling in posts by detailing structure, copywriting tips, and so much more. Be sure to sign up for the once-weekly NDC newsletter to stay informed.
If you have questions about this series or want to brainstorm your origin story and trigger text, pop into the Elevate Everyone group on Facebook.