6 Great Storytelling Tips For Bloggers

by: Kenneth Cossin

Coming up with topic ideas for your blog can be very frustrating at times. Below, I offer some great storytelling tips to help get your content ideas flowing. If you need more blog ideas, check out this list of 31 types of ideas you can post.

Stories usually tell about a journey, whether it is a personal passage, a conflict, or a challenge. Along this journey, we hope that the hero will transform into a better version of himself. As bloggers we need to capture and translate these same concepts into our blogging to better engage our readers. Here’s what you can do:

Gather Your Raw Materials

Keep a journal of your topics and decide on what categories they fall into whether you are providing tips, tricks, creative ideas, suggestions, or opinions. For example, think about how we categorize films into genres of comedy, drama, thriller, and so on. The categorization process is the same.

Outline your ideas and jot down key words as they come to you. As a rule of thumb, make sure that you can express your ideas in about 800 words or less.

Break Down Your Story into Segments

Create a compelling introduction that grabs your reader’s attention within the first 2-3 sentences. If your reader is not continuing on with your entry after the first few seconds, he will quickly move on to another one. Touch on your key points clearly and concisely. That is, be detailed but brief. While this statement is rather vague, try spicing your reading up with a sprinkling of adjectives – not too many or you’ll lose your reader in the details.

Give your reader a sense of conclusion, a sense of closure. Therefore, briefly summarize your points at the end.

Use Visuals

Relate the concepts you are trying to present to something that people use or do every day. Use photos, videos, and podcasts to help visually draw in your reader. While videos and podcasts take a lot of time in terms of planning, coordinating, setting up, recording, and post-production, there are many simple tools that you can use as an individual to accomplish this goal.

Use Analogies

Telling stories often incorporates complex ideas. Therefore, it is always a good idea if you can relate an everyday task to what you are explaining. Also, you will want to make sure that your analogy relates directly and translates easily to the complex idea. For example, if you are showing someone how to play a grand piano, you may wish to equate it to playing darts or some other simpler task that still requires a keen sense of accuracy.

Leave out the Sub-plots

Note that there is no time for sub-plots to your blog entries. Sub-plots detract from the overall story that you are trying to tell. Be sure to remain brief and to the point.

Build to an Epic Conclusion

What is your reader getting from reading your blog post? Is it knowledge, ideas, solutions, answers to questions… Or is it simply them wishing they got those 10 minutes back in their life? Make your reader feel like it was worth their while to spend time with your post. Make it dazzle them; make it epic.

In summary, your blog posts should always be something that you are proud of. Bring creativity and excitement to your work through storytelling.

 

Republished with permission from Marko Saric of How to Make My Blog.  Original post: http://www.howtomakemyblog.com/writing/storytelling-tips/

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I am a passionate, energetic, and influential marketing executive with ability to take responsibility for corporate brand management and marketing communications.  I have a “can do” attitude with a strategic vision, promote attractive and sticky ideas, and successfully measure campaign performance and success.  I am a self-starter and straight-shooter with exceptional instincts and work well with teams.

Please view my résumé at: kcossin.strikingly.com

 

3 Very Cool Mobile Apps You’re Not Using

by: Kenneth Cossin

 

With over 775,000 apps in the Apple App Store and more than 800,000 in Google Play  Store, it’s always nice to get quick tips and reviews of apps that are worth downloading.  Well, you’re in luck!  There are three apps that you can download today for free that are not only useful but also that you will enjoy using.

TV Show Tracker

There is an app called TV Show Tracker, created by Pixel Perfect Widgets, that allows you to track all of your favorite TV shows.  Simply add your shows to the app, and it will remind you before your show airs.  Therefore, you don’t have to miss that new episode.

Snip Snap

SnipSnap, is a mobile social couponing app that allows you to quickly find, snip, and save coupons for almost any store.  No more forgetting your coupons at home or searching for them in the newspapers or flyers.  SnipSnap allows you to take photos with your smartphone of any coupon, and it will decipher it for you.  You can also find coupons that others have already snipped and save them for your use.  And the pièce de résistance, SnipSnap notifies you a couple of days before the coupon expires!

Paper Karma

Junk mail plagues us all, right?  Well, there is an app that allows you to take photos of your junk mail, add your address, and PaperKarma, created by Readibl, inc., will stop that junk mail from cluttering your mailbox.  PaperKarma does all the work by contacting the company that mailed it and get your name removed from the distribution lost.  You can also request a status of your request to stop junk mail to see if it was successful.

In summary, you can have fun and be productive with your smartphone.  Enjoy!

Image credit: emergingtech.tbr.edu

7 Tips on How to Stand Out in the Crowd

By: Kenneth Cossin

Feedio.netWe all know someone that seems to continually stand out from everyone else. They make it look completely effortless, and they always seem to be happy. How do they possibly keep up this façade?

People that naturally have a personality that stands out in a crowd have honed skills that many of us have not. Here is a list of seven tools that you can use to be on your way to standing out in the crowd, too!

Confidence
Being able to walk up to anyone and start a conversation is a great test of confidence. Challenge yourself to talk with others about subjects that you know well. You will want to practice many times with friends that you trust. Get feedback on how you did and what you can improve. Pay attention to your gestures, speaking voice, and intonation. Each of these secondary personality traits speaks to your level of confidence.

Comfort
When we’re in a room of people that we do not know, we tend to feel awkward, shy, and a multitude of other uneasy feelings. A simple way to overcome this feeling is to learn to do things alone and to trust that everything will be ok. Try going to the movies or dinner alone. Being around others that you do not know will help you become comfortable in your own skin.

Perception
When observing people that stand out, you will notice that they perceive and record in their minds many personality traits. They gauge conversation direction, tone, and level of formality and respond to the personalities around them accordingly. Listen closely to what people are saying and how they are saying it. Try to use what is being said to your advantage, and try to fit your perceptions of others into your knowledge and experience.

Trust
People tend to judge one another within the first few moments of meeting. Trust is a key element in this judgment process, therefore, be sure that your appearance is appropriate to the situation. Dress in a non-threatening manner, and ensure that you speak in a way that fits those around you. Regional accents and dialects can affect perception and affect how much someone trusts you.

Authority
Everyone loves someone who is knowledgeable, but no one likes a know-it-all. Therefore, even if you do know it all, don’t present yourself in this fashion. Speak and present in a way that you are making others feel like they are your intellectual equal.

The Three “S’s”
Stay informed, stay educated, and stay connected. Always knowing what is happening around you, remaining current on your knowledge, and creating a network not only makes you authoritative but also is a great strategy to successfully standing out.

Happiness
Last but not least, always exhibit a happy personality. People are naturally attracted to happy, upbeat, and positive people. While we’re not happy all of the time, it pays off in many ways to always show others a genuine smile.

Practice these skills whenever you are in public, at work, at school, wherever. Remember that practicing something for 10,000 hours will make you an expert! They take a lot of hard work, but you, too, can stand out in the crowd!

image credit: feedio.net

3 Quick Tips on Writing a Readable Tweet

by: Kenneth Cossin

I know there are so many ways to write a tweet, but are you writing yours to make it easily readable by your followers?  I can guarantee that your readers are not likely to read what you are tweeting if they cannot read it quickly.  Here are my tips on writing a good tweet.

Verify the Link You are Sending

Make sure that the link to the article, story, video, photo, etc. you are sending is well-written  and easy to read with no misspellings, the video plays and is short and sweet, and the photos are attention-grabbing.

Use Hashtags in the Correct Locations

Use hastags in sentences to a minimum.  Place them at the end so as to not interrupt the flow of reading.  Overuse of hashtags makes your tweets look like gibberish.

Place Usernames after Your Links

Typically we will put a Twtter username when we are mentioning someone because of an article they wrote.  Be sure not to place the usernames strewn about throughout the tweet.

Example of a Bad Tweet

#Apple @MacRumors releases the new #iPad #Mini http://boguslink.notreal

Example of a Good Tweet

Apple releases the new iPad Mini http://boguslink.notreal via @MacRumors #Apple #iPad

Combining Creative and Technical Knowledge

by: Kenneth Cossin

I was thinking about the truly great people that I know or have known in my lifetime.  What makes them stand out in my mind?  What makes them special?  What makes them interesting?  Why do I wish to emulate them?  There is one common thread that each possesses — it is the unique ability to merge creativity with an analytical mind.

Technical Thinking

Let’s take a quick look at technical thinking.  In most cases, technical thinking involves some sort of predictable outcome.  When there are many possible answers, we draw on past experiences to structure how we think.  We create a logical flow in our minds, focus on the answers or what outcome we want to achieve, then seek the safest route to achieve our objective.

Creative Thinking

Looking at creative thinking, we see that there is a less ordered or focused approach.  Typically we think with our emotions, daydream, and even brainstorm ideas.  We are inspired by our creative thinking to do things that are unexpected and unpredictable.  It is very important to realize that we also demonstrate an attitude through our creative thinking, therefore, we need to focus on portraying a positive attitude.

People that can truly connect with both ways of thinking will typically find that they have richer lives.  They often employ the ideas featured in my post on “The Right-Brained Revolution” to solve everyday questions.  I find these individuals fascinating and quite wise, thus why I wish to emulate them.

Each of us has the ability to be both creative and analytical.  It depends on what we choose to exercise most.  I would love to challenge everyone to do both.  You just may be surprised by the results!

Getting into the Halloween Spirit

by: Kenneth Cossin

Last week, the Film Program’s makeup department here at Full Sail University put on a

demonstration for students on how to do Halloween makeup for cheap.  These makeup tips are easy to do and easy to duplicate.

Some suggested makeup purchases:

  • Foundation from local drug store
  • Wolf novelty makeup from any Halloween outlet for various colors
  • Gelatin for making thick blood
  • Karo syrup for making thinner blood
  • Bread crumbs for making flaky skin
  • Latex for creating fake skin and wounds
  • Food color to dye to blood
  • Props and prosthetics to add flair

Mix and match any or all of the above to create different themes.  Use photos as a reference.  Be creative and have fun!

Happy Halloween