the art of storytelling - presented by oneika raymond - 2015 blogging while brown conference

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  1. 1. The Art of Storytelling Oneika Raymond- Blogging While Brown 2015
  2. 2. A blogging joke to begin Q: What did the hippie blogger yell at the rally for writers rights?
  3. 3. A: Write on! (this is the part where you laugh)
  4. 4. Hi, Im Oneika Raymond. Traveller Teacher Writer and blogger
  5. 5. You can also find my writing here:
  6. 6. The Art of Storytelling What well be talking about 1. Before you begin your story 2. The words (nuts and bolts) 3. Visual storytelling 4. Storytelling and social media 5. Things you shouldnt forget 6. Q&A
  7. 7. Q: What is a blog?
  8. 8. a Web site that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer blog noun blg As defined by Merriam-Webster:
  9. 9. My definition: A blog** is a place where you tell your stories. Where you share your perspective + impressions of the world through your unique lens. **digital platform = discuss current events/ recent happenings.
  10. 10. Why is good storytelling on your blog important? Good storytelling: 1. Helps attract readers 2. Makes them read the whole post 3. Makes them come back for more Compelling stories = a successful blog
  11. 11. 1. Before you begin your story Ask yourself: What makes a good story? What is the main point or idea? Who is your audience? What problem does your story solve or what question(s) does it answer?
  12. 12. Where do you want to take the reader? #goals
  13. 13. 2. The words (nuts and bolts) a) Use good titles To the point or provocative SEO-friendly? URL should be shareable
  14. 14. Informative and to the point
  15. 15. Provocative
  16. 16. Incendiary
  17. 17. Url: SEO-friendly, eliminates unnecessary words
  18. 18. b) Define your voice Voice is the distinct personality, style, or point of view of a piece of writing or any other creative work Employs elements of tone, style, and mood
  19. 19. Your voice is (a big reason) why your readers keep coming back. A strong voice: Grabs your readers attention Conveys a consistent mood/tone throughout the body of your work Your voice is your brand!
  20. 20. Example: Luvvie Ajayi, author of
  21. 21. Luvvie has her own language-- A unique lexion that is distinctly hers
  22. 22. c) Start your narrative in medias res Latin for In the midst of things Kick off story in the middle of the plot/ conflict/ action Hooks the reader
  23. 23. Not five minutes after we enter the handkerchief-sized nightclub, one of the Japanese dudes who has been surreptitiously looking us up and down since our arrival sidles up to us nervously. We are the only two black girls in a room full of Japanese, all men except for the petite DJ and obviously curiosity has gotten the better of him. The words that escape from his lips are halting but easily discernible, even as old school reggae shakes the room. Where you from?
  24. 24. d) Layout: Structure and organizing your blog posts Best blog posts: 500-700 words Write clearly and concisely Use headings to break up content! Organize blog content into sections (evergreen content at the top or displayed prominently elsewhere)
  25. 25. Example: A Black Girls Guide to Weight Loss Categories in navigation bar allow for easy access to posts on popular topics
  26. 26. Categories in nav bar for easy access to popular or important content
  27. 27. Sections for evergreen content prominently displayed on homepage
  28. 28. e) Allow readers to interact with your posts Ask open- ended questions at the end of your posts to generate discussions Accept comments on posts Easy to find social media buttons so posts can be shared
  29. 29. 3. Visual storytelling How many of the following photos do you recognize?
  30. 30. A picture is worth a thousand words. They tell a story.
  31. 31. Images that are evocative, sobering, funny, etc. have impact Killer images= more interesting blog posts
  32. 32. a) Choose a killer lead image for your blog post
  33. 33. (Who wouldnt want to read on after peeping this view?) Why killer? Awe-inducing
  34. 34. Example #2: Encounter with locals in Tokyo
  35. 35. Why is this a good lead image? The stance, clothing, facial expressions, and gestures of the locals pique the readers curiosity. Who are these guys and how did she come to know them?
  36. 36. Three tips from Lola Akinmade kerstrm (Founder of Geotraveler Media, award-winning travel writer and photographer) : 1. Shoot creatively: take your photos from mundane to interesting 2. When photographing people: interact with your subject 3. When photographing places: insert life
  37. 37. Tip #1 Example: Shoot creatively. Okay shot, but could be better
  38. 38. My attempt to make shot a bit less mundane: Focus on a single object, colour and texture more pronounced
  39. 39. Example: A portrait with some extra intrigue
  40. 40. Example: Attempt to make composition more interesting
  41. 41. Example: Fun with angles and perspective
  42. 42. Tip #2 Example: When photographing people, interact with the subject Subject consented to photo, eyes looking into the camera = better than sneaky photo
  43. 43. Interacting gets you closer. Closer gets you better travel photographs. -Lola Akinmade kerstrm
  44. 44. Intense eye contact from the subject engages the viewer
  45. 45. Eye contact and smiles = warmth and good vibes
  46. 46. Tip #3 Example: Insert life when photographing landscapes Lola says it tells a story of interaction
  47. 47. Static landscape feels alive when subjects interact with it
  48. 48. Boring pyramid pic is given scale and context when subject (me!) is in the frame
  49. 49. b) Mix it up! Add video Audiovisual content is a great way to build brand and voice readers get to know you better More dynamic and engaging than still images Youtube: More than 1 billion users
  50. 50. My Channel: OneikaTraveller
  51. 51. 4. Storytelling and Social Media WHY? Extend your narrative, more reach Quick, casual, easily shareable: microblogging Facebook: 1.44 billion monthly users Instagram: 302 million monthly users Twitter: 300 million monthly users Pinterest: 47.1 million monthly users
  52. 52. Example: Humans of New Yorks Instagram page (3.1 million followers)
  53. 53. Single photo: over 109k likes High level of engagement Comments and tags from viewers
  54. 54. Microblogging on social media sites is also a quicker and less onerous way to connect with readers No time to sit down and write a full blog post? When blog is on hiatus social media posts can fill the gap
  55. 55. Tips a) Use Hootsuite to schedule and promote b) Dont hesitate to work with brands: hashtag, tweet, and tag c) Establish mutually beneficial relationships with other creators d) Consider social media takeovers with brands that are out of your niche but have a similar target audience
  56. 56. Social media takeovers introduce your blog to a new audience
  57. 57. 5. Things you shouldnt forget a. Be kontroversial like Kanye: write about hot button topics you care about Goal: promote healthy debate Positives: more traffic, authenticity Negatives: potential fallout
  58. 58. Courting controversy is not always easy
  59. 59. b. Use your platform for GOOD and to speak about something of substance You CAN post about things outside of your niche
  60. 60. c. Dont be afraid to get personal. Your pain may be someone elses gain
  61. 61. d. Research (and proofread!) your work before posting Use multiple, reliable, and up-to-date resources when necessary
  62. 62. e.Ask readers what they want from your blog i. What interests them? i. What do they want to see more of? i. What thing would they like you to try? i. What questions would they like answered? i. What dont they like?
  63. 63. The Takeaway Good storytelling is integral to your blog Good storytelling not only involves good writing but well-organized content, strong images, and a skillful use of social media Good storytelling establishes and maintains a personal connection between you and the reader and adds value to their lives
  64. 64. A blogging joke to end
  65. 65. Questions? Oneika Raymond Facebook: OneikaTheTraveller Twitter and instagram: @oneikatraveller Website: