How To Turn Your Personal Stories Into Profit

By: Heather Broeker

So you’ve jumped on the bandwagon, or should I say the “blogwagon"? You’ve joined the ranks of those writers who log in daily to share stories about everything from the burger they had for lunch to the indi film they saw last night. By now you’ve figured out that what they say is true: write what you know. But if what you know merely stems from your personal experiences, is it possible to actually profit from your writing?

The answer is yes. You don’t have to write hard news just to make your words make cents, but to make dollars, you’ve got to be smart.

If you are accustom to writing stories about your experiences and that works for you, continue to do so, but ask yourself “so what?" Aside from its entertaining value, why would someone want to read your article? It is usually possible to take a personal experience and turn it into something others will benefit from. Think of your articles as fables – they tell a story, but finish up with a moral or lesson. For example, if you have a story about missing a flight at an airport, follow it up with tips for preparing for a flight. Maybe you’d suggest certain attire so that passengers aren’t wasting time unbuckling belts and retying shoes in the security line. And surly those zip-lock bags could be a topic of discussion all their own!

You can also use keyword research tools like Yahoo’s “keyword selector tool". If you had a bad experience with a waiter while dining last night, type in a phrase like “poor service" and you’ll get a list of related terms like “proper tipping etiquette" and you have the added bonus of knowing that there is existing search traffic for these topics. Write your story about the waiter that failed to bring you silverware until your date started eating with his hands just to prove a point, and then lead in to how one should handle a situation like this and what the resulting tip should be.

Readers love stories, so don’t stop writing them. Just remember not to leave them hanging. You’d never want a reader to say, “so what’s your point?". Tell your story, make a point, and you’re sure to make a profit.

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