Build a Great Story by Using Your Own Experience

About three weeks ago, I was tasked with writing my first EVER blog post.

Decidedly defeated before I even began, I thought for certain I couldn’t do it. Every possible excuse for why this was a bad idea filled my head.

Pillaging through blog post after blog post on how to write a good blog post (meta, I know) I began to wonder

“Seriously? How many blog posts have the phrase “Writing is hard?” "

From that moment on, I made a personal promise to myself never to use that phrase in my own work because

  1. It’s unoriginal

  2. I’m not a writer

  3. Writing isn’t that hard

Okay, well, writing actually is kind of hard.  

But here's what's not hard: Telling a story.

When you tell an authentic story, you automatically write compelling content. And you can then use that content for your company blog! What’s better is that you can also use your story as inspiration for your branded content.

I vividly remember the dread involved with having to write for an assignment.

Where do ideas come from?  What words sound the best? Will people like this? Who even will benefit from reading this?

I picked up Donald Miller’s book, Building a StoryBrand in hope of uncovering the secret to writing some savory material for the audience. 30 pages in, I threw in the towel and sat in front of a blank Google Doc all weekend. Then come Monday morning, through all of the coffee-induced anxiety and stress of procrastination, all I wanted to do was get a story out. I poured out a whole-hearted admission of a personal experience, eating dirt, and an homage to Gary Vee.

Through formatting, editing and saving, all I could think was “Audience be damned, this story was going to live on in the digital ocean.”

But by sheer determination and luck, I published a solid piece, received praise from colleagues and mentors, and felt pretty good about the entire experience.

Even Gary Vee liked it!


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But here’s the secret: I simply used a personal story as the subject of my writing.

Writing a Personal Story for Your Company’s Blog

Personal narrative belongs in your branded writing. You can tell a great story from experience in the introduction, or as a segue to the bulk of your piece.

Not only that, but you can also intersperse personal narrative with actionable tips to teach your audience a new skill.

For example, have a look at  What Should I do With My Life by Wendy Lustbader.

When you write a personal narrative, you’ll write with more comfort, and you might find that writing about awkward, painful or otherwise uneasy moments in your life is a way to relate with your audience as well as an opportunity to connect with your potential clients. They have felt these emotions too! Exposing yourself as human is a way to show your vulnerability and empower your audience to have empathy without them even knowing it.

Use a Personal Story as Inspiration for Your Writing

  • Writer’s block at work?

  • Have a good meeting turn bad?

  • Have a sudden epiphany during a coffee break?

Use all of these casual moments, no matter how insignificant they may seem, as a source of inspiration for your writing.

Document your thoughts and actions, and give your perspective to your audience.

And in some regards, everything you write should be personal.

Even if you’re not waxing poetic about the first time you had to write as an adult for others to read, your writing should reflect YOU.

Home in on personal narrative to tell a great story in your content writing, whether you’re using personal experience as the subject of your writing or as inspiration in the ideation phase.

Because it’s like Mister Rogers says:

“It’s not so much what we have in this life that matters. It’s what we do with what we have.”

At the end of the day, you might inspire someone with your story. Your story has heart and soul. So just be authentic, open and honest.  Show that your company and customers are real people, with real stories to share. Share your values, purpose, beliefs, and mission. Create and share your story, because stories matter, YOUR story matters.

Are you ready to use your personal experience to strengthen your branded content?