I love getting writing techniques from other disciplines or applying little-known principles to the art of blogging. This next one isn’t a far stretch because it comes from the world of hollywood screenwriting, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say most of you aren’t familiar with this one.
It’s a technique called Saving the Cat.
Here’s a brief introduction to screenwriting techniques. One of the most important things you can do when crafting a feature film is to create a character that people will connect with. Whether that means they are extremely likable like Tom Hanks in [Anything] or not quite as likable but easily relatable like Al Pacino in Scarface, you need to establish some sort of connection between your audience and your characters.
The phrase “Save the Cat” actually comes from an Al Pacino movie where he stops on the way to a crime scene to save a cat, thereby establishing himself as someone the audience likes deep down. Not too complicated, but it gets the point across.
Stop Pussyfooting Around
So what does that scene in a random Al Pacino movie have to do with your blog? Well, it’s incredibly important that your audience enjoy their experience while reading your writing. In essence, they have to learn to “like” what you’re doing and it’s your responsibility to establish that base for affinity within your blog.
So, just how to do you go about saving that cat and making people like your blog? Here are a few things to try to save the cat for your readers:
1) Show Your Funny Bone
Studies and surveys shows that women love a man with a sense of humor, but what those surveys don’t tell you is that Internet audiences love a blogger with a sense of humor as well. By taking the time to put some humor in one of your posts and then highlighting that one on your blog you can establish yourself as likable and effectively save that cat. You can highlight your post in a number of ways but some of my favorites are putting a link to it on your About Me page or making it the automated first post that goes out to someone who signs up for your email newsletter or subscribes to your blog.
2) Fight for Something
There are a lot of bloggers who do this well (Danny Brown being one of them), but one surefire way to show people you are a good person and establish yourself as worthy of their affection is to vocally and actively support a cause or charity. This one can be tricky because if you are actually a sociopath and honestly care about nothing, that will come across and you’ll not want to try this tactic, but for everyone else, find something that relates to your field or is just extremely close to your heart and work that into your blog calendar. Talk about it, hold events for it, raise awareness for it and by fighting alongside your audience for something worthwhile, you’ll establish a positive connection.
This is a tactic that’s on a LOT of lists, but answer comments and talk with your audience. The more you do this, the more people will get to know your unedited self and start to connect more with you. This can be really helpful in establishing that positive connection.
So there you have it, a few ways to effectively save that cat and establish your blog as a character people want to root for.
Have you taken the time and thought about establishing that base for affinity with your readers? What have you done? What have other bloggers that you respect done to gain that respect?