When and How to Use Anecdotes to Personalize Content

Anecdotes in Content WritingAnimating web content writing by including concise, relevant anecdotes within an article or blog is a great way to stylize your writing and keep readers interested in the rest of the article. Anecdotes are interesting, quirky snippets describing an amusing situation that you or someone else has experienced in the past. Unlike vignettes, which are tightly written glimpses of a scene, character or event, anecdotes should provide a meaningful message or point that relates to the written piece.

Everybody likes a good story. They like it better if it is original, poignant or screamingly funny, which is why professional website content services offer clients freelance writers who understand the importance of using anecdotes to energize content instead of simply writing the same old product descriptions or promotional blogs.

So What Makes a Good Anecdote?

Engaging, three-dimensional anecdotes primarily involve people, genuine souls who are flawed, prone to making bad decisions yet always trying their best in a world that seems oblivious to their problems. Here are two examples of general anecdotes that are irresistibly human:

My son’s fifth-grade teacher was teaching his class about evolution Before beginning the discussion about the subject, the teacher asked if anyone had any ideas about what evolution and what it might be. My son told me he raised his hand and replied, “Pokemon!”

Grandma Moses, the famous artist who didn’t start painting seriously until in her 70s, was once asked what type of work she would have chosen if not for taking up painting. Her reply? “Well, I probably would have started raising chickens.”

Both of these anecdotes could be incorporated into all kinds of content, from sales copy to a blog about how it is never too late to do what you’ve always wanted to do with your life. As transition items, they promote smooth segues into content that might otherwise resemble similar descriptive content regarding products or services.

When Using Anecdotes May Not Be Applicable

Avoid using anecdotes when writing specialized content such as white papers, academic articles or business/science reports that demand straightforward writing. Content written meant to persuade or entertain will benefit the most from anecdotes that depict rather then simply state reasons for purchasing something or for supporting a cause or belief. Without resorting to using prosaic “hard-sell” rhetoric such as “this is an amazing product” or “your life won’t be the same after you use this service,” writers can provide insight in the form of short anecdotes that more effectively illuminates the underlying message of blogs, website content or copywriting.

Kimberly M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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