The Underused Writing Trick That Makes You More Powerful, Popular and Persuasive

The Underused Writing Trick That Makes You More Powerful, Popular and Persuasive

Give yourself credit.

You’re a solid writer with good ideas.

But… you feel like you’ve reached a plateau.

People like your writing, but they don’t love it.

They find your content useful, but not essential.

Even your best ideas never seem to catch fire.

And you can’t help wondering why.

Maybe you just have to be patient and wait for your audience to come around.

But then again, maybe it’s not that. Maybe your writing is missing something.

Because when you read the work of your favorite writers, their ideas are so clear, so vivid, so damn easy-to-understand that they light up your brain.

And while you hope your readers feel the same about your writing, you secretly suspect they don’t.

Here’s the difficult truth – you’re probably right. Your writing is missing something.

And it could well be this…

The Writing “Power Tool” You’re Too Afraid to Use

The fully rounded writer has a myriad of tools in his or her toolbox.

Some of these are like hand tools, like a chisel. Others are like power tools, like an electric drill.

And here’s the thing about power tools. At first, they can be a little scary to use. (You may even have one or two in your garage you’re too afraid to unbox!)

You’re not sure how to hold them properly. You don’t understand what all the attachments do. Sometimes you don’t even know how to switch them on.

But in the right hands, boy, do they get results.

And one of the least used and least understood power tools for writers is the analogy.

Here’s the dictionary definition:

a comparison between one thing and another, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

Or, more informally:

When talking about Thing X, you also mention (seemingly unconnected) Thing Y because it has useful similarities.

We use analogies a ton on Smart Blogger. Here are just a few:

If you’re a regular reader, you probably remember many of these examples. That’s because striking images like these tend to stick in your mind.

But despite the power of a well-chosen analogy, many bloggers ignore them.

It’s almost as if they’re too intimidated to take this tool out of its box.

Which is a shame, because they really should.

Why Analogies Do Twice The Work in Half The Time

Analogies are powerful because they use established ideas to do the heavy lifting of introducing new ideas.

Consider the following two descriptions:

  1. A four-legged mammal standing about four feet tall at the shoulder, having an elongated head, large ears and distinctive black and white markings.
  2. A stripey horse.

We’re talking about a zebra here, right? But can you see how the second description is much more concise? It reuses everything we already know about horses to describe a zebra.

(For the record, a horse is not strictly an analogy for a zebra. However, the process of describing a zebra in relation to a horse is like using an analogy.)

Let’s look at three reasons analogies are so powerful for writers.

1) Analogies boost comprehension

Although educating your readers is not enough to build a popular blog, you will likely be teaching your audience at least some of the time. And the better teacher has an edge over everyone else.

Analogies help you explain subtle or complex ideas by reference to concepts the reader already understands. They allow you to establish such ideas without much of the intellectual scaffolding required to build them from scratch.

To give an example, in physics class, the flow of current through an electrical wire is often explained as being like water flowing through a pipe. A thinner wire can take less current the same as a narrower pipe can take less water. Higher voltage is like higher water pressure.

Are water and electrical current the same? Of course not. (In fact, if you mix the two, you could literally get a nasty shock.)

But in this context, they’re similar enough to be useful.

2) Analogies shift perspective

In the list of examples above, Jon uses a surprising analogy to rapidly change his readers’ perspective about blogging.

Here’s the situation he refers to. Many beginning bloggers bust their guts to create content for their blogs before they have even a small audience, but they don’t get that this is a huge waste of time. They just assume it’s an inevitable part of getting started and hope that a few readers will eventually drift along.

But then Jon tells them in his post that publishing content without having an established audience is like teaching in an empty classroom.

It’s a powerful image, right? A teacher standing in front of a class delivering a lesson to absolutely nobody. How deluded would you need to be to do that?

And yet thousands of bloggers do the equivalent every day.

So Jon’s analogy invites them to see their behavior in the light of a similar situation, where they can more easily see that their behavior is completely silly.

So if you can get your reader to buy into your analogy, it can be hugely persuasive. Because they’re practically forced to apply everything they know to be true about one situation to the other.

And that can create a major shift in perspective.

3) Analogies blast away boredom

Analogies also serve a simpler purpose – making your content more interesting and engaging.

People like discovering unexpected connections and comparisons. It activates their imagination and helps you to hold their attention.

To give an example, the latest version of our revised Guest Blogging program uses analogies in almost every lesson.

Sometimes it’s because an analogy makes a difficult concept easier to understand. But often it’s just because the analogy makes the lesson more fun.

In one lesson, we compare guest blogging without a strategy to trying to hit a pinata blindfolded. It’s a helpful analogy, but it’s also a fun image. (We even embedded a video of birthday pinata to bring it to life.)

The bottom line is that learning can be hard work. If the materials are too dry or unengaging, people will stop reading.

But analogies are a highly effective antidote.

How to Find the Perfect Analogy for Any Situation

Finding good analogies can be tricky.

Often the most interesting and effective analogies are the least obvious, and thus the hardest to find.

Inspiration will sometimes save you, but no writer should rely on their muse too often.

Fortunately, a simple process can make finding the right analogy significantly easier.

1) List the notable features of Thing X

What simple statements can you make about the thing you’re trying to describe?

To take an example, let’s imagine you run a career blog and you’re writing a post about that awkward period where you have a job but you’re actively looking for another.

So you’re working on your resume during your lunch break, disappearing to take phone calls from recruiters, and generally struggling to maintain normal appearances in your current job while trying to land the next.

What are the notable features of that situation?

Here are some ideas:

  • Secrecy – usually you don’t want your colleagues (and certainly your bosses) to know you’re looking for a new job.
  • Clandestine meetings – leaving work early to attend interviews and inventing bogus reasons for your absence.
  • Feelings of guilt – you feel bad about not being entirely honest with people but don’t see another option.

2) Do a mental search for other things sharing those same features

For each of the features of Thing X, try to think of other things that also have those features by asking simple questions.

In this case:

  • What other situations require secrecy?
  • When else might you need to lie about where you were and what you were doing?
  • In what other situations might you feel guilty about your behavior?

The following ideas spring to mind:

  • Being a government spy – you certainly have a need for secrecy; you may need to lie to friends and family about where you were and what you were doing at certain times; feelings of guilt could arise from living a double life.
  • Arranging a surprise birthday party – you don’t want the birthday boy or girl to find out; you may have to arrange meetings behind their back with other friends, a restaurant, etc.; you may feel temporarily guilty about your dishonesty (even though you know it’s for a good cause.)
  • Having an extramarital affair – you don’t want your spouse to find out; you’ll probably lie about where you were to cover up your liaisons; the guilt normally associated with being unfaithful.

3) Test the analogy by looking for other similarities and differences

Once you have some possible analogies for your situation, play Devil’s Advocate. Find ways in which the two things are not alike and decide if the differences detract from the analogy.

Taking the first of the three ideas above, one difference is that being a government spy is not a short-term situation, like looking for a new job. With a job search, you either find a new job and move on, or decide to stay.

Is that a distracting enough discrepancy to rule it out as an analogy? Maybe.

But also the fact that being a spy is a job of sorts is an unhelpful similarity. In this case though your bosses do know your secret – that you’re a spy – so that’s potentially confusing for the reader.

What about the second idea – arranging a surprise birthday party? Similar to looking for a new job, arranging a party is a short-term situation, so that could work. But unlike a job search, party planning is not about finding a replacement for an existing thing.

Finally, what about the extramarital affair? You could argue that an affair is more like moonlighting rather than changing jobs – i.e. trying to get some “extra” work on the side instead of quitting your main job. But some affairs do result in a new long-term relationship so maybe they’re not so different.

Also other interesting similarities exist. For instance, consider the consequences of getting caught sneaking around. In the career scenario you could potentially lose your job. If you’re discovered having an affair you could lose your marriage.

So this seems like the most promising analogy of the three. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty good.

But how do you know when you need to keep looking?

3 Simple Clues That You Haven’t Found the Right Analogy Yet

Choosing from several possible analogies is as much art as science, but here are some clues that you haven’t landed on the right idea just yet:

  • The two things are different in more ways than they are similar.
  • The two things are similar in most ways, but the most prominent feature doesn’t match.
  • The thing you’re drawing an analogy with takes too long to explain or is not widely understood.

The acid test is to ask this question:

Is the writing clearer, more persuasive or more interesting with the analogy than without it?

3 Ways to Turn Your Writer’s Power Tool to MAX

As you become more confident using analogies, consider using one of these methods to get even more power.

1) Bring an abstract concept to life

Some ideas are tough to grasp because they’re naturally abstract.

In fact the whole concept of spreading ideas is quite abstract – there’s usually little to see (or hear, or feel) when an idea transfers from one person to another.

And that’s why my post on writing clearly used the analogy of assembling a flat-pack table.

Building a table piece by piece is a much more tangible process but it has a number of features in common with “building” an idea in someone’s head.

2) Borrow powerful emotions from another context

Sometimes the benefit of using an analogy isn’t just the knowledge that comes bundled with that other thing, it’s the emotion.

So, for example, if you write for freelancers and you want to talk about the deep frustration of having first-class skills but no clients, don’t simply describe the feelings – compare the situation to being a superhero who’s forbidden to use their special powers.

Find the right analogy and you’ll conjure emotions more quickly and intensely than a simple description could ever achieve.

3) Lighten the tone with humor

Have you ever heard the term “seagull manager” (first coined in Ken Blanchard‘s book Leadership and the One Minute Manager?)

Seagull managers fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, then fly out.

Pretty funny, right?

Sometimes a carefully constructed analogy can bring much-needed humor to a dry topic.

Clever analogies like the seagull manager (and its close cousin the mushroom manager) are tricky to construct – which is why this is an advanced technique for power users only.

But if you find you have a gift for them, people could be quoting you for years to come.

Plug In, Power Up and Take Off

Analogies are one of the most powerful tools in the writer’s toolbox.

Yes, they need careful handling, but if you follow the process above, finding the right analogy should be as simple as using a screwdriver or a saw.

Do it right and you’ll communicate – and educate – more elegantly and persuasively than ever before.

Your popularity will pick up, and that annoying plateau will soon become a distant memory.

So go ahead. Don’t be afraid. Open your toolbox.

About the Author: Glen Long is the Managing Editor of Smart Blogger. Come say hi on Twitter.

69 Comments

  1. John Maduka
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 10:37:19

    Thanks so much glen, sir

    Honestly, i’ve learnt a lot about producing a better content. And i’ll soon refer back to it when i’m back from work .

    I guess i’m the first commenter for today’s post 🙁

    • Glen Long
      Apr 30, 2015 @ 12:53:56

      Thank you John. And well done for being the first to comment. Normally Andrew takes the top slot. 🙂

    • Karina Pinella
      May 03, 2015 @ 10:31:45

      Hi Glen,

      I’m so glad I came upon your site. You fill a niche and have great ideas and suggestions. I just started my blog a few days ago and in the process of mapping my newly purchased karinapinella.com domain into my wordpress.com site. It’s all about writing, including recipes. Where would we be without food? Thanks again for serving a need.

  2. Andrew M. Warner
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 11:14:05

    Hey Glen,

    Awesome post here. Analogies is something that I’ve been interested in doing, but really scared to do. Mainly for the fact that 1. I didn’t know how to come up with them and 2. I didn’t want it to NOT make sense.

    But I can definitely see how using analogies can help you not only become better, but get your point across more concisely.

    You used the example of the seagull manager … so should we be trying to create analogies that are memorable like that? Or like Jon’s example of the teacher to the empty classroom?

    OR … should we not try to be perfectionists at it and follow the formula that you presented and go with what works?

    Just wanted to know because like you said, if you create a memorable one, people will remember it for years to come.

    – Andrew

    • Glen Long
      Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:01:21

      Hi Andrew,

      In practice those are really tough to come up with. But you can still use humor by making an analogy with an invented situation.

      For instance, you could say something like:

      “Expecting to make money from your blog without a strategy is like sitting in your PJs, watching Netflix all day and just hoping someone knocks on the door and hands you a suitcase full of money.”

      Cheers,

      Glen.

  3. Laura Roberts
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 11:20:00

    Ha, I read this post just because I was sure you were going to say the answer was alliteration! (Powerful, Popular and Persuasive…) Thanks for the tips, Glenn.

    • Glen Long
      Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:02:16

      Hi Laura,

      No, the alliteration is a free bonus. 🙂

      Thanks for leaving a comment.

      Cheers,

      Glen.

  4. Meggan | Culinary Hill
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 11:28:34

    A great morning read! It’s like waking up to sunshine on a rainy day. Okay, I’ll keep practicing. 🙂 On an unrelated note, I have a very serious question for you. If you found a typo in this post, would you tell? I would honestly rather just NOT point it out and avoid looking like a know-it-all. What would Glen Long do?

    • Glen Long
      Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:02:57

      Thanks Meggan. And yes – please point out the typo! 🙂

  5. Zarayna
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 11:30:09

    Thank you, Glen.

    Reading your posts is like having all my important little bits bathed in warm oils and lovingly massaged in. Wowzer!
    Yes, my door hinges – unseen but important – once oiled now operate smoothly and silently. Such a relief when I am focusing on reading your blogs and don’t wish to be distracted.
    Thanks and kindest regards.
    Zara.

    • Glen Long
      Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:04:06

      Thank you Zarayna! I’m glad my posts reach the parts other posts can’t reach! 🙂

  6. Mia Sherwood Landau
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 11:38:19

    Your’re spot-on, Glen, except for the use of an analogy in an argument. That’s when an analogy can hurt rather than help you you, and lose points with readers or listeners. The strength of an analogy makes all the difference. When we find a good one, a strong one that’s logical as well as intuitive, that’s when we know we can run with it.

    • Glen Long
      Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:06:33

      Yes, analogies can be tricky in an actual real-life argument. If for no other reason than it’s difficult to come up with good ones in the moment. 🙂

      P.S. When I said “you could argue” I just meant “you could make a case for”.

  7. Jenna Dalton
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 11:43:09

    Absolutely loved this post, Glen! I’m a big fan of analogies (both using them and them being used on me) because I know it’s a really helpful way for ideas to be cemented in the mind.

    Thank you for breaking it down and making the process of coming up with an analogy super simple. I’m sure I’ll be using a lot more analogies in future blog posts thanks to you. Cheers!

    • Glen Long
      Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:07:50

      Thanks Jenna! I love analogies too but in writing this post I realized that they’re kinda difficult to write about.

      You also get sucked into the whole analogy vs metaphor vs simile discussion, which I decided to artfully avoid. 🙂

      • Donna Patterson
        May 01, 2015 @ 11:48:27

        Before I got to his particular comment, I, too was wondering the difference between analogy and metaphor. Where can I get the info?

      • Glen Long
        May 03, 2015 @ 14:27:20

        Hi Donna,

        It’s a little subtle but here goes…

        As per the description above, an analogy is a comparison for the purposes of explanation or clarification.

        A metaphor is one way to express an analogy which involves saying that one thing is (or is like) another thing. A simile is a type of metaphor which specifically says X is like Y, not that they are literally the same.

        So “finding the perfect job is like dating” is an analogy comparing job seeking and dating expressed using a simile.

        But a metaphor is not the only way to express an analogy – you could use a diagram for instance.

        Also a metaphor can be used to express things other than analogies. Some metaphors are used for poetical reasons rather than for explanation or clarification.

        The aspect that makes it clearest for me is that usually an analogy compares two things that are alike in multiple ways.

        Hope that helps!

        Cheers,

        Glen.

        All the examples I get are

  8. Rachit
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 11:49:07

    Thanks for Sharing this awesome content, I would surely now follow these tricks to create content that readers won’t only read, but also fall in love with.

    • Glen Long
      Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:08:30

      Thanks Rachit. Glad to have taught you some new tricks. 🙂

  9. Amandah
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 11:55:11

    Great post Glen!

    I haven’t used analogies but will add it to my content tool box. I’ll do a brainstorming session to see how many analogies I can think of, slice and dice, and keep the best ones. Thanks again for this great tip!

    • Glen Long
      Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:10:29

      Aw – thanks Amandah. Glad you liked it. Good luck with the brainstorming session and let us know if you use an analogy in one of your posts!

  10. Jonathan (WriterDude)
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 12:05:52

    Hey Glen! This article is like a hidden pirate’s treasure, this information is hard to find elsewhere and it is oh so valuable!

    I had not really ever thought of using analogies in my writing before. I mean I have heard so many different analogies throughout my life and I am sure I have read a bunch without paying attention but never really considered adding them to my own writing.

    But when you think about it, it really does make a lot of sense! Not only does it help you to clarify the message you are trying to get across, but it also is something that people WILL remember if it is a good analogy.

    Thanks so much for sharing this informative article. I am now going to start re-evaluating my writing and seeing how I can incorporate analogies into my writing.

    – Jonathan Moore (Writer Dude)

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:32:26

      Hey Jonathan!

      Pleased to have made you think a little more about using analogies. When you find the right one it really is very satisfying and can help get your ideas across much more efficiently.

      Only this weekend I was working on some training materials and trying to find an analogy for writing a post outline before diving into the writing.\
      It took some pondering, but I realized that a travel itinerary is the perfect analogy. Because you’re essentially planning out in advance all the “places” you intend to visit on the journey from the beginning to the end of your post. 🙂

      Happy analogizing!

      Cheers,

      Glen.

  11. Gurpreet
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 12:18:00

    This article is packed with all the information.You lighten up those trick that can make us a powerful writer.This article is much useful for me.
    Thanks for this piece of information.

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:32:56

      My pleasure Gurpreet. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  12. Rhonda
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 12:30:18

    Great reminder. I wrote one a while ago about storytelling skills evolving like bicycle skills: the more you train, the more tricks you can do with a bicycle. So if you’re too ‘lazy’ to learn, you’ll never evolve as a storyteller. I hope that makes sense!

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:37:54

      Hi Rhonda,

      Yes that’s a good example. I actually thought of mentioning the “like learning to ride a bicycle” analogy. For me at least the distinctive things about learning to ride are that is seems impossible to start with, but when it “clicks” you gain competence quite quickly and then you never forget how to do it.

      The only other thing I could think of like that was those “Magic Eye” posters from the 90s. It took me ages to learn how to see them – in fact for a while I thought they were a hoax, but once I finally got it, it was easy.

      But if you’re talking about all the tricks you can learn on a bicycle then yes I can certainly see how that works as an analogy for learning storytelling.

      Thanks for your insights.

      Cheers,

      Glen.

  13. Aaron
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:30:34

    John, This is a really helpful post. My wife always tells me that I’m great at explaining things to other people because I use good examples. I see now that those examples are analogies that help people gain a better understanding of the content and message. This is something I will be sure to incorporate in my writing on my blog. Thanks for the quick tip.

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:39:18

      Hi Aaron,

      Yes, examples are hugely powerful too. We’ll probably be dedicating a post to examples in the future.

      Thanks for your comment,

      Glen.

  14. Virginia
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:36:21

    Analogies are unexpected and catching people by surprise makes them pay better attention. Plus, it forces us writers to use more imaginative and colorful examples.

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:42:25

      Absolutely. One of the things Jon teaches is to be as unexpected as possible because it keeps readers interested.

  15. Bruce
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:53:39

    A file of analogies, sort of like a “swipe file” similar to other writing content can be a real asset. Sort of like having a wonderful wine cellar of aging wines – pull a good analogy out of the basement, dust it off, modify it, and have it carry some of the load on your latest blog. A powerful tool if used correctly. Good job on this blog Glenn!

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:44:15

      Hi Bruce. Yes that’s an interesting thought. It would be fun populating that swipe file. 🙂

  16. Peggy Nan
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 14:10:30

    This is great Glen! I notice the analogies on BBT and they work. Thank you for the insight!

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:45:06

      Thanks Peggy! Yes, we use them a lot on BBT, but even more on our training programs. I think they’re a big part of why students seem to like our lessons so much. 🙂

  17. Y vette
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 14:36:12

    Great ideas. I recently used a garden analogy to describe the steps involved in our new weight loss line called LeanBiotics. The concept of managing your internal garden was the perfect analogy to help explain a rather complicated subject.

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:46:39

      Hi Yvette.

      Yes that sounds like a great analogy. That’s the key I think, reducing the effort it requires of the reader to understand a complicated subject. The more you can piggyback concepts they already understand, the more you can teach them.

      Cheers,

      Glen.

  18. Thijs
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 16:31:08

    This post is like an Ikea instruction manual. It’s been laid out to us step by step, but to actually assemble a metaphor that doesn’t rattle and falls apart is still damn hard.

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:49:08

      Hi Thijs,

      Yes I won’t pretend that finding the perfect analogy is easy. But I think it also forces you to think through your ideas in detail. So even if you don’t end up using an analogy you’ll still find it easier to give a clear explanation.

      At least with an IKEA table all the pieces you need are in the box (hopefully). With an analogy you have to go out and find them yourself! 🙂

      Cheers,

      Glen.

      • Thijs
        May 08, 2015 @ 13:19:54

        Howdy Glen, that’s true. Despite the fact that there was no box with pieces I managed to shake an analogy from my sleeve, thanks to your kick ass post. Cheers to you too.

  19. Susan Greene
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 16:37:14

    I sometimes struggle to come up with relevant analogies. You give some great suggestions for idea starters. This is an exceptional post on a subject that I’ve never before seen explored in detail.

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:50:14

      Thanks Susan! Yes I was surprised how little it had been covered elsewhere – that’s partly what inspired the post in the first place. Cheers, Glen.

  20. jason
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 18:41:04

    One word……WOW!
    From the beginning to the end, a great article.
    Just like when you was a kid, opening up that happy meal, knowing that you got the G.I Joe. That was on the drive though billboard, only to find out they gave you, a barbie.
    Is wasn’t the excitement of the G.I Joe, but the surprise of the barbie.
    Glen you knocked it out of the ball park once again

    Thanks for the great read
    Jason

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:50:49

      Thanks Jason! 🙂

  21. Lorraine Reguly
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 19:10:26

    Writing great analogies is hard for some people, but with this tutorial-like post, I am sure many bloggers will be enlightened on how to use them in their posts. 🙂

    Nicely done, Glen. 🙂

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:52:10

      Yes, you’re absolutely right, it can be hard work. But when I realized I was going through a specific process in my head while looking for analogies, I thought others might find it helpful too.

  22. Paul Back
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 20:17:10

    This is awesome Glen – I use humorous analogies in real life on a day to day basis, but never really considered using one in a post.

    I going to try to use one in my next two posts, if I can create a powerful one.

    Paul

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:53:44

      Thanks Paul. When using analogies in your own posts you can start small, with just a simple idea, then work your way up to an entire post based on an analogy, like this one:

      //smartblogger.com/awesome-party/

      Cheers,
      Glen.

  23. Mark Tong
    May 01, 2015 @ 03:48:16

    Hi Glen – very timely – I’m just about to write several guest posts and will be using your suggestion to dig out this power tool. I’ll probably cut my arm of and end up in A&E but hopefully the posts will be better (if somewhat bloodier), for it.

    Thanks

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:55:15

      Thanks Mark! Analogies are a great way to stand out as a writer when you’re submitting guest posts. Just remember to wear the correct safety equipment. We don’t want you getting hurt! 🙂

  24. Bryan Collins
    May 01, 2015 @ 05:26:41

    Great post Glen, I really enjoyed your analogies! The toolbox analogy reminded me of advice from Stephen King in On Writing.

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:55:50

      Thanks Bryan. It’s been a while since I read On Writing. Hopefully I didn’t subconsciously steal anything! Cheers, Glen.

  25. Heidi
    May 01, 2015 @ 05:59:45

    Great post: good advice is like searching for ‘a needle in a haystack!’ I’ve just laughed at myself heartily, I’ve been teaching kids for years the importance of analogies in creative writing at school… forgot to use them myself. Doh

    • Glen Long
      May 03, 2015 @ 14:58:29

      Yes it’s easy to have that kind of “blindness” – you use something in one context but it doesn’t occur to you to apply it in another. Creative writing and blogging have a lot in common I guess.

  26. Pat
    May 01, 2015 @ 09:54:39

    Thank you for all the good info and idea generating tricks… like a roulette wheel, when the idea fits the winning slot – you’re a winner.

  27. Abraham
    May 01, 2015 @ 11:29:54

    So, let’s just say this analogy thing is metaphor. I’m right, ain’t I?

  28. Ritu
    May 01, 2015 @ 12:09:26

    Great trick, I love it. I guess the closest I came to this ever was this blog title: “Fashion Blogging as a form of Self Help Therapy”. Will definitely experiment with this more.

  29. Tom Southern
    May 01, 2015 @ 12:18:56

    Thanks Glen, this is indeed a useful tool and your Ken Blanchard example is a great one because it instantly brings to mind all the seagull managers I’ve known. Also, you’ve helped me get to grips with the difference between analogies and metaphors.

    As ever, you’ve illustrated here just how much skill and knowledge of language go into writing.

  30. Angela Anderson
    May 02, 2015 @ 13:28:48

    Funny, I just wrote a post using an analogy, then second guessed myself thinking I should take it out. Thanks for the “permission” Glen.

  31. Anirban
    May 03, 2015 @ 10:30:41

    Awesome post Glen. I use analogies all the time but the example that you used – about job hunt – reminded me why you and Jon produce such great post. You are able to consistently pickup the true dreams, desires, fears and frustrations of ordinary people. Keep it coming

  32. sherman smith
    May 03, 2015 @ 18:59:10

    Hey Glen,

    Analogies are really the icing on the cake, or else you’ll have a dry cake with no flavor. I guess that was an apology huh LOL

    But analogies are really important to spark the interest of your audience. They can definitely bring a dry topic to life. I’ve used them on quite a few of my blog posts and received a lot of positive responses.

    Also there were many that commented that they had a better understanding of certain topics. And in actuality, writing on these certain topics using analogies also help me to understand them too.

    You definitely gave some great tips and reasons why analogies are a great way to add to our blog post to engage, give comprehension and pique a lot interest among our audience!

    Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a great week!

  33. Leo
    May 04, 2015 @ 02:24:07

    I’m really interested on your tip about “Why Analogies Do Twice The Work in Half The Time”. I’ll be applying it not only to blogging but also on content marketing. I’m when it comes to these thing so I’m trying to learn as much I can.

  34. تور کیش
    May 04, 2015 @ 17:35:08

    thnx a lot its good post

  35. Alvarado, peníze zpět z každého nákupu
    May 05, 2015 @ 19:31:42

    Wow very powerful article, keep it up. I’ve learned much from Glen and it continues, what a cool guy.

  36. Syed
    May 06, 2015 @ 08:02:42

    Hi,

    +1 like. Extremely beneficial post. This post will be more beneficial to me for boost favorable blog traffic.

    Thanks !

  37. Dennis Seymour
    May 12, 2015 @ 02:54:21

    I’m still learning new ways to improve my writing skills and this is definitely one of those that I haven’t used (like, AT ALL)

    So thank you, Glen, for explaining this. It’ll definitely help me out. Putting it into practice right after this.

    Maybe I can use it someday when I finally get the chance to guest blog over here 🙂

  38. Hanna Hunter
    May 12, 2015 @ 15:28:31

    Glen,
    Wonderful post! Thanks for reminding me that the English language can be quite complex. There are many ways to explain ideas. Using an analogy is like shining a bright light along a country road in the middle of the night.
    Hanna

  39. Vinay Koshy
    May 21, 2015 @ 01:19:33

    Great post Glen,

    So as I understand it – an analogy, contains two parts: elements familiar and unfamiliar to a receiver. The analogy should be able to connect or relate these elements in the message.

    If the analogy is to work it does so by producing associations or creating meaning in the mind of the receiver. For that to happen an analogy needs to produce three sets of associations: those created because of the known or familiar elements, those created because of the unknown or unfamiliar elements, and those created by the linking of known to unknown elements.

    Would that be right?

  40. Ann
    Jun 25, 2015 @ 21:23:43

    Glen,

    Another great post. I’m late to the party but better late than never. I’m definitely using the analogy going forward.

    Ann

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