Over 4.8M blog posts were published today. That is according to Internet Live Stats.
Why are readers going to read your content?
There is so much competition in the market that you can’t afford to have content that fails to deliver.
You need to move beyond yawn inspiring blog posts. Today, I am going to give you three tips to help you write less boring content.
Do your own thing
A while back, I did a video where I talked about why it is a bad idea to steal content. In essence, people are copying how everyone else creates content all the time.
You can see this with Brian Dean’s Skyscraper technique. This technique was copied over and over by various writers. Inevitably what happens is people begin to take a shortcut. The content becomes flimsy while being longer and longer.
Swipe files are popular because people want a blueprint they can follow and make it work. And while blueprints are helpful, just because it worked in one context doesn’t mean it will work in another context.
Over time, people begin to templatize their content creation process based on what others do, and unwritten rules take place.
Break the mode! Do something different.
So, go ahead and say something that is unique, bust a presumed myth.
Your goal is to be unique and to stand out. You can’t be unique or stand out if you do or write what everyone else is doing.
One area where I see bloggers fail long-form content. What happens is they write this extremely long list posts. Each item will have 100-200 words. Do that about 20 times, and you easily hit 2,000 words.
Here’s the problem. When you are only writing about 100-200 words, you barely scratch the surface of each topic.
This is not what long-form content is supposed to be. Long-form content is long because the author is digging deeper into the topic. He or she is spending time covering everything there is to cover the topic.
If you are going to do a list post, perhaps you cover every possible thing that can be listed and make it go over a 100 items. The Copy Monk did that with this article.
Many companies write very basic level articles, which may help them get traffic, but they fail to write more advanced level articles that bring them, customers. There is a difference.
Add some personality
One of my favorite songs to describe how ridiculous marketers sound sometimes is the song by Weird Al, “Mission Statement.”
Go ahead and listen to the song here.
Yankovic told Rolling Stones,
“I wanted to do a song about all the ridiculous double-speak and meaningless buzzwords that I’ve been hearing in office environments my entire life..”
One thing is for sure; you get what he is saying really quickly.
“We must all efficiently Operationalize our strategies, Invest in world-class technology, And leverage our core competencies,” he sings. The entire song is made up of these buzzwords that we often hear coming from the board room.
Let me tell you, that’s playing it safe, and no one really knows what you are talking about.
These types of words are lifeless and have no personality.
But, I like movies, don’t you? One of my favorite characters recently is John Wick from the John Wick franchise.
At one point during the first movie, after Wick had an encounter with one of the villains, Wick who is played by actor Keanu Reeves, says to the villain’s father and former associate,
“When Helen died, I lost everything. Until that dog arrived on my doorstep. A final gift from my wife. In that moment, I received some semblance of hope. An opportunity to grieve unalone. And your son took that from me…stole that from me…killed that from me! People keep asking if I’m back. And I haven’t really had an answer. But now, yeah, I’m thinking I’m back! So, you can either hand over your son, or you can die screaming alongside him!”
Naturally, the context of the movie helps you understand the frustration Wick was having when he made this statement.
The bottom line is we don’t talk like an academic paper, so you should write how you talk.
Determine your tone and voice
One of the things that brands will do is establish their Tone and Voice.
Kevin Potts does a great job of summarizing this in his article on Medium.
MailChimp makes their Tone and Voice Guide available online, so you can see what they are trying to accomplish.
If you are looking for another example, Buffer pulls back the curtain on their Tone and Voice Guide.
I’m not advocating that you create a Tone and Voice guide for your business, especially if it is a solo shop, but I think taking the time to think about words you regularly use to convey a certain voice or tone is a good idea.
Do you want to communicate informally? Are you using $5 words versus $100 words?
Brittany Berger further breaks down brand voice guidelines at CoSchedule.
CoSchedule also offers a template you can download.
Creating a personality for a personality’s sake is not the goal. The goal is to create content that engages the customer and helps drive sales.
As Copyhackers’ Joanna Wiebe says,
“Now, you may be sold on the idea of cultivating a better tone. And, from there, you may come to believe that your tone should reflect your personality – but, IMHO, creating a personality shouldn’t be your primary objective in developing your tone. Rather, you should develop a tone in order to:
- Enact the value your visitors desire, such as dependability or entertainment
- Engage your visitors by making your site copy more enjoyable to read (i.e., less like work)
- Stimulate positive feelings that then become associated with your brand”
So, create content with personality and a tone that resonates with your customer.
Wrapping it up
There are many things you can do to write less boring content. Aside from unique content, personality, and having tone and voice, brands can include more storytelling.
A big key to making content less boring is creating relevant content. Relevance is one of the top elements of engaging content.
Another thing to keep content hopping is to use various visual elements such as images and, dare I say, GIFs.
How do you keep your content engaging? Let us know in the MainWP Users Facebook Group.