Gilbert K. Chesterton famously said, “There are no boring subjects, only disinterested minds.”
The fact is, whether you’re in data entry or coaching or title insurance, someone needs your services. They find what you do difficult, challenging, or even mind-boggling. But likely not boring.
So, why aren’t your blogs getting clicks?
The problem isn’t that your industry is too uninteresting for anyone to take notice. It’s that your content is too uninteresting for anyone to take notice. You can’t just throw any old thing up on your website and expect people to read it.
Most internet users spend less than one minute on a webpage before they leave. That means they read only a quarter of the text before bouncing. If that.
Unless your content is incredibly focused and extraordinarily interesting, little of what you say is actually getting through to anyone.
Turns out, I know a thing or two about writing for ‘boring’ industries. Let’s keep it real: writing about writing isn’t exactly a thrill-a-minute.
Luckily, I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way–both through my own work and through reading about what’s worked for others. Here’s what I’ve learned about gaining an audience and keeping them engaged, no matter what industry you’re in:
Know your audience
My number one tip for all of my clients? Know your audience! I won’t start any work at all for someone new if they can’t tell me who their “ideal client” is.
Why? Because when you churn out generic blogs and social media posts, they might be popular and get lots of likes, but they’re NOT going to convert into sales.
What should you know about your ideal client? I suggest taking a lot of time to sit down and think about exactly who they are – the process can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. You should consider:
This information will allow you to create content targeted DIRECTLY to the people most likely to purchase your product or service.
Have clear goals
You can post any sort of content if your only objective is to gain attention. But if you want real engagement and results, you need a more specific goal. Examples include:
Increased website traffic
Greater audience interaction
More direct messages (either emails, phone calls, or social media communications)
Develop relationships with influencers
Gain more links from other related (but not competitive) business
Create useful content
Remember: There are dozens, if not hundreds, of other businesses competing for attention from your same exact audience. How do you stand out?
Offer content that is genuinely helpful. Not promotional, not salesy, not self-serving. Content that’s only purpose is to inform and aid your audience.
No matter what you do for a living, there is someone out there who doesn’t know how to do it and needs help. Even if the topic is completely and utterly boring, those people will find what you have to say useful.
Want to know what kind of information people are looking for? Start by checking out question and answer sites like Quora or LinkedIn Answers to find out what people want to know about a specific topic.
What questions do they have? How have other people answered them? Take that information and do a deeper dive into it. Create an in-depth blog for your website that gives more information than any of the other sources.
People today don’t want to hear about how awesome you are. They don’t want you to try to impress them with your long list of impressive clients or high-end partners (they see right through that junk!) And they certainly don’t want to hear your tired old sales pitches.
What do they want? A real, genuine person that they can relate to! They want to feel like you’re the best friend they never knew they needed. You know all about them, you understand their problems, and you anticipate what they need before they do.
Even better? You speak like a real person, you admit your mistakes, you’re even a little bit funny. Never be afraid to crack a joke or use colloquial language! After all: This is just content marketing, not finishing school.
Keep things interesting
It’s ok to post a short little 300-word blog with nothing but a featured image – but I really wouldn’t write much more than that without breaking it up in some way. The fact is, internet users get bored easily. If you have a giant block of text that looks like a master’s htesis, no one is going to read it.
If you want to grab your audience’s attention (and keep it), you can’t make them feel overwhelmed. That means you have to make your content look easy to read . . . even if it isn’t. To do that:
Break up content with subheads, bullet points, numbered lists, and more
Use short, easy-to-read sentences
Insert lots of images (photos, infographics, videos, etc.)
Run your final product through Hemingway App to check for readability
Content is only as boring as you make it. If you think your topic is uninteresting, it will come across that way. But if you have fun with what you’re writing, no matter what it is, and your audience will have fun, too.