How do you create interesting content for a boring subject? What do you do if you want content for your website/social media but think people will find it boring? In this article I’m going to start by explaining why these questions are silly questions to ask yourself, and then I’m going to give you some tips for it anyway.
So, you sell a boring product or service, and you’re worried people will find your content boring. Let’s say, for an example, that you sell shoe cleaning kits, and you’re worried that nobody actually cares enough to read about shoe cleaning kits. Sorry to anyone reading this who may actually sell shoe cleaning kits, I’m not picking on you, and I’m sure shoe cleaning kits are actually very interesting. Now firstly, a lot of your competitors may take the same mindset as this, and as a result just list a price and description about shoe cleaning kits on their website. Now, let’s say just one guy (or gal) decides to go the extra mile, and makes tutorial videos about how to use shoe cleaning kits properly, as I’m sure that there’s actually far more to it than meets the eye, or decides to make videos explaining which shoe cleaning kits are best for which types of shoe, or creates articles reviewing shoe cleaning kits which have just come out, or does something else creative and informative.
If you want information about shoe cleaning kits, whose website are you going to go to? I’d go to the guy doing all this great stuff, and if after educating myself with his content I wanted to buy a shoe cleaning kit, I’d probably buy it from him. There’s also a double benefit to this, because there may be some people who might have a really nice new pair of shoes, and don’t think they need a shoe cleaning kit right now, but read up or watch a video to find out when they should be cleaning their shoes, and then when the time is right, they remember this guy’s video, come back and buy a shoe cleaning kit, or if they watch the video and realise they should be cleaning their shoes from purchase to prevent them being ruined, they might buy a kit where they otherwise never would have. This guy could even sell shoes too, and he could use his shoe cleaning kit content to get people to buy shoe cleaning kits with the purchase of their new shoes.
There are clearly some great potential benefits that could come about from creating content like that if you sell shoes or shoe cleaning kits, but would anyone bother to consume it? Well, to be honest, if I had a free hour, I wouldn’t go and find something to read or watch related to shoe cleaning kits. But if I had a new pair of shoes I wanted to look after, or I had some messy trainers that needed cleaning, at this point shoe cleaning kit content would be much more interesting to me, and that’s the point; if people already have a reason that has made them interested in what you’re selling, they’re going to be interested in any extra content you provide them too which can help them to make a better decision.
Just because I have no interest in shoe cleaning kits at the moment does not mean that I will never be interested in shoe cleaning kits, and if there comes a point where for whatever reason I am, I’m as a result going to be interested in videos and articles related to them. So you need to get it into your head that people are interested, or they wouldn’t be looking for shoes or shoe cleaning kits in the first place. If you can find a great statistic to use in a headline for your content too that would make them even more interested. Let’s say shoes last twice as long with regular cleaning (I made this up and have no idea if that is accurate). If I’ve just bought some shoes and think I have no interest whatsoever in shoe cleaning kits, and then I see an article saying something along the lines of ‘3 Tips for Making Your Shoes Last Twice as Long’, and this article explains the benefits of shoe cleaning kits and gives 3 tips on using them properly so that they work more effectively, I’m going to be a lot more interested in buying one of your shoe cleaning kits as well as your shoes after reading that article than I was before I clicked it. Basically your content isn’t boring to someone who can benefit from it.
So, now that we’ve established why your content isn’t boring, no matter what the subject matter is, let’s talk about some ways to make it even more interesting than it already is:
Firstly, try and remove any ‘fluff’ or ‘waffle’, or whatever else you want to call it. What I mean by this is anything where you drone on about something irrelevant or where you take far more time to say something than you really need. People have short attention spans, don’t give them a reason to disengage, by removing any fluff you’ll see more people make it to the end of your articles, rather than read a little bit, decide that it’s too long winded and then go onto someone else’s website. This works the same for videos too, don’t waffle on, if you have done, edit it out or refilm it.
You also need to give people breaks. What I mean by this is if you’re writing, use paragraphs, commas full stops, don’t just have one big block of text, or really long sentences with no commas or anywhere to pause. If you’re making video content then make sure you speak slowly enough for people to understand and take in what you’re saying, and make use of pauses.
Using different delivery methods is great too. So instead of just text or just a video of you talking, use images, graphs, quotes, statistics, and anything else you can use to get your point across. The more different ways you can think of to deliver your information, the more likely it is that it will sink in. People are stupid (myself included), and the chances are telling them something once won’t be enough, tell them as many times as possible in as many different ways as possible.
The best way to make a topic more interesting, in my opinion, is to engage with people. Find out what’s interesting to people, what do they want to know about the most? Is there something lots of people struggle with? What are common problems and how do you prevent them? This can apply to anything product or service. Find out what people want to know, and deliver it in an interesting manner. If you can’t think of any ways of getting the information from people then go on forums and see what people are asking about, or search on Twitter, there’s always a way of finding out what people want to know. You can also have a call to action at the end of your articles and videos. This doesn’t have to be some aggressive buy buy buy call to action; it could simply be asking a question, asking them to post a comment, or to give their opinion on something. Then once you get comments, make an effort to reply to them, the more you engage, the better.
Finally, you can try and make sure your content is different to everyone else’s in your industry, like my shoe cleaning example earlier. What content could you be creating that you’re not currently? Could you do product reviews? Could you do tutorial videos on how to use your product? Could you do blogs on how to use your product most effectively, new updates and products in your industry, common problems and how to avoid them related to your product, maybe you could bust some common myths about your product? You could do the occasional giveaway for people who sign up for something, or follow you somewhere else, such as on Twitter or Facebook. If you’re a small business, you could try sending video thank yous to customers and people who engage with your content regularly.
Once you get into the habit of thinking outside of the box, it won’t even matter if people start copying you, because there’s always something new you can be doing that other people aren’t, and if you’re the one coming up with these new ideas, you’ll always have something new to offer content wise that your competition don’t. You can also look outside of your industry for ideas, if you only look inside your industry, then you’ll only ever be doing the same things as everyone else is. If you look outside, you’ll always be noticing things that could be applied to your own. Some great ways to do this are to speak to friends in other industries, join a mastermind group, get a coach or mentor, read publications for other industries, or broader publications for businesses and entrepreneurs as a whole, read biographies and autobiographies of successful people in other industries, or listen to podcasts which feature lots of entrepreneurs from lots of different industries, such as The Entrepreneur Way podcast (some shameless self promotion, sorry not sorry).
In conclusion, your content is not boring, but you can make it more interesting by:
- Having a good headline
- Avoid ‘fluff’
- Give people breaks
- Use different delivery methods
- Engage with people
- Think outside the box
If you follow these steps you should be able to make content very different to anyone else in your industry. If you can establish yourself as somewhere that people go in your industry to get information, the chances are once they’ve gotten that information, they’ll buy from you too. Happy content creating. If you have any more ideas for creating interesting content, any opinions, or you have tried one of these methods, or anything else, feel free to post a comment. If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, or know someone who might benefit from reading it, then feel free to share it.