Don’t Be a B-Word (We Mean Boring)

Your website can be informative and easy to navigate. You might have put countless hours into making sure it is both functional and useful to your audience. But if your site or blog is boring, all of your hard work might have been for nothing. Here are some tips to add interest to your content so your audience keeps coming back for more.

Add Variety

One of the keys to great content is infusing variety into what you publish. It might be helpful if you think of content like you think of food. No matter how tasty or nutritious a certain type of food may be, you can’t survive on one meal type alone. Plus, eating the same thing all the time gets boring.

Therefore, try to provide a variety of content. Provide room in your content schedule for all of the following:

  • Entertaining content that doesn’t get too deep into subjects. It might make people laugh or give them a bit of inspiration.
  • Well-researched content, like white papers, that help to establish you as an authority in your industry.
  • Basic news about your industry. You can provide your own perspective on current events and how they relate to your business.
  • Guest content. Your readers might appreciate getting information from a fresh voice once in a while.

Don’t just vary the substance of your content; you can also vary its format. You can create text articles, videos, infographics, charts, and more. These different formats also give you an opportunity to present the same information in different ways; one person might think an article is boring, but an infographic that contains the same facts might capture that person’s interest.

Create a Human Connection

People crave connection. You can help to satisfy their craving by giving your content a personal touch. To establish the human element, consider writing in first person on occasion. When you’re personally writing a blog post or telling about your own experiences, people get to know you as the head of your company. You’re putting a personality with your name and face.

Sometimes, writing in first person isn’t appropriate. For example, you might have hired a writer to cover basic topics for your blog; the writer might have little to no firsthand knowledge of the subject at hand. In that case, encourage the reader to use a conversational second person point of view. This sounds natural and gives a casual, fun spin on your content.

Another thing you can do is provide ways for viewers to engage with your content. At the end of an article, ask for comments. You can try to get readers’ perspectives on the information you’ve presented or ask them to tell their own stories as they relate to the subject of your post. Try your best to be diligent about replying to their comments so they can experience the fun of connecting with you over cyberspace.

Make Content Easy to Scan

Let’s say you have a 2,000-word article. On paper, that equates to roughly four or five pages. Readers who are only interested in a portion of the information you’re presenting will quickly become bored if they have to read every single word before they find what they’re after.

Divide content with subheadings, bullet points, short paragraphs and sentences, and transitional phrases. When readers can go straight to the information that is most relevant for them, they’re less likely to fall asleep in front of their computer or mobile device when they’re on your site.

Breaking up the content with images is another great way to add scannability. Stock images are useful, but if you can add diagrams, screenshots, or other visuals that directly relate to your content, that’s even better.

Get the Length Right

Strive to be succinct. Cut out fluff or unnecessary information. Don’t add irrelevant facts simply to reach a word count goal. You might have thought a subject would fill up 1,000 words, but if 750 words feels more natural and easier to digest, keep it at 750.

On the other hand, don’t make your content too short. The last thing you want is to give a cursory examination of material that leaves readers feeling like they didn’t gain anything of substance from your content.

Adapt the length to your audience. If you’re speaking to experts, they’ll likely be bored if you present a short article that has only basic information. If you’re addressing the general public, their eyes will start to glaze over if you throw a lot of industry jargon and case studies at them.

Find Ways to Entertain

Image via Flickr by garryknight

Even if your content is about a subject that many people consider boring, you can find ways to entertain your audience.

  • Use humor. When appropriate, you can use puns or silly jokes to liven up a topic. You could even search through old comic strips and find one that puts a funny spin on the content.
  • Tell a story. Everyone loves a story. It might be your personal experience or an experience you heard from someone else. Real-life occurrences can breathe new life even into topics that have been covered time and again.
  • Use an illustration. Illustrations are a fantastic way to explain complex or boring subjects using concepts that everyone understands. If you can’t think of an illustration, you can still use metaphors and similes to give readers a new way to think of the information you’re presenting.

Use Hooks

You create social media blurbs to hook readers, but you can also insert hooks inside your content. You can do this by inserting a surprising statement into the introduction or ending a section of your content with the promise of what’s coming next. Clever subheadings and bolded or highlighted quotes from the article can also serve as hooks that keep viewers on your page.

The last thing you want is to be a b-word. The internet is drenched with content, and much of that content is useful—but not all of it is interesting. Use the above tips and refuse to be a purveyor of boring content.

About the author

Joy Nelson

Joy Nelson is a professional freelance writer who lives in the Seattle area. Her hobbies include traveling and saving money.