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Making Dry Subjects Interesting: How To Write About Finance

Writing can be difficult, in part because it is a subjective art. However, when dealing with subject matter that is traditionally considered dull and potentially uninteresting, the challenge level escalates to even greater heights. Diluting dry subjects into bite-sized, engaging information is incredibly challenging. 

We’ll show you how to bolster dry subjects into bite-sized, engaging pieces specialized to hold the attention span of the reader while giving you the freedom to expound upon your topic with unbridled passion. 

Craft an Engaging Title

The title says it all. One of the most challenging aspects of making dry subjects attractive is hooking the reader. To that end, put serious thought into your title and select your wording carefully. Avoid jargon so that you don’t scare off your readers right away. 

For example, compare these two titles:

  1. Handling Personal Finances
  2. 10 Personal Finance Tips to Challenge Your Perspective on Money

While there’s nothing wrong with the first title, per se, it lacks direction. On the other hand, the second title conveys two critical aspects to the reader right away. 

First, it suggests that the writer will break up the article into manageable chunks of information. Second, it makes the subject immediately relevant to the reader. 

There’s something much more exciting about the allure involved in shifting the paradigm rather than designing an objective, soulless evaluation of the importance of personal finance. 

The title says a lot about the rest of your writing. If the title is uninteresting, the reader will assume that the contents will follow suit. Establishing a creative title engages your readers on dry subjects and helps you stay focused on your content.

Open with a Hook

The first rule of writing about potentially tedious subjects is to begin with an interesting tidbit or a bold claim, extending the hook from the title to the writing. 

If you’re passionate about your subject, it can be tempting to dovetail into every detail, but your first focus when opening a piece should be to engage your readers. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

Of course, you should keep these questions in the back of your mind throughout your writing, but they are particularly relevant in your opener. 

Readers may decide in a matter of seconds whether they want to continue reading in a matter of seconds based on the tone and content of your first few sentences. Therefore, the key to early engagement is to write an excellent hook for your article.

Keep Your Writing Neat

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to understand a dry subject and wading through a writer’s unnecessary jargon and verbose language. 

Keep your writing tight, your sentences short, and your meaning clear. Simplicity is the key, and the more you focus on distilling the essence of your article into a tidy package, the more approachable it will seem to your readers. Referring to the previous example, compare these two sentences:

  1. As a significant factor practiced by millions of wealthy individuals, personal finance is a subfield of finances that involves establishing, meeting, and superseding goals that you set to reach financial freedom and depends on several factors, including your income, spending, and savings.
  1. Personal finance is integral to growing wealth and managing money effectively.

Concisely conveying information is an essential part of developing your writing skills, and it’s a discipline that even practiced writers need to reinforce. The first sentence, exaggerated as it may be, is an excellent example of what not to do. 

The second sentence conveys the same information but in a neater, more straightforward structure that isn’t going to scare off every newcomer to personal finance within a 10-mile radius. 

Add Infographics

Whether you’re presenting in front of a group or using some form of digital media to talk about dry subjects, infographics always help visual learners. 

Seeing the information in a different format can help readers understand tricky concepts, and breaking up walls of text with charts, graphs, pictures, or other screen elements works wonders for reader engagement, especially on dry subjects.

If you’ve ever read a book and found yourself halfway through the next page, you know what reading fatigue feels like. Adding an example of an infographic gives the brain a different form of information to digest, diversifying the subject and making it more interesting.

Have Someone Proofread for You

As someone knowledgeable about the subject, you may need help to identify information that’s difficult to parse through, which is where having a friend who knows very little about your subject proofread your work is helpful. 

They can note where you’re using terms you still need to explain and identify concepts that are hard to understand.

Writing about Finances

Hands down, one of the most challenging subjects to write about is finances. Everyone wants to manage their money effectively, but navigating the jargon-heavy minefield of conflicting information makes it entirely unapproachable for many. 

The solution as a financial writer is to step back and evaluate your writing. Pick out any convoluted financial terms and write them in a glossary format on paper, keeping the definition as simple as possible. 

Doing so will help you associate jargon with its more straightforward definition and help you empathize with a reader who knows nothing about the subject. 

Suppose you were writing an intriguing article about Self-Managed Super Funds (SMFS), for example. In that case, you will undoubtedly want to include a subheading with the title “What Is a SMFS (Self-Managed Super Funds) Account?” to provide clarity and an immediate knowledge payout for your readers that will assist them with understanding the rest of the topic’s essential concepts.

The Bottom Line

Writing about dry subjects can be difficult, and the tendency to fill your writing with irrelevant asides and wordy language is the bane of writers everywhere. Have fun with the topic, as your enthusiasm and passion will permeate the writing, establish a tone that can influence the reader’s mood and encourage them to keep reading.

Always take the time to proofread your work from a newcomer’s perspective, asking yourself: “Could this be written better?” 

Simplicity breeds clarity, and when trying to make dry subjects more approachable and exciting, it’s always worthwhile to keep these tips in mind as you write. 

Further reading:Converting Boring Business Writing Into Something Inspiring

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By Susan Barlow

Dr. Susan Barlow is retired from academia after teaching business administration, project management, and business writing courses for over 20 years.

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