A common challenge for writers is making a boring topic interesting to read. For many blog owners, finding lucrative SEO niches means writing on technical topics that are not over saturated. Of course, these things are inherently dry, but they don’t need to be.
Even the most dull of topics can be transformed into captivating articles with a variety of the following techniques.
Use first person and make it practical
If we look at the great copy from Million Dollar Journey’s Kyle Prevost, it’s clear that there’s a common theme: the reader isn’t just learning about theory or being delivered the raw information, but they’re listening to Kyle’s interpretation of the topic too.
The example above is talking about working after retirement. Instead of giving the reader the bare bones and facts of the situation, Kyle writes about his own personal experiences when diving into the topic. In the opening to one section, Kyle writes, “I have to admit that I was shocked at the abundance of data that shows the strong link between working later in life, and general health – as well as increased life expectancy.”
This first-person account of the topic makes it much more engaging and personable. It builds up a personality and unique voice for the blog, and the readers begin to see topics through that lens, as opposed to a sanitized, objective version.
Speak directly to the reader
At the end of the day, readers are usually reading for their own benefit. If they’re reading about retiring early, it’s almost certainly because they themselves want this to be a reality for them. So, we need to speak directly to them about the topic.
As you begin to get into the finer details where it gets more technical or abstract, the reader can begin to feel disconnected from the topic – that’s when providing practical uses and examples are needed.
Bringing the topic regularly back to its implications, particularly the implications (be it benefits, uses, or threats) for the reader, keeps it useful and relatable to the reader.
A good example of speaking to the reader is in Morrinson Wealth, a British wealth management blog. Towards the end of this post, just as the information-dense rundown on the Spring budget is getting a bit intense, the author speaks directly to the reader by saying “If you are hoping for a fruitful budget announcement, filled with new tax reliefs and initiatives, you may want to temper your expectations.”
Without bringing the reader back to moments like this, it’s easy for them to leave feeling like they could have just read the mainstream news version of events.
Use stories and examples – and be specific
Examples are vital when engaging a reader. As I have done so far in this article, giving examples to the reader can make the information much more digestible. By providing context and a more tangible explanation, it’s just a lot more engaging.
This is going to sound off-topic for a moment, but I promise it isn’t. A series of studies by social scientist Slovic shows that our compassion fades as the overall numbers of a large-scale tragedy increases. A single picture of a poor child raised more money in donations than a picture of two poor children. And, this trend only continues indefinitely, particularly when hearing high death tolls in the news.
The implication of this on your writing is simple: it’s better to deeply explore one person’s story as an example than to spread this copy around many examples. Case studies are powerful, with greater potential to connect to the reader.
If the reader is an entrepreneur, hearing the story of another entrepreneur, and finding commonalities along with empathizing with them, is harder hitting than hearing a rundown of 5 brief examples.
Use visuals: infographics, charts, data visualization
Sometimes, you just have to share some data and statistics, and you shouldn’t shy away from this. For many people, these are captivating too, but it’s a little more tricky to get right.
If I told you that Lil Nas X – a music artist that went from Twitter-famous to radio-famous in a short space of time – increased his music stream numbers from 909,891 in January to 255,717,113 in April, you would be impressed.
But if it’s shown as an infographic with a clever illustration referencing his rap song (which is about riding a horse down to “old town road”), suddenly his growth as an artist appears more mind-blowing. We’re visual creatures.
Transforming a seemingly mundane or technical topic into a compelling blog post is more than possible. It takes a little more effort and creativity, where even small things can help, like using playful alliteration or making jokes. But, the core focus should be on making sure the content is practical, relatable to the audience, uses some good stories and examples, and is littered with some visual elements.