How to Turn a Boring Topic into Interesting Content

Cheryl Catts

September 18, 2013

So your name comes up to write the next company or ad agency blog post. You’re pumped because last time you wrote about your interpretation of the marketing techniques and marketing plan for the new iPhone, and it got a lot of traction. You were the cool kid in the office for a few days. This time, however, the fates have not been as kind and you got the short stick. You’ve been assigned to write on the topic of “software predictions for the expansion of remote productivity in your industry and emerging markets.”

You’re probably already bored by the time you’ve gotten through the end of the description. So how are you going to write a post that someone with a pulse is going to want to read? Allow me to enlighten you, but first, a quick story:

When I was a kid one of my favorite things to do at my grandma’s house was to collect rocks from the front yard. We’d put them in a pie dish, and then fill the dish with water and see what happened to the colors of the rocks when they got wet. That’s it. That was the whole activity. And it doesn’t get more boring than rocks (sorry geologist readers of the Jibe Media blog!). But I loved to see the sparkles that came out, and the way a light pink rock would suddenly become red. It’s one of my clearest memories from that age.

Sometimes we get diamonds of blog topics, but sometimes we just get plain old yard rocks. Our challenge is to find the interesting, fun and beautiful aspect of the topic, and show our blog readers that the information they actually do need really is worth reading about.

Regardless of the topic, there are a few failsafe tips that can enhance just about any post. Using all of them in one place might make the post look a little bedazzled, but one or two will make it shine.

–       Make it personal. If you write about your own experiences, or your own interpretation on the topic, you automatically sound more knowledgeable and interesting. I like writing about my childhood (see what I did there?), my own children, pop culture, or reality TV. Obviously if you have interacted personally with the specific topic, don’t be afraid to bring that into it as well.

–       Make it informational. I would say that the majority of the blogs I find in search engines, I read for information. Most likely I’ve searched for the answer to an obscure problem or on a specific topic. When I find those blogs I expect them to answer my questions. If your topic is a dry one, make sure that your post is correct, helpful and complete.

–       Make it funny. Where appropriate, everyone enjoys a good laugh. Even if your topic isn’t inherently funny, you can find ways to infuse it with your sense of humor. It might just be your writing style, or your ability to tell a good story, but if you can hook them with something that’s enjoyable to read, you’re likely to keep them around when it’s time to get down to brass tacks.

–       Make it visually interesting. Appeal to a person’s visual interest using good photography and blog design. Whether it means displaying your post as an infographic, or finding images that will engage and captivate the reader, your post can appear more professional and pleasing with pretty pictures. As you’re vying for attention on social platforms when promoting your blog posts, you may ask yourself: How to promote my blog? What to do when using social media to improve my marketing? Or what’s a good example of a marketing plan when using social media to promote my business? The answer is great content paired with great imagery.

–       Make it engaging. Even though I have no idea where my bloggers live, what their lives are like, or if we have anything in common, I like to feel a connection with the writer. I like them to ask me questions, show me they understand my position, or compel me to keep going (see here for a great example of a “before and after” campaign that always entices me to click). Bulleted lists and graphs are a great way to break up your information to make it easier to read.

With any of these tips you can turn even the most boring topic into a gem. Some will take a little more work than others, but, in the end, that makes them more valuable posts to read—real diamonds in the rough, if you will.