If you have been following my articles this week you will know by now where we are going with brand development and sales on social media. You have to develop your brand, build a community, engage with other, be sociable and personable, basically put a whole load of work in to push out great content that brings value to the customer.
For a lot of people, the best way to put out great content is via a blog. Now you should focus on what you are good at. If you rock at video or podcasting then go down that route. However, for many businesses, writing a blog is a no brainer. You need to write content centred around your industry and put it out there at scale. If your industry is marketing, technology, entertainment, sports ect – then you are pretty much set.
These are all topics which have high interest and people are actively searching for. So what about if you work in construction, finance, taxes, online security. These “dry” fields are interesting to you and other professionals in your industry. However you are trying to appeal to the average internet user and those topics are just not as “sticky” as the others.
Not to worry, there are things you can do to make your content appealing. It requires a bit more thought and effort than the topics that we all want to read about but you can still create appealing content that people want to consume.
Write To Your Very Best Of Your Ability
We have all been in this place as writers or content creators. Something comes across your desk or lands in your email inbox and you only feel lukewarm about the subject. It’s tempting to push something out fast and below standard just to move on. Don’t do that. A great writer can turn the most boring topic into a compelling one.
As a business owner who could be dealing in a dry field, you don’t need to necessarily find the best writer in the subject field, you need to find the best writer you can get your hands on full stop. Great writers can push the limits and make something boring into something appealing.
I write about digital marketing and social media, however I don’t stop there and I have written content for other blogs and businesses to set them on their way. Craft blogs, DIY, Cooking…these are not subject areas which appeal to me as a writer however I have the ability to take the topic and make it something interesting. Think about different angles you can use, so if you are writing about taxes then use stories and anecdotes to convey messages.
I say this countless times over and over again these days both online and in person. You need to create value, when you are creating content you need to always ask yourself where the potential value is to the people who are consuming it. So for me, the value I provide is to small businesses or people looking to build and enhance their online brand. People who want to find out how to grow and establish themselves in the current digital era. I provide as much value as I can for them every time I write a piece of content.
Useful content is not boring to people who need it. No matter what industry you are in or how “dry” it may be, there is always someone who needs help. Take taxes again, really boring topic right? Sorry to any of the tax peeps out there but that is the reality of things. However, when it rolls round to the time of year when taxes need to be done you can bet your ass people are online looking for advice on how to do it and how to do it right.
That is your chance to get in there and provide engaging content with value. If your content is genuinely helpful then it turns out to be the gateway drug that gets users looking at your product and services.
Keep It Simple
Like I said at the start, it may not be boring to you but boring is a broad terms which is different for everyone. Remember, you are appealing to the average internet user here. Coming back to taxes again (sorry to keep picking on the taxes industry!) it could be so complex and so full of jargon that there is no chance your content will gain traction.
Dumb it down, keep it simple to read and to understand. Bring it down to the average person’s level and make it easy and relatable so that they can understand what the hell you are actually talking about.
Make The Content Personal
If you are writing in a “dry” field and you write from the perspective of a soulless corporate business machine then I promise your content is going to suck and you are going to bore people to tears no matter what the actual content of the blog post is.
You are a human being and a human being is writing each post. Not some corporate fat cat, not a business machine, you! Make it personable, make it interesting and engaging.
- Use light sarcasm when appropriate
- Don’t write formally – keep it casual, write like an actual person
- Use anecdotes
- Tell a story
- Don’t take it so seriously
Liven up the topic you are discussing so that people want to actually consume it. The nature of being online now is that if you bore someone from the get then they just leave your site and don’t come back. Simple as that, there are plenty other people out there doing something similar to what you are doing so it is not like they are stuck for choice anymore.
Don’t Use Stock Photos In The Body Of The Content
Look stock photos are fine for one thing and one thing only – the lead image for a post. When it comes to inserting images into the actual body of the content you need to make sure you are not loading up with stock images quite simply because if you do that it is going to stick out like a sore thumb.
Anyone who tells you to plaster stock images all over your content doesn’t know shit about creating engaging content. At the most you can get away with using stock images as the feature image for a piece (even at that make sure you don’t pick a shitty looking one) but apart from that they are a no go.
Why? Because they are not YOU! Stock photos are not real life, they are not your business and they are all over the place. The solution is simply to take your own damn photos and use that in the content. It is 2016, we all have some kind of camera that is capable of taking a good photo either a simple point and shoot or a camera on your phone. So use it!
Just Be Awesome
It just comes back to you being awesome. Create great content that people want to engage with and you will see a ROI. People spend too much time worrying and talking about doing their thing but not actually doing it. People worry about putting their content out there, who will be interested, how will it sell and who is going to read it. They ask all these questions before they actually do anything along the lines of putting out content. Be a practitioner, not a headline reader.
Running a business that puts out great content won’t change you, it just exposes you. Creating content on the internet is not going to change you, it is just going to expose how awesome you are.