In a number of my previous blog posts for Spiralytics, I've mentioned the "impatient reader" a couple of times — the worst enemy of writers. Online readers not just lack patience, they're also easily bored.
For writers in industries considered as "boring", it can be difficult to be more appealing to readers if the mere mention of your technical topic makes that cricket sound in people's minds. I've been in the same situation a couple of times during my writing career, so I know that there's nothing more depressing for a writer than to have your work get that 'boring' tag.
But then it hit me, there are no boring topics, just boring writing.
If you're writing for a company that has products or services that aren't perceived by the general public as fun or interesting, that doesn't mean that you should settle with writing boring content. What's the sense in writing if nobody reads your stuff, right? Don't be that boring writer. Here are several ways on how you can write about boring topics and not bore your readers to death:
1. Hit on your reader
I'm not telling you to flirt your readers into going out with you in the real world. What I'm trying to say is, imagine that you're alone in a bar and you see someone that you're insanely attracted to. What would you first tell them so they won't run away because they find you boring or creepy? How would you introduce yourself so they'll want to learn more about you?
When you're writing, instead of attractive chiseled looks and pick-up lines, your choice of words is your best and only weapon to seduce readers. Start your article with a question, tell a story that readers will be able to relate with, or shock them with interesting facts. The same thing applies when coming up with titles.
2. Don't be a poser
You know what readers really like? They like articles that actually answer their questions in great detail. You know what readers really hate? Poser articles where the writer rushed the 'helping' part to promote the company.
If you're talking too much about your company, it will make you look like you don't really want to help them get the information they want. In a Corporate Visions survey of B2B professionals, 60% of content that is considered boring focuses on the company, product, or services, while only 40% of it was on actually solving customer pain points.
Genuinely help your reader with the topic that they want to learn more about. If they see that you do know a lot about it, then you'll earn their trust and consider purchasing your product or avail of your services.
3. Speak in "English"
Not to be racist or anything, this isn't about the choice in language. If you're a writer for a Chinese or Spanish website, by all means, write in that language. This is about writing in industry jargon. If your reader is already lost or confused with the first lines of your article, they won't bother reading the next lines.
If you keep on talking in terms that only people in your industry can understand, it's no different from talking in alien codes. Remember that they're impatient readers, they have no time to open another Google tab to find definitions or read Wikipedia. News writers know this by heart. They make sure that they give a brief definition or description of people or entities that they mention in their article.
4. Funny is the new sexy
There are numerous studies that back up the claim that women love men with a sense of humor. In fact, funny is the new sexy. When it comes to writing, having a sense of humor instantly makes your article more interesting to read.
Don't be afraid to be witty or sarcastic, crack a joke, insert pop culture references, add funny memes or comics, or maybe talk about your cat. Put your personality into what you're writing. This will also be a great way for you to set yourself apart from your competitors.
Look at Jennifer Lawrence. People love her not only because she's a good actress, but because she doesn't take herself too seriously.