A few weeks ago, I came across an awesome post on one of our favorite copywriting industry websites, Copyblogger. The site’s always full of great ideas on blogging, content marketing, and SEO. And for us at Dragonfly, this post particularly hit home.
It’s “How to Write Interesting Content for a ‘Boring’ Topic”—something that describes what Dragonfly writers do just about every day. We’d never suggest that the work any of our clients do is boring, of course—if it matters to our clients, it matters to us. But the topics we deal with don’t exactly have a tendency to go viral. (Think network IT solutions, variable data printing, and construction materials prefabrication, to name a few.)
That doesn’t mean they can’t be interesting. There are no boring topics—only boring content creators, the author tells us. So whether the subject in question is painfully ordinary or mind-bendingly technical, as writers, we just have to work a little harder to find a ‘hook’ that will make viewers want to keep reading.
The approach isn’t so different from how we write other types of content. The trusty seven ‘W’ questions of interviewing are a great starting point. If you’re writing a blog post, try choosing one of these questions to explore in depth.
If you’re writing about, say, toothpaste, you could ask:
- What is toothpaste really made of? Does the formula differ between brands, or all they basically the same?
- Where in the world uses the most toothpaste, and why is that so?
- Why do most types of toothpaste taste like mint, instead of some other flavor?
See? This exercise can actually be kind of fun. Take a topic you’re writing about, and think about what questions you’d be interested in learning the answers to. Chances are, if you find it interesting, others will too. Then, do your research. Figure out the state of the conversation about your topic on the Web—and add to it.
By the time you’re finished, you might find that your topic isn’t so boring after all.
Mary Dixon is a writer and editor for Dragonfly Editorial.