How to Write Attractively About Boring Topics: 9 Tips
I often hear that people find it difficult to write attractive texts about boring topics like taxes, accounting, software or insurance. But you can also write interesting texts about these topics that lead to engaged customers. From my writing experience with loads of boring topics I would like to give you a few tips.
1. Know your target audience
Numero uno if you want to fight dullness. Know who your target audience is and what they need. What are their fears? What makes them happy? What problem do you solve for them?
Before you start writing you should have a good knowledge of this. Then you know how to write your copy and how to generate interest.
2. Solve a problem
What do your potential customers, the readers of your articles, want to know? Make sure you solve their problem in your copy (or in the product or service that you sell with your copy). Check with your Customer Service Department or ask someone who has a lot of customer contact.
Are you a freelancer? Then take a look at the questions you receive in your email or on the phone. To gain more insight into the questions of your potential customers, you can also use websites like Quora and AnswerThePublic. And don’t forget that a little bit of keyword research can put you on the right track.
3. Add personality
Little is less appealing than copy laced with jargon and office lingo. Try to avoid this at all times. Instead, write in colloquial language, as if you were talking to a friend.
Use everyday examples and do not blindly assume that the reader does have certain background knowledge. In short, write with personality and with passion (without saying you’re a passionate company, please don’t).
4. Don’t write about yourself
Of course you can start an article with an anecdote that you have experienced. Adding personality in your writing is always advisable, as you have already read. But don’t make the mistake many companies make: they only write about themselves.
How good they are, that their products are the best in the world, that they have won awards. Instead, focus on the reader and what you can do for them. Really successful companies do all of this all the time.
How do you know if your copy is doing well? There is a simple test you can perform. See if you use ‘you’ more than ‘I/we’.
5. Don’t be afraid of some humor
If you know your target audience well, you also know what they like. People love to be entertained and laugh. Yes, even if it concerns a ‘boring target group’ such as managers or accountants or if you write for companies.
We are all human. Use humor in your copy. Make a joke, a pun, add a meme or refer to elements from pop culture. Make them laugh and keep them reading.
6. Choose a remarkable approach
You can make a boring subject exciting by turning conventions upside down, by making a statement that goes against the prevailing views or by coming up with striking statistics in your industry. If you come up with something striking in the headline, it is much easier to make the rest of the text interesting as well.
7. Choose an exciting rhythm
How to bring more tension into your writing? By choosing a rhythm where you alternate shorter sentences with longer ones. Don’t be afraid of sentences of only one word. See?
8. Beware of over-optimization
You still come across them too often: copy that is clearly written for search engines, not for people. Laced with focus keywords, so that a normal person can barely read them.
In short, over-optimization. Then you miss the point. Not only humans hate such texts, search engines also do. Write every text on your website with your target audience in mind and incorporate your keywords into it naturally. Much better!
9. Benefits instead of features
Texts packed with lists of facts, figures and product features. That’s boring and so it doesn’t convert. Instead, find out what your products or services will mean to your audience.
Does it make their lives easier, healthier, funnier? Make the switch from features to benefits for your potential customer in every text you write. Readable, attractive texts are texts that always invite you to continue reading.
This is a translation from the original article on my blog about copywriting.