When you’re seeking information about a topic, there’s nothing worse than trudging through line after line of bland text. You stumble across a piece of content on the subject you’re looking for and begin to read with hopeful enthusiasm. Then, word-by-word, one monotonous paragraph after another, that by the time you actually get to the useful information, any positive outlook has devolved into mind-numbing apathy.
If you’re a content creator, don’t put your readers through this kind of boredom. Look to create content that provides people with the information they’re seeking in a way that doesn’t feel like they’re reading the terms and conditions section of a cable television contract.
Truthfully, there are some topics that are much easier to keep fresh and exciting than others. However, even the most mundane information can be presented in a way that keeps the reader engaged throughout. Sorting through boring information is sometimes necessary to obtain the need to know about a topic. However, this same boring information can be spruced up to make the experience much more palatable.
Transforming dull text into an informative and lively piece of content can often be accomplished through some easy adjustments. Here are a few of these that you can take advantage to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
Don’t Write Like A Robot
One of the most effective ways to keep your content interesting is by presenting it in a way that flows like a natural conversation. Unless you’re suffering through the automated voice of a customer service line until you finally get to speak to a living human, having a conversation with someone doesn’t consist of lengthy sentences and one-way interaction.
Given that we’ve all experienced the frustration of the situation above, why would presenting content this way be any more enjoyable? If you’re going to give your text the feel of a friendly chat, try to avoid using stretched out sentences and words that cause your readers eyes to glaze over.
Listen, it’s fine that you speak the lingo and complicated jargon of the topic you’re writing about. Truthfully, you probably should be well-versed in a subject in order to effectively tell others about it. However, nobody likes it when someone talks over their head, it comes across as arrogant and detached.
The next time you’re creating an article, blog post or any form of text, try to imagine how the dialogue would flow if you were chatting with someone else. You’ll notice that your sentences start to vary in length, much more descriptive wording is used and a stronger sense of emotion is conveyed.
Cater To Your Targeted Audience
Regardless of the type of content you’re creating, you almost certainly have a particular demographic that makes up the majority of your audience. This isn’t to say that your content is written to appeal to only this demographic, rather the general topic or category that you cover is generally more appealing to some people more so than others.
In a perfect world, your content would be so captivating that individuals from every part of the population flocked to your blog posts. Although producing superior work will certainly grow a broader following, it’s important that you create with your target audience in mind.
Think about it like this; the success of a content creator is more or less based on the number of people that interact with their work, right? That being said, you have to build a steady foundation before you begin really growing your following.
With any form of content, the majority of individuals that view your work are going to be temporary audience members; it’s simply the name of the game. The “foundation” of your following is going to be the target audience, the people with a true interest in the subject that you cover and who vibe with the way you present it.
A major error that you need to avoid is disengaging your target audience by diluting your content in the name of reaching a wider range of people. Make sure that you develop a steady following before you begin trying to expand.
Furthermore, when you do start to reach further, make sure that your content doesn’t change drastically in too short of a time period. Small changes here and there will help keep the loyalty of your foundation while consistently appealing to the broader population.
Stick To Subjects You Are Passionate About
In order to make sure that the content you put out there is exciting and interesting to the readers, it’s crucial that whatever you’re writing about makes you feel the same way. As a content creator, trying to churn out quality work is no walk in the park. This is especially true when the subject of your writing isn’t one that you’re genuinely interested in.
People are incredibly keen at sensing when someone is just going through the motions. This is true in writing almost as much as while having an in-person interaction. If you throw some words on a page about a topic that’s mundane and boring to you, the audience is probably going to pick up on it. Allowing this disinterest to creep into your content will make building a consistent following even more difficult.
Furthermore, creating content about things that interest you personally is the only way to maintain the inspiration needed to become successful as a creator. If you’re going to capture and maintain a following, you better be putting out high-quality work on a consistent schedule, both of which can be soul-crushing if you invest that much of your time into content that bores you.
Provide Multiple Forms Of Clarity
Given that we’ve already touched on ways to make your text more palatable, there’s another helpful tactic to throw in the toolbox; not using text exclusively. Human beings love shiny things. We’re drawn to pictures and animations.
This is just as true for a middle-aged person glancing at a billboard while stuck in traffic as it is for a toddler in their mother’s shopping cart reaching for a glittery toy.
This aspect of human nature can be used very effectively to add zest to any article or blog post. Throwing in a relevant picture or animation in the right places is a great way to keep the attention of the reader. Remember that the frequency and placement of your graphics is important.
Breaking up the monotony of a text-only page is great, bombarding your reader with them like a spam website not so much. Also be sure to insert any graphic you want to use in a way that doesn’t break up the flow of your information. Use relevant images after paragraphs to allow the reader to grasp the information presented in the paragraph and avoid snatching their attention from what you’re trying to describe mid-sentence with a clever meme.
If used correctly, well-placed graphics can bring a lot to the table in terms of improving the aesthetic of your content and keeping the audience engaged from start to finish.
So, you want to turn bland text into sparkling online content? You want to transform dull text into an informative and lively piece of content?
Great! I’d like to leave you with some excellent pieces of advice from a few bestselling authors worth listening to.
In his book Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts, Ryan Holiday says,
“You don’t have to be a genius to make genius — you just have to have small moments of brilliance and edit out the boring stuff…Focus your energy on making the right thing for the right people.”
And in his book Reinvent Yourself, James Altucher says,
“Over-deliver on everything. Look for every opportunity to over-deliver…By constantly adding value to others, value comes back to you…So many people ask, “How do I get traffic?’’ That’s the wrong question. If you ask everyday, “How did I help people today?” then you will have more traffic and money than you could have imagined.”
Life is short. Write stuff that matters.