No matter what we think about our profession or the way we see it, the fact remains that most of us work in a boring niche.
This is in fact the biggest problem when creating content.
While you may think that plain numbers and lengthy paragraphs describing an issue are awesome, most visitors will disagree.
Even if a person is interested in a topic it is your responsibility to package it in a way so they consume the product.
“It has never been about numbers or facts; it is about keeping a person on a page”
Here are some tips that will get you through content creation process and help you in various situations.
Topic that doesn’t require too much explanation
This is one of the biggest issues for content creators.
In fact, this is so much of a problem that experienced writers rarely try to create any type of short content that can be quickly explained.
It simply doesn’t make sense as you cannot create long textual content which Google loves so much.
Instead you are forced to create a short article which leaves you with a page that cannot get links, doesn’t attract attention and cannot convert well.
Let’s try the topic: “How deep is the ocean”
As you can see, this page is rather basic with an image taking most of the space.
However, it is ranking pretty high (3rd position) but mainly because it is a government website with over 160 referring domains linking to this page.
Still, it isn’t something that attracts enough attention nor can it lead to high conversion.
Here is a different take on the same topic:
This type of a video is called explainer video.
It usually lasts from 2 to 3 minutes and is meant to tackle topics that otherwise are too short to be presented in an article.
While 500 word article wouldn’t be so good for Google, 3 minute YouTube video is more than enough.
Reader is kept on a page because of the graphic solutions which attract enough attention.
In fact, with such a format you are even able to extend your content as long as you provide interesting information.
Number comparison and number analysis
In a lot of industries, content comes down to number analysis.
For example, putting performances of various tools or machines to the test. This is something that is commonly connected to machinery, various types of engineering, construction, finances, etc.
I will use an example for query “Philips screwdriver sizes”.
These articles can be really tedious as you can see on the photo below. One of the best ways to deal with it is to put all the numbers in a sheet like this:
Although in this article you have several rundowns and number analysis, it is presented in a way that nobody wants to read it.
Things get uglier if you have to extract data from the article for later use.
Although this is commercial content it gives you all the information you need.
Making something visible, putting it into a sheet and adding an image or two vastly improves your content and makes it better for reading or viewing.
You might think that all you need is a sheet but you are wrong. Adding a sheet is a much better solution but without any visual imagery it will still be dull.
Here, you have to be good with Microsoft Word formatting and graphic programs such as Adobe Illustrator so you can create a neat solution.
Remember – it is all about the packaging!
This is probably the main reason why I wrote this article in the first place.
Most people work with simple and straightforward products and it is really hard to find any other use to them besides the original one.
Presenting them in an entertaining way can also be an issue. This is where they usually get stuck.
Instead of letting their imagination run wild they stick with the basic purpose of the item and tend to write about product specifications.
This can be really dull for regular users no matter how much they like a product.
Here are some types of content made for “WD 40”
First we have an article that explains what is in a can of WD 40 and what are the different ways you can use it:
This article has a really big problem with formatting although it is very actionable.
It simply makes a list of all the things that WD 40 can help you with which doesn’t necessarily lead to high conversion.
It takes a plain topic and puts it in a plain environment which is recipe for disaster. Lack of graphic solution is also a problem.
On other hand, we have this YouTube video:
The video deals with the product in a lighthearted way.
It is so simple and entertaining that anyone can check it out and enjoy watching it. This allows for a much wider reach and a better response from casual audience.
Now, you might say that experts are what matters; that these are the people who have the power to link to you.
This is very much truth but you have to understand that experts and even your direct competition are also consumers.
Some people will definitely appreciate thorough article seen in the first example but are more likely to enjoy the video.
Try creating something new that will be appealing to the majority of people who land on your page.
Be creative and entertaining!
As you’ve seen in the screwdriver example, there are a lot of numbers and calculations in certain industries.
If you wish to construct a new home, plan home budget or see how long an engine is going to last, you will have to do precise calculation that includes various factors.
Now, for a regular person this can be quite tedious.
In fact, the odds that you will make a mistake during the process are really high so ultimately, you will have to hire a professional.
A lot of industries are based on calculations.
In fact, there are a lot of those who browse the internet searching for content that will clarify a situation and help them calculate something.
“Ball bearings life expectancy” is one of those topics that are really hard to figure out.
The main issue with these calculation is the fact that only a handful of people can use them.
Regardless of the fact that they are accurate, these formulas are specifically made for a smaller number of professionals who know what they’re doing and how to handle the topic.
Majority of people are not experts and they will browse the Internet simply so they can find a solution to their problems.
This ball bearings calculator will help them do just that:
This calculator is precisely what people need.
They don’t need formulas or mathematics; they require direct answers to their questions and quick solutions.
If your industry is known for its complex calculations and relying on mathematics and physics, you might wish to create a free online tool that will improve users’ lives.
Very long and complex topic
When you hear long and complex first thing that pops in your head are ultimate guides.
For quite a while this type of content ruled supreme in SEO world.
But it isn’t always so effective.
Even though guides are great for complex topics, they are very hard to create. Yes, it is definitely a good formula but it needs to be executed properly.
Let’s use topic “Guide to car engines”, for example:
Guides are meant to have all the information in one spot.
But the fact that they are so wholesome is their biggest issue. It is really hard to keep people on a page regardless of how you write.
You need to use every trick in the book in order to retain reader’s attention.
In this example, the author used plain text throughout with only header image. Needless to say, this can make reader drowsy as they quickly lose interest in content.
Example number two:
Although seemingly similar at the first glance, the second article has much more images and formatted text.
In addition to that, article is differently written using slang and loose language in order to keep readers entertained.
Furthermore, content is broken down on several page so it isn’t overbearing for a reader.
There are a lot of ways to deal with complex and boring topics.
Your main task is to make them less boring by using relaxed and entertaining language, doing proper formatting and breaking up the text.
Thus it will feel as if you’re reading separate entities and adding graphic solutions and videos on top of everything else.
To sum it up
Boring topics remain boring mainly due to 2 things: lack of ingenuity and aversion to risk.
If you’re working in a “boring” industry and dealing with a simple product, you have this point of view only because you’re taught that the industry is boring.
Unless you’re willing to take risks and change something, you will remain the same as your competitors and it will be hard to attract attention of wider audience.
Always consider things from readers’ perspective.
They don’t just need information; they need to be entertained as well. Based on that your content will be more or less successful.
What’s the biggest issue you’re facing in your industry? Is it dull and why? Share a feedback in comment section below, I might be able to help you!