How to write for a dull niche
- 25th May 2017
Let’s be honest for a moment – not all niches are interesting. In fact, unless you have got a genuine interest in the industry or have an expressed need for one of their services, more often than not you’ll encounter a number of dull niches during your search of the web.
Yet just because the topic is dull, doesn’t mean it is worthless.
The trick is being able to quickly identify what is classed as boring content and using it to its full potential.
How can I identify boring content?
Here’s the thing you need to remember – ‘boring’ is in the eye of the beholder. What you may find boring, others will find fascinating and vice versa.
There is no clear distinction; however in the copywriting world there are typically three types of content which are traditionally considered ‘dull’: the technical how-tos; comprehensive guides (i.e. long drawn out discussions that tell you everything about a particular subject) and detailed support.
Now these are not without merit. If anything they play an important role in helping readers to uncover the truth so they can receive full explanations as to how things work. Without them their targeted audiences would be lost.
Yet, due to their nature each of these targeted content forms is considered boring.
How can I embrace boring content?
You know it’s boring. You know it’s dull, but your site needs it. That’s why you need to make it count. You need to make it essential and ensure your readers recognise it for what it is: invaluable information.
Bearing this in mind, aim to do the following:
Step One: The first step to embracing boring content is acknowledging their role. They have been written with a purpose and it is your job to make sure they are received in the right way.
Step Two: What is your goal? Your readers should immediately be able to sense what you are trying to achieve, so at the outset make your desired outcome is clear.
Step Three: Make your title specific. Don’t give it a broad name of ‘How to do SEO’, but instead embed a promise in the title, and tell them exactly what they’ll achieve with your guide.
Step Four: Set realistic expectations. Let your readers know from the start how big the project is, how long it will take and the supplies they’ll need (and should they need to buy, where to get them from and costs). The more they know, the more they’ll engage with your content.
Step Five: Make it easy to follow. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to list your steps in numbered sequences, as it will allow readers to take a break and easily pick up from where they left off. Numbers also create a sense of progress and achievement – the higher they go, the further they know they’ve gone.
Step Six: Use overviews. In other words, provide a summary of instructions at both the beginning and the end so they are completely aware of what they are about to undertake.
Step Seven: Use steps. Even with comprehensive guides you’ll find a logical process to it all, so where possible use steps or integrate step-by-step articles into your guide to help them achieve their goal.
Step Eight: Experiment with font size. For instance, make sure all of your headings are written in a larger font. This will enable readers to quickly glance and see what is expected of them. Large headings will also make it easier for them to re-find their place.
Step Nine: Make your content accessible. Desktop, laptop, mobile or tablet, your content needs to be accessible across a multitude of platforms, so should readers choose to cross reference your guide on one device and work on another, they can.
Step Ten: Consider every scenario. This step is especially important on how to guides as there is always a chance something could go wrong. For this reason, make sure your guide contains contingency plans.
Step Eleven: Don’t be afraid to be detailed. The more details the better – even if it seems boring.
Step Twelve: Use pictures and diagrams (depending on your subject matter). Pictures are a must as it helps to break up the content and makes it appear more interesting. Diagrams too are incredibly useful if you’re showing readers how to make something, as this will give them a visual to compare against your advice.
Step Thirteen: Be clear and concise. Forget using flowery, fancy language and metaphors. Instead keep it simple and ensure there is no room for misinterpretation.
Step Fourteen: Give some examples. Bring your words to life and put your content into action by showing readers visual examples of how to do the stuff you’re writing about.
As you can see – there is no such thing as ‘dull’ or ‘boring’ content. It is all a matter of perspective. So instead of being afraid to create guides and ‘how-tos’, why not embrace this content and give your readers what they want – detailed, comprehensive and lasting support.