You hear the advice time and time again – write great, interesting, exciting, sharable content. But what if you’re in a boring niche? Or writing for a client in a boring niche? How do you get readers excited about mundane topics like locksmiths or plumbing, or topics like personal injury lawyers or rash creams?
Here are ten tips to help you create interesting content ideas for any niche, even the ones that seem, at least at first glance, to be boring.
- Stop thinking of the topic as “boring”! If you are not interested, your readers won’t be either. Anything is interesting when it is presented in an interesting manner. You just need to find the right angle. And the first step is to be fascinated by your topic so your enthusiasm will show in your writing.
- Show me the numbers. Dig through industry statistics and find the fascinating tidbits that pull people into your story. Do you sell nails? How many nails go into building the typical house? Is your niche floor coverings? If you took all the carpet made in one month, how big of a city/state would it cover? Numbers fascinate when used in a way people can easily grasp and share with others.
- Stories sell. Let’s say you sell instructions on how to refinish furniture. “14 year old Annie was always the shy type, afraid to speak up, lacking confidence in herself. Then she got our beginner’s instructions for refinishing simple chairs. Within a month she’d finished her first project, and now a year later she’s refinished over a dozen pieces. Annie resold nine of them for substantial profit that she’s put away for college, and kept or given away the rest of the pieces. Most importantly, she’s gained a new sense of accomplishment and confidence which has spilled over into other areas of her life.” Wow, now furniture refinishing is exciting! It also showed customers another use for what they learn: They can use it to make extra money. Suddenly, someone who was on the fence about buying sees new possibilities for what they can do with your course.
- Answer questions from customers. Create “ask an expert” posts or videos in which you answer a question submitted by a reader. Create interaction, likes and shares by getting real people to ask questions through social media such as Facebook. Ask them to submit their questions on video or text—some will love the idea of appearing in your video.
- Talk about a problem. Maybe legislation is pending that could hurt your industry, or some unscrupulous vendors are ripping people off. Be the leader and speak up about it. You’ll not only capture the attention of your readers – you’ll likely get links from other sites as people join the conversation. Give useful information to help your audience avoid becoming victims of the bad guys.
- Promote a cause. Is there a charity you and your company support? Let your readers know about it, share stories and get them involved. For example, a personal injury lawyer who is helping homeless puppies and kittens to find new homes – that’s not only unexpected, it’s even warm and fuzzy – literally. Put real faces on your cause – furry or human – and tell why you and your business strongly support this cause. If you can choose a cause aligned with your business, so much the better. For example, a food niche might choose a program to feed the hungry, while a remodeling/building/decorating business might choose something like Habitat for Humanity. Does it feel wrong to you to broadcast your charitable activities? I understand, but you are doing it to make people more aware of the cause and get them involved. You can show you and your staff volunteering or helping in some way, but the focus isn’t on what you are doing – it’s on the need and how all of us can help.
- Hold contests where readers create content for you. Get your readers to create content by running a contest where they submit stories, photos or videos about your products or your business. The better the prize, the more entries you’re likely to get. Pick the top entries and then get them to get their friends to vote for the best one with retweets and Facebook shares. Publicize the contest to get more entries, more press and more backlinks. (Note: There are legal issues associated with holding contests and sweepstakes, so you may need to consult an attorney before running a contest.)
- Become a hub for industry content. You do not have to write all of your website’s content. Ask other industry leaders to contribute. Interview people in your industry, or your customers. Most YouTube videos allow you to embed the videos in your website. (Look for the embed code under the share tab.) Find a video that would be of interest to your readers, embed it in your blog, and write a short commentary about why the video is interesting or useful. Run a weekly roundup of interesting articles, blog posts, news items, videos, etc. from around the web. Although you can not copy entire articles or blog posts, you can write a short summary and link to the original item. And press releases are made to be used to write articles.
- Use images. People love to look at pictures, and they stay on your site longer when you use interesting, compelling and relevant images. But don’t just grab a cool picture from Google Images or Facebook. Only use images you have the right to use. That means photos you took yourself, photos you licensed (such as from a stock photo company) or photos with a CreativeCommons license.
- Go “outside the (boring) box.” Let’s say your niche is car accessories – why not do an article on the top coolest cars in movies? Or maybe your niche is math tutoring – again, find the movies that use math and talk about those. Think about topics that are not strictly about what you do, but would be of interest to people who would be your customers. It’s a great way to get your audience to relate to your products.
Even the most mundane of topics can become interesting – you’ve just got to find the right angle to write about. Keep your eyes open and watch for unique and appealing content ideas as you go through your day.