The thing about boring things, is that anything can be boring. On the flip side, anything can be exciting. Remember Seinfeld? That was a show about nothing, but 20 years later, it's still fun to watch. Ever get totally mesmerized by watching a cat jump in and out of a box? If the internet proves anything about the human mind, it's that it really doesn't take much to entertain us.
If the internet proves anything about the human mind, it's that it really doesn't take much to entertain us.
That said, even the most interesting idea can bore the bejeesus out of your readers. How do you make sure that doesn't happen to your brilliant post idea? It's all about packaging. Over the years, I've tested various ways to package up content to make it more appealing to the readers. People adapt and get bored, so evolve and weed out what doesn't work.
1. Ask, “Will my readers care about this?”
You should ask this question every time you post. Every time. There are loads of things I find interesting, but they do not fit with the general content. ie. lookbooks, the Philip Lim/Target Collaboration, famous internet cats. I'm guessing you don't come to IFB to find the latest Grumpy Cat meme.
2. Ask, “How can I add value to this post idea?”
Every post idea has some value. An outfit post has value, as it inspires your readers with outfit ideas. Some bloggers do a great job of adding value to their outfit posts by doing simple tricks like “Date Night outfit under $100” “5 Ways to Wear _______ Trend” (and have actually 5 different outfits). This gives your readers something extra to take away from your post.
3. Put the post into context with current events
Have you noticed people aren't wearing platform pumps like they used to? Write up a story about the trend towards a more sensible heel is so hot this year. Maybe you can link it to the economy, or the focus on power women, or films, whatever angle you can think up that will get your readers seeing an old trend in a new light.
4. Write a jazzy post title before writing your post
I always write the post title before the post. This helps set the pace and tone of the post. It also helps me to stick to the point. You may start with a kernel like, “stripes” and turn it into an interesting post like, “15 Striped Dresses Under $75” or whatever your readers will care about. (I know I would like to see a bunch of striped dresses!) Be ambitious! Would 2 striped dresses impress you. Yes, if they were the right ones… but why not go big and put 20 together!
5. Treat your post like a review
Whether or not you are actually doing a product review, a great way to connect the reality of your posts is to treat your topic like you would a review. What are the details? What was your experience with it? What are the positives? What are the negatives? Would you recommend to a friend?
6. Start a conversation with the idea with a poll
Running a poll is a great way to get information about your readers, and it's a great way to engage them as well. Polls can be anything like, “Who wore it better?” to “Do you shop online?” You can get personal, or just have fun. There is a lot to work with on polls!
7. Make it funny, sad, inspiring…
Developing an emotional connection with your readers isn't easy. I wish I could be funny every day, but I just am not that funny. But pick something out of your post idea that has that emotional connection. Bored by all the Met Gala posts last week? Wendy Brandes did a great job with this by connecting her outfits to funny things that have happened while she was wearing them, as well as current and past events.
8. Make it into a list post
People love list posts. Trust me, they do. How else has Buzzfeed become such an internet sensation? Lists break down content components readers can easily scan. The communicate value to the readers, ie. there's not just one reason to click on this post, but EIGHT! See how that worked? If you can think of eight reasons why your topic is fantastic, then how can it be a boring post?
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