I’ve sat down with a client and eventually we get to the topic of traffic, lead-gen, conversions etc. There are a couple easy things one can do to get a leg up on this, such as PPC. But that alone isn’t an answer, it’s one spoke on the strategy wheel. Right? So, during this conversation, I get to the part about content. I ask my client a pointed question. How often are you going to create content? I sometimes get that look: What do you mean? You want me to create content? Yes, I do! I tell them what I want from them: A commitment to creating valuable, engaging and great content . Blah, blah, blah. The client may not be someone who enjoys writing. That’s one thing. But then something else commonly gets said. What’s that? Glad you asked!
My business is boring… No one wants to read about Optometry or Back Hair Removal…
When I hear that I take pause. I try to understand where this thought process comes from. And, to a degree, yeah, I get it. Not a lot of people want to hear me talk about WordPress, Web Dev for Small Business, or Search Marketing that aren’t in need of it, or involved in the circles I’m in either… But there’s value; there’s interest. If people are willing to hand over dollars to buy your time and expertise then you have something interesting to say. It may be that you can’t churn something out every day, in the form of a blog post, but that’s okay. While posting valuable content frequently would be awesome, you don’t need to do it every day, or five days or three days a week. Let’s just focus on creating content once a week. Can we do that? I know you can and, you know what, I got off the phone with my mom and she said you could do it, too! See? We believe in you!
Great! How Do I Make my Content Un-Boring?
First off, I think that’s the wrong question to start with. The fact is, the story of why your business IS actually interesting is already there. We need to get it out in the open… I think a better question is: “Why are YOU interested in doing what you do?”
1. Kick things off with the story of YOU
Maybe it’s the hours. Maybe it’s something you picked up on as a kid. I don’t know what your story is, but I think writing up that story is a good first start. People are suckers for an origin story. It creates a personal connection to what you do. Case in point, I have a dating blog, the Urban Dater. I started that blog for two reasons 1.) I wanted to learn the Search Marketing game. 2.) I had a lot of dating stories. That made for good content because that’s what I knew. Turns out people loved it and still do. When you can connect personally with what you do, even if it’s “boring” people who are interested in what you do will want to know more about what you do and why.
2. What value do you bring?
Think about the reasons why people come to you and give you their time and money in exchange for your knowledge. Maybe you’re good at fixing faucets; maybe you’re good at eye examinations; maybe you have a knack for removing back hair better than the next person who does the same thing. Maybe your envelope manufacturing service is a little different than the next guy. You bring value to your customers. You can build from there. Think about the conversations you have with people. What do potential and existing customers call to ask you about? What questions do you cover a lot? Do you have an FAQ that you refer people to? Maybe, maybe not. But the point is that you do something of value and you can talk about that.
- Does your product/service save people money?
- Does your product/service save time?
- Is your product or service more convenient?
- What does doing business with you actually mean to you? What does it mean to the world around you?
There’s a number of other questions you could ask and answer, but I’m choosing these because they’re low-hanging fruit. You can talk about how you provide value based on the above questions. Value matters
3. Make it Funny
Now, I’m not going to tell you to go make a low-budget film about your business. That video takes razors, a body hair removal thingy, and makes it fun by being completely insane. There’s Machetes, a Bear and Alejandra (Oh, how I love her!).
My favorite line: “Are our blades any good? No, they’re f*cking great!” *You may have noticed our homage to this on our home page.
Heck, even a fictitious post about Parking Garage could do the trick. I mean, I know I said fictitious; I’m not encouraging you to lie or mislead people. However, writing a post about “Five Reasons You Should Park at My Parking Garage (–insert your business here–), in Chinatown” provides an opportunity to inject humor.
My sense of humor is, well, it’s kind of odd. I’d probably write that if people didn’t parkin in my parking Garage I’m going to ground my kid for a week. If more than 500 people park in my garage this week, you get my mother-in-law free with your next validated parking ticket. That may not be funny to you, after all humor is subjective, but hopefully you’re “picking up what I’m putting down.”
4. Types of Content to Create
You can take a single topic and create several different types of posts from it without too much difficulty. The only thing it costs you is time and brainpower.
- The tried and true ‘List Post.’ — That’s what this post you’re reading is.
- The Personal Story — I touched on this one a bit above, so this is kind of redundant, but I think it bears repeating.
- Be an Expert for a Day — Sure, this is a list post. But this post should also highlight the fact that I know what I’m talking about; this post helps to make me an “authority” on blogging. The self-deprecating person within would rather not accept a designation of authority, but the fact is that I know what I’m talking about and if I share it and demonstrate knowledge, I demonstrate expertise.
- Share an Inspirational Quote, Image or Video — If you see something that causes you to take pause, share it. I do this on my personal blog.
- Be Inflammatory… Like a Hemorrhoid! — Be controversial. Take a vendor to task for something you perceive as “poor service.” Be prepared for the negative attention this may cause, though.
5. Know Who You’re Talkin’ to
I guess this should be stated sooner. It should. There’s merit to knowing who your customer is because you’ll know better how to frame your posts. Maybe you cater to a largely conservative crowd; maybe your place is frequented by a particular group of people. Identifying this can help you shape your content and craft it just for them, again further personalizing your content and creating a more likely opportunity to connect with your customer base. This pretty close the conversation we’ll launch into when discussing content with clients. Hopefully this helps you get a start. If you have questions, comments or another great suggestion, leave it below!