11 tactics to kickstart ‘boring’ blogs

So, you have a business blog and don’t know how to make it more interesting. What do you do?

Let’s do a small experiment. The next time you’re in your local book store, go past the section where you usually hang out. Keep going. Soon, you’ll find yourself in parts of the bookstore you never knew existed. What’s stranger is that lurking down here are people just as keen on these books as you are about yours. What’s going on?

What’s boring to you is fascinating to someone else.


How to started making business blogs interesting

Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to Google and type in ‘magazines about r’. Google will automatically fill what it thinks you’re looking for. You can do this for any letter and you’ll see there are thousands of magazines for different tastes. Ok, so what?
  2. Next, pick one of these magazines and see what type of headlines they use. In general, the most popular and best magazines appear at the top of the search results. Notice anything?
    You’ll probably see that most headings are questions (how to etc), lists (5 ways to), and articles that triggers emotional buttons (Royal Jelly – did you know it can raise your IQ?)
  3. Keep a list of the most interesting headings. We’ll need these later.
  4. Scroll down and look at the comments. The gold dust is here. Look at what people are saying about the post. In particular, what emotions are triggered? What makes them angry, compassionate, curious, or supportive? Understanding what motivates readers is critical as later when we write a ‘boring blog post’ we’ll use some of these to hit their emotional triggers.
  5. Identify the boring topic. Go to www.alltop.com and see if you can find it, or a related category there. Again, look at the headlines. Which one did you click? I bet one of them made you go, ‘Yeah, that could be interesting.’ and you clicked.
  6. Go to answers.yahoo.com. Type in the topic you want to blog about. What questions and answers are people giving? Save these into a text file. Notice any keywords, terms, phrases coming up again and again? Write these down. Later, we’ll sprinkle these throughout our blog post.

11 tactics to get more responses to your business blog posts

Now we need to start writing.

  1. Write an interesting headline or at least a series of headlines that we can refine and A/B split test later.
    See Copyblogger’s archives on headline writing and Seth Godin’s headline of the year for ideas.
  2. Divide your readers emotionally.
    Get them off the fence. Start with something mildly controversial, little known, or that goes against the grain. This will get them sitting up.
  3. Ask a question. Force readers to agree or disagree with you. This leads to comments, shares, and Likes.
  4. Use quotes to support your argument. Quotes are indirect endorsements for your argument, i.e. the slant your post has taken.
  5. Use statistics to back-up your claim. This puts the reader at a disadvantage as, unless they’re an expert or go to Google, they won’t be able to counter with other statistics. You can see where we’re going.
  6. Refer to authority figures who’ve either endorsed or contradicted this view. Either way, you’re forcing the reader to take sides.
  7. It’s all about persuasion. Look at how Derek Halpern does it.
  8. Pre-test on twitter. Develop a Twitter marketing plan if you have time.
  9. Search using phrases, keywords, and terms users would likely use.
  10. Ask questions. How do I, anyone recommend, newbie and expert questions.
  11. Save the results. Thank people. Let them know you’re working on a post.

NB: you can do the same thing on LinkedIn.

Let me know what works and what doesn’t.