Stop Screwing Around with Boring Online Writing: Become the Iron Man of Online Writers

Eye tracking studies show readers close the window in as little as 1/20th of a second. Do you have any idea how fast that zips by, 1/20th of a second? And the top reasons don’t surprise me: 1-your page is ugly, 2-its organization is confusing, and 3-your writing is boring.

I appreciate that you struggle every day to sculpt relevant and interesting copy, but the fact is, on a regular basis, your writing is boring. You commit the mother of all sins: allowing readers who come to your page, to turn tail. And not buy your stuff.

The #1 fail-proof remedy for boring online writing that brings reader shutdown

Set your sights on becoming the Taylor Swift of online writers. She has a REAL firecracker voice and a memorable “edge.”

Which is why we call her an icon of pop culture. She is popular. Not complicated, is it?

Inasmuch as blogging is part of social media, its got to be social. If it sounds like it were written by academics or data scientists, that’s an egregious mistake.


Your boring online writing is putting this man to sleep

But I’ve seen this mistake time and again. In fact, I once told my therapist that the blog of an SEO client of mine — I was NOT doing his writing – was pulled entirely from syndicated content tailored to his industry, and was boring. Even the therapist — who would normally hold herself back from chiming in — commented, “Yeah, I get an email from my accountant from time-to-time, and it is indeed boring. I skip through most of it.”

Yes, the accounting blog has a use; it gives valuable tax tips. But no, people don’t normally sit down for a big chunk of time to read tax tips.

So ask yourself, do you need to be boring when you write for the web? Is it getting you leads, is it bringing engagement?

If your answer is “not sure,” “no,” and “no,” then you are in an endless loop. Break out of it. The answer to the first question is “no” if the answer to the next two is “no.” You are doing yourself a disservice to stay in your risk-averse, old school ways.

People want tips and other free ideas, but even more they want to be part of a dialogue and to be given a chance to chime in. Can you have an interesting dialogue when you do all the talking yourself?

Can you have a genuine conversation when you are in straight-jacket-speak?

Loosen up. Get more descriptive. Take a chance. One online publisher found me when I was sharing my content to Google+. The thing that caught his eye was the fact that my writing wasn’t boring.

That’s why I am a big proponent: Either write your own blog, or hire a writer who knows how to talk in the language we speak online.


A spirited writer needs more than coffee and a laptop. It takes self discipline, creativity and boatloads of practice.

Web writing is not the same as sales collateral. In most cases (there are exceptions), a corporate blog can be fresher and more lively than the brochure the same firm produces.

Trifolds are not the same as text messages, are they?

So get away from stultifying, boring stuff.

If you want to polish your skills for web writing, the very best course out there (no surprise) is offered remotely, and given by the expert in web writing himself, Jon Morrow. You can sign up here.

I took the course myself and it helped improve my writing like working with a personal trainer made me drop 15 lbs. pronto. I went from being rather mediocre to stirring up a shitstorm of reader engagement.

The good news is that you can do it, too. You can make writing one of your core strengths, if you learn from the pro himself.

And now for those of you in corporate, whether large companies, middle market firms, or small start-ups: Think in terms of being lively and make yourself the strongest writer out there. Get away from the yawns, and pick up the tempo.

Become the Iron Man of online writers. If you don’t know how, Jon Morrow will show you.

Photos courtesy of Creative Commons 2.0, the measure of mike and KatieKrueger.

How do you get creative and bring out ‘your inner soul sistah’ when you write? Tell us in the comments.

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  • Lauren Trecosta

    Narrowing right to the point, Diane! An ugly page, confusing organization, and boring content is sure to bring reader shut-down. More importantly, the critical question we have to ask ourselves: are we getting reader engagement? And, important, if we’re not, where to go for help.

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Lauren, in my opinion, having others look at what you write can do a LOT for improving your writing. Get instruction from the best, folks like Jon, and then keep practicing and solicit a critical editorial eye.

  • Craig Batchker

    Succinct and to the point. Far too many blogs are about as interesting as the sex life of a ping pong ball. That and and a hideous page make for exiting in a nanosecond. Thumbs up Diane. This is exactly the kind of course that I would very much want to be a part of.

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Thanks Craig, you’d enjoy the course I’m sure!

  • Sharon O’Day

    When I started blogging, I had been a technical writer for 30 years. Talk about boring! Precise … but boring. I took a writing course that taught me to “write from the heart.” I know I’ve made major strides and have an Alexa ranking of about 500K, but I’m always open to improving so I’ll take a look at Jon Morrow’s program. Thanks, Diane!

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      A good directive — write from the heart. Another sage once said, and I paraphrase, “If it comes from the heart, it goes to the heart.”

  • Marylfloyd

    You have highlighted a great point. Web or blog writing is in its own category. How would you define it?…a bit conversational, controversial, anecdotal, heartfelt with a touch of ad copy? Not quite sure but it’s in its own class. Thanks.

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      I agree. Your writing, Marylou, is a great example!

  • Michael Berliner

    Smart post – thanks! Check your spelling though…”You commit the mother of all sins: allowing readers who come to your page, to turn tale”
    Did you mean turn tail? As in, turn around and leave?

    Incorrect spelling: the mother-in-law of all sins?

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Michael, thanks for pointing that out… in fact, I think if you refresh your browser, you will see that it’s been corrected! (Now, let me take the egg off my face….)

      • Michael Berliner

        Hi, thanks. And by the way, I do like how you boil down the 3 main problems. Painfully obvious if you think about it, but thankfully clients still need our help in pointing it out!!

  • Valerie

    Great post Diane! Your writing is always inspiring.
    You da best!

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Thanks, Val. Nice way to start the morning.

  • Jhon

    The great post Diane! your creativity is good thanks for sharing .

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