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