As a freelance writer, you can write about whatever you want to–right?
Well, not if you want to earn a living as a writer. The idea that freelance writers only need to write about interesting topics is mostly a myth.
If you’re a professional writer, you’ll have to write about topics your clients choose. Unless your interests are the exactly the same as what your clients need, you’ll get some dull assignments.
I should know. I’ve covered dull topics myself. Normally, I wouldn’t wade through pages of statistics, read about income taxes, or contracts. But I’ve done it for clients. And I’ve made those dull topics (and others) seem interesting.
There are ways to make a dull topic sizzle. Relax. It’s not as hard as it seems. In this post I share ten techniques to make your posts more interesting.
Are you ready to tackle that dull topic? Good. Let’s go. Here are ten ways to make almost any topic more interesting:
- Do your homework. This might surprise you, but skipping the research step for a dull topic is not the way to go. You won’t be able to find an interesting angle unless you are well versed in the subject.
- Look for a different angle. Often when I’m researching a topic, I run across something that holds my interest. I know if an angle holds my interest, it may also hold my reader’s interest.
- Make it personal. Find out how this information affects your reader. Explain this in your post or article. Be specific. Include an example of how a typical reader might be affected.
- Tell a story. Has this information already affected someone? Can you find them and talk to them? If you can, include their story in your post or article. Readers love real life examples.
- Use a conversational style. Nothing turns readers off more quickly than dense, academic-sounding copy. There’s a reason why people don’t read contracts and tax forms for fun.
- Write with active voice. Many writers make the mistake of switching to passive voice when they tackle a hard subject. Don’t do it. It makes your article or post harder to read.
- Include graphs and charts. If your topic includes statistics, present the data in a graph or chart. Graphs and charts also break up the text and catch the eye.
- Pay attention to the headline. The headline is the first thing your reader sees. An engaging headline makes the difference between content that is read and content that is ignored.
- Craft a good lede. The first paragraph of your post or article is important. It tells the reader why they should bother reading beyond the headline. Put a lot of thought into your first few sentences.
- Use captivating images. A picture tells a thousand words, or so they say. In today’s competitive content-laden online environment, good images are a must-have.
What to Do After You Publish
Have you followed all ten tips?
Great. But you’re not done yet. There are still a few steps you can take to draw an audience to your content:
- Share your post or article on social media. Be sure to show enthusiasm. If you’re not excited about what you wrote, why should your readers be?
- Answer comments. You don’t have to stick around looking for comments forever. Be prepared to respond to comments for a day or so after the piece is published.
What did I miss? How do you make dull topics more interesting?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.