How to Stop Writing Boring Blog Posts

How to Stop Writing Boring Blog Posts

It’s been done tens of millions of time: a blog post is written. Someone has an idea to share with the world. Someone has a beef and they want to rant. Someone writes an inspiring poem.

Because of the glut of so many posts, blog posts have become boring. When I scroll through my reader, my eyes glaze over. I long for something exciting. Something different. Something that makes me reach to comment, that makes me laugh out loud.

I’m looking for those killer blog posts.

I know they exist.

Start with Better Titles

Only 20% of people ever click on your title, and competition for readers’ eyes is stiff in the blogging world. The old rules of direct advertising remain: headlines make or break your post.

Four-word headlines won’t cut it anymore. You need to expand. Try to up the curiosity factor or fascinate people. Use the ol’ Brian Clark of Copyblogger trick of combining a practical tip with a compelling element, like The Depeche Mode Guide to Gardening. Engage the strange.

Use a Wicked Picture

I have no clue why bloggers generally insist on tiny, bland photos.

With what you can pull off today and with all the endless beauties waiting on the high-end stock photo sites, there’s really no reason to skimp on visual imagery.

I want to see awesome, relevant, cool, sexy pictures popping out when I glance at blog posts. Something that screams, “LOOK AT ME!”

Scare me. Arouse me. Delight me. But please, don’t bore me.

Write Like You Fight

Stop writing like a fearful person scared of stepping up to the plate. Stop rushing through blog posts trying to get them done in 15 minutes.

If you’re churning out half-page junk each week, you’re not giving anyone reason to pay attention.

Write like you care. Write profound things. Write like it was a matter of life or death. Like it was a matter of honor. Of protecting your child. Or a friend.

End with Action

You know this already, but it bears revisiting: Think long and hard about what you want people to do when they stop reading your post.

Should they share it? Bookmark it? Copy it? Leave a comment? Those are all noble action-oriented goals, and I’m sure they’re all good, but how about making them more unique than, “If you like this, share it with a friend or leave a comment.”

Make your calls to action something sexy. Something that isn’t… well, you know. Boring.

How about you? Are you sick and tired of reading wimpy blog posts that do nothing but tell you what you already know? That look like every single other blog post out there? Are you doing anything about it? Let me know.

Bring your blog back from the dead – and bring your business more results than ever. Damn Fine Words is the writing course for businesspeople that teaches you everything you need to know, from headlines to calls to action – and a whole bunch more. Click here to learn more.

Post by Demien Farnsworth

Imagine Jakob Nielson as a feisty, flamboyant copywriter - that's about as close as you'll ever get to Demien Farnsworth. He originally set out with a newly-minted Literature BA with a mind for poetry, his boots crisp and clean and his teeth set against all things business... and has come to his senses at The Copybot. Go check him out now.

Join the Discussion. Click Here to Leave a Comment.

  1. This was a good post. I wrote a book on Online Dating called “Get a Date Today, How to Market yourself for Love” and I basically tell the reader the same thing about their online dating profile. They have to compete with millions of eyes!
    Facebook is becoming the same way and it is watering down people’s brands. WHY on earth would I or anyone else care if someone just baked a cake, or brushed their hair or cleaned their house? WHO CARES? Unfortunately, people are getting the idea that they are really that important. I don’t even care when celebrities do it!
    I just wrote Yahoo! News a letter stating how BAD their news had become. This week alone, there were two article on athletes that got their hair cut and Justin Timberlake’s new hair style. REALLY? THIS is news?
    I can’t stand it.
    I hope other bloggers head your article and write something relevant.
    I just found this site online and subscribed. I was asked to start blogging for a site and will be starting next week.
    Thanks for the article.

  2. Write Like You FIght. Amen, man.

  3. Siita Rivas says:

    Hale freiken luliah! I love it! just for once let’s see something that is not playing it safe – doesn’t have a message! an offer a requirement or repeated information wrapped in unnecessary words.

    Let’s see – Something that is just pure fun – open heart – baring the soul or just to give us a laugh.

    Bring it on + Mix it up! Throw in your personality and style in smart ways.

    I’m sure we’ll get back to work and be way more productive as a result.
    Great post!
    Thanks.

  4. Wow Demien, you touched on it all in such a short, clear, delicious, entertaining, exhilarating, motivating and refreshing manner! I raise my glass (water bottle really) to you and offer a toast – “To Sexy Blog Posts!”

    Thank You.

  5. Yo Demien!

    Playing it safe is everywhere, from blog posts, to college courses, to playgrounds, to life.

    It’s all sterile and sanitized in the name of safety.

    My best titles are the most bold. I called one “STRIP!” and it got a great response. I write feisty op-ed columns as a freelancer and that’s where I found a strong voice. They cannot be wimpy or they will not be purchased.

    Just a lack of passion in people in general. We talk about passion, about finding it, yet even when people claim they’ve found it, you still don’t see any emotion.

    Of course, I think it’s because of the way we educate folks (read make them obedient and sit in wooden seats for 12-16 years in the name of learning.).

    I like your wilder picture idea. I tend to not use pictures, although I did this week. But then not having a picture when everyone has a picture can be different.

    My cat did a very popular post once. He’s very in your face!

    Thanks, G.

  6. Great post Demien, and you’re right!

    I think everything we do as bloggers could stand to be more ‘killer’, killer comments, killer about me pages, killer blog name titles, killer responses.

    With millons of blogs out there everyone of us bloggers should be doing everything we can to stand out, and provide value, so that our blogging efforts are rewarded with readers.

    I think it was author Po Bronson that said, the worst thing you can do it waste your readers time.

  7. Shocked me into a relook at my own posts. Thanks for the ~~~~ZAP!!!!

    Take Care.

  8. Like the part of using wicked pictures. Used to do that in corporate announcements on the intranet using Photoshop to add the message, until people complained about the wicked pictures being too extreme :)

    I’m not doing that anymore for a long time, since it took also too much effort to design, but people still remember those announcements!

  9. Lynn Hess says:

    I don’t think there can ever be too many reminders of this message. I read a lot of blogs, but there are only a handful that I know will consistently grab my attention and hold it….and those are the blogs I’ll never unsubscribe from.

    I would guess that, because there are just SO many blogs (and information of ALL kinds) out there, readers have had their stimulation thresholds raised. So, what feels like really compelling, dramatic, and even shocking revelation to an author can be just a tiny blip to the jaded readership.

    And I also love the “wicked picture” suggestion….are there certain stock photo sites you have especially good luck with for these?

    • Hey Lynn, I always use Flickr’s Creative Commons…and spend a lot of time looking for the right photo. Following thisisnthappiness.com is another great source that links to other great photos. and keep in mind that the photos that you choose will be a reflection of who you are…so people will gravitate to that…or not. The ones who do…they are your audience. And if you are providing “wicked pictures” your readers will let you know with an occasional email. Thanks for taking the time!

  10. One of the greatest mistakes many writers make is that they write about things that they are interested in.

    To get people to read your work, you need to write about things that other people are interested in. It is not about you, it has never been, and it will never be. As long as you are running a business or you want to be famous, it always has to be about those people who are coming to see you do your thing.

  11. I absolutely loved this post. As a newcomer to blogging, I have been reading around on how to catch people’s eyes but this is by far the most engaging article I have read. I also noticed that many bloggers don’t focus on pictures as much – how do they not realise what an impact this has?

    Lydia

    • Yipee! Glad you liked it Lydia. By the way, why did you finally decide to jump into blogging?

      • I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember but I realised that there aren’t that many blogs devoted to teenage writers – like myself – so I thought I might as well compile what I’ve learnt in one place to make it easier than it was for me. I’ve considered it so many times but I never took the plunge (and now I’m addicted!).

  12. Liam Geta says:

    Sexy calls to action.

    What a great post — got me to rethink what I’ve been doing lately.

    The call to action is something I fight with on every post.

    Pet peeve? And, no offense, but you ended yours with it: that insipid “How about you?”

    I swear, 99 percent of all blog posts end like that.

    Not findin’ it sexy at all.

  13. Just what I was saying to myself the other day. Girl this blog is boring, my own personal blog. This post says it all.

    cheers

  14. Really great advice, and so true about the photos! There is nothing that turns me off a blog more than crap photos.

    Although too many links annoy me, too.

  15. Write like it was a matter “of protecting your child.” – I never thought of it that way! Write with urgency. I like that.

    Good advice.

    Question: Do you have any advice on how to write better calls to action at the end of blog posts?

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