By Neil Patel published April 26, 2016

15 Things to Try When Your Content is a Mind-Numbing Wall of Text

content-mind-numbing-wall-text

BAM! You’ve hit the wall.

It’s over. Your creativity has run out.

Your content marketing was purring along just fine, but then the juices stopped flowing, and the content got really boring.

Your users can tell. What used to sizzle and pop with excitement is now a mind-numbing wall of text and brain-cell-killing content.

What should you do?

1. Drop the blog

Maybe it’s time to stop blogging. For real. If your blog is that boring, then give it a rest.

Stop-blogging

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To stop blogging is not to stop content marketing. Instead of blogging, try your hand at a new content form. Take some inspiration from GoPro. I don’t think it has a blog, at least in the traditional sense.

What does GoPro have? Lots of content – really, really good content.

GoPro-really-good-content

You can have an incredible content marketing thing without even having a blog.

2. Shoot some videos

While we’re on the subject of GoPro and videos, let’s talk about that for a second. As content marketing trends go, video takes the cake.

Video-Marketing-trend

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Why? Because it’s so engaging.

Video-engaging

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Give video a try. You may discover your newest content marketing love.

3. Start a Twitter hashtag movement

Twitter is the ultimate non-boring optimizer. How does this work?

With Twitter, instant is everything – instant content, interaction, posting, visibility, “likes,” and retweets.

Twitter-hashtag

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In this instantaneous environment, content is bound to be anything but boring. By unleashing a unique Twitter hashtag campaign, you can start something that takes on a life of its own.

LoveNYC-Twitter-hashtag

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4. Host a meetup

Sitting in your cubicle all day can lead you to create boring content. Try a meetup. Get real people to come hang out, have some beers, and get to know each other.

Meetups bring the static nature of an online content form into the dynamic interaction of human beings.

5. Try a new, random platform

Never tried Pinterest? Give it a go. What if it doesn’t work? It doesn’t matter. Try it anyway.

Ravelry

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Using a new-to-you content platform can rejigger your worn-out brain cells and give you some sweet new not-so-boring ideas for your existing platforms. See?

New-content-platform

Who even knew that mustache dating was a thing?

6. Pull a stunt

What kind of stunt? Embrace the full power of your imagination.

Red Bull did a space stunt. Well, the edge of space at least.

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What kind of stunt can you pull? It depends on your industry and your audience.

Some creative people buy iPhones and then drop them.

Waste of money? Maybe. But look – it got over a million views.

It’s not boring, that’s for sure!

7. Rap

“Rappers are the original content marketers,” writes Eric M. Ruiz in Observer. You might not have the style of a Jay Z, but you can unleash a rap, right?

HubSpot did it.

OK, it’s corny, but hey, it’s not boring, right?

8. Hire someone new

This might hurt. But it’s OK, it’s a good hurt.

Hire someone new. Fresh blood in your organization can shake things up, give you some spicy new ideas, and infuse your content with the not-so-boring approach that you need.

9. Get ideas from your competitors

Have you thought about stealing ideas from the competition? On AMC’s Better Call Saul, James McGill did this, and even though it didn’t work out for him, it could work for you.

No, I’m not suggesting that you do anything that would violate copyright laws. Obviously.

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What I’m suggesting is that you take a look at your competition and see what they’re up to. Perhaps their approach could spark some different ideas that you can implement into your own content.

10. Give away free stuff

One thing that HubSpot did right was to give away free stuff. Lots and lots of free stuff.

HubSpot-free-stuff

Providing your audience with free resources is smart. Why? Because everyone loves free stuff. Even if the content itself is dry, the concept isn’t. By providing free resources, you can jump-start an otherwise predictable marketing campaign and take things to a whole new level of interesting.

11. Go real deep

One area in which a lot of content marketers seem to struggle is the depth and authority of content.

Here’s what I mean. There’s a lot of great information on the Internet. Sadly, a lot of this content simply repeats itself. The content that you write is no different from what competitors A, B, and C wrote on their blogs.

You don’t want that. How do you differentiate your content in a way that is interesting and makes people want to read it? You make it better by making it deep.

When you delve deep into a topic with all its fascinating nuances, intricacies, technicalities, and disagreements, you get readers who are interested in that level of detail. These are the readers that you want. They’re engaged and sold on what you have to say.

Boring for some? Maybe. Boring for the right people? Not a chance.

Brian Dean uses a version of this in what he calls the Skyscraper Technique.

  • Step 1: Find link-worthy content.
  • Step 2: Make it even better.
  • Step 3: Reach out to the right people.

It’s true that there’s “nothing new under the sun,” even in content marketing, but at least you can make something better under the sun.

12. Go real long

Deep content is great. But long content is also great.

Often, deep content is long content.

Long-form content has been my preferred method for several years. I often write blog posts that are thousands of words long. My advanced guides are super long – basically book length.

There’s a major benefit to long-form content. It has higher search rankings.

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I don’t recommend that you write long for long’s sake. Instead, write long because it’s interesting.

This seems counterintuitive, but remember what I wrote in the previous point? Long-form content will attract the right kind of readers.

Some readers are in it for a quick thrill. But other readers want deep, long content.

13. Use more images

This will be quick. If you’re not using images in your blog posts, it’s boring. It’s that simple.

Add images, and you’ll add interest. End of story.

14. Get a celebrity to endorse your product

It doesn’t need to be a Tom Hanks or anyone super famous.

Every industry has its celebrities. You may have never heard of Peep Laja, but he’s basically a god in the conversion rate optimization industry.

Celebrity-endorsement

Who’s your industry’s celebrity? As long as that person is not a competitor see if you can get an interview, an endorsement, or just a loving pat on the back if that’s what you need.

15. Create a caption contest

Engagement is not boring. And there’s no better engagement than the caption contest. A simple “caption this” can turn your bored fans into eager participants.

Engagement-Caption-This

Conclusion

Boring content is a complete turn-off. It bores you. It bores your readers. It discourages your brand. To punch boring in the face, you’ll have to do more than use active verbs and italicize words.

You’re going to need to do something absolutely new.

Maybe this has given you some ideas. Now it’s your turn.

What are your ideas for creating content that is absolutely not boring?

Want to spice up your content marketing? Sign up for the free daily or weekly CMI prescription to grow your skills and program.

Cover by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he has created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world. You can connect with him on Twitter @neilpatel.

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  • Paul Mattioli

    Fantastic read Neil – love the ideas and your tone – TRY IT – you have nothing to lose is something that marketers seemed to have forgotten in a world ruled by hourly results and daily metrics… Content, customers and clients all suffer as a result. Thanks for this – just shared on LinkedIn as well. Cheers.

    • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

      Glad you found it helpful. You really have to break it down to the base value.

  • jberroth

    Really enjoyed this Neil! I know I prefer interesting when I am reading!

  • http://WebWorksofKC.com/ Travis Pflanz

    I like to go really long and really deep (uhh… I didn’t mean for it to sound like that). No doubt – the long and in-depth articles (blog posts) on my website drive about 90% of all the traffic on my website.

  • heidicohen

    Neil–
    Useful content as I always expect and get from you!

    I love the Ravelry reference. It’s the major way to reach knitters and crocheters online. When it comes to content, Ravelry has gone beyond disrupting the old publishing model. It’s top designers make real incomes (5 and 6 figures) selling patterns there.

    Happy marketing,
    Heidi Cohen

  • http://www.semgeeks.com/ Adrianna Mieras

    Amazing! These are some great tips to throw boring right out of the window! Really nice input on the long content. It is becoming a trend now-a-days. People love reading greatly researched and interesting content no matter if it is lengthy. Internet is a huge space with a vast audience, so it is important to try everything and be visible everywhere to target our audience and social media is where they live!

  • paul johnson

    Great, actionable tips on options to think through for exciting content. The video form factor feels like an option for all businesses. I’ve also found interactive content/ games can really work if aligned with the brand

  • doodling mind

    I may go with presentation slides rather than writing things down as articles, because writing bores me at times so it might be boring for the readers.. I give A+ to the idea of becoming an authority, because you can start writing without any secondary research, which too bores me at times..