Sooner or later, you’ll be faced with a writing assignment about a topic or a product that is… well, less than sexy. It happens to all writers eventually.
But maybe you don’t want to turn down the job. Maybe you need the money. Or maybe you actually like the boring topic you’re working on. Whatever the reason, your writing should never be boring. So how do you take a mundane topic and make it fascinating?
Lots of ways. Here are a few to get you started…
1. Do More Research
Research is always the first step when undertaking any writing assignment. But it’s especially important if you need to find an interesting angle, when “interesting” is elusive.
Find every source of information you can that relates to your topic and soak it all in. When you do, you may be surprised to find you’ve come up with a number of interesting angles.
If not, keep digging. Think of questions that relate to the topic and if there are answers to those questions. Watch for facts and figures and anecdotes that are unknown to the public. They will give your writing interest even in the face of the most everyday topic.
For example, if you’re writing about wheels, read up on the history of the wheel… when they were invented, how they changed history, how they’re made… everything. The kinds of details you uncover by doing this sort of research will breathe life into your writing and make your article a success.
2. Pick a Relatable Angle
When trying to turn a boring article into an interesting one, look for an angle that people can relate to. If you can connect your topic to something your readers have experienced, you’ll get them engaged.
If you have your own experience that relates to the topic, share that, too. The unique details of your own experience will give the article color and help make your reader a sympathetic one.
3. Tie into the Current Headlines
If you can tie your article to something happening in the current news cycle, you’ll be able to grab your reader’s interest, no matter how boring your topic might seem. Doing this makes your article relevant and that makes it interesting. If you want a boring topic to resonate with the masses, creating a connection with a current event is a sure way to do it. As an added bonus, you’ll also generate more buzz for your work.
Think about what’s happening near the time of publication — a sporting, entertainment, political, historical anniversary, or world event, for example — and see if your article can connect with that. Or, let’s say, if you were hired to write an article about a certain disease, you could associate it with the events resulting from the outbreak of the disease.
4. Reader Participation
The more people you get commenting on your article, the more engaging it will be. In fact, any type of reader participation will increase the interest in the article.
You can allow readers to participate by inviting them to comment, by giving them a way to share the article through social media, or by including a survey or quiz within your article.
Once a reader is a part of the conversation, they are bound to pay attention.
5. Make the Topic Visual
If you want to make your topic more interesting, adding pictures is a proven way to do it. The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text, according to a study done by 3M, so adding visuals will make your information capture interest faster and “stick” better. Adding images also helps you in driving your points home, which builds the readers’ engagement — you are presenting them with evidence, so they can follow what you are saying.
You can also add infographics as a way to show long-term trends and demographic representations of certain data.
If you want to explain something complex, don’t try and explain it all in words, use a visual representation of the story you want to tell. Before-and-after images, screenshots, and video are just a few alternatives for making your ideas more lively and interesting. You’ll help your reader follow what you’re saying. Visuals make it easier for your readers to comprehend and retain what they have read.
6. Answer the Questions that Readers are Asking
Whenever you are writing an article, try to answer your readers’ questions. No matter how mundane the topic might be, think through the possible questions lingering in your reader’s mind, and make the answers your focus.
So how do you know what questions your readers want to be answered? Well, you go to sites where people post them. Sites like Quora, for example.
Imagine if you were writing about something ordinary and simple, like forks. Try a search on Quora to see what people want to know about forks.
The following results may show up:
- What is the world’s most expensive fork?
- Which came first, forks or chopsticks?
- How to make edible forks?
- Where to find forks that are used in the Star Wars movies?
These questions give you a starting point for some interesting angles to a pedestrian topic.
In case you’re having trouble coming up with the right questions that may interest you and your audience, a good old-fashioned brainstorming session might help:
- Set a timer for five minutes.
- List any ideas and questions that pop into your head. This way, you won’t lose track of what you want to talk about. Don’t filter them, just write.
- Don’t be afraid to write down absurd ideas or questions. Absurdity may prove to be your friend at some point.
- Engage your creativity by thinking of paradoxes and contradictions. These will help you come up with ‘what if’ questions.
A successful article may start with a simple brainstorming session and an urge to answer interesting questions. If it interests you, then it can also interest your readers.
There are many steps you can take to do your best work. You can put everything into a logical order, use a professional proofreading service to polish it up, and optimize for the search engines… but if it’s boring, nobody will read it. These seven methods will help you write interesting articles — no matter what topic you’re assigned.
Author Bio: Lori Wade is a freelance content writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from education and online marketing to entrepreneurship. She is also an aspiring tutor striving to bring education to another level like we all do. Lori is used to handling many writing orders at the same time. You can find her on Twitter or Google+ or find her in other social media. Read and take over Lori’s useful insights!