What If Your Site Is About An Uninteresting Topic?
Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:23 PM
SEO's come up with suggestions like off-beat angles and comical headlines, but is this really a solution? There's only a few ways you can write about installing window blinds or buying surety bonds.
What are the options out there?
Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:07 PM
But then...the creativity has to kick in, and that needs to be where you use off beat angles to create content elsewhere - such as guest posts or even perhaps on your own blog. Write a spooky story about the creature behind the blinds, and post it on a halloween blog. Write a post on how to create graphics with a window blind effect and place it on a web design blog. Of course, when you mention blinds, you link back to your site, or at least, include it in the bio.
And of course, just because you've already explained how to install blinds on your own site, it doesn't mean you can't re-explain on another site. Give a mommy blog a guest post on the easiest way to install blinds without traditional tools, for example. Write a post on repairing one broken blind slat, and post it on a fix-it blog.
Expand the mind...
Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:13 AM
What many/most webdevs (and especially SEOs) call boring are actually one or both of:
* of interest to a very few people.
* not easily monetised.
Of course what they really mean is that they aren't making any money. That is NOT the same as being boring. A corollary meaning is that they get very few SE referrals - which shows that they are SE SE focussed and not niche focussed. Many small/obscure niches are extremely vibrant but the audience is NOT found via popular search.
What you describe is not usually a limitation of niche or topic but of the webdev/SEO. They really need to join GA (Google Anonymous)
Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:17 AM
I think the trick here is to be the most comprehensive, trustworthy (aka seen as a knowledgeable source), and easiest to access.
If your topic's one that's already got a lot of coverage your USP might be presenting information in different ways, or example a guide formatted for printing out, a video tutorial, or step by step photo guide.
Or you might try to be more comprehensive than other sites - a quick guide to blind installation - aimed at someone with reasonable DIY knowledge/skills that just needs the specific info for this job, ypes of Blinds - types of fittings, how to figure out what one you have/what suits your window and a link to the install info, common issues and how to fix them.
Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:55 AM
Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:31 AM
I am not in favor of creating content simply in an effort to try to get it to rank well. I'd need some real-world examples of these "boring" topics to give an type of actual examples. If we stick with the blind installation idea, I'm not finding any websites that only talk about installing window blinds. They all have information as part of site with the main sites being home improvement stores, how-to forums, custom blind sites that sell blinds, blind manufacturers, etc., etc.
The point being, there are other things visitors come to the site for, not just installation instructions.
Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:10 AM
My blood boils when I hear this. These people need one of two things... A) a kick in the pants.... B) a different line of work
what do site owners do when their sites are on topics that are boring or not that interesting to create content for?
If your topic is BORING get a different job. Run a different website. Or, maybe any topic will be boring to these people.
That's right. If it's not interesting to you get into a different business.
Surely every topic is interesting to somebody, otherwise there would be no point in having a site / business would there?
lol..... I agree.... and there are boring people.
There are no boring topics only boring stories...
If you think it is boring. Quit. Pack it in. Move over for someone with enthusiasm.
Really, though... This is just an excuse used by lazy writers and people who have no imagination.
There are people out there who could write content about manure that would sell, educate and entertain -- all in a single essay.
</rant> (even though I have more to say about this)
Edited by EGOL, 15 January 2013 - 10:12 AM.
Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:35 AM
Karon is my content writing hero. She mentioned a book the other day on Facebook, I checked it out and got the Kindle version. I love it. But more than that, I trust her expertise and recommendations immensely.
Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:44 AM
I had a client with a web site for a family biz, which is surety bonds. He knew enough to use every possible SEO technique under the sun and even some I didn't want him to mess with (but he did anyway)..He had a forums where he could answer questions, but of course it was slow going due to the nature of the topic. He had a blog, Facebook and Twitter. He had his site redesigned for UX and conversions. And still he has to struggle to attract new clients to what is a topic that is only needed in certain situations and is extremely (to my surprise) really competitive in search engines.
The owner's passion for his work helped him write about it but sooner or later he ran out of ideas or got tired of beating the same horse from various angles. His forums could answer questions and offer ideas but even that grew stale.
If this was your client, what would you advise? (No longer my client btw. I just remember his situation and it stuck with me.)
Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:25 PM
Content serves a purpose: and when it's meeting it's purpose, it can't be boring. If you're trying to pretend that your topic is going to be interesting in every context, however, you're missing the point.
Now, with Kim's question, regarding the client who had ran out of ideas: that's not a problem with a boring topic, that's a problem with needing some kind of outside impetus to keep going.
Everybody beats the same horses from different angles -- when I read through items in my RSS feed, (RIP Aaron Swartz), I regularly see people writing articles on topics that they've written on before. That's partially because old articles don't get attention; partially because when people look at old news, they may figure it's now out of date; partially because sometimes new information requires taking a look at the same topic again. Nothing wrong with that; but if you're writing the same post every week, that's probably not so good.
In this person's case, I think that he would need somebody to ping ideas off. Or, perhaps, he's in a topic where he needs to stop thinking he's going to pull in a huge number of clients because of content marketing: if it's a tiny, tiny market, then the highly competive search engine environment might not be the best place for him to place so much marketing effort. The expense of client acquisition by that venue may not be justified.
Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:30 PM
Then I would go back and look at existing content on the website and ask..... What are the key things that people need to know about these bonds. Then I would upgrade my content until it is best on the web for every one of those topics. (I bet he does not have that,.... only one website on this planet has that. I would want to own that.) After you have all of this kickass kickass (did I say KICKASS?) content then its time to promote it.
Most people have a website full of yada yada yada content and think... I did my job. That's BS because the content is probably crap and no better than pedestrian. Ain't good enough. Get to work! That will p*** 'em off... but if they decide to do it the results could be fantastic.
Edited by EGOL, 15 January 2013 - 01:37 PM.
Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:47 PM
There is a perception, definitely with webdevs and especially SEOs, that Google is online marketing. It is NOT. This poisonous mindset is endemic in our industry and while I appreciate that it hogties my competitors it also irritates me no end as I have to read some variation on the idiocy every day.
A site needs to be designed to meet the requirements of:
* targeted audience segments
* currently un-targeted and/or general audience segments
* site business model
A site/business marketing plan needs to identify:
* where to find the various audiences.
* how to communicate with the various audiences.
* rank listing each venue and required communication by cost-value (especially but not exclusively ROI).
Search (and Google) is likely to be on such a list. However, it may not be in the top 3 or even the top 10. In such instances defaulting to search will result in a poor return on investment. Of course defaulting to search is:
* standard behaviour so 'safe'.
* what an SEO is selling: if all you know is swinging a hammer every problem becomes a nail.
Note: there are other Cre8 threads about SEOs migrating to or attempting to encompass within SEO some 'other' form of marketing, i.e. SMM, and how far too often their writings illustrate a distressing breadth and depressing depth of ignorance and/or incompetence.
A website is a business. It would nice if more webdevs understood what that means, the various skills and knowledge required to do well: all the usual business knowledge PLUS various internet technical skills. There is NO one size fits all well. Each business/site business model, revenue model, marketing model needs to be custom crafted for optimal results. And the more niche the niche the more true that is.
Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:28 PM
Uh...I have some of those "boring" topics with some of my smb sites. here is a twist about it. Some of the content we can and do write about that is richer helps not ONE IOTA. not even a fraction of a fraction of an iota...
so there is sometimes a caveat w/ regard to rich content. hey it may be great and rich but it doesn't do a whit for sales.
Okay so do it for links....
(ah...light speed member--> catchy--> I like it. very cre8ive
Edited by earlpearl, 15 January 2013 - 04:28 PM.
Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:47 PM
(ah...light speed member--> catchy--> I like it. very cre8ive
Thanks! Glad you like it
Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:38 PM
Topics that people wouldn't want to admit to reading about...
Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:45 AM
What you do need to do is capture as many visitors as possible who are looking for that info/topic.
Suppose you write about something that get 10 searches per day. If you are #1 in Google and totally on topic and have great calls to actions and a very persuasive writing style you could be generating a lot of leads: 300 visits per month at 1% conversion is 3 new clients every month. Change your site and those 300 visits could be getting you 6 new clients every month.
Stop thinking about boring and start thinking about making money.
Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:48 PM
So, what I would be doing is saying: Is there the chance that this piece of content that i am going to write will actually be able to get me new business in the channel in which I am going to drop it.
You might say: my content objectives for this piece are long term, and therefore I am going to chance long term positions in search rankings on the fact of it becoming a great reference and resource and rising in popularity. That's fine, you've planned it like that. I think that a common problem is writing an authoritative piece under the impression that it's well written-ness will get you search traffic.
There are many different types of content, and the kind of content that gets traffic on Reddit is distinct from that of a PPC campaign, to Twitter to Stumbleupon advertising and even Facebook.. Each of these traffic sources have their own style and formula, and each have their own form of ranking that should, when content is written correctly, be correctly addressed within the content, be it in the words or the design style. The skilled webdev/seo tests different content types in channels and knows how to leverage each in its most correct well through thorough testing.
Of course when you get into the less competitive niches you will have bigger opportunities and you don't have to be so tight on your strategy because it's easier to get attention on your content.
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