How to create engaging blog posts (when you're in a "boring" industry)

It's possible to tell great stories despite the dry nature of your offers.

Create engaging blog posts

Engaging blog posts are difficult if “boring” is the immediate word to describe your industry.

You’ve been told the value of blogging (traffic, community, sales). You’ve tried starting one for the business (a few posts before abandonment). The concepts are all there – getting words to the screen – but every attempt fails.

What are your competitors doing that you’re not?

The difference lies in the value.

Whether that’s a helpful insight or share a touching story that’ll help them overcome their fears.

All those great things are there… you just need a way to add personality.

 

Creating Engaging Blog Posts for Businesses in “Boring” Industries



I’d love to give you every engaging content examples I’ve run across over the years…

…but that would do you no good.

Why?

Because most business blogs are struggling with content as-is. They’re either infrequent or they’re treated like a press release channel. You know those types of blogs… it’s like they embrace the boring nature of their industry. Yikes.

Instead:

I want to give you a quick run-down of different engaging blog posts you could roll out today. This way you can begin seeing a surge in community engagement, traffic, and hopefully… sales.

 

#1: Create a how-to post about a product or service



This is from 2014 but 81% of shoppers use the Web when researching a product or service. You can bet your ass that number went up since then.

I don’t know about you, but I often look for a how-to in this research.

Why?

  • It shows what I can gain from using it
  • It shows the difficulty in learning it
  • It shows the nuances I don’t find in the pitch

I can then reference that post when I buy the thing to get a head-start on using it. The how-to post removed the sales angle… it let me decide based on logic instead of playing with my emotions.

  • Some people buy based on critical thinking
  • Some people buy based on emotions

The how-to is for the first group.

For the emotional-types…

 

#2: Share a story



sharing a story

Story-telling is an incredibly powerful way to sell products or services.

For starters:

  • It’s easier to identify with your target audience
  • You mix in emotions and build a connection

It also benefits from naturally describing the experience.

Sales copy is typically to-the-point where it lists the benefits or features, price, and slaps on a nice photo to draw their attention. A story, however, hooks the visitor. It gains a benefit from these natural phrases Google will pick up to help it rank.

These engaging blog posts are easy to create:

  1. Share a personal story how/why you started the business or created the offer
  2. Get your community to share their experience with using the product or service

Reach out through social media, email, or one-on-one contact to bring people on board. Record their experience, format it, and turn their story into a blog post. Then, encourage them to share with their followers.

 

#3: Start with video and create different assets



Seeing who you’re buying from on screen is hard to say no because it’s easy to form an emotional engagement. If someone is relatable then you’re more willing to give them a shot.

It doesn’t help when your industry is “boring” and cold.

People tend to look at you like a number in a suit. Someone trying to hock some wares and that’ll be the last they’ll hear from you. You can turn the tables by adding personality to the pitch… video is the perfect outlet for doing so!

Here’s what I’d do:

  1. Create personalized videos for each product or service about its benefits and features
  2. Transcribe the audio to text which is used as the basis for your blog post
  3. Rip the video into screenshots to use as media throughout the post
  4. Combine all those, create a great headline, and get it shared on social

You could turn these items into all sorts of assets whether it’s sharing it through email or reuploading it to Facebook for your business page. You’ve done the work… maximize it.

 

#4: Engage first, convert later



I noticed a lot of small businesses will bombard their social media followers with links to products.

Sound like your strategy?

It sounds good…

  • More links equals more visits
  • More visits equal more sales

Right?

Ehhhhhh, not really.

People get burnt out on constant sales pitches. It’s the reason so many of us have adblockers. It’s the reason social platforms don’t show every single post you’re putting on your pages. It’s just too much information for someone to handle… it’s a turn-off.

Instead:

  1. Share an awesome picture you thought amusing, inspirational, or captivating
  2. Link a video you really enjoyed and think your followers would, too
  3. Post pictures of your pets, achievements, memories, or goals

These items add humanity to the mix.

Engaging blog posts begin by “warming up” the audience to your message. This means catching their attention and reminding them you’re there. Then, once you’re seeing they’re interested in your message, you can hit ‘em with something promotional.

Basically:

Try to do about 1 promotion for every 10 casual posts.

 

#5: Write better headlines, do a better opener



create better headlines to increase blog post engagement
  1. Write the content
  2. Wait 15 mins
  3. Come back
  4. Work on the headline

Most people start their blog posts based on a headline. But, the post ends up going any which direction making the headline no longer punchy as when you began. That, and creating good headlines are a real art and skill… you get better the more you make them.

Try rewriting the headline a dozen times until you’re satisfied.

Hell, test it with a few people by passing it around the office or within a close circle of customers. See what they have to say about it. Choose the one that sticks out.

This also goes with the opener of the blog post.

  • Start with a story to hook the reader
  • Pose a stabbing question that’s later answered
  • Come out strong with a surprising stat

Look at those gossip mags if you need to (the ones during checkout). These writers are paid big bucks to craft eye-catching headlines. Go ahead and lift a couple to create engaging blog posts if you need.

 

#6: Ask questions and respond to FAQ’s



You probably get hundreds of questions every day.

The FAQ page does a good job of addressing these inquiries…

…but what if you made a post about each and really made these posts highly engaging with a mix of video, images, personal stories, and customer input? You know, make the page the ultimate resource for anyone looking for the answer to that question.

Do this:

  1. Keep a journal of all the frequently asked questions or source them from your CSR’s
  2. Write a massive response detailing everything one could possibly want to know
  3. Format the response along with using a great headline and mix of media
  4. Interlink it on the FAQ’s page and throughout social campaigns

The best part?

You can reference and link these engaging blog posts whenever someone has a question when chatting with Live Chat, email, or on a phone call. It’ll save you time from having to respond to every inquiry.

 

#7: Tell them what you want them to do



Don’t leave it up to the reader once they’re done with the blog post.

Tell them!

  • “Hey, go buy the product now that you know how to use it”
  • “Hey, give us a call to learn more about the service you just read about”
  • “Hey, share this with others that’ll find it helpful, too”
  • “Hey, follow me on FB or opt into my email to get more tips”

These are the types of call-to-actions you need to build engagement with your content.

Ask and you’ll get action. Plain and simple.

 

Okay, so what now?



Continue being a boring business by half-assing your blog…

…or apply some of these tips on creating engaging blog pots.

You’ll find a flow as time goes on and the brand voice develops. You’ll also get data so new posts are appealing to what your audience already wants and likes. Then, it’s just a matter of doing what works repeatedly – watching your traffic and sales grow with it.

Your competition will remain boring. You… will create something great.

And if you’re having trouble? Well, I suggest you get in touch, so I can help create those engaging blog posts that’ll get results.




Image credits: @sethdoylee, @stairhopper, and @urban_arty