In a Reader’s Digest issue from April 1981, a man named Louis De V. Day, Jr., told an interesting story in an article called Pennomena.
The story was about the surprising and funny solution that a group of college students came up with in order to help them get through a boring professor’s lectures.
And I believe that this story presents an important reminder for all us content marketers.
Here’s the story in Day’s own words…
The Funny Way a Group of College Students Handled a Boring Professor
“Several years ago a professor at the University of Pennsylvania was know for giving boring, cliché-ridden lectures.
“At the beginning of one semester, an innovative class breathed new life into his course by assigning baseball plays to each hackneyed phrase.
“For example, ‘on the other hand’ was a base hit; ‘by the same token’ was a strikeout; ‘and so on’ was a stolen base.
“Divided into two teams by the center aisle of the lecture hall, the students throughout the term played inning after inning of silent but vigorous baseball.
“On the last day of class, the impossible happened — the score was tied, the bases were loaded and the batter hit a home run!
“The winning team stood and cheered wildly.
“Though deeply appreciative, the professor was quoted later as having wondered why only one-half of the students had been enthusiastic about his lectures.”
The One Lesson a Boring Professor Can Teach You
It’s hard to learn from a boring professor, but there’s an important lesson they can teach us. And that lesson is this…
The power of your words is not just in WHAT you say, but it’s also in HOW you say them.
Too many content marketers today rely on boring/average topics, cliche’s, and common writing methods.
They’re the equivalent of a boring college professor who can’t get through to their students. That’s never going to work!
Your prospects and customers won’t make an effort to make your boring content exciting, like those students did. Instead they’ll just tune you out completely. Or unsubscribe!
So that leads us to these questions:
- What can you do about this?
- How can you make sure that you’re content is not boring?
In order to help you with this, I thought it’d be fun thing to tell you what NOT to do.
So below I am presenting to you what I am calling “Seven Ways to Create Boring Content.”
You’ll find it below in two helpful formats for you: 1) An infographic and 2) A text version of the list
7 Ways to Create Boring Content (Infographic)
7 Ways to Create Boring Content (Text Version)
If you follow these tips, you’re guaranteed to bore people every time!
1. Create content that has no personality
2. Create content that is exactly the same as any or all other content I can find on the subject
3. Don’t use any stories
4. Don’t give any examples
5. Don’t surprise me in any way with your content
6. Don’t take an interesting perspective on a subject
7. Don’t share a bold opinion
Time Drags When You’re Boring
I heard that the famous film director Billy Wilder, who was known for classic movies such as “Some Like It Hot,” was once asked how he liked a new film.
His answer was both funny and enlightening.
He said, “To give you an idea, the film started at eight o’clock. I looked at my watch at midnight –and it was only 8:15.”
Isn’t that true? When you’re bored, time drags… on… f-o-r-e-v-e-r!
When you follow my tips above, you’re sure to slow down time for people in the same way.
So how do you create exciting and engaging content?
How to Create Interesting Content
If you want to know how to create interesting and engaging content, it all comes to doing the opposite of everything in my list above.
That means you need to create content that:
- Has personality
- Is different than other content that can be found on the same subject
- Tells stories
- Gives powerful examples of what you’re talking about
- Surprises people in some way
- Gives an interesting perspective
- And finally shares a bold point of view
This is the kind of content that will never bore people.
If you’d like more examples of how to create exciting and engaging content, then make sure to check out my “21 Types of Content People Crave”.
My Book Was Nomitated for the “Small Business Book Awards”!
My book “51 Content Marketing Hacks” was nominated for the 2016 Small Business Book Awards.
If you’d like to learn more content marketing tips and methods, then check it out!