How to Dazzle Your Readers (with nonsense)

Crowd watching fireworks

This post was originally published in the Fat Stacks Email Newsletter.

Yesterday I wrote about President Trump’s life force theory of exercise.

I segued into Google crawl budget to make it relevant

In a halting turn-about, I yammered on about paying the Apple Tax so we can have a digital dumping ground.

I wrapped up the email with some inspiring bootstrapping chatter, a topic I like.

Many readers replied with nice things to say.

Nobody called me a wing-nut. I went to bed with self-esteem intact.

It wasn’t the usual humorless “how to do X for a billion dollars” stuff that litters the Web.

That’s not to say “how to do X for a billion dollars” doesn’t have its place here or on other sites. I do it sometimes.

The thing is, bread and butter content in many niches is dry, boring, humorless. It succeeds because it informs and people want information. We crave it. We consume it all day long on our ever-present devices.

Give the people what they want and you will get rich. Pen that bread and butter boring content. Or pay hired guns to pen it for you.

But there is more to food than bread and butter.

I love a warm dinner roll loaded with butter as much as the next person, but it’s better with steak or crab. I’ll even take a bowl of chicken soup.

Yeah, that’s right. Mix up your content.

Ignore the Big G once in a while.

Here’s a novel idea in this SEO obsessed publishing business.

Publish something purely for people. Make it smart. By all means inform, but do it smart.

Write it so your readers read every word, not just the sub-headings.

It’s both EASIER and HARDER than you think.

It’s EASIER because you can chime in on anything. I bet if you put your mind to it, you could apply the Donald Trump life force exercise theory to your niche. Any niche really.

  • Automotive site: Pfffft… easy. Electric cars with batteries, combustible engines, warranties. So much to work with.
  • Self-help site: You could have a blast tweaking life force exercise theory to self-help. You could go the satire route or apply it to self-help generally.
  • Pets niche: Poke fun in joking about how you’re no longer going to walk your dog. Make it clear you’re joking though – some people take not walking your dog seriously (I suppose it is, but I wouldn’t know cause I don’t have a pet).

You get the point.

It’s HARDER than you might think because self-doubt will rear its ugly head.

You’ll be writing this seemingly nonsensical stuff, thinking that nobody will care about it. You’ll want to bail on it.

Resist the urge to return to your “how to change a spark plug in a 1957 Chevy with your bare hands” type of articles. Forge ahead doing something different.

Take a leap of faith and publish something from left field.

Find something interesting. It can be any current event. Apply it to your niche.

It may seem like nonsense, but people like reading this stuff.

This email newsletter is proof of that. So too are examples on my niche sites where I do it. I’ve had some wild feedback on controversial articles in what are not considered controversial niches.

But what about Google traffic, you ask?

It may or may not be a hit with the Big G. It depends on keywords and other factors.

It’ll feel like writing into the wind.

But if it’s good, people will notice over time.

Do one a week or two per month.

Have fun with it.

The more off-kilter, the better.

It does take practice though. You need to find your groove. Do it enough and you will.

Does that mean never publishing boring bread and butter articles again?

Of course not.

You gotta eat, even if it’s just bread and butter.

All I’m saying is jazz it up a bit. Have some fun. Dazzle your readers with nonsense.

Who knows, some journalist just might stumble on your handiwork and link to you. That link may send visitors who become regular readers.

Stranger things have happened.

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2 thoughts on “How to Dazzle Your Readers (with nonsense)”

  1. Awesome post, Jon. Came here from the newsletter to comment. The cut and dry content is so pervasive on the web that sprinkling in your own personality will likely give it a boost just for being more original. Probably also the reason why influencers gain authority – they can’t escape using at least some of their personality to deliver their content.

  2. Blogs definitely need to spice up their content with nonsense more often. Too many sites have content writers that cause them to lose their site’s original “voice”. Nonsense can bring personality back to a website.

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