11 Ways to Bore the Boots Off Your Readers

11 Ways to Bore the Boots Off Your Readers

Reader Comments (70)

  1. Yup, these are some very true points that can make bu boring any day!

    Be yourself, and use contractions and words that will make them more interested. Stories, short sentences, long sentences, etc… Find a way to make them more engaged with your writing.

    Don’t make your posts way too long. That can make them tired and bored as well. Excellent article!

  2. Hey Henneke,

    This is fantastic.
    My favorite principle was the first, “You break the rule of one.” It was one of those a-ha moments for me when you said to look over at the sidebar at the popular posts. They are painstakingly focused on a single concept.
    This is something I probably don’t do well enough, and sometimes long-winded WordPress 101 posts and things of that nature could be broken into multiple posts.

    I’m going to give that a shot, along with a few of your other suggestions. Great post, thank you Henneke!


  3. All really great points but I would add another. If you begin to think that there is something about a post that you are not happy with after it is published, then edit it. Often you realise there is a chunk that adds little so dump it.

    • I agree — often people think that once we’ve clicked “Publish,” the thing is set in stone. We make little tweaks after posts are published whenever we feel the content would benefit … that’s a great advantage to the web!

  4. There is nothing wrong with using industry jargon, but you have to keep in mind who your audience is. Obviously if you are writing for nuclear physicists you better know what you’re talking about and use the right terminology to do so. However, if you’re writing for someone that isn’t as knowledgeable about your niche as you it’s important to share the most important information in a way that is easy to digest.

  5. What a great post for a Monday morning! I loved it.

    I would pay attention to “Point 3. You’re too big for your boots.” Keep your target audience in mind when you write. If you’re audience is filled with CEOs, COOs, CFOs, Astrophysicists, etc., they may appreciate (or expect) ‘jargon’ and scientific words.

  6. Man that WeWe calculator really let’s you know how it is. Cool find. Now, how tactfully to break it to those friends of mine about their blog scoring 4% 😮

  7. An excellent article – fun to read with a few “Uh oh, that’s me” moments. In the past, reading my personal blog entries was more like watching a television miniseries. I had faithful readers who swore they loved reading me but…..

    However, I feel that if multi-syllable words come naturally to a person in their daily speech, then they should be writing in the same way. For those who are often flummoxed by words like…well, flummox, it’s very helpful to add Dictionary.com to the toolbar. If we succumb to dumbing down our language, eventually we’ll devolve to grunts, uggs, ROFL’s and LOL’s.

  8. Wow! I’ve been trying too hard. If a persuasive argument ever needs to be written or verbalized, my family and friends always approach me. For whatever reason, I’ve not found that voice with my blog… I’ve not been able to make the same impact.
    Now I see why. Thanks for this post. I am ready!!!

  9. But I love starting sentences by breaking the rules. And I figure if Stephen King can do it – then so can I! I hate it when I get edited for being creative. Actually, sometimes a really long sentence CAN play in your favor – depending on what message you’re trying to pass off.

    What bores me is an over-use of cute kitten pictures. Bleh.

  10. This is a terrific post — engaging & informative. I checked out the WeWeCalculator and my blog’s score was 84 — so there’s definitely room for improvement. I checked out Forbes, too, and I was surprised at how large the font is. You provided really great advice here. Kudos to you — and thanks!

  11. Number 2 is a big one for me. If I pull up your blog page and see huge paragraphs and lengthy sentences that aren’t broken up with images or anything… I’m out.

    Thanks for the great tips. I’ll be sharing this… and printing it for my fridge!

  12. Just a teeny note to say thanks for all the stuff I’ve learned from Copyblogger in the two months I’ve been reading your blogs. I’m extra grateful for the free and extremely valuable information you guys pump out on a daily basis. I recommend you to all my writer friends.

  13. No. 3 is a good one.

    As it was once said “think as wise men do, but speak as the common people do”.

    I think it was Aristotle who said that but I’m not sure.

  14. Great points!
    A great tip I’ve picked up that would assist with most of these points is:
    “Read your copy out loud”
    If you sound boring to yourself, it will definitely bore the readers.

  15. Great tips but the one that really hits home for me is using the full stop more often. I’m as guilty as anyone for writing sentences that are too long. I will try to put this to use.

  16. Have just read my most recent blog (unpublished thank goodness) and cringed when I realised how many ‘rules’ I’ve broken. Thanks – I’ll be using this article to audit my content from now on.

  17. Wow, thank you so much. I have this problem with keeping my sentences short. Maybe it is because I usually talk too much. 🙂 You gave me some really great tips here, even better, I think I can implement them easily. Thanks!

  18. It’s great to be reminded of some of the little things that make a big difference!

    And I’ve come across a few people, lately, who’re afraid of big type on their pages. I’ll be referring them here.

  19. Wow – what a great article. As a copywriter I know I break some of these rules (and DON’T break some of the rules when it’s necessary TO break them).

    I always go back to this trick I learned in college English for concise writing. Go through your copy and circle every prepositional phrase. Get rid of as many of them as possible.

  20. Hello Henneke,

    Thank you for this great post! I loved all the tips.

    One small disagreement I have is the number of sentences per paragraph. I usually recommend a maximum of three, unless you really need to get your point across.

    Thank you for taking the time to write the article!

  21. Hello Henneke,

    Thank you for this great post! I loved all the tips.

    One small disagreement I have is the number of sentences per paragraph. I usually recommend a maximum of three, unless you really need to get your point across.

    Thank you for taking the time to write the article!

  22. Wow Henneke,

    these are great tips – I’m always happy to learn how to be a better writer and it’s a craft that can always be refined and improved. Definitely some wonderful gems here,

    thanks for sharing,

  23. So glad you put rule #1 at, well #1.
    This was something I struggled with when I first started blogging. The temptation is still there to share tons of ideas in one post. Most people, though, just want a single, purposeful, concise idea. It seems to be the heartbeat of blogging.
    Thanks for the reminder, and for 10 more good tips, too!

  24. More than the how-to’s and tips on making good on anything, tips on what not to do are always welcome. Thanks for sharing this tips, I know many of us will be nodding in agreement as we go about your list and find out that we have made a few mistakes at one time or another.

  25. Wow!

    What an awesome post!

    One of the challenges I often have is trying to remember all these points without interfering with the flow of my writing.

    I love the WeWe Calculator!

    Will definitely use that more often.

    Thanks Henneke

    • You don’t need to remember everything while writing. Write down a first draft. Don’t interrupt your flow.
      When you’re editing, you can use a check list, because it’s not easy to remember everything while editing either. I edit at least five times.

  26. This is a great post on how to avoid boring your readers. I especially like how you talk about keeping things short.

    That is especially important when it comes to the length of your article or blog post. I find it’s best to keep the length of your article short enough that it only takes a couple minutes to read it.

    I don’t have ADHD or anything, but I find my attention drifts away and I get bored if a news article or blog post is too long. If I’ve been reading an article for five minutes and I look and see that I’m only half way through it, I will generally just close the page and find something better to do.

    Again, great post! There’s some wonderful advice here.

  27. Rule #12: You stopped being human. When your writing becomes more about actions you want your readers to take and less about connecting it becomes stale and uninteresting and readers can sniff that out a mile away.

  28. To me is really adding human touch to a post. Just read an social marketing article, it was boring. It was written by a Professor, that probably explains why. However, I suspected it was being ghost-wrote or PLR wrote. Because there is no soul in the article at all.

    With so many blogs and information out there, how do we get originality in an article. Include the human touch, Readers like to feel the writers essence. Include experiences, personal stories is how I include human touch.

  29. Totally loved this post Henneke. Great one here.

    I can’t believe i have learned a lot of things on this blog in the past few days. Thanks CopyBlogger.com.

    This post really slaps me in the face. I always forget to write contents as personal as possible on my blog, whereas when building my blog at the first time, i wanted to build a personal blog with me speaking up my own opinion.

    But over the time, i slowly forget about that objective and now i think my contents are becoming to boring to read until i realize it in the past few days, thanks to this CopyBlogger.com blog. Hopefully, i can stick to my first objective again to write personal articles from now on, not some boring news update.

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