Writing has always been my passion, so to write for a living is an absolute joy and privilege that I never take for granted. I have creative freedom to write about whatever takes my fancy, and have had the pleasure of working with some really exciting companies in some pretty interesting industries.
Despite my enthusiasm for the exciting industries, it always seems to be companies from the slightly ‘boring’ industries who want me to write for them. And although I’d like to pretend that I have too much artistic integrity to accept these offers, my dwindling bank balance doesn’t really give me much of an option.
Brainstorming ideas for these industries can be tough, and I’ve probably had more misses than hits over the years. But there have been a few articles that were I would consider successful, despite their apparent lack of interesting content.
Let’s talk about one of my most successful blog posts for a compensation company (yawn):
Making accident compensation compelling
When I was approached by Accident Compensation Scotland to write an article that would help drive some traffic to their brand new website, I felt quite overwhelmed. I’ve been fortunate enough to have never been involved in any sort of serious accident, but this also means that I’ve never had to deal with compensation claims or anything of the sort.
Furthermore, articles about accident compensation generally have a pretty limited audience – Law professionals or people who’ve actually been in an accident. I knew that mass appeal would be key to generating views; I just had to find a topic that people could get excited about.
I love writing controversial content, especially when it provokes interesting discussion rather than a torrent of abuse from anonymous Internet users. Finding the balance can be tricky, and choosing the right topic is crucial to having enough passionate supporters on each side of the argument. Self-driving cars are a hot topic right now, and whilst the Internet is teeming with people eagerly awaiting their introduction to our roads, I knew there was a silent majority that highly doubted the impact that these vehicles would have on our world. I just had to pry them out of their hidey-holes.
Much of the inspiration for my blog post came from how thick I am. The process of claiming accident compensation was far too complicated for my tiny brain to comprehend, so how difficult would it be to claim compensation in an accident involving self-driving cars? I begged the guys at Accident Compensation Scotland to let me publish the post, which they did so begrudgingly. I shared it online and went to bed.
The next day, my phone was blowing up. The post had risen to the top of the technology subreddit (which means it had received loads of Internet points) and had generated over 3,000 hits to the website in 12 hours. Several news outlets had contacted the company to talk to them about the post, and I was asked to write similar blog posts for two other Law websites. The post still drives traffic to the website to this day through Google, appearing first in the search results for ‘self-driving car compensation’.
I definitely feel proud of the blog post, but in many ways it’s been a burden. Since writing it, I’ve been asked to contribute to loads of other posts badmouthing self-driving cars, something that I absolutely don’t support. I actually think they’re a great idea (but don’t tell my readers that).
All I did was take something that is undeniably pretty boring, and relate it to a hot topic in the news, whilst keeping it relevant to the services that my client provides. But rather than writing it and hoping for the best, I identified my audience beforehand and wrote exactly what they wanted to hear – that self-driving cars were a stupid idea and they would never work.
Accident compensation might well be a pretty bland topic, but there are always interesting slants that you can take. I’ve learnt that there’s no such thing as a completely boring industry, only boring writers.