The Value of Boring: Templated Content

I am attracted to the new, the exciting, the different. I assume you are, too. As a writer, writing the same old thing 50 different ways is not new or exciting. In fact, that’s writing at its most boring. But, in a lot of instances, readers find it more valuable than unique content.

Templated content says the same thing with different details. The structure of the content is the same on different pages. This kind of content works well on service- and product-oriented sites.

Here’s an example template: You have an intro that states what the page is about, then a paragraph with some details about the service or product, and then probably a bullet list with highlights. Maybe you need a paragraph that differentiates from competitors and similar services you offer. Then you finish up with a call to action. Voilà. A template is born.

Repetitive structure provides the value of a template. For readers, the repetition allows for anticipation and met expectations. For a site, pamphlet, or any written material, you must deliver on promises – you must provide the information the reader expected. Templates set up expectations well.

Similar information in the same place across pages allows for easy comparison. And a good template also shouldn’t require the user to understand how the page is structured. You should structure it in a way that works regardless of whether a reader looks at one page or 15.

Templates also help writers. They remind us of the essentials that readers are looking for – the details, the important stats, and the way to get more information.

So embrace boring: a lot of same old-same old can be good for you and your readers.

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