Remember that delicious post you whipped up last month? Your blog doesn’t care. It wants something fresh this week, and next week, and the week after....
Illustration by Miroslav Kostic (Micheyns on deviantART)
Tame that hungry beast with posts that explore basic points in new ways
Blogs have voracious appetites. They constantly need to be fed with new posts. As soon as you shovel some fresh words into a blog’s mouth, it gulps them down and demands more.
Blogs aren’t grateful, either. Remember that delicious post you whipped up last month? The one with the clever headline that got Tweeted all over the Internet? Your blog doesn’t care. It wants something fresh this week, and next week, and the week after.
Sit... now rollover
Don’t think you can command your blog to sit there and be patient while you work on other tasks. Because if you don’t give it fresh words, your blog will get surly and start whispering nasty things about you to the people who visit your website:
“The folks who run this outfit don’t have much to say to you. They don’t care if you ever visit again. Maybe you should head over to the competition’s site and see what’s happening there.”
When your cupboard of ideas is bare
Fine, but how are you supposed to keep feeding it when it looks like your cupboard of ideas is bare? You’ve already given it everything you could think of.
Hey, you are the one who brought this little monster into the world and promised to take care of it. Let’s look at one way to maintain the upper hand.
Theme with variations
It could be excruciating to hear a pianist play “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star” over and over again for nearly seven minutes. Or it could be entertaining, if the pianist used Mozart’s variations. Take a listen to this performance, and see if you don’t start getting curious about what will come next. (If you don’t care for classical piano, think of John Wayne instead. He played the same basic character over and over for 45 years, but fans looked forward to each new story.)
You have a B2B blog, don't you?
You can take the same approach with your blog. Start with a basic point and explore the various ways it applies to your audience. This being a site about business-to-business marketing, I’ll assume you have a B2B blog. Some of your business customers may be having a much better 2010, while others haven’t yet shaken off the recession. Within those companies, you may have a variety of people to deal with. Your young customers may have a different way of looking at your product or service than older clients. Some clients are wealthier than others. Some have crazier schedules.
Each is worth a separate blog post.
Let’s say you have some thoughts on work-life balance. They might apply one way to a large corporation with a lot of resources, and another way to a small startup with a skeleton crew. Your thoughts might play out yet another way at a company with big seasonal fluctuations, like an accounting firm during tax-filing season, or a retailer in December. That’s at least four ways to explore one basic idea. You can probably think of a few others.
Theory and practice
I’ve given you some hypotheticals. But how does the idea play out in real life? You’re looking at an example right here. I know a lot of ways to cook up content, but I’m telling you about only one tactic right now. Why should I shoot my whole bankroll on a single blog post? In some later post I’ll come back to the theme of “thinking up stuff to write about in a blog,” and I’ll explore another variation of it.
I try to practice what I preach. (Take that, blog...)