This post was originally published in March, 2015, but we decided it was due for an update with fresh new material, recent BlogMutt features that make finding creative topics easier than ever, and up-to-date best practices. See, we take our own advice and keep things as fresh as possible.
How Getting Fresh Blog Posts From BlogMutt Is Like Bringing Your Own Lunch
“All of the articles were becoming repetitive” was the reason we lost a recent customer. Frankly, it always sucks to see a customer leave, especially when the problem is something so fixable.
Which begs the question: Do you bring your lunch from home? Stick with me here.
At BlogMutt, most of us bring our lunches from home. And, as it turns out, these homemade lunches are actually the perfect analogy to the “repetitive post” problem.
Want Fresh Blog Posts? Change Up the Recipe
I once ate a salami sandwich every day for lunch for pretty much a month straight at BlogMutt. And it worked out okay in that it met my minimum lunchtime requirements. I had all the supplies I needed, thanks to a perhaps questionable decision to buy lunch meat and bread in bulk at Costco. My daily salami sandwich was enough to satiate my midday hunger. At first, it even tasted pretty great. Best of all, it was quick and easy.
But before too long, I got sick of eating and looking at the same lunch every day. Soon, I went from loving salami sandwiches to hoping I wouldn't encounter one again for a very long time.
So, here were my options:
- Force myself to keep eating the same lunch even though I was tired of it and it was no longer appealing,
- Give up on lunch altogether (crazy talk!), or
- Switch things up and begin bringing new, fresh, and slightly more inventive lunches to work.
Obviously, I went with option #3.
Here's the thing: Updating a blog for your business is really no different than making your own lunch. It's easy to get tunnel vision and keep requesting slight variations of the same topic over and over. The problem is, soon your blog feels stale and boring. It no longer brings your readers and prospective customers real value. They get sick of it, and so do you.
The solution to this dilemma isn't to give up on blogging altogether. That would be as misguided as skipping lunch every day. After all, blogging consistently is one of the most effective ways to grow your brand and engage/foster prospective customers.
Instead, why not switch up your blog post ingredients? At BlogMutt, the recipe for fresh blog posts calls for fresh topics.
The beauty of BlogMutt is you don’t have to change your topics every day. But, taking the time to brainstorm new topics once a month or so goes a long way in keeping your content fresh. Doing this once a week? Even fresher. Like a salad made from local farmer’s market veggies fresh. Look at it as similar to meal planning for the week or month. It takes a little more time upfront, but the end results are much more satisfying.
The more you change your topics, the fresher and more enticing the posts. You wouldn't serve your customers the exact same sandwich every day if you owned a cafe, and you shouldn't repeat the same tired blog material week after week to keep delivering on your marketing goals, either.
When you mix things up and bring fresh new ingredients to your topics, your blog writers will feel more creative. You will get excited about your blog again, and better yet, so will your readers.
11 Ideas for New Topic Recipes
To cure my lunchtime boredeom, I tried new recipes. These didn't have to be complicated or gourmet. They just needed to involve a bit of variety. Instead of the same old salami sandwich, I switched it up and brought turkey, avocado, and tomato. Sometimes I skipped the sandwich altogether and brought couscous with roasted veggies and chicken. Dinner leftovers made for tasty salad and sandwich ingredients.
The novelty of consistently new, fresh lunches made my lunch breaks much more enjoyable. Instead of something I dreaded, lunch became fun again.
The same thing will happen to your blog when you try a few tasty new recipes in the form of new topic ideas:
- Consider using a one-time topic to highlight a recent news item, event, or just a unique topic idea that you only want covered one time. With one-time topics, the topic goes away after you purchase the post, upping the fresh quotient.
- Don't be afraid of getting a little opinionated, like we did on this post about changes at Medium.
- Beef up your topic descriptions to ensure you and your pack of writers are on the same page. Spending just a couple minutes providing context around a topic helps our writers understand the angle you want to take. When the writer understands your intent, you will avoid getting an overly general and boring post. It's also helpful for writers to know who your target audience is so they can speak directly to them and their pain points.
- Prepping outlines is another great way to get just the posts you want.
- Make use of our new SEO advanced options in your topic descriptions (note: you need to have +Optimize add-on to unlock this feature). Targeting a blog topic toward a specific, new keyword can give the writers a new angle and focus.
- Put a spin on an existing topic. For example, localize it. If your topic is “marketing agency” change it to “Milwaukee marketing agency.” Mention the value of using a local agency in the “description” field for context, so the writers will know to focus on this, perhaps in a dedicated subheading.
- Don't neglect the classics. Much like a tried-and-true soup and sandwich combo, you really can't go wrong when you make sure you have at least one blog post covering each of these 10 must-have small business blog topics. Most of these can actually be covered again and again in new ways, to stave off that "I don't know what to blog about" feeling.
- But, don't be afraid to get creative, either. Sometimes the best lunches come from experimenting with new ingredient combinations, and the best blog posts can come from brand new topics.
- Plug a product or write a review of services you've tried, that you know your customers are curious about as well. We make use of this topic recipe fairly often at BlogMutt, like when we promoted our new and improved post buttons or gave our honest review of three different social media services.
- Use keyword research tools like Keywordtool.io, Google Keyword Planner, UberSuggest, or SEMRush to expand your options.
- Let the BlogMutt writers pitch you topics and become your own personal topic generating machines. Do you have a few writers you especially enjoy working with?
- Try shopping at different stores. Sometimes simply switching your weekly grocery run from Safeway to Sprouts is enough to inspire a creative new lunch idea.
- Focus on your marketing goals. Remembering why you are blogging really reinvigorates your content ideas.
If you want even more on mastering topics, check out our post that tackles ways to make each topic work harder for you.
Quality Blog Posts Call For Quality Ingredients
If you want to enjoy an amazing steak for dinner, you don’t buy the meat from 7-11. You spend a little extra time and money going to your favorite butcher and getting the freshest cuts of meat available.
If your topics are generic and don’t include much context in the “description” section, there’s a good chance your posts will be generic, too. Even the best cooks can only do so much with Spam, a hot plate, & a can o'beans.
Try giving our writers fresh topics, seasoned with a little context and detail, and the final dish will be something new and exciting instead of the same boring salami sandwich you had for lunch yesterday.