Variety: The Spice of Life, and Your Blog

Filed in Blogging, MY BEST POSTS by Matt McGee on February 16, 2012 1 Comment

spicesI saw an article not long ago that had some terrific advice about writing great blog posts.

But I didn’t agree with the main premise.

The point of the article was something along the lines of how to hit a home run with every blog post your write.

Here’s my thing: I don’t want every blog post I write (or read) to be a home run. Let me explain what I mean.

What’s a “Home Run” Blog Post?

Let’s make sure we’re on the same page here. When I refer to a “home run” blog post, I’m referring to

  1. Quality of content, and
  2. Style of writing/presentation

A “home run” blog post goes deep into its subject matter and offers high-quality content. It’s usually pretty lengthy and offers several tips or pieces of actionable advice.

Stylistically, it has eye-catching images. The content is divided in several sub-headings, and there’s often a bullet list or two. They might look like my recent article, Google’s [Not Provided]: Assessing 2.5 Months of Analytics Damage, or maybe any of the articles that I’ve put in the My Best Posts category on this blog.

“Home run” blog posts might also be called “evergreen” posts — these are the articles you write with the goal of targeting specific keywords and the expectation that the article will have value to readers for a long time.

Still with me? That’s what I mean when I talk about “home run” blog posts. They’re great and they should definitely be part of your blog. But they shouldn’t be the only blog posts you write.

The Problem With Non-Stop “Home Run” Blog Posts

“Home run” blog posts are great, but if they’re the only thing you write, I think your blog will eventually become less effective and interesting to readers. Here’s why:

  1. They take a long time to read. You know that friend or relative you have – the one who can’t have a conversation that’s less than five minutes long? Yeah. You don’t want your blog to be that guy. If every blog post you publish takes 5-10 minutes to read, I believe many of your readers will eventually get tired and stop reading.
  2. Readers develop “formula blindness.” When you write a non-stop stream of posts that look the same, take the same amount of time to read, and stick to the same basic formula, I think many of your readers will become blind to the content … no matter how great it might be.
  3. You’ll swing and miss. A lot. In baseball, guys who swing for the fences all the time end up with a lot of strikeouts. If you’re constantly trying to write “home run” blog posts, the pressure will eventually catch up to you and the quality will suffer. I don’t think there’s any way around that. Even the biggest sluggers in baseball know that they don’t need to hit a home run every time.

Variety: The Key To A Great Blog

colored-pencilsLook at the content you consume every day. Everywhere you look, you’ll find variety. Consider this:

Online news: Go to or Search Engine Land or your favorite online news site. I guarantee you that there’s a variety of articles published. On CNN, some articles will be deep investigative pieces, while others will be lighter news. There’s variety. On Search Engine Land, you’ll find some lengthy how-to articles and some shorter news/announcement news articles. There’s variety.

Newspapers: Same thing applies here. Your local newspaper will have some lengthy features and investigative pieces, mixed in with shorter news pieces about what happened at the school board or city council meeting, for example.

TV news: Ditto all of the above. We watch NBC Nightly News on occasion, and there’s always a mix of content — longer interviews or news features along with shorter, quick-hit stories.

That’s how your blog should be: filled with variety.

Give your readers variety. They don’t want to see the same long, formulaic posts every time.

Variety will keep them more interested in coming back. They won’t get tired of reading what you write.

Your blog will get better because you won’t feel pressured to hit a home run every time you write. It won’t come across like that annoying friend who can’t have a quick chat.

Variety: It’s the spice of life, and of a great blog.

(Stock images via Used under license.)

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