If you publish a business blog, you probably know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut, writing the same articles over and over again.
Clearly a great blog thrives on a mix of content -- but what type of mix?
For this blog, I focus on five categories of posts. Last week Jurgen Appelo got me thinking about food as metaphor to describe them, so I thought I'd share what I came up with.
Raisin Bran - Useful, Everyday Posts
You should work hard to make sure you're good at these posts -- that you can whip them out, and that your readers engage with them and like them.
Spinach - Healthy, Thoughtful Posts
These are the posts that establish your business and your blog as a thought leader. They're posts that probe new developments in technology and changes in your industry. They're generally a little longer than typical posts, and they take longer to write. My Post " Inbound Marketing & the Next Phase of the Web " is a good example.
Make sure you do these from time to time (and take the time to do them well), but don't do them too often. Too much spinach, and your readers will get tired of it.
Roasts - Big, Hearty Projects
These are posts that take a lot of time, but that get a lot of attention and inbound links. Our State of the Twittersphere report is a great example. It took a lot of time to pull the data together and do the analysis, but it got great traction.
Because of their exceptional traction, roast will introduce your blog to new audiences -- the State of the Twittershere introduced the Inbound Marketing Blog to newspaper readers and France and Canada for the first time. This, in turn, will help expand you blog's reach.
The challenge with a roast is to make sure you pick the right project. It's a lot of time to invest in a single article, so you need to make sure you're producing interesting, unique information.
Tabasco - Articles That Start Fires
Every so often you need to write an article that asks tough questions. These posts might upset a few of your readers, but they also launch important, valuable conversations. For example, last week I did a post called " A Message for the Post Office: Direct Mail Is Dying ." This upset a lot of our readers who rely on direct mail. They spoke up -- sometimes in sharp tones -- in the comments, and we had a lively discussion. Lots of people linked to the article with posts of their own, and the result was that a lot of the nuance about direct mail and its status was uncovered.
You can't do these posts everyday. But they're an important part of your overall blog mix.
Chocolate Cake - The Sweet Stuff
Every blog needs fun stuff that goes down easily and shows that you don't take yourself too seriously. These types of posts come in all sizes, shapes and forms.
On the Inbound Marketing Blog, we've been using cartoons and videos to add levity. However you accomplish it, the key to successful chocolate cake posts is simple: have fun.
What do you think? What kind of posts do you publish on your business blog?
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Flickr Photos: runaway wind , Ian-S , rmburnes , barron , massdistraction