As with beer, we all consume a lot of blog content.
It’s a coincidence, but we consume blogs and beers at about the same rate.
Each week, the average American has 4.2 drinks and reads 4.1 blogs (sources: Gallup, Hubspot).
So if your blog was a beer, what kind would it be?
Every blog has a flavor. Like beers, some blogs are light and some are heavy.
Some have a lot of flavor; others don’t. Let’s explore this ridiculous metaphor, and imagine your blog in a pint glass…
The light beer
The basic lager. The domestic microbrew. Labels may vary, but the taste is pretty much the same. Often found in red plastic cups. Some people love Miller Lite. They’re brand loyal, just like some of your readers. But taste your last few posts. Do they read like a lot of other blogs? Could they have been written by anyone?
If your blog tastes like water, that’s not a good thing. Your blog should sound like you. It should have a personality and style of its own. Make your blog a microbrew with a label and flavor that distinguishes itself from the big guys.
Ales have flavor. Sometimes they’re so hoppy they make your face pucker. You feel them as much as you taste them. These are blogs that make you feel something, too. They have an opinion. They’re not shy. They have passion and a natural voice. They know who they are, and they take a stand. Sometimes they’re negative. Sometimes they’re personal.
Ah, the heavyweights of the beer world. For most of us, a stout isn’t a casual, everyday thing. Drinking a big glass of alcoholic black liquid is always a deliberate act. These are the practical, no-nonsense blogs with heavy content. The stouts are the big how-to posts, the well-researched reference pieces, and the 2,500-word epic posts. They may be slower to pour, and people don’t want them every day, but those posts get bookmarked and those newsletters get saved.
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Tap the keg, or stock the fridge?
A cold draft is great, but if your blog is one giant keg of the same stuff, visitors might get bored. Even if visitors love what you have on tap, it’s still good to have some variety. Keep some microbrews in the fridge, and mix it up.
- Find new brewmasters. Invite guests to post on your site. They’ll bring new content and maybe a new audience.
- Try something seasonal. Change the topics and tone based on what’s happening.
- Give patrons the beer they desire. If your analytics (and their bar tab) show they like a certain flavor, make sure to keep it in the rotation.
Drunk with content
If blogs were beer, we’d all be hammered. There are tens of millions of blogs on the Internet. All that content makes it harder to stand out. This is why it’s so important to use your own voice (IPAs) and to sometimes publish something substantial (stouts). The Web doesn’t need another Bud Light!
Keep it flowing
Whatever you do, maintain a regular frequency of frosty blog posts—even if it’s monthly or quarterly. If your blog is tapped out, you might find your regulars quenching their thirst at another bar.
Two questions: What’s your favorite beer, and what type of beer does your blog best resemble?
Andy Crestodina is the strategic director of Orbit Media, a Web design company in Chicago, and the author of “Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing.”A version of this post first appeared on Spin Sucks.