Themed Content – Not A Grab Bag

There’s no telling what you’ll find on some people’s blogs on any given day.  Have you ever been to a proverbial “grab bag” blog?

Visit one day, and you’ll find a post about personal development.

Visit a few days later, and you’ll be reading a product review.

The following week, it’s a pictorial post of last summer’s family vacation photos.

Next visit, it’s a music video with editorial comment.

Following month, the author is asking you to take a survey about heartburn and indigestion.

Can anyone see the problem here?

Better question …

Can anyone tell me this blog’s “theme”? Can you guess the purpose of this blog?

I wouldn’t be able to figure it out.  There’s not even the slightest hint of consistency.

If you’re blogging for business, crafting a ‘grab bag’ of posts is going to confuse your target audience.

Remember …

A confused audience WON’T take action.

And chances are really good they’ll have no desire to come back and reach into your grab bag for more surprises.

“Mystery” and “Suspense” are great if you’re writing a book or screenplay or even a speech, but not if you’re working to brand yourself and your business.

Your target audience has questions, issues, concerns, and problems they want solved.  And they’re counting on your ‘themed content’ for support, inspiration, motivation, and answers.


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  • @Sheila — No question about it … your readers know exactly what to expect when they land on your blog. And it’s ALL great stuff! I love the ‘series’ of posts you do and your header, alone, sets the scene for what’s to come. 🙂

  • @Jeannette — “Comforting”. I like that word! And you’re right. Consistency and predictability is just the kind of comfort zone you want to create on your blog. 🙂

  • @Amberly — Thanks for sharing your thoughts and you’re doing a fabulous job on your blog! 🙂

  • Oh my goodness Melanie! I couldn’t agree more, it’s so important to stick within your “niche” and find a theme that works for you and your blog. Being consistent is key if you want to attract the right readers as well as those that will come back and read time and time again! Great post!

  • @Rob — You’re a doll for coming by! Thanks. And please allow me to emphasize your blog is beautifully “focused”. All of your posts are valuable, Rob, and there’s a definite tie-in to midlife issues in everything you offer your readers. Your blog rocks! 🙂

  • @Hajra — No finger pointing here. Although it seems a few of my readers may have thought so. 🙂 It’s always a savvy strategy to stick to a “core” purpose for your blog, Hajra, and then write posts that are related. When you stray off in lots of different directions, you tend to lose people’s interest. The exception to this rule is, of course, if your blog is simply a “personal” blog and you’re not using it to build your business.

    Always love to have you stop by!

  • @Leanne — I sure hope you’re teaching a course on what you’ve just described to me! You’re totally on top of things and you’ve got your blog ducks all lined up in a row. You Shine! 🙂

  • Hi Melanie,

    Good post. My blog tends to ramble all over the place, although hopefully everything is relevant to people in mid life.

    Love the new look, by the way!

    all the best

    Rob

  • Ok…I see the finger pointed towards me….now I have to give serious thought about starting a “themed” blog!

  • I completely agree, Melanie. I teach people to choose a niche and have a purpose for their blog. I also like to do themes. On my coaching blog, I write about one topic per month. On my blog that I write with my business partner, we do a couple of themes in a month (one each) and we have feature days where we have mom entrepreneurs featured (Mondays) or our in-house parenting expert’s posts (Thursdays). So, it seems more jumbled, but it’s consistent over time.

  • Steal away, Diana! I consider it a compliment. 🙂

  • Hi Melanie,

    Oh yes definitely a lot of crying. Love the analogy LOL. I often like to remind coaches that choosing a target market is essential. So, may I have your permission to steal that line from you?

  • @Diana — Too true! Figuring out exactly who your target audience is and zeroing in on your niche is like peeling an onion — you have to go through the process layer by layer. And sometimes there’s a lot of crying involved. 🙂

  • @Lynn — You got it wired! And great suggestion to use a separate blogging platform if you want to just let your imagination run wild and write about everything under the sun. You’re right — it’s very easy to start a blog.

    Really enjoyed your post today — dropped my two cents worth off in the comment box. 🙂

  • @Jennifer — I hear ya, Jen. And your melodic tunes are coming in loud and clear! 🙂 I love music, too. Let me know if you find a way to strike a balance on your blog by incorporating some ‘off-topic’ topics, okay? I’ve never taken the risk. Once in a while I can weave in a little personal story but I make sure it ties into a marketing or mindset message.

  • Hi Melanie,

    I enjoy reading this post and the humor! I think what it comes down to is knowing your target market. I wrote about this post just a few days ago. Once you are clear on your target market and your niche, it will be easier to not keep in your audience in suspense! In the beginning, this can sometimes be tricky as there’s a lot of fear in narrowing it to a specific topic and market. c

  • Great point you make here Melanie. Consistency is what your potential visitor is going to be looking for. Too confusing, they will click out and possibly never return.

    Setting up blogs these days is easy and especially if you want to talk about a personal passion, I would suggest using the free WordPress.com blog.

    I just wrote a post on how important your plan and goals are. So I would think you would want to make a decision then, what your market niche and target audience is going to be, right?

  • I have to remind myself of this at times because there are days when I just want to write about music (LOVE MUSIC)! I have to remember it’s a VA blog and find ways to incorporate both of my passions!

  • @Roy — Okay, all kidding aside …

    You have the toughest blog challenge and assignment of anyone I know. In order to meet the needs of your audience, you have to be a chameleon! And I don’t envy you. I couldn’t do what you do. You’re amazing, Roy.

  • @Roy — Your blog DOES have a theme! And it resembles my handbag — contains everything but the kitchen sink! 🙂

  • SheilaAtwood

    @MelanieKissell – Pls take my survey – Your Blog Scares The Hell Out of Me! http://unhub.com/kWJv

  • OK, Melanie. I guess this is aimed at me!
    And, that does not mean I will stop, either!!!!!
    I cover the issues of interest to my clients- taxation, management, business improvement, medical innovations, and technology. The theme is that’s what we do- usually switching from one to the next multiple times a day.

  • @Danielle — Know what I love about you? You came up with a solution! And it’s the PERFECT solution for anyone (especially business bloggers) who believes “variety is the spice of life”. Creating a separate blog for ramblings and musings of your choice is brilliant. 🙂

  • @Maureen W. — Didn’t mean to scare you but I’m happy to know you found some value in this post and that you’re willing to “re-tool” your content for the best results possible. People like you, Maureen, are why I love blogging so much! If I can help someone, every now and again, to experience greater success, it’s all worth it (even when I’m up at 3:00 AM banging away on the keyboard). 🙂

  • Melanie,
    Yes, it is confusing when the blog writer is all over the place. Besides that i feel kind of cheated because I am not getting what I came for.

    I found it much easier to stay with the theme of my site once I wrote my elevator pitch. Also I like to write in a series. I pick a topic and write several posts having to do with that subject.

  • @Martha — You’re right and good point! Your blog is not the “be all, end all” of your existence as an entrepreneur and online marketer. It’s simply a platform that’s a part of your business-building strategy. Most biz blogs stay on topic. But I’ve been to quite a few that are all over the map. 🙂

  • @Maureen — Ooooh … good thought! Along the lines of what Bonnie was saying, it’s easy to get caught up in what YOU think would be a fun post or an interesting topic. But if it doesn’t benefit your readers, it’s not a good choice. And thank you so much for the compliment — I appreciate you! 🙂

  • @Bonnie — You are asking yourself the most pertinent question. Good for you! “Why would my readers care about …” will guarantee you’ll be adding value to their lives. 🙂 I’m guilty, too, of coming across some little cool item that’s SO tempting to share with my readers — but totally out of the realm of what is promised and expected here. In those cases, it’s much better to share through a newsletter or email or even on a separate blog.

  • @Sherrie — Developing an editorial calendar for your blog is an excellent approach! When you can see your topics laid out in front of you, it’s much easier to create clarity. And, yes, “discipline” is the magic word!

  • I completely agree Melanie. It is one of the reasons I made so many changes on my blog in the past couple months. I found that before I didn’t really know what my blog was about and I figured if I didn’t, neither did anyone else!

    I do still like to ramble sometimes about various things so I created a different blog. I don’t really care too much how much traffic I get there but some how people still manage to show up and are repeat visitors. I’m not sure why that is. 🙂

    But when it comes to professional blogging – you absolutely need to have a theme!

  • Good idea, Melanie. Consistency and predictability is comforting to visitors and encourages them to be regulars. They are counting on you for a specific kind of support and having a theme will do the trick.

  • Melanie:

    It is almost as if you were over at my blog and you wrote this for me. I tend to write about whatever I feel like and this may be my problem. I am off to them out my blog, thank you!

  • I think most true business blogs stay on topic. The ones that seem to get sidetracked are not focused anyway. They are blogging just to be blogging. In my business, my blog is just one small part of what I’m really out there doing!

  • Great post Melanie, you have a gift for writing.
    Sometimes I have to stop and think is this post for me or my readers?

  • All true and something I have to watch myself for as I tend to find tidbits of cool info I want to share. I constantly ask myself why would my readers care? Sometimes I think it’s fun to share a bit of a different twist on things but there has to be a reason you share it. Great reminder Melanie!

  • Excellent point. It takes a bit of discipline to stay on topic with your blog but it is must for several reasons. It’s a good idea to maintain a blog calendar.