5 Blog Topics You Need to Stop Writing About

5 Blog Topics You Need to Stop Writing About

You work hard to create blog content that people actually want to read. You know it’s an important part of your content marketing efforts that will bring in new customers over time.

But there are a few topics that online readers have seen time and time again—and at this point, they’re just becoming noise.

An Algoso survey found that 88% of people read blogs because they want analysis and opinions, while 74% wanted information on trends within a sector or to learn from others’ experiences.



In order to satisfy those readers’ driving desires, you need to write blog content that says something new, interesting, and insightful—not regurgitates what everyone else has already said.

Here are 5 topics that have been overdone (and that you should steer clear from.)

1. The 10 Best X

With more than 4.9 billion search results for this phrase, it’s safe to say that we’ve all seen our fair share of top 10 lists.

For example: The 10 Best Ways to Get More Followers on Twitter or The 10 Best Ways to Grow Your Email List

The trouble with these posts is that they strive for quantity—not quality—by providing only surface level information rather than taking a deep dive into one particular point.

When we look at a top 10 blog post, we don’t learn much beyond what they are. There’s often no how that explains what makes them qualified to be on this top 10 list or that walks you through how you could emulate what made it so successful.

Plus, research shows that the average content length for a top-ranking site in Google has at least 2,000 words. Therefore, it’s clear that Google defines higher quality content as posts that go into greater detail.

Unfortunately, the average top 10 post falls far short of that minimum. Bottom line: There’s not a lot you can teach in that few words.

Try this instead: Rather than throwing together a quick top 10 post, pick the best example on the list and pick apart what makes it work so well. Create a piece of content like ‘The One Best X to do X’ that teaches the reader something valuable using this singular example—and leave the rest of the top 10 list behind.

2. How X is Like X

Another overdone blog topic is the comparison post that finds some creative similarity between two concepts and trys to spin it into something interesting. There are 1 billion search results for this blog topic—so comparison posts have had a good run.

For example: How Your Business is Like a Computer Processor or How Your Marketing Funnel is Like Baking a Cake

It sounds like a good idea, but is there real substance for the reader that can come from such a far-fetched comparison? Is it going to teach them something they didn’t already know?

Posts that try to use comparisons to teach a concept often miss the mark because the writer is so focused on staying on track with the theme. The content becomes idea-centric rather than based in research, and while it might make for a clever headline, the content itself comes out weak.

The other obstacle that arises from posts that pivot on similarities between concepts or products is that they lack those essential personal opinions and experiences that offer unique insight—which the Algoso survey showed was a top motivator for blog readers.

Try this instead: Comparisons can be powerful when used to demonstrate a finding that others can implement, too. Try something like ‘What We Can Learn from Testing A Against B’ that shows how a test proved that one method was more effective than another.

ContentVerve uses this to effectively showcase results of A/B testing and compares two versions side by side to illustrate the positive impact.



3. News Round-Ups

There are more than 350M search results for news round-ups, but how many of them offer something new to the conversation?

When it comes to these news round-up posts, they often just repeat information that’s already been shared elsewhere and leave out personal insight.

For example: Healthcare News Round-Up for August 2015 or Marketing News Round-Up: The Things You Missed

For the reader, there’s simply not much value. Number one: They may have already read the news elsewhere, so when they encounter it on your blog with no accompanying input, it feels disappointing. When someone visits your blog, they want to hear from you—not from someone else.

Number two: News round-ups also frequently include quote-heavy content that really tells the reader, “Hey, I didn’t have the story, but someone else did.” Is that a message you want to send to your readers?

Try this instead: Rather than just repackaging existing information, try a topic like ‘Highlights of X and What You Can Learn From It.’ This way, you’re still sharing the important information, but you’re doing the legwork for the reader and telling them what they need to read between the lines. Or, share what you know from your past experiences—and weigh in with some fresh perspective.

4. Why X is Cliché/Wrong/Bad

Lots of bloggers and content marketers like to take to the pulpit and express their opinions on business issues, launching lofty statements like, “X is wrong and here’s why.”

For example: Why Blogging is Bad for Your Business or Why Client Thank You Notes are Cliché

Don’t believe me? Check the 1B search results that come up for that title.

Opinion and persuasion are definitely key elements to a great blog post. However, when writers make these bold claims, they often forget to back them up with research, case studies, or experience. They’re purely opinion-based—and there’s where things get tricky.

Commentary that’s not backed in tangible proof can read as trivial for the audience, and can put you in a position to play defense with people who disagree. What might sound like an emotionally charged blog post that you’re really passionate about could actually do harm for your personal brand if you don’t have the ethos and logos to accompany your claims.

Additionally, these posts often lack a strong CTA for the reader. If blogging is part of your content marketing strategy and you throw in an opinion piece that’s missing a strong, relevant CTA, you can cause serious damage to your sales funnel.

Try this instead: Make bold claims by showcasing interesting case studies you conducted that include screenshots, testing methods, and real numbers that prove your point. Think more along the lines of ‘How We Tested (strategy) to Discover You Should Use A Over B’.

5. The Year in Review

999M ‘year in review’ posts exist already.

For example: The Year in Review: Looking Back at My Business in 2015 or Recap: The Year in Review and What I Accomplished

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Do we need another? Probably not. Here’s why:

Reflection posts that simply recap the past 365 days don’t typically offer the reader any new insight and instead just recycle ideas, lessons, and events you’ve already talked about.

More importantly, though, think about what motivates your audience to visit your blog in the first place. They might like your writing style and online persona, but really, they want to learn something they can use for themselves.

If you’re just looking back on what you accomplished this year and not showcasing an in-depth lesson you took away from it—you’re probably just rambling.

Try this instead: It’s okay to share what you learned over the past year, but remember to focus in on one key theme. A topic like ‘The Most Important X I Learned in (year) That Helped My Business’ gives the reader serious value—you’re squeezing the best lesson you learned over a the course of a whole year and handing it to them with a pretty bow.



With millions of pieces of content that already exist on the Internet, the blog posts you write need to stand out, provide value, and be backed in research—not pure opinion.

Gary Vaynerchuk said that when it comes to what you’re producing on the Internet, “Someone is always watching.” Readers can see when you’re not giving a solid effort to your blogs and each time you deliver less-than insightful blog posts, you chip away at the trust and authority you’ve earned with your audience.

Stop rehashing these overdone blog topics and start being a unique voice in the noisy world of content.

Quit Reading and Writing and Start Doing

Quit Reading and Writing and Start Doing

Yet another tweet just flashed across my Twitter feed about famous CEOs who get up at some ungodly hour like 4 a.m. Never mind that successful executives work long hours to get their work done, not to read or write about nonsense like other people’s habits and personal productivity revelations.

Here’s a revelation for you: If you want to be successful, stop reading and writing and start doing. Better yet, get to work. And if you think generating and consuming mass quantities of content is your work, then you’ve got an even bigger problem. Instead of a career, you’re a career slacker.

I know that flies in the face of today’s popular wisdom, but it’s true. If I had to pick just one piece of advice that would make the biggest difference in most of your careers, it would be to quit wasting your precious time on meaningless fluff when you should be working.

And don’t think for a minute that I’m a hypocrite. After decades as a tech-industry senior executive and management consultant, I have a world of experience, observations, insights and lessons to share. That is my job, I’m uniquely qualified to do it, and I work my tail off, as I always have.

Related: 7 Ways to Manage Your Most Motivated and Talented Employees

I’m talking about something completely different. Let me give you some examples.

I recently came across a guy who actually seems to have potential as a writer but he’s wasting his life away writing literally hundreds and hundreds of reviews on Amazon. Seriously. Besides crazy long and involved book reviews, he even manages to wax poetic for three or four paragraphs about shampoo and tape measures.

The guy is probably addicted to the attention and instant gratification he gets from online feedback. And wielding the mighty keyboard gives the illusion of power and control over others. That’s attractive for those who feel their own life hasn’t gone as they’d hoped. Unfortunately, the activity provides no real fulfillment or income, for that matter. It’s truly sad.

Likewise, millions of people write personal blogs, post anything and everything on Facebook, create YouTube channels, publish on LinkedIn, post pictures on Pinterest and Instagram, and Tweet their hearts out while getting off on every follower and click in the vain hope that something meaningful will actually come of it.

And get this. They’re consuming even more content than they generate, without realizing that it’s all user-generated. In other words, the vast majority of it is generated and propagated by ordinary people with no more expertise than they have. But what’s wrong with that? If everyone’s tweeting and consuming it, it must be good stuff, right? Crowds are smart, right? Wrong and wrong.

The vast majority of that content is designed to accomplish just one thing: get like-minded people to click and follow. So it’s mostly feel-good fluff that conforms to the popular fads of the day: entrepreneurship, leadership, personal branding, emotional intelligence, positive thinking, inspirational quotes, personal productivity, habits of the rich and famous, that sort of thing.

Related: Of Course Corporations Are People

Click, consume, generate, post. Feel good for an instant. Rinse and repeat. Round and round the content goes. And it never, ever stops. Nor does the constant need for instant gratification. The wisdom of social-media crowds is actually just groupthink on a massive global scale.

There are 1.4 billion active Facebook users posting anything and everything. We send 500 million tweets a day. A billion people watch 6 billion hours of YouTube videos every month. WordPress says 400 million people view 17 billion blog pages monthly, including 120 million new posts and comments.

If there was ever a perfect example of an undifferentiated commodity business, having anything to do with generating or consuming any of that content has got to be it. It’s as dog-eat-dog as selling jellybeans. Unless of course you’re in the ad business like Google and Facebook. They’re the only ones who make money off all that content.

According to eMarketer, Americans now spend as much time online as we do watching TV – five hours a day, on average. It’s reasonable to assume we spend at least half that time generating and consuming content. So here’s my question for you: What could you do with all that time? More important, what real business or career opportunities are you missing when you’re otherwise distracted by all that nonsense?

Think about it.