The Worst Blogging Advice Ever

The worst blogging advice ever - write excellent content. What are you supposed to do with that?My blog is a big part of my business, so I read a lot of other blogs, especially blogs about blogging. One thing that blogging bloggers say A LOT really irks me. It's the worst blogging advice EVER!!!

I'm just going to come right out and say it.

Write Excellent Content


That is the absolute worst blogging advice ever - write excellent content.
I cringe every time I see it.

One of the bloggers that I follow sent out an email about list building yesterday. She gave that very piece of advice and it just set me off. I guess it was the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak.

Why does it set me off so strongly?

Unoriginal Repetitive Noise

Well, for one, it isn't very original. Everyone says that same thing, and they say it all the time.

  • Want to get more readers? Write excellent content.
  • Need more social shares for your blog? Write excellent content.
  • How to get more email subscribers. Write excellent content.
  • Here's how to improve your SEO. Write excellent content.

It's their answer for everything. It wouldn't bother me so much if it was the right answer, but it's not, so let's move on to...

The Most Meaningless Blogging Advice

It is completely meaningless to tell someone to write excellent content.

It's like telling a chef to only cook excellent food.

Do people actually set out to write mediocre content, or even poor content on purpose? I don't think so. There wouldn't be any point in it.

Would da Vinci create anything less than excellent art?

Would Bob Ross paint anything less than a happy little tree?

Of course not!

I don't think anyone would intentionally write content for their blog, content they want everyone to read and share, that they didn't think was at least good if not excellent. It wouldn't make sense.

It Isn't Actionable Blogging Advice

"Write excellent content" isn't actionable advice. Everyone tells you that you should write it, but not one of them tells you how to write it. They reason is because they don't know either.

Would you like to know how to write excellent content for your blog? I'll tell you.

I warn you right now, it isn't very practical.

"Excellent" is an opinion, so you need to gather other people's opinions to see if you have excellent content. That mean you need to conduct a survey.

Write some content that you think is good then send out a survey to your readers. Your survey needs 2 questions on it.

1) How would your rate this content on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is "absolutely sucks, why did you bother" and 10 is "OMG, this is the best thing I have ever read."

2) Why did you give this content that score?

Now sit and wait for the responses to come back in. People are busy so you should give them a week to respond.

When you finally get back your responses, throw away all the replies that didn't answer #2. The score by itself is meaningless.

Now take all of that feedback and figure out how to incorporate it into your content.

Great job. Now you might have excellent content, at least according to the audience your surveyed. It just took you 2 weeks to get it though, so be sure to have more than one post in your pipeline.

Like I said, not very practical.

Better Blogging Advice

Instead of offering meaningless advice, like "write excellent content" you need to define what you mean by "excellent content."

  • Write content that thoroughly solves a problem that your audience has.
  • Share a post that completely explains an issue or point of view.
  • Talk about information or a tool you use and how to get the best value from it.

Those are things that your audience can take action on.

For Example

Here's one way to write excellent content, in my opinion, using the first option from above. Remember, "excellent" is an opinion. It can never be proven conclusively.

Start of by identifying a problem that your audience may have.

I saw an issue recently that I'm rather passionate about - some bad, or at least vague, blogging advice - so I decide to write a blog post about it. Other bloggers have this issue too. Heck, they've probably contributed to the problem. I'm absolutely certain of it

I start off my post by identifying the problem and thoroughly explain the problem, and why it's a problem. You might even go off on a rant about it. Go ahead. It's fun.

It's never a good idea to identify a problem and just leave it at that though. You have to offer your audience a solution to their problem too.

In my example I provide three possible alternatives to the vague advice. Further, I take one of my solutions and expand on it in the form of an example.

That's one recipe for a potentially excellent post. It's really up to your audience to decide if it's excellent or not.

The Bottom Line

Blogging advice that says "write an excellent post" is just about useless without describing what you mean by an excellent post. Everybody who writes think they are writing something good or they wouldn't bother.

It's just fluff that they see everyone else write, so they include it too.
When you give advice make sure that it is clear and actionable. You, and your audience, will get the best results.


So, leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Did I offend you because you just wrote a blog post with that very piece of advice?

Or am I way off base. Either way, let me know.

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12 Responses to The Worst Blogging Advice Ever

  1. SusanVelez says:

    Hi Yonder,
    Great read and I totally agree with you about the advice of writing excellent content. I mean none of us start a blog planning to write terrible content.
    My goal is to provide the best user-friendly content that can actually help someone. However, what I think is helpful and excellent may vary from person to person.
    I’ve actually been drawn into blogs because of the amazing headline only to find myself saying, wow “what a waste of time.”
    You’re right, we need to help solve our readers’ problems. In my opinion that is more important than trying to be excellent.
    After all, what is excellent content on blogging?
    Thanks for taking the time to share this, I really enjoyed reading it.
    Have a great day 🙂

  2. Katina says:

    I roll my eyes so far in my head when I read “write excellent content”. Excellent or excellence is relative. It’s this advice that is on everyone’s blogging playbook.

  3. Abdul says:

    Agree, content must be that solve people problems, or have something new for them to learn!
    Thanks for Sharing
    – Abdul Muneeb

  4. John says:

    Yes, very good advice!
    You hear a lot of advice about writing good content, but what does that actually mean?
    You are right that this doesn’t actually help people.
    I like the idea of surveying your readers.
    This is one good thing I like about building an email list.
    You can actually ask them what sort of content that they want to hear, then you set about helping them and writing that “good” content!
    Great post! 🙂

    • Thanks John. People seem to really like the idea of surveying their audience. You’re right. An email list is a good way to be able to do that, as long as you have one that is willing to engage with you.

  5. I agree with what you way about “excellent” being just an opinion. Someone may think they are writing excellent content and those who read it may think it’s garbage.
    I prefer to tell people to write value-filled content that will provide a solution to a problem their readers may have.
    I like the survey idea, BTW.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    Have a good one……Chris

    • Hi Chris. I’ve only read good, actionable advice on your blog so far. You’re definitely NOT one of the people who inspired this rant.
      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  6. Write excellent content…. When giving advice to bloggers I tell them to make sure their content speaks to their audience. When it comes to writing style, we are all unique and I tell them that writing takes time to “come into your own” and until then, write content that is helpful.
    Some bloggers will tell you excellent content depends on SEO, others tell you to write a story. I say do what’s natural.

    • Thanks for clarifying Donna. I see all the blog posts on ViralContentBuzz and they all say the exact same thing – write excellent content – but they don’t define what “excellent” means. If you’re writing something, excellent has to be something that you can determine for yourself, like answering a question, describing something, etc. Like you said, something that is helpful.

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