6 Signs That You Should Kill That Blog Post Idea

Sometimes, you run out of blog post ideas. Don’t beat yourself up over it, though; it’s a normal occurrence, which even hits the most seasoned of bloggers. It happens for a number of reasons. You may have buckled under the pressure of having to update your blog regularly. Maybe you’ve grown bored with the usual topics you write about, or maybe there’s really nothing worth writing at the moment.

It may also be because of the writer’s block. We have written about that, multiple times, offering suggestions and ideas on how to pull yourself out of the bottomless pit of despair that comes from not being able to pen a single thought to paper, and to keep writing.

Then again, there are times when it’s better not to write anything at all than to force yourself to produce a post, especially if…

1. Your headline resembles a dozen others

Imagine that you are a reader who wants to know how to write a blog post. Naturally, you enter the appropriate keyword combination in Google’s search bar. A few milliseconds later, Google returns 10 results on the first page, all of which have some variation of the headline "How to Write a Blog Post".

Given your busy schedule, will you honestly take the time to click through all 10? Of course not. You’ll either click the first couple of links only or click the one with the most eye-catching headline, like "The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Whip Up a Killer Blog Post".

2. Your headline overpromises, but your post underdelivers

Then again, if you’re going to use a title like "The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Whipping Up a Killer Blog Post", it better be something that will keep your readers from looking elsewhere.

Otherwise, you’ll gain a reputation for writing "click bait" articles. Clicks are good and all, but you shouldn’t make that the sole focus of your SEO strategy. You can still write eye-catching headlines, as long as they accurately describe what readers can expect from your post.

3. Your post feels more like a book summary

Sometimes, in an effort to make your blog post as useful as possible, you’ll be tempted to cram in as much information as you can. Usually, that’s a good sign, because it means you really do care about your readers.

But if the topic you have in mind requires extensive discussion, a single post may not be enough. Chances are it’s going to end up leaving your readers wanting more, and not in a good way. In that case, you can either write a blog post series about your topic, or compile those posts into an e-book.

4. Your post is too self-indulgent

Have you ever talked to a guy who’s so full of himself, you’re surprised he’s still able to lift his head off the ground? That’s what readers feel when confronted with self-indulgent blog posts.

Unless you’re a celebrity, most people aren’t going to care for posts about what you’ve had for breakfast, what you’ve bought as a treat to yourself on your birthday, or your oh-so-awesome ability to keep quiet after stubbing your toe (although there may be a handful of people interested in the last one… just a handful).

Here’s the thing about people: They’re not going to be interested in you unless you’re interested in the first. That’s why it’s common blogging advice to use "you" to address readers,because it makes them feel more engaged, which, in turn, makes them like you more.

Of course, it’s not completely wrong to use the "I" pronoun in your post. After all, healthy conversations – both online and offline – are a two-way road. It’s okay to tell a story explicitly from your point of view, as long as you’re still able to relate that story to your readers.

5. Your treatment of the topic is too shallow

You may have a most unique idea (e.g. "Why Cockroaches are the ‘Missing Link’ All Along"), or the most immersive of writing styles, but without a solid basis for your points, your post will still fall flat.

If you want your post to be meatier, it won’t hurt to do a little more research. Take time to interview experts, dig up articles from scientific journals to strengthen your arguments, or give your own critical and informed analysis regarding your topic. Oh, and add some verifiable statistics from reputable organizations, such as news sites and government sites, when necessary.

6. You don’t feel like showing off your post

If you’re going to write content for the entire (virtual) world to see, you might as well ensure that it’s something you’re willing to share with acquaintances and strangers alike. More importantly, you should feel proud that your name is attached to this compelling, or fun-to-read, or insightful and helpful piece of work.

Otherwise, there’s no point toiling over it, really. And a post worth sharing is a post that begins with a well-thought-out idea, that is executed with flair and class – something its author is sure to be proud to be associated with.

A Gentle Reminder

This is not to say that every single one of your posts should score 11 out of 10. That’s just unrealistic, especially if you have a regular blogging schedule to keep, on top of a busy life outside of work. However, being "stuck" on blog post ideas is not an excuse to churn out half-baked work just for the sake of producing something. After all, you still owe your readers the best possible content at any given time.