Why You Should Deliver “The Usual” To Your Blog Readers

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I stood waiting for my order to be called at The Sevens Café in Ann Arbor, MI. It was 12:10 and the line for lunch-time fare was already snaking out the door.

While waiting for my corned-beef reuben, I watched one customer step-up to the order counter. Before he spoke, the cook says,

“Hey Paul getting the usual?”

Paul nodded, turned, smiled and headed to the cash register. Right then and there something magical happened.

For one moment, Paul stood out. Somebody picked him out of the crowd, remembered his name and what he wanted. The small gesture by the cook proved to Paul that he was still special.

Paul’s “Usual” will keep him coming back for years..

Interestingly, the same applies to your blog’s core readers.

Making Your Core Happy

It’s easy to fixate on getting new readers. However, it’s the Core, regular, readers that power a lively blog. You can depend on the Core to:

  • Leave the first comment on new posts
  • Start sharing your posts with their followers
  • Kindly tell you when you are making an ass of yourself. (My core readers alert me to embarrassing typos within minutes!)
  • Participate in conversations across multiple platforms (i.e. Facebook, Linkedin)
  • Sign-up for your newsletter and possibly -
  • Purchase your products and services

You’ve already built a relationship with the core; now focus your attention on strengthening it. The best way to build this relationship is to deliver a consistent stream of content that is custom-tailored for your regular readers.

How to Deliver the Usual

Don’t make the mistake of phoning in content for your core readers. Don’t take your regulars for granted. They still have high standards. So, take the time to plan a consistent, high-quality drum-roll of great stuff for them.

The Usual could be:

1. A Weekly Link roundup. I rely on Kristi Hines’ link roundup on Friday to stay informed about subjects I care about. I’m never disappointed. Link Roundups are relatively easy to do and deliver great value.

2. Monthly Features: Pat Flynn at the Smart Passive Traffic blog reports his blog and affiliate earnings every month. His readers look forward to his report to track his success and get advice on effective traffic techniques.

3. Events and Rituals: Tim Ferriss records “The Random Show” video with his friend and Digg founder Kevin Rose. This video features a hodge-podge of topics around Tim and Kevin’s interests. It has a rabid and devoted fan base.

If you don’t have a regular event or feature on your blog then start one.

You don’t even have to announce it, just deliver The Usual consistently and your reader will pick up on it. You can reveal your feature to the world, once you are confident it your ability to deliver it consistently.

Wait, Isn’t The Usual Boring?

Yes, if the only content you publish is exactly the same every time. I recommend that you continue to create new content and explore new topics. But, make it a habit to return to your roots and deliver “comfort food” for your regular readers.

What do you think? How do you deliver “The Usual” on your blog? Talk to me and I’ll talk right back ;-)

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

7 thoughts on “Why You Should Deliver “The Usual” To Your Blog Readers

  1. Brankica

    I agree with you, Stanford.
    It is some times easy to bring in new traffic but you need to focus on the ones that already love you.

    I recently stopped following a blogger cause of the bad behavior towards me in a situation that did not ask for such behavior. Not to mention I was one of the most loyal ones. Now, I don’t ever read it anymore. Not to mention that now that I see that blog with “new eyes” I understand how the info is not 100% accurate and how the “secrets” I know are used there, are not really revealed and readers are sometimes given the wrong directions.

    I actually have a bi-weekly round up inspired partially by Kikolani’s. I also often ask my readers about stuff they want to see on my blog. I even asked them once what they think my blog should go for, what topic to focus on. They chose it and I am having success ever since :)

  2. David Williams

    Thank you for pointing out the importance of consistency in content and approach. I am a new blogger and still trying to establish a group of regular readers. Your ideas will help me in refining my approach and satisfying my readers.

  3. Judith

    Thanks for confirming that “usual” is good.

    I’m very much a “usual” girl, although not exclusively. I have a book review blog and post every day (of course, not book reviews every day, I don’t read that much). I know in advance (roughly) what I’m posting every day and hope my readers have caught on too:

    Monday and Friday I take part in memes (which means people who also do the meme check out the other participants, i.e., lots of blog visits), Tuesday OR Wednesday AND Saturday a book review. Thursday a low-key competition that runs for 26 weeks. And the remaining days, I somehow manage to fill, too.

    I think I’m doing OK, although I do get a bit bored sometimes. :-)

  4. Stanford Post author

    There are a lot of great questions in there.
    Let me tackle the big one.

    Start right now creating a “tradition” with your readers. It can be any of the things I suggested in the post, like a regular feature, a podcast, or a link-roundup. This habit will give your blog an anchor that regular readers can anticipate and enjoy.

    On another note, as a new blogger you really don’t have the luxury of a wait, ready, aim, fire approach. It takes too long. Instead try…fire, aim, ready. Try to learn as quickly as you can which content will work and what doesn’t. The idea is to find your strengths quickly so you can drop the rest of the crap that distracts you.

    Last point, I love that you are focusing on your metrics. Keep doing it. Of course don’t let them hold you hostage but use them to keep tabs on your progress.

  5. Brandon

    Ok, I’ll bite on this. I really like the tie in between the regular in the restaurant and treating regulars similarly on your blog, but I have a question. I just started blogging in earnest on the 5th of January (yes, this year.)

    I have done an ok job of trying to do things right—following the best advice that works for me in my relatively uncharted Daddy Blogger niche. I watch my followers grow rapidly on Twitter, my FB page will grow with exposure, and I can watch somewhat helpful tools like Klout score grow point after point (56 at last look, I believe?) I think I am doing well with my content, the real meat and potatoes. Conversations are forming in the comment sections, which is a win for me.

    But is that enough to start a little something for my readers? My stats are still growing, so I cannot truly gauge who is a real reader and who is simply there because I am still a novelty. January’s page views stepped over 1,000. This month looks to add an additional 400, but who is really there and reading? How would I find that out? I have zero RSS subscribers and only a handful that added me through Friend connect. My normal posts don’t elicit that many comments either. (My writing club posts do well, but that’s just for extra exposure to help me get published later on.)

    I’m tempted to just stay poised, think of something that will set me apart, prepare, then strike when I think the iron is actually glowing hot, not just in the fire.

    You are the expert, what do you think? Am I way off base here?

  6. Stanford Post author

    I’ve definitely become more selective on the type of posts that I right. These days, your voice IS your brand and you need to consistently deliver it to your core audience (or your 1000 True Fans). I’m learning that it’s not about being something to everybody but being everything to somebody. That’s a mouthful right!

  7. Srinivas Rao


    This is a pretty interesting point of discussion. A friend of mine who is not a blogger but reads my blog quite a bit told me the other day “I don’t like it when you have guest posts on your blog. I prefer reading you.” I thought that was actually an interesting comment. But it also made me realize that I need to be more selective about guest posts on my blog and really control what kinds of posts I allow. Readers really do come to count on your after a while.

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