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What’s Your Bread and Butter?

this guest post is by Dot Com Dud

Bread & Butter.png

In business, the phrase “Bread & Butter” is used to describe something that is core to the success of a business. A good example is a lawyer for whom divorce cases bring in the majority of their income, those cases are their Bread & Butter. Without these cases they would be struggling to fill their workload and bring in an income.

When it comes to posting quality content for your blog you should be careful not to forget your Bread & Butter either. In the case of blogs posts your Bread & Butter are usually posts which are regular features that tie-in to the core topic of the blog. By identifying these posts you can make your work as a blogger a lot easier as well as making your blog’s appeal to readers much more consistent.

Why are Bread & Butter posts important?

Bread & Butter posts help identify what your blog is about, they are the kind of posts that your regular readers will come to expect from your blog. These posts can become your blog’s trademark because readers will associate them with your blog and they will in turn become a part of your brand.

Another advantage of Bread & Butter posts is that you usually wont need a flash of inspiration to write a Bread & Butter post. You’ll know when they need to be posted and what they need to be about, so the hard part is done for you. Not only do they give your blog structure but they will help shape your work flow and the other posts around them.

Examples of Bread & Butter?

A well known example of Bread & Butter posts are income reports on Make Money Online blogs. These work because they appeal to the targeted audience of the MMO niche and they can be relied upon to get the attention of readers.

Some other examples of common Bread & Butter posts on blogs of different topics include;

Progress Updates – These don’t have to be on Make Money blogs only, there are a lot of personal development blogs that would be ideal for regular progress updates.

Regular Reviews – Movies, weekly TV shows, sporting matches etc. Anything that occurs often or on a regular schedule is ideal for posts like this and can be easily used as a basis for an entire blog.

Reoccurring Prizes – If you give away prizes on a regular basis, you can utilise these to create Bread & Butter posts. For each competition you can include an announcement posts, a sponsor “shout out”, a prize update (planned from the start) and naturally the prize drawing. Contests can also feed into progress update posts if they are long running or have specif criteria for the entrants to be informed of (such as a points scoreboard).

Weekly Roundups – Not everyone agrees with the value of having regular posts consisting solely of link lists to your week’s best posts or news from around your niche but they are common enough and usually become a staple for the blog that use them.

Whats your Bread & Butter?

The answer to this question will be different for almost every blog out there, what is important is knowing how to identify the kinds of posts that make up your core blog content.

Once you’ve done this you can start planning your content around them and focus on what makes them successful, so that you can adapt this into new potential Bread & Butter posts.

Ask Yourself:

  • Which posts are the most popular? Follow your readers!
  • Look at your categories and see which have the most content, these posts already make up your core content
  • Are you repeatedly posting about the same topic, why not make them a permanent feature?

You can also run a survey with your readers to find out their favorite posts and what they’d like to see more of. It’s important to remember that a potential post must have longevity if it’s going to become reoccurring content.

In closing, I have only written about the Bread & Butter concept in regards to blog posts but there are plenty of other areas that this idea can be applied to. There are Bread & Butter advertisers, traffic sources, affiliate programs and more but the goal is the same; find out what works, what is reliable and repeatable, then use it to your advantage!

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Jamie Harrop says:

    When I was writing my blogging ‘business’ plan at the back end of last year, one of the first things I did was note down the types of posts I wanted to be on my blog each week:

    One Interview per week
    One weekly roundup
    One post outlining some of the best comments from readers
    One poll

    Then I worked my posting schedule around those four things.

    I never thought of them as bread and butter posts, but I guess that’s what they are. I’d struggle to be a good blogger if I didn’t have them.

    Interviews and polls are the main ones. They’re the things that bring in the most comments and build the biggest relationships with my readers.

    Jamie

  2. bad parent says:

    Stick to what makes you good, and do it well. Focus on the core and the shell will take care of itself.

    This is a great post and it applies to companies of all sizes, not just web publishers. (see Starbucks)

    Thanks for the excellent read.

  3. JR Griggs says:

    This is definitely an area I struggle with at this point. I cover quite a bit of topics on my blog. Politics seems to be the largest. But originally that was not the intent. I think I may just give it some more time and then start seeing which posts get the most views and comments.

    I guess I can separate topics into multiple blogs if it ever gets complicated.

  4. When it comes to my freelance work, my “bread and butter” is writing about various concepts in a very clear, interesting manner.

    My bread and butter on my blogs comes from posts like “how bloggers are like pregnant women.” Comparisons and interesting concepts to give my readers food for thought.

    Great post! Very interesting concept.

  5. As you mentioned, it depends on the blog. For Motivate Thyself, my bread and butter posts tend to be the clear and simple answers to common productivity/self improvement questions. “How To Motivate Yourself” – “What Career Is Right For Me” are two such examples of my bread and butter content on my motivational blog.

    Not only do my readers seem to like the clear answers, but I tend to get more search traffic from these topics as well. I find that the more vague you are with your title and the less precise you are with the content itself, the less interest the ‘surfers’ will have on your offerings.

    Great topic, by the way! This is something every blogger should think long and hard about. As you pointed out, the more we can nail down what works, the more we can replicate that success and the faster our blogs will grow. Eric

  6. Katherine says:

    I do a travel site, so my weekly roundup is usually a list of noteworthy activities to check out on the weekend, or events corresponding to certain holidays.

  7. thefencepost says:

    Absolutely, without a doubt, my bread and butter (as a fence contractor) are the posts that I update about projects we are installing. Pictures, locations, etc… these get great traffic.

    Although, I once wrote about how the US government was spending $3000 per ft on a border fence and I am lucky to get $30 per foot on my highest dollar fence. This post got a lot of traffic, comments, trackbacks, links and had a huge week on SU.

    Unfortunately for me, none of that traffic was potential customers, but I believe that the buzz helped my ranking through links and traffic.

    I haven’t written about it since, only because I am scared to get too political on my site, customers may have a different opinion than me on that topic.

  8. jan says:

    Taken in that light, I will have to be topics about writing and problems blog authors have about writing. My posts in the last few weeks have been leaning heavily in that direction. So I think that’s where my genuine interests lie.

    I started out my blog with no clear focus. Writing about a personal experience this one time, posting about the social media the next time. And when a particularly hot topic emerges, I put in my two cents too in that.

    Three months hence, I find myself gravitating towards writing. I had a background in print publication, but I find web writing a tad different. And this I intend to learn. So in my blog I urge my readers to join me in learning together – making it a community project – so each of us can be better web authors. And I think it definitely is my bread and butter – my heart is in it after all.

  9. My bread and butter would be the controversial politics posts that I do on my politics blog. Those take off like crazy on social media sites like Reddit and Digg. I usually try to write a post such as that one at least once per week.

  10. Kevin says:

    My bread and butter is:

    1. Relationship articles
    2. Devotional thoughts

  11. Jim Gaudet says:

    I will have to keep writing blogs until I notice what the B&B is…

  12. Jay says:

    From the beginning I always tried to make it clear that while my blog will go in different directions the main theme is dreams and dreaming. I make sure that every Monday morning my readers will wake up to a dream post. It sets up the week nicely and shows what I am all about. Great post- I hope all bloggers listen to this advice- you need to to be about something, or no one will care to read what you have to say.

  13. Great Post Darren.

    It is really a good thing to know you powerful posts. On my blog just to test I stopped posting about How to get traffic directly but I am posting reviews about people’s products. Doing this cost me a lot of first time visitors. People came to my blog and after reading the first post they never dared to click on the second post or go down and they just got out of there. I have my experiment completed and I would never do it again because if my visitors start running after 3 months of starting then I wouldn’t be able to make money by my blog.
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    Mohammad Afaq
    Free Website Traffic

  14. Robin says:

    I am about to expand the topics covered in my blog. I feel some of the catagories I’ve been holding off on adding, may actually prove more lucrative.

  15. I have yet to consider any posts or series on my blog to be breand and butter items but if I had to pick one, maybe it’s my posts for Blog Action Day. Celebrity centered posts appear to still generate page views even a few months after posting them. When examining some of my blog’s stats, I noticed that many of my new posts were not what was bringing most visitors, but actually really old posts that were about specific topics on specific celebrities.

    This included some news that I later found out was pure gossip and the source was not reliable and also included a post about one popular actress being on the cover of Playboy magazine.

    It may take some effort to try and sway these interest to include posts that I believe are more important than the popular celebrity posts. This is especially because they were written during a time when I did not have a solid focus on what I wanted the blog to be about. I also wrote on a few topics mostly because I knew that it would drive traffic since they were “hot topics” at that time. They would probably be considered “bread and butter” posts based on the criteria you described on your post here.

    If I could only follow my blog posting schedule and stop getting behind on that, I am almost certain that the bread and butter content will change over to include more appropriate posts like reviews and behind the scenes news.

  16. Great post Darren! For me I would say my bread & butter posts are the ones that gives ideas and tips on shifting one’s Mindset into a more positive direction!

    –Sean Patrick Simpson
    http://www.TheMindsetApprenticeNow.com

  17. Linda says:

    Thanks for reminding me of basics

  18. If you like, you can set up a weekly meal menu to let people know what they will get on each weekday. For example,

    Monday, apetizer
    Tuesday, main entry
    Wendnesday, survey
    Thursday, discussion
    Friday, feature post
    Saturday, easy and fun
    Sunday, weekly roundup.

    Sounds good?

  19. Matthew says:

    I have been thinking about this very topic the last few days. I have a number of sub-topics that I cover under the main topic of Adventure and am thinking of targeting a different sub-topic on a schedule. Rotate through camping, cooking, travel, photography, local over two weeks. This will provide a variety of content, but still all focused on my topic.

  20. VlogHog says:

    My bread and butter post always involved posts which features videos of crashes.

    My blog features videos and commentary by me. The ones that get the most responses are the ones that feature crashes. Car crashes. Truck crashes. Even boat crashes.

    They are very repeatable.

  21. Dot Com Dud says:

    Thanks the the comments so far everyone! This is my first guest post on a blog the size of problogger so I really appreciate your feedback. It’s good to see that plenty of bloggers have already identified their bread & butter and are using it to their advantage!

  22. Lee Ka Hoong says:

    Thanks for the list Dot Com Dud, I learned new word “Bread and Butter” today. Between, I’ve not done any “Bread & Butter” post before but I’ll think of it in coming days if my brain is blank and nothing to write. :)

    Regards,
    Lee

  23. i wonder what bread and butter of my blogs … :)

  24. Good reminder that bread & butter must be understood and re-verified as business evolves or emphasis changes.

  25. Timon Weller says:

    I need to focus on this aspect more, everytime I mention my income in any way, or goals achieved I get alot more comments and enthusiasm by readers..

  26. Due to my experience, the most popular of my post about the tips ( the secret ) for money making

  27. Ganesh says:

    ‘The best of handpicked few from a lot’ kind of posts go well with my readers.

  28. My site’s bread and butter is writing about how to get traffic to your site.

    Posts with numbered lists or videos seem to be most effective.

  29. Personally I skip the butter and just go straight for teh crunchy peanut butter. ;)

  30. ITrush says:

    I’m still making some hopefully delicious bread and butter.. My goal is not to stop until I’ve come up with a very tasty one.

  31. Agent SEO says:

    It’s great to understand what your blog’s strengths and focus are…one of the things i have to contend with is the fact that one of my blogs secondary posts recieves the most traffic.

  32. I guess my bread and butter is writing lists – a list of young entrepreneurs, a list of great tools, a list of great sites. I think I write reviews better than anything else.

  33. Agent 001 says:

    Point 1 and 3 acts as my bread & butter posts. Review is the backbone of my blog.

    I am currently doing Greatest Blog Contest. This my special pizza post for my readers.

    Yummy yummy talk.

  34. mike says:

    These are all great ideas to expand the number of posts for your blogs.

  35. Product reviews really work and get much better conversions than just plain banners and links.

  36. Tracy says:

    My bread and butter is videos of English songs covered in Asian languages. I’m up to 42 now :)

  37. Thanks for the post. When in an important situation go to what works.

    If you are say, going to do a presentation on what you do, you are going to present your strengths. Paul Pierce for instance, relies on his step-back fadeaway jumper at the end of an NBA game.

    Focus on what you do well and expand on that.

  38. 999 says:

    My bread and butter post always involved posts which features videos of crashes.

    My blog features videos and commentary by me. The ones that get the most responses are the ones that feature crashes. Car crashes. Truck crashes. Even boat crashes.

    They are very repeatable. http://www.ugg2u.net ugg

  39. Nice one! well we all have our own BREAD & BUTTER, specially in BUSINESS!.. i helped some men about this type. And told them some options that made them successful. If u need me, click me.

  40. Darren, nice article.

    As my blog has developed I’ve noticed that it has morphed into something a little different than it once was. Although my blog is about implementing a plan to use your passion to create cash flow I often find that it comments on internet models for creating revenue from what you love – still even then I get off topic every now and then!

    This article is a great reminder to focus on what people come to the blog for and continue to provide that content.

    Thanks for the excellent article!

  41. Well everything is just fine but will you please tell me about this point of yours –

    “Regular Reviews – Movies, weekly TV shows, sporting matches etc. Anything that occurs often or on a regular schedule is ideal for posts like this and can be easily used as a basis for an entire blog.”

    No doubt that if you will use this niche that there will be no scarcity of topics but what about the revenue. As adsense is paying peanuts for this.

    Do you have any idea of affiliates for this niche .. if yes than share with us.

  42. Sometimes posts you don’t expect to be “bread and butter posts” end up being wildly popular or something you’ve been doing routinely develops a following.

    Those who aren’t sure what type of posts are their strongest might use the various statistics and analytics tools available to see which their readers visit most. They might also be the posts that garner the most comments.

    For those that use Twitter you might check out backtweets.com to see which of their posts gets the most Tweets. Search on your main blog URL and you can see which posts are being Tweeted and retweeted by whom.

  43. shante says:

    My bread and butter is keeping close to God and maintaing relationships.

  44. farouk says:

    yeah i get what you mean, my bread and better is mixing 2 different sciences in the same post, like saying mentioning how psychology can help someone wake up early

  45. Tina says:

    Nice post!
    I still try to figure out my bread n butter.

  46. uttoransen says:

    interesting post! i have tried some trade mark posts in the past, but in a world where everyone is doing the same, its hard to do something different.

    I tried the income reports, and got a visit from the local tax authority, so quickly stopped doing that, the next i tried the traffic thing, and i saw a drop of traffic so stopped that as well. Now am trying to find something else, may be will try the survey or contest thing next.