What This Burger Can Teach You About Creating Awesome Content

What This Burger Can Teach You About Creating Awesome Content For Your Blog

Photo by Special*Dark

If you don’t live on the West Coast you might not be familiar with In-N-Out.

And if you’re a carnivore and you’ve never experienced it, I’m really sorry that you’re missing out on the best fast-food burger around.

As producers of (edible) content, In-N-Out has managed to stay at the top of their game since 1948 without ever becoming a franchise, changing their menu, or modifying their marketing strategy.

If you pay attention, there’s a lot you can learn from them as a blogger (yes, even if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan).

What In-N-Out can teach you about blogging

What makes In-N-Out so great?

Well for starters: Burgers. Shakes. Soft Drinks. Fries.

That’s all you can get, no matter which In-N-Out location you visit. Your choice of toppings? Lettuce, tomato, and onion.

That’s it.

As you read this, I’m positive that a fast food joint somewhere  is stuffing a pizza with mini burgers, then topping that burger-stuffed pizza with mashed potatoes, chicken fingers and bacon. Then, they’re deep frying the whole thing and drizzling it with some sort of sauce.

I’ll take a leap and predict In-N-Out’s direct response to that trend:

Burgers. Shakes. Soft Drinks. Fries.

1. Sometimes, less is more

As a writer, you should WRITE everyday, just to get in the habit. But that doesn’t mean you should hit that “publish” button every day.

You can quickly crank out a handful of crappy posts to have in the vault for the week, or you can buy some software that scours the web, scraping and spinning other peoples’ work just so you can brag about how often you update your blog.

BUT it won’t get you more readers.

And it definitely won’t make the readers you have more likely to return or recommend you to any of their friends.

If you don’t have something valuable to say, it’s totally fine to not say anything at all.

The truth is that your would-be subscribers would much rather read something AWESOME once a week or a couple times a month than have to wade through unoriginal and uninspired garbage on a regular basis.

The fact is, most people won’t even bother wading, they’ll just move on to another blog that already has what they need and makes it easy for them to find.

Giving away an entire cow or a sloppily prepared Super Sized Extra Value Meal won’t keep your readers coming back for more.

2. Stop trying to please everyone

It’s no secret that not everyone eats meat. Not everyone likes burgers.

There ARE people out there who WANT more than burgers, shakes, and fries.

But that hasn’t persuaded In-N-Out to change their menu from what it’s been for the past 64 years.

Don’t think that anyone and everyone has to like what you have to say. It’s not your job to mold your voice into what you think will be most popular.

It’s your job to experiment to find what works for you, to use your voice to find your niche, and then to help them solve their problems.

You don’t have to follow every single fad under the sun. Because once the novelty from a trend fades, all that will be left to draw people in is the original stuff that made them think you were so great in the first place.

3. Skip the shortcuts

Next time you’re grabbing a burger there, peek over the counter and onto the food prep line. You’ll notice something’s missing. Something that you’ll find in most other fast food spots that serve the same fare: microwaves and heat lamps.

Everything’s fresh and made to order. Those lightly salted fries are hand-cut from REAL FRICKIN’ POTATOES right before they’re cooked.

Yeah, its a little “slower” than traditional fast-food. The average wait time is 8-12 minutes.

But let’s face it, there’s no substitute for being good at what you do.

You can cut all kinds of corners and find devices that make things happen easier, bigger, or faster.

But if the final product that you’re pushing out bigger and faster isn’t better than (or at the very least AS GOOD AS) what others in your niche are offering, what’s the point?

4. Build lasting relationships

In-N-Out is one of the few fast food places where employee pay starts at $10-11/hr. They get retirement benefits, vacation time, and flexible schedules. This pretty much directly translates to loyal employees who actually like their jobs. And happy employees = well-served customers.

Whether you’re a big or small fish, it’s always a good idea to take good care of your pond.

This doesn’t just mean your audience, it means other bloggers as well. Take the time to listen, connect, and realize every relationship you make (online and offline) is valuable.

Here’s the thing: large and small blogs alike, everyone has something to contribute. Everyone has something they can teach you about you run your business, because we’ve all come to where we happen to be by way of different paths.

Be the “Burger, shake, soft drink and fries” in a world of “Super Extra Flash Frozen Pinkslime” meals.

Would you rather have someone visit your blog because it’s the only thing they could find, or because it’s the BEST thing they could find and they crave the information you’re providing?

There’s something to be said for caring what you’re putting out there into the blogisphere and taking pride in your work. When your aim is to provide value to your readers, to never sacrifice quality, to fulfill those cravings and make their slice of the world a better place, it’s so obvious.

And it’s the best way to get those rabid fans that tell anyone who will listen that you’ve got the best burger/blog under the sun.

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