"On one of my recent trips on the Content Revolution Tour with the great Ann Handley of Marketing Profs," writes Becki Dilworth at the Bridgeline blog, "I found myself hanging out with Ann in a seemingly unexpected place: The Mall." And as they browsed the content offered by retailers, they found two key lessons in how not to choose content for your blog.

Don't provide too much content for too many people. At Macy's, the duo found a department store overrun with so much irrelevant selections that they couldn't find what they wanted. Businesses "run out of meaningful content to publish about their business and start offering unrelated posts about cooking a turkey, the spring weather and the latest Rockies game," explains Dilworth. "The end result is much like walking into Macy's: A chaotic experience that we can't really relate with in any meaningful way."

Don't provide too little content for too few people. Limited selection defines high-end boutiques like Herve Leger—very specific products for very specific customers. But this approach doesn't encourage frequent visits, for a store or a blog. "[A] site serving up only a single perspective isn't going to be my first—or last—stop," she says. "It's another one of many sites. It may be memorable, but I'm not building a long-term relationship here."

So who got the content mix right? The shoppers found their answer in the The Loft's thoughtfully curated inventory. "For a specific niche of shopper they offer it all," notes Dilworth, "a fun dress with a not-too-matchy-matchy cardigan. Pair that with a belt, some sandals and some fun jewelry and you've got it all." Give visitors to your blog the same sense of satisfaction.

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