The other day, I read a great blog post by Mark Lerner (@oktopost) via @boknowsmarketing about 5 ways to defeat writers block. As I was commenting on his blog post, it occurred to me that many of my blog post ideas come from… other blog posts. I started typing this in his comment box and realized it could be a post all its own. So here it is. Thank you to Mark and Bo for the inspiration!
Coming up with something new to write about every week – and for some of us, every day – is no easy task. That said, there is some great advice to be found on how to come up with fresh ideas for your blog. Not only do I write my own business blog, but I also have a personal blog, write for a client’s marketing blog, and guest blog for two others – one on branding and one on women in business. Add to that the feature articles and essays I write for various magazines and anthologies, and it seems I’m constantly on the lookout for topics.
My best advice for you is to recycle (Ahem, not the newspaper and cans kind – although I do promote that as well). No, what I mean by “recycle” is that every time you write one blog post, think about other ways it can be used. For example:
1. Zero in on smaller ideas. You just wrote a blog post about ten ways to be involved in social. Each of those ten ways should provide you with a separate post all its own… zero in on each tip and be more specific. Give concrete examples. Or maybe you wrote a post on how offline and online marketing can work together, and one of those tips garnered more comments than anything else. Take a hint from your readers and delve deeper into that one tip.
2. Write from a different perspective. Take that blog post you wrote about why social media is the best tool for b2c marketers and turn it on its head. Write one about how it can work for b2b marketers, too.
3. Take the opposing point of view. If you’re writing about a topic on which you feel very strongly, try writing it a second time for the opposite point of view. It will be difficult, certainly, but will also show that you are capable of listening, and understanding that yours is not the only way. Agreeing to disagree is sign of intelligence – show ‘em you’ve got it!
Remember that your goal here is not just to come up with as many ideas as humanly possible.
The ideas must be sound.
The advice, intelligent.
The tips, helpful.
If all you’re doing is saying the same thing over and over again using different words, you’re not doing anyone any favors. And sooner or later, folks will catch on. Your followers, and anyone else who clicks on that link to your blog, are reading your thoughts because they believe you have something to offer. Don’t prove them wrong.
About a third of my blog posts come from commenting on other blogs, reading other articles and blogs and reading other people’s comments on my own posts, as well as others. Incidentally, if you haven’t read Mark’s post on 5 ways to defeat writers block, now is the perfect time!
How do you come up with ideas for your blog? Go on, share a trick or two with us – it’s the social thing to do…!