I was in a rut. Let’s face it, there are only so many threads to follow when you write about marketing, social media, networking and web design. Eventually, you start repeating yourself.
After a while you start to sound like everyone else who is writing about those topics. I have read the same blogs for inspiration and ideas for several years. Since 75 percent of blog readers are first timers, these writers know it is important to cover the same ground regularly. These are all well-written, content-rich sites, but the writers often rely on formulas that have worked in the past. That is great for new folks, but as a regular reader it feels like there is nothing new and I am no longer inspired.
My input was stale so my output started to feel the same way. I made a few changes to shake things up:
- Cleaned out my reader. I said goodbye to some terrific writers, but it is like eating at the same restaurant every day for a year. Even a great menu gets old. I will still drop by occasionally, but they are just not part of my everyday diet anymore.
- Created a new social media group in my reader . This group includes several writers I want to get to know better. Jeff Bullas, Jay Baer, Modern Copy Studio and Unmarketing are now on the menu. I hope the mix of local and national will add some new flavor to my day.
- Expanded my daily dose of creative input. I love strong visuals and great photos so I have added DeMilked and Photography of Sharayah Sanders to my reader. Every day, mixed with great social media content, I now have a steady stream of great pictures to inspire and fuel my imagination.
- Unrelated but intriguing : I always enjoy the TED Talks when someone sends me a link to one they just discovered. Adding the RSS feed to my reader is providing a steady stream of unusual, intriguing, unrelated but fascinating dose of daily inspiration
- Do new stuff. Sometimes ideas and inspiration come from the most unlikely sources; a trip to Jungle Jim’s, an afternoon spent with a two-year old or a walk through an art gallery. One of my favorite writing challenges is to select an image and find a way to weave a story or blog post around the image. And it works. Jungle Jim’s inspired a piece on case studies, and two-year old Emilee gave structure to a post on sales tips.
- Talk to people. Sometimes Allison and I are just chatting about business and clients, and I will say something that makes her say, “that would be a good blog post.”
- Keep writing. Even when I don’t feel particularly creative, I find if I just keep writing, sometimes I surprise myself.
At the end of the day, this is a business blog. While we stretch the boundaries when something interests us, most of our posts are in a relatively narrow segment, because we do have marketing goals associated with the blog. However, with a little fresh input, you can bring new life to your blog.