Inspiration is fickle and totally unreliable. It has a tendency to hide when you need it the most. Other times, when you are far away from a keyboard or a moleskin, it strikes with mind-blowing power.
Bloggers struggle to find inspiration on a daily basis. All of the chatter about posting frequency, how to find topics, and short versus long posts is really about finding inspiration.
If you are inspired, it doesn’t matter how many times you post every week, you could post twice a day if you had the time. Long versus short posts is a moot debate. Inspiration will carry a 150 word post or fill 3 pages. Like I said, inspiration is the cure for most blogging ills.
The problem is that many bloggers have drained their inspiration well.
Hip Hop to the Rescue
About this time last year, I was stuck. I had run out of blogging about blogging ideas. I groped for ideas for two weeks but still came up dry.
I still would have been stuck there until I picked up a copy of Source magazine. Source is the trade rag for the Hip Hop industry. In the magazine I read an article about how Hip Hop artists work to differentiate their brands and attract an audience.
I read about how Kanye West uses singles to keep his fans satisfied between albums. I studied Shawn Carter’s savvy use of integrated marketing. I learned how Nicki Minaj used feature appearances to build a lucrative fan base before releasing her first album.
I dropped the magazine and quickly outlined out two-month’s worth of posts.
Since then, I’ve looked to Presidential campaign strategy, software programming, anthropology, and quantum physics for blog topics.
The easiest way to miss inspiration is to keep looking for it in the same place. My problem is that I habitually looked for new ideas in the same blogging watering holes. My inspiration wasn’t there; it had moved elsewhere.
Same for you…
If you are scrambling for ideas, abandon your old sources and look somewhere completely new.
5 Ways to Capture Blogging Inspiration
- Go to iTunes and download a documentary on a political, cultural, scientific, or spiritual icon. Look for parallels between their life and beliefs and your niche.
- Examine the works of coaches, teachers, and motivators in complementary niches. For example, I’ve mined inspiration from the neurolinguistic programming field with great success. Popular practitioners like Anthony Robbins have sparked new ideas and topics.
- Change Roles: If you are a teacher, write as if you are a student. The role reversal will force you to observe the world through a different lens. Students should act like they are the professor. How would you organize your niche’s information in a way that is refreshing and exciting?
- Change Your Canvas: What if your next post had to be a short film? What images would you use? Who are the characters? The villain? The hero?
- Steal. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I discovered George Lucas’ secret to writing Star Wars. It’s called the Heroes Journey and it still blows my mind. I’ve stolen it lock, stock, and barrel. Who is your favorite writer, director, or playwright? How do they find inspiration. Now steal it for yourself.
I don’t believe in taking it easy. Creativity and inspiration comes from pressure, determination, and consistency.
Creating content is hard work. Inspiration rewards those who diligently search for it.
Sitting on your butt for two weeks waiting for the perfect blog topic is silly and counterproductive. I would love to buy your praise with this nonsensical advice but it just doesn’t work. In fact, taking it easy, blogging less and other clever procrastination strategies could kill your blog.
Dig in and go searching for inspiration because it sure as hell won’t come looking for you.