Guest Post by Mike Wicks
If you’re a regular blogger like me, you’ll know how difficult it is to sustain originality both with topics and creative approach. I sometimes fear my well of ideas might actually run dry.
I’ve read countless articles, such as 101 Ideas to Inspire Your Next Blog Post, but still I search for new approaches, angles, perspectives. And there is always an overwhelming, pervasive feeling that I’m going to become predictable – the blogger’s sin of all sins.
I’ve tried many things to stimulate my creativity. I trawl British and Australian, as well as North American websites that cover my areas of interest looking for inspiration, I read random magazines and the outpourings of top bloggers such as Seth Godwin, all to see if I can grab hold of a kernel of an idea. I’m not talking about plagiarising something, just looking for a topic that I might have something interesting to say about, or where I might offer a unique approach.
The other day I was given 40 royalty-free photographs – a completely random selection of images – and I came up with an approach I’ve not seen mentioned in any of those blog post ideas articles. Looking at my folder of new images I thought of the eMagazines I publish and wondered how on earth I would could use this bounty; none of them related to the subject matter covered in my publications. I thought of my blog posts and realized that I always write my post first and then search for an appropriate image to complement the sentiment espoused. My idea was, what if I reversed that and started with the image?
My free images included shots of bread, burgers, a forest, a giraffe (close-up), an ancient building, windswept Shetland ponies, a shepherd with his flock of sheep, three camera lenses, the Mona Lisa, a rose (close-up), and the leaning tower of Pisa.
Could these provide inspiration for a blog post? Well, for a start, they inspired this one! But that would be cheating. I challenged myself to focus on my own two blogs, not ones where I ghost-blog for clients, and find a way to write about small business and freelance writing using these images.
Here are a few examples:
· I thought about bread and the fact it needs a leavening agent – it won’t rise by itself. This made me think about how developing a marketing strategy is a little like making bread. It needs a leavening agent – something that will develop public interest, a unique selling proposition along with a sweetening agent to stimulate growth. You get the idea.
· The three camera lenses got me thinking about the idea of a post on writing an article. This centered on taking the rough concept and jotting down three different perspectives from which the article could be approached. It’s easy to build an interesting post around this foundation.
· The Mona Lisa? Eyes that follow you around – the enigmatic smile? This made me consider a post on how one could write an article based on why this painting is so popular. How could one write like the Mona Lisa looks? Okay, I realize this is a long way from being a concrete idea for a blog post, but it’s a starting point and often that’s all we need. A creative launch-pad.
· The burgers were also interesting to me. I looked at the multiple layers and this got me thinking, each layer has a job to do, there has to be a good balance between filling and bun, the flavors need to be in harmony, it needs to look appetizing, it needs to be constructed and cooked well. Now, I had the basis for a blog post on structuring a non-fiction book!
So, you get the idea. I challenge you to choose one of the other examples listed above and see if it could be used as the basis for your next blog post. Perhaps the rose, with its large petals on the outside and getting smaller and tighter as they get closer to the centre might be just the inspiration you are looking for?
Next time you’re stuck for a blog post topic, simply take a look at your photo-library.
Source: Associate of Ghostwriters