7 Tips To Keep Blog Content Fresh

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Blogging requires a cup full of creativity, two cups of inspiration, and a third of dedication to keep the content fresh and interesting.

It’s SO EASY to read your favorite blogger and take their inspiration as yours; heck, it’s even EASIER to swipe a few article ideas or, better yet, take their words and re-purpose them into your own blog (no one will notice, right?).

I’ve been seeing in the last several months a few cases of indiscretion — bloggers “currying favor” with power bloggers and repurposing their content. While that may be the nicest form of a compliment; uhm, it’s not — that really sucks.

Just last week I saw my friend Erica Allison’s post on upcycling content to make it fresh again and, lo, a leading A-Lister blogger had an extremely similar post the next day. Coincidence or not really?

I have no idea whether the words I write or the ideas I come up with are re-purposed by others. I do see the tweet words or blog comments I make re-purposed on occasion.  I don’t police for that, but then again, I’m not as prolific as Gini Dietrich, for example. We’re all guilty of the above in some way, shape or form. It could be subliminal because we take inspiration from others’ writings.

If you’re struggling with how to freshen your blog content or nudge your creativity for something new (because we do live in an echo chamber!), here are some ideas you may want to consider:

1. Read, read, read. When I started in public relations agencies at Manning, Selvage & Lee in Chicago, my bosses told me to read. I really never knew what that meant or why. It probably took me 10 years to understand why reading is so important. And, it probably took me 10 years to mature into a better practitioner to incorporate reading into my daily routine. When you read, you’re better versed to impart insight to your blog.

2. Scan headlines. If you don’t want to read, then scan headlines (and include the first graph in that exercise, too). When you scan a headline, think about its relevance to your daily work. If you represent clients in healthcare, scan the headlines in the AMA Journal to see what’s current. This exercise helps spark ideas both for your employer, client or blog.

3. Select a topic and focus in-depth. Facebook is all the rage these weeks and so is Google+. Everyone is talking about timelines, business profiles, fan pages and the like. If you’re adapting your work to accommodate the new features, then write a story about it with a “how-to” piece or share a case study about how you implemented something for a client or your company. EVERYONE wants someone to teach them, and if you have a step-by-step process showing how to do something, you can watch your analytics rise exponentially.

4. Get Clicky. I was absolutely kicking and screaming on implementing a back-end decoding device (that’s not what this is, really). When you install Clicky on your blog, you can see why people come to visit. The key words they’re honing will appear in your dashboard, and you’ll find the information valuable to develop new posts. I was a non-believer until I saw the data on day one; it’s fascinating. So, thanks Gini, Brankica and Erica for pushing me over the brink.

5. Comment Love. When you engage on others’ blogs in comments, invariably, you will generate a rich trove of new ideas and blog fodder. If you happen to disagree with the blogger and others in the community also are debating your views, this becomes automatic fodder. And, wow, look at that opportunity — instead of debating in another bloggers’ comment system, bring that discussion to your house and state your perspective in an original post. Invite those same commenters from elsewhere to join you at your house, and voila! A new thread of interest comes alive.

6. Don’t force it. I’ve not blogged in awhile, and that’s because it’s been a tad rough with the client side. When you are not feeling your blog, DO NOT WRITE. There’s no hard or fast rule that says you must share your sorrows on your blog just because it’s been dormant. Respect your own boundaries and know that people want to read uplifting and inspirational content; they’d prefer not to engage in down-spirited bloggers. If you are inclined to write when you’re down, you are forcing your hand, and it shows.

7. Pick tried-and-true topics. This is a real-live personal tip from today — because I’ve not blogged in awhile, I selected an easier topic I knew I could write about comfortably to get back into routine. I have many ideas and blog posts started; but, because they’re under-developed and would take too long to complete, I selected something quick written this morning.

 

What might you add from your experiences?

26 comments
How to make money with AdSense
How to make money with AdSense

It is really important because itgoogle would consider your blog as a Spam if you don't do it properly....If google find that your artice is vopied then there sis chance that your site would get banned..

making money online
making money online

it's better you keep on updating your blog, so that the visitor can get to know about the update that you have make..

Words Done Write
Words Done Write

Great advice, Jayme! I guess my advice is to always be open to ideas. Pay attention, be curious, and listen. When I do those things, ideas always come to me.

Jenn Whinnem
Jenn Whinnem

If it's not too late, I'd really like to know how Clicky is so different from Google Analytics. please!

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

HAHAHAHAH! Number four made me LOL! I'm so proud of you! Now, it's going to look like I copied you when you read my Spin Sucks blog post tomorrow. But the truth of the matter is, it's a little bit you, a little bit Soledad O'Brien and a little bit The Moth, an organization I just read about today that teaches people how to tell stories. 

Jayme Soulati
Jayme Soulati

What a fabulous way to launch my day, Mr. Poynton...getting added to your faves. A RockHot compliment if ever there was one. Now, can I trade you a lonely hermie for an awesome shell?

Soulati
Soulati

OK, uhmmm, Mike? WTH? What is a panga, and OMG this sounds like a major disaster and now you're trying to blog? Please be careful!!! My gosh.

Amanda Eyer
Amanda Eyer

Felling the love on the "Don't Force It" tip. We keep a running blog ideas list for ideas we'd like to tackle in the future when our team wants to contribute and has the time. They're more like blog prompts but when you're in the bushes and trying to eek out posts it does seem best NOT to drag your readers with you in a hard-to-follow rant maze. 

The JackB
The JackB

I do things differently and I am an advocate of forcing it even when you don't feel it. Put pen to paper, finger to keyboard and type, tap and roll.  Or perhaps I should qualify it by saying if you make a living by writing for others than you don't have the luxury of saying you don't feel it.
So you need to just write and learn the discipline of doing it when it is hard as well as when it is easy.
Just my two cents.

Al Smith
Al Smith

Thanks Jayme.  Appreciate all the great tips.  I have not been "feeling it" lately.  Lots of personal stuff going on.  In the middle of the Dare to CARE challenge and I feel I should write something.  Working on some things, but this is the 3rd or 4th time, I have heard not to force it and don't write just to write.  Appreciate all you do. 

Looking forward to November 5th.  Bama vs LSU.  Should be a good one, huh ?  ROLL TIDE !

Al

T. Shakirah Dawud
T. Shakirah Dawud

Thanks for another Clicky recommendation--it spurred me to go to the website, yes. Is it different from Analytics mostly because it's realtime info?
Re Erica's post and another later: I noticed.

Erica Allison
Erica Allison

And...she's back! Awesome post. Thanks for the shout -out...he, he, he. :)
I love your last point, by the way, when you're coming off a blogging hiatus, start with something that's comfortable, rather than killing yourself on the toughest topic in the tank!  Love it.

Soulati
Soulati

Yep, you're a copy kattie Patty. I waited to comment until after I read your post today. Reading, moths, and stories. I like where you come from with this post and all the various aspects of weaving you presented. And, I left you a little story in comments; all true.

Soulati
Soulati

Hah. Love that last word choice -- "hard-to-follow rant maze!" Just re-read and saw "when you're in the bushes." So true!

My guilt always gets the best of me, though...when I take a hiatus (b/c I'm in the bushes and can't find the way out), I realize I have a responsibility to blog (that's the self critic talking) so I push forward and feel better.

Nice that you let your team contribute when they want to, as well, Amanda. So great seeing you here! Thank you!

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

I agree with you...after all, one of my most popular blog posts was the Post About Nothing. I wrote because it's part of my daily routine and I had to get something up. And people loved it.

Soulati
Soulati

Thinking. I see your point and it's important to draw a boundary between bloggers who write because they have to and those who write for "luxury" (for lack of better explanation). I would agree; if you're making a living writing for others, then this discussion becomes something entirely different about "I'm not feeling it."

So, I have to ask...when you're not in the mood and you force yourself to write for the clients (b/c you have to), is that your best product, The Jack? Or, do you, too, have a secret you won't share here...as in, give it a rest for a few hours, take a nap, take a walk, kiss the kids, etc. ?

Soulati
Soulati

Oh, man. You're asking a Wisconsin Badger to support, uhmm, which one is the Tide??!! LOL

And, to your point, not feeling it? Then I give you permission to take a brief hiatus; when you get back off the Dare to CARE Challenge, then that becomes your blog fodder. I bet you'll be able to write galore and with passion about that, Al.

Back in the day, when I was just launching, I forced myself to write daily and the stuff I wrote was crap. In fact someone almost derailed me b/c he asked my why I was writing a blog. That hurt. It only comes with consistently INSPIRED practice. (Hmm, yes, I think so.)

Thank you, thank you, for coming over today!

Soulati
Soulati

I'm not the one to ask! @47d58be98d1441a276245024c9457dbf:disqus is the analytics maven! Why I like it is due to its dashboard and friendly presentation of sliced and diced info. Now, don't ask me if I know what to do with all that data, but I did write a post because I saw what people were seeking.

You noticed, too? Was kind of bizarre; great compliment, but kinda of bizarre! Thanks for coming over today, Shakirah!

Soulati
Soulati

Thanks, Friend. When I saw that A-Lister writing on the same topic as yours the next day, it struck me odd. The fact that I noticed made it even more odd! So, thanks for the blog fodder! Heh.

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

I read that as a "copy Katie Perry" and couldn't figure out how you meant. 

The JackB
The JackB

I have several secrets that I might choose to reveal in an eBook called Several Secrets Every Blogger Must Use. Smart businessmen and bloggers will take advantage of the exceptionally low pre-sale price of $29.99. Once I receive several hundred orders I will write said book and deliver it via email.

Do you realize what a bargain that is. Thanks to the magic of email it is like being served breakfast in bed except this is twice as tasty and with none of the calories.

T. Shakirah Dawud
T. Shakirah Dawud

You know what this leads to, is do we give credit whenever we realize it's somebody else's post that fired a synapse, even if it's a far-flung, one-sentence thing? That asked, I do think a lot of it is subliminal as you said.

Soulati
Soulati

Dang! I wrote a VERY smart (ass) comment to this yesterday and it's not here. I don't do repeats. Send me your landing page; I'll buy your book for $30 and that extra penny should push you to write it faster. See how much faith I have in your talents? Just don't wave at me...;-)

Jayme Soulati
Jayme Soulati

I'm so glad you said "smart businessmen," The Jack. Only men, indeed, will fall for that scam, I mean campaign.

Soulati
Soulati

I have to agree...so much of this is sub-conscious.

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