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All too often when we work with clients on a blog marketing strategy, we get these questions: What should we write about? Where do you go for inspiration? As any writer knows, getting stuck comes with the territory. Here are a few of my favorite sources for inspiration when looking for blog marketing ideas or snippets to spice up blog posts, white papers, webinars, and other cool stuff when musing and writing for our business:
1. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) & Ideas Worth Spreading
TED.com has a wealth of ideas to riff on, and a fabulous source in finding top notch keynote speakers on a wide variety of topics. When browsing the main site I suggest using a kitchen timer because it’s so easy to lose track of time. If you want to limit your choices to bite sized chunks, check out Ted in Three Minutes. It’s simply a great place to go when you need inspiration fast.
2. Inspirational Quotes
Sometimes starting off with a quote gets the creative juices going. Science fiction writer and Star Trek creator Ray Bradbury mused “Don’t Think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”
ThinkExist.com is a directory that let’s you search by author, topic, keywords, contributors anything related to finding famous or infamous quotations.
3. Google It.
Choose a topic related to your business or endeavor and let Google do the work. Google Instant is that genius feature that gives you suggestions while you’re typing a new search. It’s not mind reading but it’s close. Google figured out that most people type slower than they read. By “googling” your topic you not only find inspiration but also insight on what keywords your audience might use to find your marketing blog.
4. Local Library
A lower tech option but one that continues to deliver inspiration for me is visiting my local library. Many city and county libraries feature a “what’s new” section. Browse through the latest non-fiction books to see what’s being read. While you’re there, check out the Periodicals area where there is a smorgasbord of magazines. Choose a topic that’s unfamiliar and leaf through a couple of back issues. Or, simply scan the sea of covers and see what strikes your fancy.
5. Online Book Sellers
Amazon, Barnes & Noble or other favorite online book seller can help you quickly search material that’s related to your topic of interest. Let their prediction algorithm work to your advantage by plugging in a keyword or book title. Poke around the recommendations because you can often take a peek by browsing the table of contents and read excerpts. Don’t forget the section below where they pair additional related items.
6. Flickr, Fotolia, iStockPhoto & Google Images
Humans are visual creatures. Search photos galleries for images based upon a keyword, topic or theme. Sometimes having a visual metaphor handy will break-up writer’s block. It could also help you build a portfolio of images you can use on your marketing blog and website.
7. Mashable & Technorati
If these aren’t already on your bookmark list, then consider adding them. Mashable is an independent news source focused on digital culture, social media and technology. Want to find out what other bloggers are writing about? Then Technorati is your answer.
One trick I use when writing is listening to music. Music affects mood and can train your brain to concentrate. Often I use Pandora, a service where I’ve created several different types of internet radio stations. One station is filled with classics from Mozart, Bach, and Hayden, and it cues my brain to tune out any external distractions and write. Since I write for clients, I create a station with music that reflects their brand, giving me inspiration to write in their voice.
Beyond watching videos of cute kittens, you can see the YouTube Trends for hot or viral topics of the week. Again, browse by topic or theme to see what’s been uploaded. Have that kitchen timer handy as watching YouTube can be addicting, and rob you of a productive afternoon.
10. Walk Away
If you’re like me, I’m connected (and at times addicted) to technology. If I’ve sat down to write, perused my usual inspirational haunts and the words still won’t flow, then I know it’s time to take drastic action. Walking away from my computer and going for a hike can help. Getting fresh air clears my head, and inevitably letting in an idea or phrase. Then I pull out my digital recorder so I don’t forget it!
Where do you go for inspiration? We’d love to hear from you and add to our list.
How can we help?
Don’t have a blog marketing strategy? Wish you had support in creating new blog posts or content for your website?
We are the spectrum group, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your blog marketing strategy and website content.