One of the biggest challenges new bloggers face is coming up with ideas for content. There are plenty of great systems to help, such as mindmapping, editorial calendars and the like. But today, I want to talk about how content is all around us – all you need to do is harness it.
When I look at great bloggers, it is clear that blogging is embedded in the fabric of their being. They are living their blog. Ideas aren’t external things that they have to go find, every moment of their day is a potential blog post, and they are gardeners, slowly growing ideas, shaping the landscape and harvesting the best bits.
Let’s take an easy example, Fred Wilson’s blog avc.com. His blog is his life and his life is his blog. When he talks about why he likes the iPad, he tells a story about how his family uses it. When he wants to talk about metrics, he shares the Google Analytics data from his own blog. When he goes to an event, he finds topics from the conversation on stage. When he can’t keep up with email, he writes a post about it.
Fred doesn’t sit at home every day and blog. He is very active in his career, traveling, spending time with his wife and three kids, and with his hobbies. And yet, he posts some REALLY great blog posts every single day. It should be noted that while he isn’t a writer by trade, he has become an incredible communicator.
If that wasn’t enough, Fred updates his Tumblr with little updates every day as well. And yes, he Tweets too.
Fred is a great example of ‘everything is content.’ He lives his passion, and his blog fuels it even further. He has become a very well known commentator in the tech & startup world – based not just on his expertise and experience, but his ability to share and communicate via these online platforms.
For about six weeks now, I’ve been blogging every weekday. Prior to that, I had only been blogging once a week. What I have found is that blog posts are all around me, and that all I need to do is be open to them. To my great surprise, it hasn’t been a struggle to come up with ideas or find the time to write. In fact, I think my spelling has even improved because I am writing so much.
We all spend our day thinking about things: interactions we have, what we are working on, what happened at the food store, and on and on and one. Why not channel these thoughts into something constructive.
When you create a blog, you are sharing a part of yourself. This goes beyond ‘content marketing,’ this is about self expression, this is about sharing your expertise and passion.
When I talk to a colleague, several blog posts can come out of the conversation because I am learning so much about what people are doing, what inspires them, what concerns them. Sure, I may end up only writing about one of the ten concepts we discussed, and I may tie it together with something I read three weeks ago, but still – it’s content. When something doesn’t work – that’s content. When something succeeds – that’s content. Everything is content. Your role as a blogger is to find the best bits and share them in the most compelling manner.