Over the past year I’ve done my utmost to discipline myself to write one new blog post per week and have always endeavoured to keep it relevant to sales/marketing and telemarketing in general. Admittedly I’m not strictly sticking to it – not because I can’t be bothered to write one but invariably because, at times, inspiration just doesn’t seem to come to me when I need it. Sometimes ideas flow like water from a tap, other times I really have to dig deep to come up with something that is not only original (next to impossible) but also of interest to my readers (not so difficult although self criticism does sometimes make me wonder if what I write is of interest to anyone (even myself at times)
Some of the posts I’ve written I’ve considered to be distinctly average and have then resulted in lots of positive feedback from my connections, some of whom regularly ask me how I find inspiration to write. Up until now, the best advice I’ve been able to give is “just start writing” which, unhelpful and dismissive though that may seem actually has some sense within it as, often, once I’ve booted myself up the backside enough to sit down and start writing, inspiration usually comes.
However, the more I’ve thought about, the more I’ve realised that I do actually have a number of methods of assisting me with my inspiration so, being the helpful chap I am, thought it would be useful to share some tips with you. As ever, this by no means an exhaustive list so, if you’ve anything you’d like to add or comment on, feel free.
- Read other blogs. There are thousands and thousands of blogs out there on practically every subject you can think of and, whilst I don’t advocate plagiarising other peoples work it can be a great source of inspiration. I use feedly.com to collate all of relevant blogs to my industry – this is great as there’s an app for my iphone so, whenever I’ve got some downtime during the day (or evening) I simply read through what’s there and often use existing blogs to fuel the content for my own. If reading someone elses work doesn’t result in enough inspiration to write a fresh blog of your own, you can even add a link to their blog and simply make your blog a comment on theirs – there could be things you agree with, things you don’t agree with, further comments you’d like to add, as long as it’s worthwhile and relevant to your audience – use it!
- Existing clients. Think of an existing or past customer, write a case study, talk about how you found them, how you won their business, what successes you had, what challenges you came up against, how you overcame those challenges – again, if it’s relevant and worthwhile, share it!
- Popular media – this can range from stories in the news, local events and issues, tv, radio, social media. I’ve written a number of blogs related to films and tv programmes I’ve watched – in particular Iron Man 3 and Breaking bad. There’s often comparisons you can make with the business world, no matter how tenuous they may initially seem. Even if it’s just a matter of telling your audience how much you enjoyed something, as long as you can relate it to the theme of your blog, it’s useful
- Your day to day existence. Have your kids said something particularly amusing/worthwhile, does your dog lead a calm zen-like existence that would inspire you to deal with stress and anger, have you received great/terrible service in a shop or restaurant, has your local supermarket done a brilliant/terrible piece of marketing that you’d like to comment on
- Past blog posts. Go back over previous blog posts, update them, comment on them, discuss any comments you’ve had or things you’ve learned since you made the original post?
and, as a last thought (number 6 if you like) – one tip I was given when I first started doing stand up comedy – keep a notebook with you at all times and write down anything you feel is relevant, ideas, notes, scribbles, drawings, things you’ve experienced during the day. There’s plenty of techy alternatives to this such as Evernote but, for ease of use the old notebook and pen can work wonders.
In summary, my advice about “just start writing” still rings true, often that’s harder than just getting on with it but by developing a habit of always looking out for inspiration and having the tools to help you achieve that you’ll be well on your way to blogging success
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
T:01384 566 078