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Read Other Bloggers – Battling Bloggers Block

This is part 4 in the Battling Bloggers Block Series

4. Read what other Bloggers are Saying

Ok so this one’s not rocket science but it needs to be said. One of the strengths of blogging as a medium is the way that bloggers interact with one another and build upon each others ideas. Here’s five tips for using what others say (and don’t say) for creating original content:

a. Build on the work of others – As a result when I’m looking for inspiration for a new post I quite often look to see what other bloggers are writing about in my niche. What are they learning? What is the hot topic of the moment? What could you add as a fresh perspective on what they are learning? One of my recent popular posts on 13 Tips on Asking other Bloggers for Links came directly from this technique as I bounced off a short post by Robert Scoble. While his point was totally valid – I felt there was more to be said and so built a longer list around his original idea.

b. Look for the gaps in Conversation – Another useful question is to ask – ‘What are other bloggers in my niche NOT writing about?‘ It’s all very well and good to join a conversation – but look for the gaps in conversations also and you might just find yourself starting a whole new line of thought. Asking this question takes a little more discernment but is a skill worth developing as it has the potential to set you apart from the crowd.

c. Look outside your Niche – Don’t just limit yourself to reading bloggers in your own niche either – sometimes it’s when you look outside of your own niche to see what developments are happening elsewhere that innovative ideas comes. The Blogosphere is full many smaller blogging communities, many of which are doing incredibly creative blogging. Go exploring a blog neighborhood you’ve not visited before and you could just stumble upon an idea to bring back to your own.

d. Read Other Bloggers Archives – An area of blogging that frustrates me is that once a post slips off the front page of a blog it seems to lose it’s worth. The problem with dates on blog posts (and I see some positives with it also) is that it can make very relevant posts seem ‘dated’. The fact is that there must be an incredible wealth of knowledge locked away in the archives of some of your favorite blogs. Spend some time scanning them and you’ll probably find hundreds of ideas that you could bounce off with some posts of your own.

e. Credit where Credit is Due – One final thought – as always, be generous with giving credit to the bloggers who inspire your thoughts. While in bouncing off them you might create your own original content – but acknowledging the work of others who have gone before you in the conversation costs you little.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Sean Fallon says:

    In most of the blogs that I am involved with, there is no shortage of topics to write about. If I do have a problem, it is generally stems from a lack of desire to write.

    I am a stickler for consitancy and I feel an obligation to keep up with the latest information – but I don’t want to sacrifice quality. In these situations I have found that your suggestion to go outside my niche – even outside of blogging has been a big help. Reading something that is well written – be it a book, magazine, or blog has always inspired me to be a better writer.

  2. Point “e” is an important one. I didn’t know whether to feel flattered yesterday when I discovered a major blogging network (of the $80 million variety) had taken one of my posts almost word for word including choosing the same photo and the same two links or to be ticked off that they made no effort to give me the customary ‘tip o’ the hat’. I think I’ll just keep my chin up and feel flattered for the moment.

  3. Darren Rowse says:

    That sucks Tom….unfortunately it happens alot though.

    Perhaps you could shoot them a little email to let them know you noticed…

  4. jesse says:

    d. Read Other Bloggers Archives – An area of blogging that frustrates me is that once a post slips off the front page of a blog it seems to lose it’s worth. The problem with dates on blog posts (and I see some positives with it also) is that it can make very relevant posts seem ‘dated’. The fact is that there must be an incredible wealth of knowledge locked away in the archives of some of your favorite blogs. Spend some time scanning them and you’ll probably find hundreds of ideas that you could bounce off with some posts of your own.

    About a month ago I basically read your whole archives…or all the most interesting posts…tremendous help

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