I recently was chatting with a new blogger and they made the comment that after 3 weeks of blogging that they’d run out of things to write about. They had written 10 posts so far but felt that they’d nothing else to share of value on the topic.
What surprised me about their comments was that the blogger was actually a seasoned pro in their niche. They were new to blogging about their topic but they’d been working in their industry for 25 years and were seen as an expert in their field…. yet they didn’t feel like they had anything to say about the topic!
I dug a little deeper and it turned out that the reason for their issue was not that they didn’t have much to write about – but that they were taking for granted the level of knowledge that they actually had. Much of what they’d learned over the years was now so basic to them that they didn’t realise how valuable it was for someone at a lower level of expertise.
To use an old cliche – they were the type of person who has forgotten what most of us will ever know about their topic.
He said to me at one point – ‘I just want every post I write to be something that cuts new ground – something that says something great that no one has ever thought before.’
I’ve felt this way myself over the years (and still do). For me it often came about in those nervous moments before I’d go on stage to present about blogging. Doubts would creep in….”what do I know?”…. “my presentation is too basic”….. “what if people are too advanced for this?”….
The reality is though that 99% of people in the audiences I spoke to had a such basic understanding of my topic that what I often thought was basic was often a stretch for them.
Often in the Q&A times at the end of such presentations I’d realise to myself just how much I actually did know about my topic and how often in the search for my next profound post that unlocked the secrets to the universe that I was actually over looking a treasure trove of more basic but just as helpful topics.
I’m not suggesting that every post you write needs to rehash the basics of your topic – however I guess this is simple a challenge for those of us who sometimes struggle to feel we’ve got anything helpful and worthwhile to say to realize that we might be over thinking things and could probably serve our readers better by examining what we do know and sharing that.
Sidenote: I was having a discussion that touched on this today at Third Tribe when Valeria Maltoni commented – ‘I also take what I know for granted a lot.‘
I responded to her with:
“I think most of us have stuff in our head that we think is too basic to share with others however it’s real GOLD when we do share it because it’s often things that others are thinking about asking but are too scared – or its something that they need to know but don’t really know that they need it.“
How does one get to those Basic but Golden things?
A few ides for posts come to mind:
- Describe an experience that you’ve had
- Share a problem that you overcame and how you did it
- Give an example of where you learned an important lesson
- Tell the story of how you taught someone something
- Remember what it was like to be a beginner in your topic and outline the things you wish you’d known
- Share the answers to some questions that you or someone else once had