Finding original stuff
Ian Lurie Mar 16 2010
You know what’s really hard? Finding original stuff to write about.
I’m at my 3rd conference in 4 weeks. The presenters are great. And the attendees who are hearing it for the first time are getting a lot out of it. But it’s all been said before. And before that. And maybe even before that. You can only hear “Optimize your title tags” and “The important thing in blogging is to start writing” so many times before you feel like you’re in a Twilight Zone episode.
Now I’m sitting in my hotel room trying to come up with something original and useful to write, preferably on the topic of internet marketing. That is, after all, what this blog is about.
And I’m stuck.
I can’t just litter my blog with checklists. My fingers now refuse to type “OL”. They’re going on strike. I’m not like the geniuses over at Smashing Magazine, who crank out one brilliant list after another. Nor do I have 2-3 hours/day to write my posts. These posts have to come quickly, or I have to move on to paying work and family – both legitimately higher priorities.
And deep down, I know I’m about to start rehashing old content, which isn’t a good use of my time or yours.
So yes, I’m whining. I can’t come up with anything original at the moment. I don’t want to rewrite my own stuff, or write about something that someone else has covered far more effectively. Nor have I slain any dragons lately, unlike Rhea Drysdale.
I know all bloggers go through this. Or, at least, the ones who are worried about keeping their blog fresh. It happens to everyone. Really.
What’s our responsibility?
In the drive to publish, publish, publish lest the search engines and our audience drift away, what’s really our responsibility as bloggers? To write useful stuff, even if that means a lot less of it? Or to keep the traffic flowing at any cost, and hope that some new visitors come to my blog, read recycled content and love it as brand new?
I have no answer
I don’t know the answer – I’m looking to you all. This isn’t just my attempt to fill space. It’s a plea/request/demand: What do you want your favorite bloggers to do when they run out of ideas?
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More