Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bloggiesta Challenge: 8 Ways to Freshen Up Your Content


This challenge is in conjunction with Bloggiesta. Be sure to read all about Bloggiesta on its main page. You can also see the other people doing mini challenges.

Okay, so I'm going to talk about content today. When you first start blogging, it seems like the whole world is at your feet and you will never run out of things to talk about. Fast forward a couple years, and it seems like you can't think of anything to write about. In an attempt to not use memes and features as a crutch, you should have a back-up of ideas that you can use to promote some thoughtful posts. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Write an honest post. Some of the best posts I've written have just been about things that were really on my mind. Even if they are scary. These can be personal, or just things that you want to talk about. I've talked about good guys in YA literature, love triangles,and my love for Harry Potter. All of these things prompt thought from readers.
  2. Revisit an old topic or blog post. If you posted something that got a lot of comments, pageviews, or prompted a good discussion and it's been awhile, talk about it again. Post something a little different, or just update the post with new information.
  3. Make a web of your content. Try to avoid making your blog just like a stream of consciousness. Interconnect your blog posts together by linking to other posts that you've done in the past when appropriate, or linking to other's work. This creates a continuity that will make readers stay on your blog, and give you lots of ideas for new posts.
  4. Writing a post that fills a need. Back when Pottermore first came out, I wrote a post on how to get a beta invite, and an earlier post on my predictions on what Pottermore was. Those two posts combined have got almost 10,000 pageviews, and Yahoo even linked up to one of them. I've also done posts on some technical blogging related things that have got a bunch of pageviews. But, your post doesn't have to be technical, just latch onto an idea that's hot and put a new spin on it.
  5. Don't over think it. This one kind of ties in to the being honest thing. Sometimes your half-formed ideas are going to generate a lot more interest than your well-researched ones. Why is that? Because readers like to be a part of the discussion. If you've said all there is to say, why should they comment?
  6. Do an interview, or be interviewed. But, not in the way you think. Don't ask a blogger or author what their favorite ice cream is, or what kind of bacteria they'd be. Ask questions that readers want to know. I think that this is why Blogger Confidential has done so well. The questions are tough. Sometimes they are uncomfortable to answer. So, do an interview, but really think about the questions. Take the time to do some research, and you'll come out with questions and an interview that really makes an impact.
  7. Write about what you talk about. If you've just had a discussion with your friends on twitter, or gchat, or even on the phone, write about it. If it's a topic that is important enough for you to discuss it with your friends, it's probably important enough to write about. I did this just recently when I talked about my stats. I'd been talking about it for weeks and by that time had so many thoughts and ideas swirling in my mind that it came out in a post.
  8. Write about someone else. When I first started blogging, J. Kaye had a great feature where she talked about new blogs that she discovered. I kind of miss that feature, and with that we'd do more discovering and talking about our discoveries. Plus, I believe that any karma you give out comes back to you 10-fold.
Here's your challenge:

Write up 10 ideas for posts that will revitalize your blog

30 comments:

  1. I love it! My favorite thing to write about are discussion posts. I like to get out what I'm thinking about and hear what other's opinions are. I've got a few ideas I've not written about yet, and I'm now eager to get them all written and scheduled up. My discussion page is chock full of posts and I love it!

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    1. They are a great break from the norm. I don't do them nearly as often as I should.

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  2. Hi Emily, this all sounds like sensible and feasible recommendations. It is also timely for us in GatheringBooks since we've been thinking of ways to revitalize our blog. We've got the reviews and bimonthly themes down-pat, but we want to explore more avenues, so I'd probably take you up on this challenge and reflect on a few ideas that would 'revitalize' the blog. I'm not sure though if it would reach up to ten different ideas. Hahhaa. What is the timeline of the challenge? Anytime during the weekend? Where do we link up our posts once we put up one? Thanks for your patience in asking my queries. Glad to know you through Bloggiesta.

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  3. Great ideas! I still (after 3+ years of blogging) haven't taken part in a Bloggiesta, but I always check out a few posts and take away a couple of key points.

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  4. These are some great ideas! Although I'm relatively new to blogging, I feel like I'm kind of at this point where I'm pretty stagnant and am ready to go forward a little... not crazy forward, but some that it generates new thoughts and discussions, attracts new viewers, etc. Thanks for these ideas and hopefully I can utilize them this weekend at my own Bloggiesta!

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  5. I love this list. I'm going to bookmark it and refer back to it when I get in a blogging slump. :)

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    1. That's great! I've found it really helps me.

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  6. I haven't officially joined Bloggiesta but you just gave me something to think about! Thanks!

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  7. This is exactly what I needed today. I'm doing some brainstorming on what to blog about for the next few weeks, so this helps immensely. Thank you! :)

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  8. Awesome ideas here! I love it!

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  9. It's true...when you're a young blogger and you start exploring other blogs, it's like your head explodes with ideas. Three years later, you have to work and sweat for ideas, lol.

    I love the ideas you came up with :) I'm going to have to make a note to remember them next time I'm in need of some inspiration!

    ♥Isalys / Book Soulmates

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  10. Great points Emily. I try to jot down ideas for posts to keep on "back up" unfortunately I have used all of them to current. I did have a couple ideas today and you have stimulated more. I will be doing your challenge. Great idea!

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  11. Sometimes I have a lot of ideas and I just go for it. Or I put them in my Word document to save for later. I'm going to brainstorm about this.

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  12. Done & done. I just made a list of 10 future posts. It's hard to come up with ideas though - here are a few I've done in the past in case anyone wants some more ideas
    - 10 favorite creepy book covers
    - are the books as creepy as the covers (follow up with book discussions)
    - 10 favorite book covers from 2011
    - follow up with another post seeing if the covers were as good as the books
    - 10 ugly covers on good books
    - life lessons learned from the last 10 books read

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  13. What a great list, thank you! I also have to say that your header is the best I have ever seen. Love it!

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  14. This is great! I like doing discussion posts, though I find it hard to publicize them ...

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  15. I've thought of 5 posts to revitalize my blog and get discussions going. I'm sure by the end of the weekend I'll have 5 more. Thanks so much for the tips! :)

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  16. I've been thinking a lot about this! My blog is mostly reviews and I really want to make it more personal :P

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  17. Oh this Challenge was really challenging for me! Awesome! I finally got my behind kicked to think about new topics and it was in the end easier than I first thought it would be! Thank you!

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  18. Thanks for the challenge. I am really working on this one. I signed up to take part in the Blogging from A to Z challenge in April. My main post will be a book I feature (since I am also taking part in the ABC reading challenge this year). I am also hoping to make another post each day that is something on my mind, or whatever hits me or pops up on that day or particular letter. Thanks for the pointers. You have inspired me.

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  19. I love your ideas, Emily. I especially like the last one. I think I'm going to try something like that. I need to think about it for a little bit and see how the best way to go about it is. :)

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  20. Hi Emily, here's our post for your mini-challenge. We've posted ten possible ways to freshen up our content. Thanks for hosting this challenge. We loved brainstorming!

    http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/bloggiesta-mini-challenge-freshening-up-content/

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  21. Oh excellent! This is already on my to-do list for bloggiesta :D
    I do need to actually pick up my blogger interview feature again - if anyone is interested, do leave a comment on the site linked below!
    If you search for "blogger spotlight" you will see previous questions and sample posts.
    Dee from e-Volving Books

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  22. I have written 10 ideas for each blog on a piece of paper. I might post it later, but because my bloggiesta list is so long, I am going to do other things first. But I have the ideas and that is most important :) Thanks for making me think about this! It was no easy task!

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  23. After reading your list I feel I am not creative at all :-( so I gave it some more thought and came up with 10 ideas for posts. I don't know they're very clever, but that's as much as I could come up with. Still, the list feels good as a prompt!
    Thank you for the challenge!

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  24. Yeee. Got ten article-type posts thought-up and ready to post throughout the month, when my brain lets me write them! Thanks for the tips :) woop woop!! :D

    Faye

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  25. Thank you, Emily! Those are great points. Very concise, which is what I need.

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  26. Thanks, Emily....advice that is just as fresh and timely now as when you wrote this.

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